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slice of vegan carrot cake

Vegan Carrot Cake {Gluten Free}

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 18 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This is honestly the best vegan carrot cake I’ve ever had, and it’s a crowd favorite with even non-vegan eaters. Entirely gluten free and topped with a creamy dairy free cream cheese frosting, this easy one bowl carrot cake is soon to be your favorite too!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Vegan Carrot Cake

  • 2 cups (180 g) grated carrots, about 6-8 medium carrots
  • 3 1/2 (440 g) cups oat flour, all purpose flour, or cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 1/2 cup dairy free milk plus 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup (230 g) brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) vegan butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup (226 g) vegan cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 cup (226 g) vegan butter (room temperature)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp dairy free milk

Instructions

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F, and line three 8″ cake pans with cooking oil and parchment paper. Make sure the carrots are grated, and mix together the dairy free milk with the apple cider vinegar.
  2. Prep the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, and leavening agents. Set aside.
  3. Make the carrot cake batter: In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the vegan butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Then add in the applesauce, vanilla extract, and carrots. Mix on medium speed until combined. Sift in the flour, leavening agents, and spices in about 3 increments, alternating between pouring in the vegan dairy free milk mixture as well. Be careful not to over mix. I try to mix just until there are no dry streaks left.
  4. Bake: Divide the batter evenly into the cake pans. Bake the cakes for about 28-32 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Cool: Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer them to cooling rack to fully cool. Do not frost until the cakes are cool to touch, and there is absolutely no heat coming from them.
  6. Make the vegan cream cheese frosting: To prepare the frosting, cream together the vegan butter and cream cheese with a stand mixer or using a hand mixer and a large bowl. Sift in the powdered sugar in increments of 1 cup, beating the mixture between each cup until combined. Add in 1-2 tbsp dairy free milk if needed to achieve a smooth texture.
  7. Assembly: Frost the cake, applying about 1/3 cup frosting in between each layer, and coating the sides of the cake. If you’d like to pipe the carrots onto the sides, reserve about 1/2 cup total frosting and divide in two bowls. Color one with vegan orange coloring and the other with vegan green. I used a Wilton Piping Tip 66 and Wilton Piping Tip 1. 
  8. Slice and serve! Store any leftovers in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Notes

Not gluten free? Swap in all purpose flour or cake flour at an equal ratio!

Walnuts/Raisins: If you’d like to add in walnuts, raisins, or pecans, you may add in 1/3-1/2 cup of each (if you’re using just walnuts, add in 1/2 cup, if you’re adding in all three, use 1/3). 

The Original Paleo Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe:

This recipe has been retested and adjusted from its original to suit more households. However, there are some original readers that love the original Paleo Vegan carrot cake version, so I left it here in case you prefer this one!

Vegan Carrot Cake

  • 1 cup shredded carrots (can buy pre-shredded)
  • 1 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup cassava flour flour
  • 3 tbsp ground flax/chia seed (mixed with 1/3 cup water)
  • 1 cup coconut milk with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or vegan butter (unsalted) (melted)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato (pre-cooked)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup vegan cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 cup vegan butter (room temperature)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 batch vegan caramel sauce (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375F and grease three 6″ cake pans with olive or coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together oat flour, cassava flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and sea salt. 
  3. Pour in coconut milk, olive oil, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and ground flax seed mixture, and mix until well combined.
  4. Add in shredded carrots and mashed sweet potato. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour evenly into both cake pans and place cake pans in the oven.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool fully before frosting.
  8. *Follow instructions below for the frosting so that you make it while the cakes are cooling.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a medium bowl and using a hand mixer, beat together vegan cream cheese, vegan butter, and coconut milk.
  2. Add in powdered sugar and beat until it becomes thick.
  3. Set aside and cover until ready to frost (you can place it for a few minutes in the fridge, but not too long because you don’t want it to harden).
  4. Frost cake, top with vegan caramel sauce if desired, and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 336
  • Sugar: 35.1 g
  • Sodium: 284.8 mg
  • Fat: 10.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 58.3 g
  • Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Protein: 3.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 13 mg

Keywords: vegan carrot cake, gluten free vegan carrot cake, healthy vegan carrot cake, healthy carrot cake