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Vegan carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, pistachios and rosebuds on a white cake stand on a marble surface.

Vegan Carrot Cake

Classic vegan carrot cake – a delicious eggless and dairy free version of carrot layer cake which is filled and topped with creamy vegan cream cheese frosting. It is so good you won’t be able to tell the difference! This is the perfect cake for Easter or any celebration.

Course Dessert
Cuisine baking
Keyword cake
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 people
Author Domestic Gothess

Ingredients

Vegan Carrot Cakes:

  • 200 g (1 cup + 2 Tbsp) light brown soft sugar
  • 100 g (½ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 180 ml (¾ cup) sunflower oil (or another flavourless oil)
  • 180 ml (¾ cup) unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use soy)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla exract
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange or lemon
  • 230 g (2 cups minus 1 Tbsp) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 100 g (¾ cup + 2 Tbsp) plain wholemeal flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¾ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 360 g (12 ½ oz) coarsely grated carrot

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 150 g (5 ⅓ oz / ½ cup + 2 Tbsp) vegan block butter (NOT the spreadable kind. I use Naturli Vegan Block) softened
  • 225 g (8 oz) vegan cream cheese (I use Asda own brand) room temperature
  • 450 g (4 ½ cups) icing (powdered) sugar sifted
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • chopped pistachios to decorate (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease two 20cm/8inch round, (ideally 5cm/2in deep) cake tins and line the base and sides with baking parchment.

  2. Whisk together the light brown soft sugar, caster sugar, oil, milk, lemon juice, vanilla and lemon or orange zest in a large bowl.

  3. Add the plain flour, wholemeal flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.

  4. Whisk gently until no lumps of flour remain. Be careful not to over-beat the batter however as that can make the cake tough.

  5. Add the grated carrots and fold through until well combined.

  6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins, spread it level and bake for about 35 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

  7. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then very carefully turn them out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

  8. To make the cream cheese frosting, place the softened, room temperature butter in a large bowl. Drain any excess liquid from the room temperature cream cheese and pat it dry with paper towels; add it to the bowl with the butter.

  9. Whisk the butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer until well combined. Add the sifted icing sugar and xanthan gum and whisk well until smooth and creamy. If the frosting is too soft, pop it in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up a bit before icing the cake.

  10. Place one of the cooled cake layers on a cake stand or serving platter and spread over some of the frosting. Place the other layer on top and ice it as you like - the recipe makes enough frosting to cover the sides if you wish.

  11. Decorate with chopped pecans, walnuts or pecans as you like.

Recipe Notes

  • For the best results make sure that you follow the recipe closely. As always, I highly recommend using the gram measurements (with a digital scale), rather than the cup conversions. Cup measurements are simply not accurate enough for baking and I cannot guarantee the best results if you use them.
  • Use a standard sized grater for the carrots rather than a fine one for the best texture.
  • I like to use sunflower oil for baking as it has a very neutral flavour, but you can use another mild flavoured oil instead. Or you can use olive oil or melted coconut oil if you don’t mind the flavour coming through. If you use melted coconut oil make sure that your milk is at room temperature so that the oil doesn’t resolidify.
  • You can mix a couple of handfuls of raisins or chopped walnuts into the batter along with the grated carrots if you like.
  • Make sure that you allow the cakes to cool completely before adding the frosting and slicing into it.
  • When making the frosting it is very important that the butter is soft and at room temperature, and the cream cheese is also at room temperature, otherwise the frosting is more likely to split.