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Sliced carrot cake on a white cake stand.
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4.89 from 382 votes

Vegan Carrot Cake

This vegan carrot cake is the best ever! It's moist and rich and topped with a tangy lemon buttercream frosting and crushed walnuts.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Baking, Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Diet: Vegan
Servings: 10
Calories: 673kcal

Ingredients

For the Carrot Cake:

  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour (250g)
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups Light Brown Sugar (300g)
  • 2 ⅓ cups Grated Carrot (255g)
  • 2 Flax Eggs (2 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed Meal with 6 Tbsp Water)
  • ½ cup Canola Oil (120ml) or Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 cup Walnuts (100g) Chopped, Optional

For the Lemon Buttercream Frosting:

Decoration:

  • Walnuts Chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray two 7-inch cake pans or two 8-inch cake pans (see notes*) with non-stick spray and line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper.
  • Sift the all purpose flour into a mixing bowl and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix together.
  • Add the light brown sugar and grated carrot to the mixing bowl.
  • Prepare your flax eggs by adding 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed meal to a bowl with 6 tablespoons of hot water. Let it sit for a minute to become gloopy.
  • Add the flax eggs, oil, vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar and chopped walnuts to the mixing bowl.
  • Mix everything together. If it seems like it won't come together and the mix is too dry then step away from the bowl for a couple of minutes and then come back to it. The carrots will have released more moisture into the batter allowing it to come together into a thick batter.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • While the cakes are cooling, prepare your frosting.
  • Add the powdered sugar, vegan butter, vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the bowl of your stand mixer.
  • Start mixing on low speed gradually increasing speed until your frosting is thick and smooth.
  • If your frosting is too thick then add in the extra tablespoon of lemon juice, a drop at a time and only as much as needed to get to a spreadable consistency.
  • Frost the cake and decorate the top with chopped walnuts.

Video

Notes

  1. Measure your flour correctly. If you have a food scale then measure the flour out on a food scale for total accuracy. If you don't have a food scale then use the 'spoon and level' method to measure your flour. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup and then level it off with a knife. Don't scoop the flour and don't pack it into your cup.
  2. Carrots must be freshly grated. If you buy pre-grated carrots then they will have dried out a lot by the time you use them. You need freshly grated carrots so that they are packed with moisture.
  3. The walnuts. Walnuts are entirely optional but they are really delicious both in the cake itself and sprinkled on top for decoration. Another great option is chopped pecan nuts.
  4. Be patient mixing the batter. When you're mixing this batter you may start to wonder if I've missed out some important ingredients in the form of liquids! You may start thinking it will never come together! Don't worry, so long as you used freshly grated carrots, it will definitely come together. Just step away from the bowl for a couple of minutes, the carrots will release more moisture into the batter. When you come back and mix again, it will form into a thick batter.
  5. Adapting for different size cake pans:
    • 7-inch. This cake makes two thick 7-inch cake layers.
    • 8-inch. It also works perfectly for 8-inch cake pans. The layers are slightly thinner, but still perfect, and 8-inch cake pans work great with the recipe exactly as is, no other changes at all.
    • 6-inch. If you want to make this cake in 6-inch cake pans then I would suggest making it as a 3 layer cake. Baking time will be around 25 minutes.
    • 9x9 sheet cake. You can also make it as a 9x9 square sheet cake. Baking time is 35 minutes.
    • 9x13 sheet cake. It also works as a 9x13 sheet cake though it is a fairly thin cake so 9x9 is preferred. Baking time for 9x13 is 25 minutes.
  6. Gluten-free: You can make this cake gluten-free by simply switching the regular flour for a gluten-free all purpose flour blend.
  7. Cupcakes: This recipe adapts to 12-18 cupcakes depending on how full you make the cupcake liners.
  8. Storing: Keep the cake covered at room temperature where it will stay good for 3-4 days, or keep it covered in the fridge where it will stay good for up to a week.
  9. Freezing: It is also freezer friendly for up to 3 months.
  10. This recipe has been updated with new photos but the recipe itself is unchanged. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 673kcal | Carbohydrates: 105g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 374mg | Potassium: 246mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 81g | Vitamin A: 5425IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 2mg