I love baking desserts with colors and flavors that are a perfect compliment to the season, like my vegan carrot cake. My recipe is fluffy, moist, and family friendly. Your whole family will love it!
Carrot cake is one of those desserts that often gets a bad wrap. Sometimes it can be hard and dry, or bland and unbalanced in the flavor department. Let go of all your bias and bad experiences, because this is a fluffy and moist recipe that’s nearly perfect. The icing is just right and I even added chocolate chips on top. My vegan carrot cake is just right!
All great recipes have a story and this one features our daughter Maddi. It was Dan’s birthday at the end of August and he requested I make him a carrot cake. Maddi had never had it before and carrot cake is one of his favorite desserts. I took this as my opportunity to make my own vegan version of this classic treat, with Maddi’s help of course! Our delicious cake did not disappoint!
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Traditional carrot cake often has something added to it, such as nuts or raisins. I love nuts and chose to add pecans to my cake, but feel free to use cashews or sunflower seeds if you prefer. Along with the subtle shredded carrots and crunchy bits of pecan, the creamy cream cheese frosting explodes with flavor in each bite.
One important change I made for my recipe was with the sugars. My recipe uses a half cup of cane sugar and a half cup of brown sugar and I will always make my carrot cake this way from now on. Some recipes call for one cup of cane sugar and one cup of brown sugar, but honestly I find that to be way too much sugar and too sweet. A half cup of each is perfect!
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When it comes to shredding your carrots, do not be a martyr. I once thought that you had to shred carrots by hand and if you still want to, then go ahead. I much prefer popping my carrot pieces into my food processor and getting them shredded that way. Its much faster and less labor intensive. You need two cups of shredded carrots for this recipe and that takes time to shred by hand.
As for my frosting, you can make it completely vegan rather easily. This just means finding a vegan cream cheese that you like. If you still eat dairy, then using dairy cream cheese works just as well. I’ll leave that decision up to you and your family.
Fluffy & Moist Vegan Carrot Cake
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yields: 12 large slices of cake
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 6 TBSP non-dairy milk (I use almond milk)
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 package cream cheese (vegan or dairy)
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two round 7-inch (or 9 -inch) cake pans with parchment paper. Set them aside.
- Peel your carrots and then shred them. I highly recommend using a food processor and pulsing the chopped pieces until shredded.
- In a large bowl, mix together by hand your sugars, oil, and vanilla.
- Add in your shredded carrots and mix thoroughly.
- Next, add in your flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and non-dairy milk. Then fold in your pecan pieces.
- Divide your batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of your cake should come out clean.
- Let your cake layers cool prior to taking them out of pans. Then remove them and let them completely cool on a wire rack before adding your icing and toppings.
- Take out your butter and let it warm up to room temperature. I do this while I’m making the cake.
- Cream together, using a hand or stand mixer, your butter and cream cheese.
- Mix in your vanilla.
- Add half of your powdered sugar and on low, mix it together. Be careful not to add too much, because the powder sugar will spray up and get everywhere. Add in the rest of your powdered sugar and slowly mix it all together.
- Put your frosting into the refrigerator to firm up until the cake is cooled.
- Place one of the cake layers down on your serving plate and put a generous amount of frosting on top of it. Spread the frosting evenly across the top of the layer, then add the second cake layer on top.
- Finish frosting the cake on the top and sides until its covered completely.
- Add chocolate chips around the top to give your cake some flare.
- Put your cake into the refrigerator and let it all firm together for at least 30 minutes prior to slicing, serving and eating it.
Meet Our Vegan Baker:
Mandi Mellen is Lead Editor, Writer, and Host at BuzzChomp. She’s also an Actor, Director and Producer. Visit M Square Productions for her film work, or get lost in her comedy on Pillow Talk TV. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Vegan Carrot Cake photo credits to Yours Truly
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