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Spooky Vegan Carrot Cake

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To a recent Halloween party, I brought along a healthy (vegan!) carrot cake.

Complete with a thick layer of purple healthy frosting.

It’s my cupcake recipe, simply baked in cake form (recipe follows, below). And I made the little boy out of fondant. As usual, with my creations, the entire cake is edible. People were fighting over who got to eat the boy’s head. Really, people? The head? With all that carrot-cake goodness underneath?



Healthy Carrot Cake

  • 1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or white, or others have said plain whole wheat works)
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot (100g)
  • 1 teaspoon Ener-G egg replacer (for one egg) (or use a flax “egg”)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 2/3 containers applesauce (the 1/2-cup containers), or about 160 grams
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons liquid (water, nondairy milk, juice, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup sugar or 8-10 NuNaturals stevia packets if you like the taste of stevia-sweetened baked goods.)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • Optional add-ins: raisins, shredded coconut, walnuts, pineapple tidbits (If you add pineapple, you’ll probably want to decrease the applesauce or liquid a bit.)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix dry ingredients, then add the carrot and wet ingredients. Mix again, until just combined (it’s important to not overmix).

See the original muffin post for Calories and Nutrition Info.

Luckily, I procured a small slice for myself at the party… ’cause there weren’t any leftovers!


I frosted the cake with Healthy “Cream Cheese” Icing.
Question of the Day:
If you follow a special diet, how do you deal with parties?

Do you bring food to share? Do you bring food for just yourself? Or (if your diet’s self-imposed) do you break your diet for the party? Usually, I bring food to share! I try to take advantage of every single opportunity I get to show people that healthy, vegan food can be delicious!

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Aly says:

    Well, being the fact that food makes or breaks any engagement/party, I always bring some food. Usually I’ll make something super yummy and then just like not tell anyone it’s vegan (I don’t know if it’s the same around you, but here everyone thinks that because it’s vegan it’s going be bland and gross… ughhhh). It’s really hard to feed people good food nowadays. 😉
    That cake looks yummlicious though! I have to present some vegan recipes to my dining hall chefs here at Calvin College today and I don’t know where to start yet! Wish me luck!!!

    1. Good luck, definitely!
      Yes, I wait to tell them it’s vegan until AFTER they say they like it. (Actually, by now, my friends have all figured out that vegan food is good, so I don’t need to worry anymore. But when I first started feeding them vegan food, I would wait.)

  2. That has to be one of the cutest cakes I have EVER seen!

  3. Ilana says:

    I usually eat before because I don’t know if there will be something there that I can eat – or depending on where I’m going I will try to bring something! Next weekend my boyfriend and I are going to a gala where neither of us will be able to eat the food (I’m vegan, and he keeps strict Kosher – sometimes I actually love the fact that he and I both have dietary limitations, we understand each other on that level), so we’re meeting before for dinner then heading out on the town.
    I used to be the “oh I’ll make an exception if it’s really good or if it’s a special occasion” person, but recently my mindset towards my diet has shifted – I’m a lot more devoted to maintaining a strictly vegan diet than I was even six months ago, I guess it’s the kind of evolution that comes along with making certain choices for yourself. It’s soooo interesting to track how my preferences change!

    1. Haha I feel the same way! Like looking back on what I ate in childhood… I used to get stomachaches, and now I think back and go, “Well yeah, of course I got stomachaches! My diet included lots of ham sandwiches, cinnamon rolls, and iced tea with sweet-n-low!”

  4. Kate says:

    Please excuse me if I don’t answer the question of the day. I’m too mesmerized by that beautiful cake! :)

  5. eatandrun says:

    Love the cake! I bet it tasted delicious. I wouldn’t have wanted to eat the little boy, though.

  6. Grace says:

    GORGEOUS Katie, really pretty cake!
    I generally eat ahead of time and try to also bring 1 or 2 potluck items to share at parties so I have something to eat while others are eating.

  7. (M.S.)^2 says:

    Your cake is so cute! And it looks yummy too!
    When I go to a party, I usually eat beforehand or bring my own food. :)

  8. Cindy says:

    what an ADORABLE cake!

    how on earth do you make the cute shapes that you do!

    I hope there was not a peice left….how could there be??

    I have changed over the years but I try and eat ahead so I am not hungry and i just figure it out. I haven’t figured it all out and we don’t go out often so it’s not a pressing issue.


  9. Cecilia says:

    Wow, you are so freaking talented at cake decorating! How did you get your icing so blue?

    1. Wilton food coloring. My mom suggested that I leave the cake white because she said, “Otherwise, people will end up with purple tongues.”
      My answer: But who doesn’t want a purple tongue??!

  10. I like to bring food to share, so I can enjoy dessert and show others that vegan desserts are awesome!

  11. Christin L. says:

    I love the color of that frosting! So vibrant!

  12. Annette says:

    That’s a really cute cake!!

    I’ve just started reading your blog the last month, so if this topic has already been covered, please excuse me!
    I was just wondering if in addition to following a vegan diet you also follow a vegan “lifestyle” as far as clothes, household products, make-up etc? If you do, I think it would be interesting to hear about some of that stuff as well!

    1. Hey Annette,
      I actually haven’t written anywhere near as much about that topic as I want! There are so many post topics I want to write, and that particular one has been on my list for a long time. I’m definitely working on writing a post for it.
      But for now, I’ll quickly tell you: I do try to live as “veganly” as possible, which means I try to only use household cleaners that are vegan (or at least not from companies that test on animals), make-up (I looooooove Urban Decay and just wish it weren’t so darn expensive!), shampoo (Desert Essence coconut!), non-leather belts and shoes, etc.

      1. Annette says:

        Well of course you use a coconut shampoo!! lol

        And to answer your blog question – I bring desserts to family gatherings so that I will have something sweet to eat. At our last birthday party, I brought a lemon cake from Spiral Diner, and everyone ate it and didn’t even touch the cake from a regular bakery!
        Do you have any lemon cake/cupcake recipes? I llooooovvvveeee lemon flavored desserts now.

        1. And coconut lip balm too. Basically, if I see something that’s coconut and vegan, I’m going to have to try it :-?.

          I *think* I have a lemon pie recipe… *Runs off to check*

          It’s not reeeeaally lemon-y though. Maybe add some lemon juice to the Love Muffin recipe? I really don’t know much about lemon-flavored baked goods :(. Sorry to be so unhelpful!

  13. Tina says:

    Hey Katie!
    I´ve never seen a more beautiful cake than yours! It´s so pretty!!!!

    At Parties I bring my own food. But when this is not possible, I often eat the decoration of the buffet :-)! Or the people who give the party, make some food especially for me!!! Thanks to my mother, who have always good ideas, to leave me not hungry at famlily-birthday-parties or on Christmas…..!


    1. Wow, thank you so much, Tina :). And moms are the best!!

  14. The cake looks beautiful! I love the bright purple color :)

    I try to bring something to share at parties — I really only try to avoid dairy, but I can have it in small amounts. It doesn’t seem to affect me then. When I was losing weight with weight watchers I would always bring a fruit/veggie tray. Always!

  15. I usually like to bring a side dish or a sugar free dessert! But I usually can find something I can eat at parties…If not, I always bring a back-up in my purse like a bag of nuts and an apple…

  16. Caitlin says:


    I have pretty bad stomach issues, so I try to eat gluten free. I also don’t like meat. Even still, there are almost always great options for me at social gatherings. I try to bring food to share or for myself, BUT if that doesn’t happen I just eat what’s available and then deal with the consequences. I should/could be more careful, but after the whole “eating disorder” fiasco I don’t think it is worth it to let my diet control my life.

  17. abby says:

    i want to come to your next party! why? well to meet you, of course! oh ok, i really want to come so i can grab a slice of that cake ;). it looks so naughty. who would’ve guessed it’s healthy when it’s purple and has luscious looking icing like that? yum!

  18. Sarahishealthy says:

    Katie that cake is gorgeous! When I get married, can you make mine? Just maybe don’t make it purple ;). Aw heck, if it’s that pretty you can go ahead and make it purple anyway ;). I’ll just have to get married in October!

  19. Dianne says:

    I ALWAYS bring some kind of sweet treat, but there’s usually also fruit, veggies or chips that I snack on, too!

  20. Inspired says:

    That is SUCH a pretty cake! Hehe I would have wanted to eat the head too. Or maybe the orange pumpkin body. Gosh, I’m such a cannibal. 😉

  21. Eric Jaffa says:

    I mostly eat organic carrots and potatoes.

    Root vegetables absorb what is in the soil, & vegetables which aren’t organic may be grown with nasty stuff in the soil.

  22. How cute is that cake?! You’re amazing.

  23. Moni'sMeals says:

    Katie! I love your decorations for cupcakes and cakes! You are too cute and you should have a side business going. hehe. Looks really good.

    I always eat before and have a few snacks in my purse but usually I can swing it. I am not vegan though (almost…almost, if makes sense) so it is much easier. :)

    I am known to bring the veggies with a killer homemade dip though! :)

  24. Omg that cake is too cute!!!!!!! Or spooky :) Love the frosting decorating job you did. Adorable!!!

    Going to parties….well, I make sure I eat something first. There is usually something I can eat or want to eat, i.e. fruit, veggies but if there’s not, I realized that I will only be there 3 hours or whatever, and that I will not die of starvation and can just eat when I get home.. even if that’s not ideal :)

    I wish I could go to parties like yours….that way I could eat up your vegan cake!!


  25. If it’s a little party that isn’t focused around food, I’ll just eat beforehand and not eat while I’m there. But if we’re supposed to bring things or food feels like more of an attraction, I’ll usually whip up a batch of cookies. Those always impress people. And I definitely never stop being vegan at a party!

  26. Anonymous says:

    So cute!!!

  27. Kimberly says:

    you know I’ve never been much of a fan of carrot cake, but since I’ve been vegan, I’ve learned to like my veggies and fruits even more. So maybe I’ll give this one a shot (carrots are so cheap anyways!). I recently went to my boyfriend’s family party, who’s Cuban, and there was no food I could eat (apparently he forgot to tell this side of the family that I’m vegan, oh well). Everything had cheese, chicken, or ground beef cooked in. I got so embarrassed when I had to leave to pick up food for myself. But the family hosting it felt really bad and were so nice about it, they offered to take me and my boyfriend out to dinner to make up for it.

  28. Emily says:

    i think bringing food you can eat to share is a great way to have something to eat a party..and show your friends that vegan food can be delish! and your cake is so cute, katie! :)

  29. VEGirl says:

    Katie, I agree with Sarahishealthy– please make me a cake (gluten-free, please?). I will fly you over for my birthday. Seriously. I know you’ve covered some about how you decorate your cupcakes/cakes, but where do you buy fondant. Or do you make it yourself– like a vegan marzipan?

    Also, we usually bring food to parties. If we go to someones house for dinner– we almost always make part or the whole meal! At potlucks we bring something substantial we can eat and share. But we always have to take some first, because there is no telling what gluten could fly its way into the bowl after that!


    1. I buy the cheapo wilton fondant at Michaels. It’s vegan, surprisingly, so I have no qualms about using it. I don’t eat it, though, because it tastes gross (and is full of hydrogenated oils, etc). But at least it appears to be cruelty-free :).
      I’d love to come visit! *Packs cake-making gear*

  30. Jocelyn says:

    Your cakes/cupcakes are so beautiful! You are VERY talented. I could never do that!!

    As far as your question…when I was first trying to eat healthier I would avoid parties/gatherings all together. I remember this one baby shower where I KNEW they were having a chocolate fondue (which I LOVE) and I just did not have the willpower yet to be in the same room with all that chocolate and not eat it all!! So I sent a gift, but did not attend. :( I’ve detoxed my body for the most part now, so I don’t crave the sugar/goodies anymore…thank heavens! So I can go to a party (such as Halloween) surrounded by TONZ of junk and just pass. Like alot of the other replies, I make sure I eat before I go, but I know I won’t starve while there, and I didn’t even feel deprived by not being able to eat the food presented. I was almost sitting there thinking “Suckas!! I can’t believe you’re eating all that junk!!” LOL! I need to be more like you though and take something delicious and HEALTHY to share so people can explore other options besides the normal American diet.

  31. whatenergycreates says:

    I love to bake, so it’s a great excuse for me to bring baked goods to a party! I also need to learn how to make things out of fondant. Being addicted to cake shows like Ace of Cakes/Cake Boss, I am so intrigued and just want to make little people out of food all day.

  32. Emma says:

    Hi Katie – I was just wondering what fondant recipe you use. I know a lot the fondant recipe one of my friends makes has gelatin in it and it’s always such a bummer that I can’t eat it! Any substitution ideas?

    1. Hey Emma :),
      I buy the cheapo wilton fondant at Michaels. It’s vegan, surprisingly, so I have no qualms about using it. I don’t eat it, though, because it tastes gross (and is full of hydrogenated oils, etc). But at least it appears to be cruelty-free :).

  33. Fi says:

    I think I would get some funny looks if I brought my own food :) but if it was a party or something-hells yea Id bring a healthy cake or cupcakes-but the people im around, they would say “ooh that looks nice” as they are eating the chocolate eclairs, all talk and no taste! oh well, more for me :) i make a mean sweet potatoe “cheese”cake

  34. It’d definitely be a good idea for vegans to bring their own food..but being that I’m a pescatarian, my food limitations arents that strict. So as long as there’s veggies, I’m good 😛

  35. Claire says:

    Hi Katie,
    The cake looks great! I was just wondering if you had any ideas for the following?
    I’m having a birthday party which will be sort of like a high tea (only at lunch :P) and I’ve got a few vegan friends coming, as such I’ve decided to do the whole party vegan to prove to those who slight veganism that it can be delicious. I’ll probably use this cake but do you have any ideas about oher courses?
    I was going to use google as my first port of call but suddenly thought that you’d have much better ideas 😛

    1. Cookies!! Any cookies, really :). Oh, and mini sandwiches, cut into 4 triangles and served all together on a big tray (so people can take just a triangle of different flavors). Pb-banana is always a good flavor (or pbj), as is chocolate pb (or Justin’s chocolate hazelnut–love that stuff!). Hummus and shredded carrot is another idea, but really there are so many!
      As for cookies, here’s a link to some of mine, but once again, I know google has a bazillion :).
      (Mexican wedding cookies are also commonly known as Russian Tea Cakes)

      Oooh and maybe mini muffins!

  36. Your cake looks wonderful! I love the little fondant pumpkin boy, he’s too cute! When I go to parties I generally bring food to share, but sometimes I get together with friends for mini dinner parties, for which I usually make something specifically for myself, as well as something to share! It’s always great to see non-vegans eating and enjoying vegan food.

  37. Oooh my gosh… cutest cake ever!
    Ahhh, adorable!

  38. *Andrea* says:

    i’ve never not been able to eat dessert b/c I don’t have food restrictions or allergies, etc. but i often don’t like the choices 😉 i would sure love to eat that cake!!! i remember little kid birthday parties when everyone used to fight over the biggest icing parts like the name or flowers.

    i think in general when i go to dinner parties or holiday celebrations i bring something i like that others will like as a gift to the host. more so because i HATE lemon meringue pie which my grandma always makes and i also am not a fan of other treats so i sometimes buy some treats at whole foods bakery :)

    1. LOL! I always wanted the rose, even though I didn’t even like the taste of it. I just thought it was so pretty!

  39. i have purse snacks but usually bring something gluten/dairy free to share

  40. BroccoliHut says:

    Kind of in love with the color of that frosting. Glorious!

  41. Phenomenal looking cake, Katie So cute.

    Yes, when I go to parties or friend’s homes, I always bring something that people might enjoy and that I can have too. This way, I know there are things that fit within my dietary goals. Or I bring the party to my place where I can make most of the food. :)

  42. That cake is adorable. You are so talented!

  43. Heather says:

    I’ve read your blog for awhile and I’ve noticed that recently you seem to be enforcing the word “healthy” a lot more than usual. This is kind of strange because it makes it seem like your vegan diet is based on more than just your passion for animal rights. I I just get this weird feeling lately from your posts. It seems really judgmental to like bring this HEALTHY carrot cake to party. Your not directly saying this but I get the feeling that you are really particular about what is healthy and what is not. I personally think a “healthy” diet consists of real treats (not avocado pudding but real pudding) every once in awhile.

    I wish you wouldn’t always enforce the fact that everything you eat is healthy because it seems kind of pretentious.

    1. Caitlin says:

      I think, if you want to talk about being judgmental, YOU are actually the one who is judging Katie who never looks down or says anything negative about anyone else’s eating habits, so I feel awful for her that you would think it’s ok to judge hers. I don’t think she’s holier than thou healthy. If you actually followed her blog, you’d see that she does indulge every now and then in things like soy delicious ice cream or tofu cheesecake. But even if she didn’t, I don’t see how it’s such a problem to you if she wants to live her life eating only healthy foods. So what? I think it’s very rude of you to sit here and leave such a mean comment to make someone else feel bad about herself when she’s always so kind to everyone else. Shame on you.

    2. Beatrice says:

      I have been thinking something similar, however, I do not think you sound pretentious. I have followed your blog for awhile and think your recipes and ideas are wonderful, however, you seem to be focused more than ever on making things healthy and even very low calorie. It comes off as well… a little obsessive. You are a doll and I wish you the best, but it’s giving off the impression that you are more restrictive and calorie conscious than you present yourself. Everyone is on a different path and going through a different journey in life… whatever you do diet wise is your prerogative, I just think if you are a blogger, you should be honest.

      1. Caitlin says:

        Uggg! Am I the only one on here who is appalled at how people think it’s ok to leave such rude comments under the anonymity of the internet? Jeez, get a life people! And Beatrice, if that’s really your name, Katie has stated many times that she puts low calorie options in her recipes because she knows that a lot of people who read are watching their weights and she wants her recipes to be able to be enjoyed by all. (Katie, correct me if I’m wrong about this, but I remember you wrote a response to a similar comment a few weeks back.) Obviously Katie isn’t worried about calories or she wouldn’t be eating things like real pnb or coconut butter or pasta, etc. I used to have an ED, so seeing people pick apart others’ diets like this is disgusting to me. Stop being so obsessed (yeah, you want to talk about obsessive?) with someone else’s eating habits and worry about your own.

  44. That cake looks professional! too cute

  45. Caitlin says:

    Katie, this cake is phenomenal! You should be on Cake Boss! Have you ever seen that show? I love it :). Food shows are my guilty pleasure. Like everyone else, I’m especially in love with the purple/blue icing. Please may I come to your next party? 😉 :)

  46. When I’m going somewhere and I know I probably won’t like the food, I….I don’t know, just try to take a little bit here and there and not over-do it or make myself feel sicky. Depending on where I’m going, most of the times I feel like it would be rude if I brought my own food and just ate that without “trying” some other things at least…especially with family. :)

  47. Jennifer - jcd says:

    Lovely cake, Katie!! Your decorating talents are incredible!

    I’m going to a very unvegan Girl Guide camp this weekend. They wouldn’t make meals for me at all, and the only vegan thing on the menu are fresh vegetable sandwich fixings on the last day, so I’m bringing food for myself for the entire weekend. Inconvenient, yes, but I can guarantee I will have the best food there! Cinnamon rolls, veggie sushi, quinoa salad, chocolate pudding, aloha granola, blended cold pumpkin oatmeal, and fudge babies. Yep… all those non-vegans are really missing out. (Maybe I’ll bring extras to share…) In other words, when vegan food isn’t provided, I’ll bring some of my own and usually make everyone jealous. Hehe… gotta make veganism look appealing, right?

  48. Anonymous says:

    That cake is adorable!

  49. mmmm looks soooo good!!! Im so excited to see a healthy recipe for Carrot Cake…its my Dad’s favorite! Every time I go home I bake up a storm, but am always looking for healthier options…will try this for sure!

  50. Awhh, that is the cutest halloween cake I’ve ever seen!!! You should really think about becoming a professional cake decorator, and I’ll be your first client!

    I usually bring my own food to parties. Or I’ll stock up on the fruit and veggie platter.

    1. As long as YOU cook me dinner before caketime, it’s a deal ;).

  51. That cake is adorable! I covered the “bringing your own…” topic on my blog recently- I always bring healthy goodies with me or else I’d be miserable!

    1. Aww thanks Allie! (P.S. cute blog title!)

  52. Rachel says:

    I’ve been lurking on your blog for a while and I have to say I think this is the cutest cake you’ve made yet – so, so adorable! How did you get his pumpkin costume to be shiny? So impressed!

    1. Aww, wow, thank you! :)
      The orange was actually an attempt at covering up the fact that I had no orange fondant lol. So I used brown and covered it completely with a Wilton glitter icing writer!

      1. Rachel says:

        You could have fooled me – it looks great!

  53. Rebecca says:

    How long do u cook the cake, it dosnt say?

    1. Oh wow, yikes… I forgot to add that! And this post is over a year old, so I don’t remember how long I cooked it :(. I’m so sorry!

  54. that cake is so drooolicuous!!.
    hmm i usually either carry a big portion of my own food.. so i can share some as well.. or just some food bars:)

  55. Lisbeth says:

    I’ld love to make this carrot cake for Easter next weekend – what size pan does this cake use, and how long should it bake?? thank you!

  56. Gina says:

    Katie! Does this recipe say how long to bake the cake? I can’t find this important piece of information, and I just put my cake in the oven!