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Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe

5 from 1 vote

This homemade vegan carrot cake recipe is unbelievably soft, moist, and completely delicious! 

The Best Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe

The Best Vegan Carrot Cake

One Bowl

Dairy Free

Egg Free

Oil Free Option

If you’re looking for a truly show-stopping vegan Easter dessert that’s easy to make and guaranteed to wow both vegans and omnivores, this is absolutely the recipe you should choose – because it comes out perfectly every single time!

Also try the popular Healthy Carrot Cake Cupcakes

How To Make A Vegan Carrot Cake From Scratch

This simple vegan cake recipe calls for just a few basic ingredients.

Sweet and flavorful, it will become your go-to carrot cake recipe for years to come.

Don’t be surprised if this cake starts showing up in your dreams.

The classic taste will remind you of a traditional carrot cake you’d find at an upscale restaurant or bakery – and yet it’s secretly healthy at the same time!

The recipe is packed with a full cup of shredded carrot, making it ultra moist and soft, without all the extra fat.

If desired, you can add raisins, pineapple, or crushed walnuts to the batter. You’ll want to make the recipe not just for Easter, but for birthday parties, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas too!

Trending Right Now: Keto Cake – Easy Chocolate Recipe

Carrot Cake Batter
Carrot Cake Ingredients

Carrot Cake Frosting Options

Let’s be real – one of the best parts of carrot cake is the frosting!

My favorite way to serve the cake is with the vegan cream cheese frosting recipe below.

But it’s also great topped with homemade vanilla frosting, coconut butter, or even with Coconut Whipped Cream.

Or you can take a shortcut and use packaged frosting. Oddly enough, both Duncan Hines Creamy Home Style Cream Cheese Frosting and Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Cream Cheese Flavored Frosting are accidentally vegan. I’m not saying they’re healthy, but if you’re pressed for time, they can work in a pinch.

Chocolate Covered Katie Vegan

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Beat room temperature 8 oz cream cheese (such as Tofutti or Miyokos) or homemade vegan cream cheese with 4 oz butter spread (such as Melt or Earth Balance) or coconut butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, and 1 tsp pure vanilla extract.

Add a little milk of choice as needed. For reference, this recipe yields about 2 cups of frosting, and I used about 1/2 cup frosting per layer on the carrot cake in the pictures.

Leftover Frosting? Make Easy Cinnamon Rolls!

Super Easy Easter Vegan Carrot Cake

Above – watch the video how to make vegan carrot cake

The Ultimate Best Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe
Pin it now to save for laterPin Recipe

Vegan Carrot Cake

This homemade vegan carrot cake recipe is ultra moist and delicious! For a double layer cake or to fill a 9×13 pan, simply double all ingredients.
 4.93/5 (44)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 10 – 12 slices

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shredded carrot, packed (200g)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce or crushed pineapple
  • 1/4 cup oil, or additional applesauce for fat free
  • 2 tsp white or cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups white, spelt, oat, or bob's gf flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar, unrefined if desired
  • optional 1/4 cup raisins
  • optional handful shredded coconut, crushed walnuts or pecans, etc.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and line an 8-inch square or round pan with parchment. (If doubling the recipe, use two 8-inch pans or one 9×13.) In a mixing bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients and let sit at least 10 minutes or refrigerate overnight. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Pour into the pan, and smooth down. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. If you can wait, I like to loosely cover once cool and let it sit overnight, because the cake tastes sweeter and has a lighter texture the next day! Leftovers can then be refrigerated 3-4 days or sliced and frozen.
    View Nutrition Facts

Notes

The cake was adapted from my Carrot Cake Banana Bread.
The frosting recipe I used for this cake is written out above in this post. And if you’re a visual person, be sure to check out the video above that shows how to make the carrot cake!
 

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 4.93/5 (44)

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Published on March 24, 2020

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

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107 Comments

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    • Jason Sanford says

      That particular trial was all purpose, but the results with spelt flour look pretty much the same!
      Jason (media relations)

        • Jason Sanford says

          We haven’t tried, so we honestly don’t have any idea. Be sure to report back if you experiment!
          Jason (media relations)

          • Julia says

            I made this carrot cake for company today and it was amazing! I used crushed pineapple instead of applesauce and used 1cup of almond flour and 1/2 cup of cassava flour to keep it gluten free.
            Turned out perfectly!
            Thanks so much for the fantastic recipe.😊

          • Denisa says

            Hi and thank you so much for the recipe.
            I made this cake today, baked it for 50 min instead of 30 because it looks raw inside.
            It s delicious but i was wondering if after 50min in the oven should be that moist inside.
            I can add pictures but i don’t know how.
            Nevertheless is really tasty.(i used crushed pineapple and gf plain white flour)
            I am just curious why mine is almost raw inside after 50 min.

            Many, many thanks for the recipe.

          • CCK Media Team says

            Hi, thanks for trying it! What brand of GF flour did you use? We’ve only tried the recipe with Bobs. Is your oven calibrated? And are you at high elevation or in a humid climate? So glad the flavor is good!

  1. Angela says

    Yum my favourite cake. Thank you so much for this lovely recipe : )
    You look so stunning in your photo especially the cake (just joking)the dress is so pretty too. How do you keep getting better and better as each year go by? I’m jealous : ) I don’t like getting old : ) Don’t worry I really am an old girl : ) I read somewhere that grannies are antique little girls now isn’t that cute/
    Stay safe sweet Katie. Love from Australia. Angela X

  2. Melissa says

    This really looks and sounds incredible! Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts and I’m always on the lookout for healthier versions! Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Dee says

    I made it!! It’s really good. Maybe it could’ve cooked for an extra 5 minutes? It’s extremely creamy (almost raw) in the middle, but I like it like that. I’m not complaining; just sharing.
    I’m so mad I didn’t put any nuts in it. I totally forgot, but wow is this cake delicious. I’ll make it again, and include walnuts.
    It doesn’t need any frosting; it’s perfect as is. Honestly, it’s a great cake.
    I used Robin Hood GF flour and it’s great. I also used cinnamon applesauce (because that’s all I had) and I used oil instead of extra applesauce.
    MAKE IT! You’ll LOVE it!

  4. Geri Lynn Habstritt says

    Would an Almond Flour/Tapioca or Arrowroot flour mixture in place of the other flours work as a substitute for a grain free alternative?

    • Jason Sanford says

      We haven’t tried, so unfortunately we honestly don’t have any idea. Be sure to report back if you experiment!
      Jason (media relations)

  5. Jean L says

    I made 6 large cupcakes…or 6 mini cakes…whatever you prefer! They were so moist and delicious! And the recipe is so easy.
    I only had a little bit of flour, so I used spelt, brown rice and reg flours….it worked! Even my boyfriend loved them! (I think the frosting was awesome too!)

  6. Kristen Cook says

    This cake was absolutely fantastic! I am gluten free and for the flour portion I did 3/4 C. Gluten free flour and 1/2 c. teff flour and it was perfect. For the 1/4 c. oil I did 2 T. oil and 2. T. water. My whole family enjoyed it and I will make it again very soon. Thank you!

      • Peachii says

        Love the way this cake tastes. We used coconut flour but it made the batter and cake dry and it came out more like a still very delicious coconut-carrot crumble rather than a cake. So if you are going to use coconut flour just keep mind that it has a higher moisture absorbancy rate than regular flour. We are going to experiment with this recipe some more and hopefully find the right liquids to coconut flour ratio.

        • CCK Media Team says

          Just use the same amount. The applesauce is for moisture, and since yogurt has a similar texture it will work just as well 🙂

          • CCK Media Team says

            Sorry we have never tried it so can’t say how/if that would work. You can make your own applesauce from apples though (google for a recipe, and use one that is completely smooth to get results like you would get with storebought applesauce).

    • Jason Sanford says

      Sorry we have not tried so honestly do not know. Be sure to report back if you experiment.
      Jason (media relations)

  7. Rubytwoshoes says

    Run, do not walk & make this cake, you won’t regret it. I still cannot get over how incredibly rich & moist this cake was without oil! I had a tired old zucchini in the fridge so I subbed that for carrot without a hitch. I highly recommend using the pineapple and subbing out oil for applesauce, you will not know the difference. I added a 1/2 cup of toasted walnuts, also…used pumpkin spice, cinnamon with a pinch of Garam Masala, pure heaven…I loved that this is not a huge dessert since there’s only 2 of us. Oh, and it does not need frosting, it is so sweet as is, perfect with a cup of tea or coffee…
    Notes:
    With the pineapple and applesauce the dessert is really sweet, I will omit sugar next round and see how it goes. Also going to bake it in a loaf pan, it begs to made into muffins as well… : )

  8. RB says

    Amazing. I subbed melted butter for the oil and used real sugar because those were the ingredients I had on hand. The cake is dense, moist, flavorful, and simply perfect. Not cloyingly sweet- just the right balance of everything! It’s nice to have a trusted recipe to go back to. Thanks so much for this one!

  9. Angela says

    This is the best vegan carrot cake recipe I have ever tried, or even the best carrot cake recipe period. It was soft, moist, and just the perfect sweetness. Thank you so much for your creative recipes. We haven’t tried a bad one yet! 🙂 🙂

  10. Merry Soellner says

    I made this recipe yesterday afternoon. I used crushed pineapple, because most carrot cakes that I’ve REALLY liked had pineapple in them. The batter is really dry when you put in the pan to bake. I was surprised by that. I tasted it before I put in the oven, which was a good thing…I had forgotten the sugar! Someone in an earlier comment said they were going to try it without sugar, and I don’t think you’ll like it very much. I did go back and add the sugar. ? I also had to bake for about 45 minutes, rather than 30. I used the vegan cream cheese frosting recipe, which came out a little more liquid than I would like, so will adjust that next time I make the recipe. I will say that it turned out really well! I love a good carrot cake and this will be my “go to” from here on. Thanks for making it available to us all! ????. Happy Easter!

    • Jason Sanford says

      Lol so glad you noticed and were able to add the sugar in before baking it! I forgot sugar once in a cookie recipe and it was a disaster ?

  11. Nancy says

    So the batter with just the first 5 ingredients sits up to overnight, and then you finish the rest of the ingredients and bake it, and then it sits overnight again before frosting? This is a multi-day process?

    • Jason Sanford says

      It says the batter should sit ten minutes. If you want to refrigerate it overnight you can, but it’s not required.

      • Nicole says

        So if we leave it to have it the next day, does it have to be refrigerated or left out on the counter? Thank you in advance!

  12. Gretchen Lillie says

    Great consistency, however it needed a flavor boost. I added 1/2 tsp ground cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger along with the cinnamon. The second go at making these and they are perfect! I also used coconut sugar. Yum!

  13. TDU64 says

    OH MY WORD! This cake is my favourite! …and my Grandkids’ favourite!!! I use whole wheat pastry flour, add crushed pineapple instead of applesauce, and bake in 3×6 springform then slice into 2 layers.
    Then we all do a Happy Dance!!!!

  14. Hannah says

    Yum! I’m going to make this today!

    I’m curious how you decide whether to use baking powder or baking soda in a recipe. In this recipe, I notice there’s vinegar added to react with the baking soda for a rise. What’s the benefit to having that instead of just using baking powder in place of both? I’ve wondered this for a while and just thought I’d ask. 🙂

    Also, I can’t find whether the carrot should be finely or coarsely grated. Perhaps I’m missing it? Which is best for this recipe? I prefer finely grated but don’t want it to turn into a mushy mess if it’s supposed to be more coarsely grated.
    Thanks!

    • Jason Sanford says

      I would think xylitol should work fine! Probably not stevia because of the difference in texture. Not sure about erythritol but if you experiment be sure to report back!

  15. Ashley Mackay says

    Absolutely Fabulous! Made this for Easter this year with a cream cheese frosting (I am not vegan so just used regylar cream cheese and butter) and oh my heavens such a perfect cake. So much flavor and moist. Thanks again Katie! I have never been disappointed with any of your recipes!

  16. Kathy says

    Love this recipe! The cake is so moist and delicious ?
    I used the applesauce and crushed pineapple, no oil.
    Thank You!

  17. Madeline Phillips says

    Hello! Has anyone tried subbing the sugar with maple syrup? Would love to know if that’s a possibility!

  18. Abby Mead says

    I keep waiting for one of your recipes to not end up as a new favorite and it hasn’t happened yet! A vegan, fat-free carrot cake. No way. BUT, it’s absolutely delicious. My husband, decidedly not vegan, and my mother, even more not vegan, and my mother’s neighbor all think this is one of the best carrot cakes they’ve ever had. Your recipes are simple and spectacular. You have a wonderful gift and I really enjoy your blog. Thanks so much for sharing with the world!

      • Anita says

        I didn’t really add the pineapple liquid because the recipe didn’t say to. The batter was dry like a cookie dough so I added 1 cup of soy milk and then mixed it again and baked it.
        The most delicious cake o ever had. Thank you so much.

  19. Kathy Schneider says

    I MADE THIS CAKE USING WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR. i ADDED A LOT OF SHREDDED NUTS AND COCONUT AS OPE YOUR SUGGESTION.
    uNFORTUNATELY, i ENDED UP WITH A THICK PANCAKE OF A CAKE!
    mAYBE THE WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR HAD SMTG TO DO WITH IT.
    i MAY BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO TRY IT AGAIN WITH ALMOND AND OAT FOUR

    • CCK Media Team says

      Whole wheat is not listed as an option here because Katie did not like her trial with it. We do know it works well with spelt flour. Not so sure about almond…

  20. Jess says

    This cake was great! I made it with cashew yogurt instead of apple sauce and also used equal parts carrots and zucchini. I made it a two layer with your cream cheese frosting. Awesome!

  21. Kriti says

    Hey! Could you tell me how many grams of each ingredient were used, since I’m not quite sure with using cups for measurement

  22. Michelle says

    This is the best carrot cake I have ever made and possibly just the best cake period. Don’t hesitate! I can’t wait to make it again! Here are the things I did.

    I subbed in some whole wheat flour (I Always like to do about half/half)

    I used homemade applesauce (cut up 3-4 apples with a little water and approx 6tbsp of sugar of your choice bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 mins and then blend. I use this in all of my baking!

    I used 1/4c coconut oil. I melted it but then my applesauce and carrots were cold and the coconut oil clumped back up- anyway my point is that it looked weird but it did not matter. The end result was perfect!

    I toasted walnuts and did not try with coconut this time but I think it would be great with it as well!

    To make carrot decorations I juiced a small amount of carrot juice and then parsley juice (separate) To use as natural food coloring for the frosting glaze and it worked out great! I did need to microwave for a few seconds to get the colors to blend though and then refrigerate for a bit before doing the decorations.

  23. Cece says

    Hello! This recipe looks amazing! I was wondering if the nutrition facts are based on a one layer cake, a two layer cake, or a cake with frosting. Thanks!

  24. Mark says

    This carrot cake recipe is fantastic. Have made this a few times with vegan cream cheese or cashew cream frosting and everyone loves it. I always add the optional extras and add sultanas, walnuts and a bit of shredded coconut which add to the texture and taste. One of my favourite cake recipes!

  25. Kay says

    Found this really delicious.
    I swapped out the frosting with a cashew cream and it was perfect.
    I made 4 mini versions just 1 layer and frosted tops

  26. Ashlyn says

    Just made this cake for the first time and it looks great! I do have a question about the cream cheese frosting. I made it using your homemade cashew cream cheese recipe and it tastes great but it does not look at all like yours! Yours looks like normal cream cheese frosting! Haha mine is not so white, and it’s reeeeeaally soft even after refrigerating for 2 hours. I did have a hard time with the cashews– when I measures them using measuring cups 1 1/4 cups was more than 150 grams, it was almost the entire 200+ gram bag so I soaked them all, and then I weighed them after and wasn’t sure if the soaking would have changed the weight…. So I ended up using about 200 grams of soaked cashews?? Besides that I used cashew yogurt, apple cider vinegar, a pinch or salt, earth balance, vanilla, and powdered sugar!

    Wondering if you have any tips for how to make it so perfect like yours!!

    Thanks!

  27. Jennifer Morrison says

    I was really concerned about this cake because the batter was so dry. I thought maybe something had been left out of the recipe. But, I added in a little bit more crushed pineapple and spooned it into the pan. Wow!!! It was so delicious. My family said it was the best carrot cake they’ve had. I did make it the day before so that it could sit for a day.

  28. Maria says

    Love how easy it is to make! It’s so moist and delicious, my 4yo completely ignored my chocolate cupcakes over this. Yum!

  29. Justen Bowden says

    Just curious why you would have the gram weight for the carrots and not for the flour or other dry ingredients where it could really make a difference for the result?

  30. Michaela says

    Hi Katie i really like this recipe, it’s easy and quick. Only next time i will use the half of sugar, because it was very sweet.

  31. Mariana says

    Hi Katie!
    I tried your recipe 🥰. I have to say that it was amazingly soft and juicy. I reduced the sugar amounts and I’ve got to say that even if I love the taste of cinnamon, it was very strong with 1.5 teaspoons. I’ll use the next time only 0.5 tsp. Thanks for sharing!!!!

  32. Dominique Giroux says

    I just made this cake. It came out super flat. I used a square 8″ pan. Does this recipe require any baking powder ? All I see is baking soda… I cooked it 30 min at 350°, as indicated.

    • CCK Media Team says

      Hi! If it looks like the cake in the video (watch the part after it comes out of the oven), you did it correctly! The photos show the two layers, neither of which is super fat 🙂

  33. Kayla says

    Made it for Easter dessert and it was the best vegan carrot cake I’ve ever had! This is my first year as a vegan so I still remember what real cake tastes like and some other vegan dessert recipes I’ve found online have left me wanting. Not this one! Thank you for a wonderful recipe!!!

  34. Simran says

    Will the Vegan Carrot Cake recipe work with the same amount of coconut flour instead or will the ratio vary? Also, any tips on how to convert my whipped cream cheese to a frosting for the cake that can be sweetened with Monkfruit-Maple Syrup?

    • CCK Media Team says

      Unfortunately, coconut flour can almost never be subbed in an equal amount in baked good recipes, and we doubt it would work here (although we haven’t tried). Katie doesn’t have a coconut flour carrot cake recipe, but she DOES have one with almond flour if you happen to have that flour on hand: https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/keto-carrot-cake/

  35. Maria says

    Hi. This carrot cake is so flavorful! I made it gluten free using King Arthur All Purpose gluten free flour blend. My only issue was the cake turned out a bit dry. The first time I baked it I did 31 minutes. The second time around I baked it for 28 minutes and it was still on the drier side. The batter was very thick, but not dry. I used the applesauce and oil and other ingredients as stated. Do you think it is a matter of baking it for even less time or adding extra moisture with more applesauce or oil? Thank you!

  36. H Sauce says

    My husband usually doesn’t like carrot cake but he loved it when I made this one last weekend. I didn’t frost it, and it tasted more breakfast-y than dessert-y. For flour, I used 1/3 regular, 1/3 wholegrain spelt, and 1/3 sprouted wheat, and it worked well.

  37. Tyria Mayse says

    This cake is soooo delicious!! Wasn’t too sweet or cream cheesy.
    We had friends over that generally never try vegan foods and they devoured the entire cake!! So glad I made a double layer!! Will definitely be a new house favorite!! 😍

    • CCK Media Team says

      The results will be much denser but you might still like them… If you experiment, be sure to report back!

  38. Katie says

    I absolutely loved this carrot cake Katie!! I’ve made it twice already, the first time being for my brother’s weddings and everyone who tried it really loved it! I loved it so much that I made it again yesterday and now there is only one small piece left 😀 i do have one question though, for the nutrition facts, is the icing included? Thanks again so much for this great recipe, by far the best vegan carrot cake I have had! <3

  39. ASHLYN says

    Hiiii, love the recipe with oat flour so good. But the frosting. Why does hers look like normal frosting and mine looks all separate-y and it’s super thin could definitely not be piped and hold a shape! Tastes great and works good enough but how do I get it so pretty? Lol

    Honestly though amazing cake my friend has requested I make it for her wedding, weird looking frosting and all! haha

  40. Tamara says

    This was my first time baking a vegan cake, and what couldn’t be better than carrot cake. This was absolutely delicious. I made a homemade cream cheese frosting, but that was not vegan. I stored the cake in the frig, but do recommend that you let it come to room temperature before eating. It tasted better at room temperature versus cold right out of the frig. I put in 1/3 cup of chopped black walnuts in the batter; didn’t to the raisins. I would definitely make this again, and next time plan to do vegan frosting. Great dessert if you are looking to go plant based.

  41. Chex says

    5 stars
    Sooooo good! Made frosting useing your homemade cashew cream cheese recipe and coconut oil. Used coconut sugar and grape seed oil for the cake, delicious soft and fudgey yet fluffy texture. Best carrot cake, can’t wait to make again!

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