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Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe

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 Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe


Adapted from this Carrot Cake Banana Bread

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 9x13 pan, simply double all ingredients.
5/5 (19)
Total Time 30 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 9x13.) 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 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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5/5 (19)

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Published on March 24, 2020

Meet Katie

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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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Reader Interactions

60 Comments

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  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!

    • 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.

  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…

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