This recipe for Vegan Carrot Cake is super easy, and OIL FREE! The cake is moist, perfectly spiced, and topped with a smooth vegan cream cheese icing. Carrot cake doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure anymore!
Am I the only one that looks back on every year and wonders where the hell the first 3 months of the year went?
Well, here we are. 2017 is nearly one-quarter done. And you know what that means. It means that spring has finally arrived. SPRING. IS. HERE. Spring “officially” arrived last week, but you know how it is, those first days where the weather doesn’t quite know what season it really is. But I think it’s safe to say, another winter is behind us. Yaasss. Getcho stupid ass out of here, winter. *rolls eyes*.
Okay but for real, spring means cute baby bunnies, bunnies mean carrots, carrots mean carrot cake. Right? Carrots are my most favourite vegetable ever. It’s ridiculous, you don’t even want to know. Soo, combining carrots and dessert isn’t even a question.
Plus, what’s better than carrot cake that is 1. Easy, 2. Vegan, 3. Oil free? Nothing my friends, nothing.
This is a super simple take on a classic. Using applesauce instead of oil makes for a moist and fluffy cake topped with vegan cream cheese icing that tastes just like the real thing.
You can also opt to make carrot cake cupcakes as opposed to an actual cake. Then you’ve got perfectly sized portions of grab and go cake, sans mess. How convenient!?
But this recipe also works for two 8” rounds or a 9” x 13” sheet cake (which is what I did). And of course, it’s totally customizable – adding walnuts, raisins, coconut, etc., would add even more delicious to the already delicious. I topped mine with ground walnuts for some crunch!
So if you like carrots, cake, or a combination of the two, give this recipe a try!
- Dry Ingredients
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- Wet Ingredients
- 2 cups dairy free milk
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 4 oz vegan cream cheese *
- 1/4 cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
- 1.5-2.5 cups powdered sugar (this will depend on the type of cream cheese you are using and how soft/solid it is)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Optional: Walnut crumbs for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 °F
- Grease and/or line a 9"x13" pan (You could also use a muffin tin and made cupcakes or 2-8" inch rounds to make a double layer cake)
- In a medium bowl, add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir until combined
- In a large bowl, whisk together dairy free milk, sugars, applesauce, vinegar and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined
- Stir carrots into wet ingredients
- Slowly add in dry ingredients (in about thirds) to the wet ingredients
- Stir until just combined
- Pour batter into prepared baking sheet
- Bake for 33-40 minutes. A toothpick should come out without any crumbs but may seem slightly moist (If using a muffin tin or 8" rounds baking time will be less - more like 25-35 minutes)
- While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting by creaming the vegan cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy
- Mix in the vanilla extract
- Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, and continue to mix until you have a frosting like consistency - if you're in a warmer environment, you may need to stick it in the fridge for a bit to stiffen up
- Wait until cake is completely cooled before frosting
- Top with walnuts pulsed in food processor or blender until crumbly (optional)
* I used half of a container of Daiya Plain Cream Cheese Style Spread
*The nutrition information below is based on 12 slices of a 9"x13" sheet cake. Will vary if prepared in as cupcakes or a layered cake
If you make this recipe, snap a pic using the hashtag #sweetlikecocoa and tag me @sweetlikecocoablog on Instagram, I love seeing the deliciousness you guys come up with!