This is a vegan carrot cake like no other. It’s impossibly light, moist & moreish and the cream cheese frosting is creamy and luscious. The perfect afternoon cake!
This vegan carrot cake is a veganised version of my ultimate carrot cake that was one of my first recipes on the blog, manyyy years ago. Its one of my favourite cakes ever. SO moist, SO light and seriously SO moreish. You won’t want to stop at one slice! And honestly, you really wouldn’t be able to tell this cake is vegan AND the ingredients are super easy to find!
But, you don’t have to just be vegan to love this cake! You might be looking for an eggless carrot cake recipe or a dairy free carrot cake recipe!? Or maybe even a butter-free carrot cake recipe!? Either way, this is the recipe for you!
Key Ingredients You’ll Need
- Soy Milk – The soy milk is used in this cake to replace the eggs. Soy milk in particular has a high protein content which makes it the perfect egg replacer in a cake.
- Vegan Cream Cheese – Is a carrot cake really a carrot cake without cream cheese frosting?? I don’t think so! Vegan cheeses’ have come such a long way in a relatively short period of time, and now you can find so many alternatives on the supermarket shelves. I used the Violife Original Cream Cheese for this cake, and I thought it worked so well. Tasted on its own it reminded me a little of Dairylea triangles, but honestly once I combined it with cream and icing sugar it tasted exactly like the dairy version. But go ahead and use your favourite cream cheese alternative!
- Vegan Double Cream – Double cream is added to the cream cheese frosting to help thicken it and give it a really luscious texture. I used the Elmlea Double Plant Cream Alternative, but again use your favourite double cream alternative!
How to make vegan carrot cake
The cake batter comes together so quickly and to be honest so does the frosting! I promise you, once you’ve made this cake once you’ll be whipping it up on the regular!
How to make the batter
For this cake I find it easiest to use an electric hand-whisk or a stand mixer. Of course you can make this by hand with a regular whisk, but you will need to put in a bit more elbow grease! So, lets get to it. The soy milk, neutral oil (vegetable/sunflower), brown sugar and maple syrup need to be whisked on a high speed in a large bowl for a few minutes until its well combined and has lots of air bubbles appearing. What we’re doing here is incorporating air into the batter, so our cake is nice and light & airy.
The dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon – can then be folded in by hand. And finally, the grated carrots stirred in.
So simple! But so so good. The batter should be divided between three 8inch sandwich tins, that are lined only on the base with baking paper. I like to weigh the mixture in each tin to make sure they’re even, but you don’t have to be that anal! You can just measure it by eye.
And voila! Get them baked and cooled before we can add the frosting.
How to make the vegan cream cheese frosting
Firstly, keep your cream cheese and double cream alternatives chilled in the fridge until you are ready to make it. I find that the frosting always comes together better when the ingredients are cold.
Firstly, you want to whisk the vegan cream cheese on its own in a large bowl until loosened – as it can be very thick straight from the tub. For best results, use an electric hand-whisk or stand mixer to do this! Then you can pour in the vegan double cream and whisk until combined. Finally, add the icing sugar and whisk on a slow speed at first – to avoid the icing sugar cloud! Then increase the speed until just well combined. Don’t overmix as the you can make the frosting runny.
Assembling the cake
If you have a cake turntable, get that out now! If not, you can always use a plate on an upturned bowl. This just makes it easier to spread the frosting on the cake, whilst turning the cake.
I didn’t want to do anything too fancy with the decoration on this, as I quite liked the simplicity of the cake. But if you want to do some fancy piping work, you absolutely can! And tag me in the pictures!
But to recreate what I did, spread a dab of frosting your cake board/plate and place one of the cooled (very important!) sponge on top, pressing down slightly so its secure. Then spread one third of the frosting on top of the cake. I like to do this using an offset spatula, but you can use a spoon if that’s all you have! Once you have the frosting nicely levelled, place another of the sponges on top. Repeat the process of the frosting this layer, and then add the final sponge on top. Spread the remaining frosting on top of this sponge, making it nice and even as its your top layer!
And that’s it. You’re ready to tuck in and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
Well….you are eating carrots. But I don’t personally think its a hugely overpowering flavour! So if you are worried about the combination of vegetable and cake, give it a try! You might be surprised.
Oil keeps the carrot cake moist, tender and extends its shelf life far longer than if it were made with butter. Cakes are usually made with butter as butter cakes taste far nicer than oil cakes. But when you have a cake full of add-in’s like carrots, spices or nuts the lack of butter isn’t an issue. And in that case, oil works better to keep the cake light.
It depends! Cake always tastes best at room temperature, so if you’re planning on serving and eating your cake within 1-2 days, it’s fine to keep at room temperature. So long as you don’t live in an extremely hot country anyway! But if you want to keep your cake for longer than 2 days, it’s best to keep it in the fridge. Regardless of being kept at room temp or in the fridge however, it should always be kept air-tight.
This vegan carrot cake is honestly so tender, so light, so moist, so creamy, so packed full of flavour…I could go on and on. Just please get into the kitchen and make this cake! You won’t regret it!
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Vegan Carrot Cake
- 240 ml soy milk
- 225 ml neutral oil sunflower/vegetable
- 175 g soft light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 300 g self-raising powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 350 g carrots grated
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 400 g vegan cream cheese
- 50 ml vegan double cream
- 75 g icing sugar
- For the sponges: Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and line and grease three 8" baking tins with a little oil. Put the soy milk, oil, sugar and maple syrup in a large bowl and whisk with a hand-held electric whisk for 1-2 minutes until well combined and air bubbles appear. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon, then fold carefully into the mixture. Finally, gently fold the grated carrots in.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared tins and bake in the oven for 25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the frosting: Using an electric-hand whisk or stand mixer, whisk the vegan cream cheese on a high speed until loosened. Then pour in the double cream and whisk together until smooth. Finally, whisk in the icing sugar on a slow speed at first, and then a medium-high speed for a minute or so until smooth and creamy.
- To assemble: Once the cakes are completely cool, place one of the sponges onto a cake stand or plate. Then using a small offset spatula spread on 1/3 of the frosting in an even layer. Then place another sponge on top, and spread another 1/3 of frosting on top. Finally, add the final sponge layer and spread the remaining frosting on top.
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