We could all need a few more veggies in our diet, probably. Especially kids oftentimes dread eating these healthy and non-sweet foods. And since we’re all just more or less grown up kids, having an easy way to integrate more healthy foods that taste amazing is just what we need! This simple and delicious vegan carrot cake is a perfect example of plantifying your plate – sneaking veggies into your family’s tummies has never been so easy.
Most cake recipes we come across are just loaded with sugar and oil, made with refined flour, oftentimes not vegan, or require fancy ingredients. If you’re familiar with our nourishing plant-based dishes, you’ll know that we’re always on the lookout for ways to keep everything as unrefined and healthful as possible while not cutting back on convenience or taste.
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Desserts and treats are meant to be more satisfying and richer than our everyday meals. That’s totally fine! A lot easier to get newbies excited about healthy plant-based dishes with a piece of sweet vegan carrot cake instead of a bowl filled with brown rice and steamed broccoli (cause that’s how we usually roll at home).
Especially during fall and winter, we love cozy afternoons that involve good people, good conversation, good coffee or tea – along with a piece of guilt-free, nourishing, and tender cake. The spices used will remind you of Christmas time with the family and you can customize it as always. Our favorite add-ons include nuts (especially walnuts) as well as raisins. But anything along those lines will do!
Swap the soy milk for oat milk, use gluten-free flour, use white sweet potatoes for your frosting and you’ll have a soy-free, gluten-free, and/or nut-free version of the recipe. We always like to look out for our readers who have dietary restrictions because they, too, deserve to taste this.
And if you want things to be more convenient, you can use store-bought vegan cream cheese or coconut whipped cream for your frosting! It’ll take away some points on the “wholesomeness” scale, but sometimes that’s all you can handle.
Anyway, you will love this moist and wholesome vegan carrot cake because it doesn’t really taste “healthy” and leaves you feeling vibrantly satisfied. It even takes care of some of your Omega-3 requirement because we use a flax egg – instead of adding dietary cholesterol and saturated fat in the form of an actual chicken’s eggs. Win-win, right?
The preparation is seemingly easy: mixing together the dry ingredients, then the wet ingredients, before folding one into the other. Add your favorite chopped nuts or dried fruit to the batter (you can skip this part if you want the carrot cake to be less fancy), then pour into your baking pan and put into the oven.
Once you've taken out that hot goodness, let it cool a little while preparing your frosting of choice. You can find our favorite one in this recipe. Try not to "sample" it all away before smothering the carrot cake in it, though! You could skip the frosting for a lazier and lighter version. For the decoration, we like to use chopped walnuts and some cinnamon!
Even when you’re not used to baking, you cannot really go wrong here. We highly encourage you to try it out on a lazy weekend – or if you’re in the mood for another baked sweet treat, why not go check out our blueberry muffins or pumpkin muffins?
But for now, here’s what you need to get and do in order to indulge in this delicious vegan carrot cake. Enjoy!
Wholesome Vegan Carrot Cake & Cashew Frosting (Oil-Free)
Eat more veggies by indulging in our sweet & moist vegan carrot cake! This wholesome goodness is a guilt-free treat, perfect for cold and grey days.
- 2 cups whole grain flour
- ½-¾ cup brown sugar or coconut sugar (depending on your taste preference)
- 3 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 cup applesauce, unsweetened
- 2 cups carrots, shredded
- ¾ cup soy milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp flax seed meal
- 6 tbsp water
- ½ cup raisins
- ⅓ cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup cashews, soaked
- 2-3 tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
- ¼ cup soy milk
- 1-2 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F/180C and prepare your 8 or 9-inch non-stick pan (lining it with parchment if you don’t have non-stick bakeware).
Start off by making your flax egg. Whisk together the flax seeds and water, then let it sit for about 5 minutes to get a thick consistency. Meanwhile, peel and shred your carrots in a food processor or using a grater.
Place all your dry ingredients into a medium-sized bowl and mix them. In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until well combined (adding the flax egg in as well), then fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients without overmixing the batter.
Finally, fold in the raisins and walnuts.
Pour the batter into your pan, evening the top with the back of a spatula. Bake for around 35 minutes, then remove from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and put it on a cooling rack.
For the frosting, soak the cashews in boiling water for around 2-4 hours, depending on how much time you have. Overnight would be best. Drain and wash your cashews, then place them in a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth, adding more soy milk if needed. The end result should be thick like cream cheese. Once the carrot cake is cool, put on your frosting.
Top with chopped nuts and cinnamon for decoration!
Do you like carrot cake as much as we do? How else do you make yourself or your family eat more veggies? And have you tried our recipe? Let us know in the comments below.
About the Author
Alena has been eating a plant-based diet for 6 years and is passionate about sharing her learnings in the fields of nutrition, wellbeing, and vegan ethics. She is the co-creator of nutriciously and loves music, reading, nature, traveling, yoga & good food. Alena received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy, and social work.
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