Classic Vegan Carrot Cake | Yup, it's Vegan

Classic Vegan Carrot Cake

Easy vegan carrot cake made with normal pantry ingredients! You won't know there's no dairy or egg in this delicious cake with "cream cheese" frosting.

Course baked goods, Dessert
Cuisine dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian
Keyword dairy-free carrot cake, vegan carrot cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Total Yield 2 9-inch cake layers
Calories Per Serving 171 kcal
Author Yup, it's Vegan


Dry mixture:

  • 256 grams all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 90 grams granulated sugar
  • 75 grams brown sugar

Wet mixture:


  • 116 grams vegetable oil (don't use coconut oil)
  • 240 grams grated carrots (no need to peel)

For the macadamia "cream cheese" frosting (optional, or use store-bought frosting):


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease the bottom of two 9-inch cake pans. (Don't grease the sides; letting the cake cling to the sides helps it rise and stay fluffy).

  2. Stir together all of the ingredients for the wet mixture and set aside.

  3. Add all of the ingredients for the dry mixture to a mixing bowl, and mix well to combine evenly. If your flour or sugar are extra lumpy, sift them in to ensure they can be evenly mixed.

  4. Slowly add the vegetable oil to the dry mixture while mixing. Continue to mix well until the texture becomes like crumbly wet sand. Try to get out as many lumps as you can; this takes some elbow grease with a strong fork.

  5. Add one third of the wet mixture to the bowl and mix well until evenly combined. Add another one third of the mixture and mix well again. Finally, add the remaining wet mixture and mix thoroughly until smooth. Lastly, stir in the grated carrot.

  6. Divide the vegan carrot cake batter between your two cake pans. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the cake is just pulling away from the sides and toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Try to avoid overbaking this cake; it can dry out. Also, avoid opening the oven door at all until the cake has been baking for at least 20 minutes, otherwise that may cause it to sink.

  7. Let the cakes cool for a few minutes in the pan, then gently loosen the sides and flip the cakes onto a cooling rack to continue cooling completely. After cooled, you can frost the vegan carrot cake with the frosting or icing of your choice.

For the macadamia "cream cheese" frosting:

  1. Drain and rinse the soaked macadamia nuts. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender until completely smooth. Let cool if needed, then slather onto your cake. :)

Recipe Notes

APPLESAUCE: If using store-bought applesauce, measuring by volume should be just fine, but measure to 125 grams if you're using your own homemade applesauce.

SOAKING MACADAMIA NUTS: You can soak the macadamia nuts in room temperature overnight to soften them for use in the frosting; or, soak them in boiling hot water for at least 30 minutes while you make the cake. Cashews can also be substituted for the macadamia nuts, and should also be soaked. Both raw or toasted macadamia nuts work well, but if using cashews, they should be raw.

NUTRITION FACTS: Nutrition facts exclude frosting.

Nutrition Facts
Classic Vegan Carrot Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 slice (one sixteenth of the recipe))
Calories 171 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 2500IU50%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.