OH my word, friends. This Healthy Vegan Carrot Carrot Cake Loaf is one to remember! This might just be my new favorite quick bread. Moist, soft and flavorful vegan carrot cake topped off with a thick layer of Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.
Let’s just say this Vegan Carrot Cake did not stand a chance around here… it was gone in under 2 days. Yum!
It’s funny how food is SO cultural. There’s a going joke in Belgium about a person walking into a bakery asking for carrot cake and the baker walking out with some carrot sticks and a cake. The people who I’ve mentioned carrot cake to here (and don’t get me started on Zucchini Bread LOL) look at me like I might have a third eye. 😉
And I have to admit, the idea of putting vegetables into a cake does seem kinda strange if you haven’t grown up on eating veggie breads like chocolate zucchini bread, pumpkin bread and carrot cake. Did you grow up on carrot cake or does the whole idea of carrots in a cake seem kinda odd to you!?
Why would you grate carrots into a cake?! And then stick a thick layer of cream cheese icing on top?!
Because the results are oh soooo amazing! 😀 I mean, look at that Soft Vegan Carrot Cake and thick layer of Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing. Nom nom nom.
Carrots do something magical to cakes. They are super saweeeeeet and add in a lot of moisture to quick breads. Which is why it’s easy to make an Oil-Free Vegan Carrot Cake like this one that tastes totally moist, soft and delicious.
Don’t be scared off by the seemingly long ingredients list. Spice cakes like this one always have a few more ingredients because of all the spices. I’ll break them down here for you.
Orange Juice + Lemon Juice + Orange Zest – Add such delicious flavor and depth to this vegan carrot cake. The orange undertones are out-of-this-world! The lemon juice helps the cake to rise.
Cinnamon + Nutmeg + Ginger – The main spices in this vegan carrot cake that bring it to life. Feel free to use a bit less of each if you are sensitive to spices.
Finely Grated Carrots + Applesauce – The key to a super moist carrot cake is making sure that your carrots are finely grated. My food processor grater is not fine enough. I grated the carrots for this cake on the finest side of my grater by hand. Believe me, it’s worth it! The applesauce acts as an oil-replacer and steps the softness of this vegan carrot cake to a whole new level!
Maple Syrup + Dark Brown Cane Sugar – Add so much flavor and moisture to this cake. I love baking with dark brown cane sugar – it does amazing things to cakes and cookies. If you don’t have Dark Brown Cane Sugar on hand you can sub regular brown sugar with an extra teaspoon of molasses.
If you do make this Vegan Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting or any other recipes from my kitchen, it makes my week hearing about it! Insta it to me @CearasKitchen with hashtag #CearasKitchen (so I don’t miss it!), Tweet it to me @CearasKitchen or Facebook it to me via the Ceara’s Kitchen Facebook Page! <3
Wishing you a wonderful week everyone!
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- 2 cups spelt flour*
- ½ tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp ground ginger
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
- 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax seed + 6 tbsp water)
- 6 tbsp orange juice*
- 1 tsp orange zest
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup applesauce*
- ½ tbsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup dark brown cane sugar (or dark brown sugar)*
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1½ cups finely grated carrots
- ½ cup raw cashews soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes or overnight
- 1½ tbsp maple syrup
- 1½ - 2 tsp lemon juice
- pinch sea salt
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- Pre-heat oven to 350F/180. Prepare a loaf pan with coconut oil, non-stick cooking spray, or line with parchment paper (to be completely oil free). If making the icing, boil water and soak cashews while preparing the cake.
- In a large size bowl, add flax seed and water and leave to thicken up while preparing the dry ingredients.
- In a medium sized bowl, add and mix dry ingredients together until evenly dispersed.
- When the flax has reached an egg-like consistency add the rest of the Wet Ingredients (Orange Juice through to Finely Grated Carrots). Whisk together until well combined. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined making sure not to over-mix the batter.
- Pour carrot cake batter into the loaf pan and even out the top with the back of a spatula. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clear. The amount of time the Carrot Cake takes to bake will depend on your oven - mine took 38 minutes.
- Remove Cake from the oven and leave it to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from the loaf pan and leave to cool on a cooling rack.
- Drain and rinse soaked cashews (make sure your cashews are thoroughly soaked for the icing to be silky smooth). With an immersion or small blender blend the cashews together with maple syrup, lemon juice (1½ tsp), sea salt, vanilla extract and optional cinnamon until silky smooth (this took me about 3 minutes). Taste test and add an additional ½ tsp of lemon juice if necessary (I prefer it will 2 whole tsps of lemon juice). The icing should be thick like traditional cream cheese icing. If necessary add a little bit of water if the icing is too thick.
- Once carrot cake is cool, ice cake with icing and garnish with optional walnuts or pecans.
2) Replace applesauce with melted coconut oil or vegan butter-y spread (recipe will no longer be oil-free.
3) Use pineapple juice or apple juice instead of orange juice for a different spin on this recipe!
4) Replace Dark Brown Cane Sugar with brown sugar + 1 tsp of molasses or regular sugar + 1½ tsp of molasses (or you can just leave out the molasses altogether).