Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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(from 26 reviews)
Vegan Carrot Cake

Vegan Carrot Cake: Last week was my eldest son's birthday, and I had fun planning and organizing the party. After much deliberation, I ended up baking a decadent vegan carrot cake. But the decision was not very easy.

He turned 7. I see a sudden change in his likes and dislikes. He was this little kid watching Max and Ruby, Caillou and Diego even 2 months back and suddenly everything changed. He is into Power Rangers, Avengers, rockets/spaceships, etc. I'm still wondering how all of this happened in such a short span of time. So I had difficulty figuring out what sort of party to plan.

Wish it was as easy as when he turned 3, and all I had to do was bake this gorgeous eggless chocolate cake.

I was thinking of making a rocket-shaped cake, but a trial run didn't work out as expected, and we had a lot of cake. I didn't want to keep testing it repeatedly and baking a lot of cake. Then we had the black-or-white debate. My son and I prefer chocolate cake but my husband and mother-in-law like vanilla cake. So my husband suggested baking a two-in-one cake; with vanilla on one side and chocolate on the other.

I started looking for ideas to bake a two-tone cake. That made me think about what frosting to choose. Would that be 2 flavors too or just one? I was literally pulling my hair to figure it all out.

Vegan Carrot Cake

Then I had this "light-bulb" moment. I decided to bake one 9-inch round layer cake for adults and a few cupcakes both chocolate and vanilla for the kids. I would frost the 9-inch layer cake and my son would cut it and keep the cupcakes as it is for the kids to frost and decorate themselves. For the 9-inch layered cake, I decided to bake the vegan carrot cake from Sticky Fingers' Sweets by Doron Petersan. I also wanted to try the vegan cream cheese frosting recipe she had in the book.

For the cupcakes I used my eggless vanilla cake recipe (veganized it) and whacky vegan chocolate recipe. My original plan was to bake regular-size cupcakes, but then I decided to go with mini cupcakes.

I thought by doing so the kids could enjoy both flavors if they wanted to. I laid down a variety of sprinkles, buttercream frosting, and chocolate frosting on a tray and the kids had to do the icing by themselves. I was unsure if a cupcake party would go well with a group of 7-10-year-old boys. But I was surprised when I saw that they loved it. The kids had a fun time frosting and decorating the cupcakes. I wonder if they were able to settle down for bed that night after all that sugar rush!

Cupcake Toppings

Even though I had planned everything well in advance, I had one issue. I would not be able to taste the carrot cake until it was cut by my son. So I was really worried and was even thinking of getting a cake from the store and keeping it ready just in case. As soon as the carrot cake came out of the oven I was eager to level it off for frosting so that I could taste the crumbs and make a decision.

Unfortunately, the cake did not bake with a big dome like the usual white/chocolate cakes. It was a very thin layer cake and almost flat without needing to be trimmed. Even then I did not let get off it. I slightly leveled it off and tasted the crumbs and was relieved. It was good, but I was not jumping up and down. Then I prepared the frosting too. The frosting tasted good on its own and later with the cake too. Once the cake was frosted it got a decent height. Otherwise, the 2 layers looked very small, making me doubt whether it would be enough for the 6-8 adults.

Vegan Carrot Cake

I had baked a big batch of the vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, anticipating the carrot cake not coming through as expected. I thought that if I screwed up with the cake, I would also serve the cupcakes for the adults. Fortunately, the vegan carrot cake did not disappoint me; it was a huge hit with everybody.

The adults asked, "are you seriously telling that this carrot cake is vegan?". It was that good. I'm glad I tried this vegan carrot cake recipe on such a special day.


Vegan Carrot Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Prep TimeCook TimeMakes
20 Mins18 MinsTwo 9" Round Cakes/18 Cupcakes
Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
4.9 from 26 reviews
If you are not convinced about vegan baking and still have doubts about how it tastes, then do try this vegan carrot cake with vegan cream cheese frosting and be prepared to be blown away!
Ingredients For Cake:
Part 1:
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Part 2:
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
Part 3:
  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • almond milk - any non-dairy milk
  • coconut oil - any flavorless oil
Ingredients For Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (like Earth Balance)
  • 12 ounces non-hydrogenated vegan cream cheese (like Tofutti), softened
  • 4 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice (I didn't use it)
  • 2 to 4 drops lemon oil, to taste (I didn't use this either)
Instructions For Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C for 15 minutes.
  2. Line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
  3. Mix the Part 1 ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Add the milk and oil to the bowl and stir to combine.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients mentioned in Part 3.
  6. Add the dry and wet ingredients and mix until just combined. It's okay if the batter is slightly lumpy.
  7. evenly Distribute the batter between the two pans. I measured out the batter, and it was 3 cups in total. So 1.5 cups of batter in each pan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean. Mine was done in 18 minutes itself. The cake started pulling out of the sides of the pan.
  8. Place the pans on a cooling rack to cool for about 20 minutes. Turn the pan upside down to remove the cakes and cool it completely before frosting.
Instructions For Frosting:
  1. In a large bowl beat the shortening until smooth using an electric mixer.
  2. Add the cream cheese and beat until its thoroughly incorporated.
  3. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and rest of the ingredients, if using, and beat until smooth. I added the sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl. You can dump everything in if you are using an electric stand mixer. But if you are using a hand-held mixer like me then add the sugar in small additions.
  1. Both the cake and the cream cheese frosting turned out to be DELICIOUS! Everybody at the birthday party enjoyed this cake very much. I personally felt that the cake tasted great the following day. I don't know if it was just me because, on the day of the party, I was already full of pizzas and other food that I could not judge the cake. Even when everybody else praised it I could not see it. But the next day I could fully appreciate the taste and texture, which was AMAZING! I'm 100% confident that nobody can guess that it is a vegan carrot cake with vegan cream cheese frosting.
My Notes:
  1. The original cake recipe used 3/4th cup of whole wheat pastry flour. I didn't have it so I used all-purpose flour itself.
  2. If you are a spice fan increase the quantity of ground cinnamon to 1 teaspoon.
  3. The original frosting recipe suggests that the frosting can be made in advance and refrigerated and covered properly. Bring it back to room temperature to soften before using.
  4. The frosting should be for a 9-inch layered cake, but I still have about a cup and a half of frosting left. I used a lot for the filling, sides, and top of the cake. I feel that using the entire recipe for that cake is way too much. Now I have to look for a way to use that frosting.
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Try this recipe, click a pic and hashtag it #egglesscooking - Proudly showcase your creations on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter!

I also made these ricotta cheese sweet balls (doodh peda) from here and it was a huge hit too.

doodh peda

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  1. Athira

    Perfect eggless carrot cake recipe!

    • Madhuram

      Thanks Athira.

  2. Sholeh

    Tried this today and it was so delicious. I used canola oil (didnt have any other oil) and i used a deep cake pan, instead of splitting it into two. Added walnuts, omitted the allspice, doubled the cinnamon and it baked at 180 for about 45-50 mins. It was great! Topped with an icing sugar/hot water icing and lemon zest. Might try lemon zest in the cake next time! Thank you for the recipe 😀

    • Madhuram

      You’re very welcome Sholeh. Your icing sounds yummy.

  3. Monique

    I love this recipe. I made 18cup cakes instead of cake. I also used grapeseed oil instead of coconut oil ( that’s what I had on hand). I definitely will be making this recipe AGAIN!!! mmm mmm good

    • Madhuram

      Thanks for the feedback, Monique. 🙂

  4. Treaty

    The cake recipe is sound and tasty. Something is missing with the cream cheese frosting though. Mine came out a little too runny as well, and I used the butter sticks and let it set up in the fridge for a few hours too. Maybe whipping it instead of beating it would help? Or more tofuti cream cheese and less sugar?

    • Madhuram

      Hmm..I didn’t have any issues with the frosting. Yes more tofutti and less sugar will work.

  5. Nav

    It was a huge hit with my family.. this was my first carrot cake. I used 1 cup WWF and 1/2 cup oil. Loved it. Thanks for easy to do recipe.

    • Madhuram

      You’re very welcome Nav.

  6. Victoria M.

    You don’t use vinegar in this cake recipe?

    • Madhuram

      The original recipe didn’t have so I haven’t used.

  7. Sorrell

    Hi can I use ordinary cows milk instead of almond milk? I’m not vegan but only eat eggless so can use cows milk if it would work with this recipe?


    • Madhuram

      Sure Sorrell. That’s completely ok.

  8. C

    The taste was OK but it didn’t rise at all so it was quite dense.

  9. pris

    Hi can I check if the measurement is imperial cups?

  10. LBM

    Frosting tastes pretty good. Never had vegan frosting before. But this makes an ungodly amount – and I like frosting! Cut it in half! Also, my frosting came out a bit runny and I’m afraid it might be too runny as it sits and gets to room temp again (after refrig overnight). Someone mentioned using margarine sticks instead of the spreadable tub. That may have been my undoing. Don’t know.

  11. Chris

    Can i use wheat flour , do you know if it will come out just as good ?

    • Madhuram

      Try using whole wheat pastry flour instead and it should turn out good.

  12. nanthiny raman

    Hi sis. Can i bake in 2 , 8 inch tray? So that the cake will look a bit more taller. Please advice! Thank you.

    • Madhuram

      Yes you can. 🙂

  13. Holly

    This is exactly what I was looking for. I’ll be making it this weekend. Thanks for sharing it. I’m looking forward to trying your other recipes 😀

    • Madhuram

      That’s great Holly. Hope you like it. 🙂

  14. Yelena

    Great start at a vegan carrot cake recipe. But I cut the sugar by half and replaced the coconut oil, which hardened and ruined the cake the first time I tried it, with canola oil. The frosting should be reduced by half, and you still get plenty.

    • Madhuram

      Yes, one of the reasons I avoid using coconut oil especially in the winters.

  15. Swapna

    Hi Madhuram
    I have Instant carrot cake mix(gluten free).In that they specify that mix it with 2 large eggs,oil and water.But my family don’t want use eggs so I am looking for substitution.Can you please suggest me how to get puffy cup cakes which my 3 yrs old baby likes.Thanks in advance

    • Madhuram

      I would use 1/2 cup yogurt instead of 2 large eggs. But being a gluten-free mix I’m not sure how well it will rise. You can try it anyways.

  16. Meighan

    This was truly delicious!!! My daughter (age 7) has an egg allergy and we love to bake so have used your site a number of times and love it. Thanks! Only one question about this particular recipe: I noticed that the coconut oil was clumpy (some large clumps) in the batter. Using a mixer didn’t help this. They seemed to bake up ok though so wasn’t sure whether this was even a problem.

    • Madhuram

      Thank you very much Meighan. Yes coconut oil gets lumpy depending upon the temperature. It’s not much of a problem in cake recipes, etc because it will melt. I stopped using it in pancake, waffle recipes though. That’s why I’m using avocado oil these days in most of my baking recipes.

  17. Mary Jo

    I just made this cake. The recipe was just what I was looking for. I skipped the frosting altogether. So perfect!

    • Madhuram

      You’re very welcome Mary Jo. 🙂

  18. Raksha

    Hello would like to know if I can use butter in place of veg shortening and exactly how much is 12 ounces ? Thanks

    • Madhuram

      Do you want to use butter instead of vegetable shortening or the cream cheese in the frosting?

  19. faaara

    Hweey thanks for this but it would be great if u add step by step pictorial it would be more easy to learn 🙂

    • Madhuram

      Yes..I agree…I wish I had the time Farah…would love to do it.

  20. Shalini

    Hi Madhuram,

    Amazing, mind blowing cake! 🙂 Me and whole family loved it. Super soft moist and delicious. I am so glad to have found your blog. Eggless cakes were never so good!

    Mine baked in 40 Minutes at 180 degrees convection Microwave setting.

    Thanks again!
    Will try more cakes…..for sure!

    • Madhuram

      You’re very welcome Shalini. Thanks for the lovely feedback.

  21. Shalini

    Hi Madhuram,

    Am planning to bake this cake tonight, i don’t have allspice, is it optional or can you suggest an alternative? I am based out of India.

    Also i am not planning to create frosting as i don’t know about the ingredients mentioned.New to baking so… Also unsure if we get these in India?

    Kindly respond.


    • Madhuram

      All spice is not a must Shalini. If you can get ground cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, a little of each will do, or just plain cinnamon is ok too. Even I don’t know if all these ingredients are available in India. I guess you have to look around. All the best, Shalini.

  22. Shalini

    Hi, am planning to bake this one soon 🙂 reading comments i realise i can substiture oil with butter and almond milk with toned dairy milk. Am i correct?

    I tried ur eggless vanilla cake and loved it!

    • Madhuram

      Thanks Shalini. You can substitute.

  23. Farzana

    Hello there !! I wanted to make this tonight but I wanted to make only for 1 9 x 5 loaf pan. Have you tried making this in a loaf pan ? If so, do you think all measurements should remain same ? How long to cook and what temperature ??

    • Madhuram

      No I haven’t tried it in a loaf pan. I’m thinking you will have to halve the recipe or even less than that. Not sure.

  24. Lavanya

    Hi, I like all your recipes..I want to try this carrot cake with whole wheat pastry flour. Please tell me how much flour I should use? I am confused you mentioned 3/4th cup in your notes.

    • Madhuram

      The original recipe used 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 3/4th cup of whole wheat pastry flour, because I didn’t have WWPF, I used 2 and 1/4 cups APF.

  25. NS

    I made this today – just one 9″ round cake with half the measurements you have given here. I am yet to taste it. But my husband and little one had it and said it is excellent! Thanks so much for blogging, Madhuram.

    • Madhuram

      You’re very welcome NS.