This Vegan Carrot Cake is packed with all sorts of goodness, texture and flavors. You get bits of carrot, and everything else held together by a moist cake. It isn't overly sweet like some dessert carrot cakes, and is finished off with a lush Vegan Coconut Yogurt Icing.
This recipe for Vegan Carrot Cake packs in 4 carrots, whole wheat flour, oats, pecans and apple sauce
I love the crumb texture of this Vegan Carrot Cake. It isn't a light fluffy cake with a monotonous texture (ahem, like a boxed cake mix).
Instead, you get bits of carrot, and everything else held together by a moist cake. Yum!
Also, you won't get an overly sweet like some carrot cakes that you would have for dessert. Rather, it's a delicious cake that can be served for breakfast without too much guilt.
How this vegan carrot cake is healthier than other recipes
I'm going to just say it before you see the full recipe. I know the ingredient list in this cake is long.
Part of the reason is because by making it healthier than a traditional cake, some extra ingredients are required to replace part of the normal ingredients.
But it's worth it! And likely, you may already have all the ingredients you need for this vegan carrot cake in your pantry and refrigerator.
This recipe uses whole wheat flour as well as apple sauce
To make this vegan carrot cake healthier, I've really tailored the ingredients. For example:
- Instead of just all-purpose white flour, this cake uses both white and whole wheat flours.
- Rather than using all oil, I decreased the amount of oil and added in apple sauce.
You'll also find lots of healthy ingredients in this carrot cake
The other reason for the long list of ingredients is because this cake has a lot of delicious textures. You have:
- the simple white flour,
- the earthy whole wheat flour,
- the dense bits of oats,
- the buttery pecans, and
- the moist bits of carrots.
How to quickly make this vegan carrot cake
Once you pull out all the ingredients you need for this cake, it's time to get baking! Here's the easy part.
To get the best texture for this cake, pulse everything together in a food processor until you get all sorts of bits that are the size of coarse coffee grounds.
Although everything is held together in a moist cake, you will be able to identify the different specks of texture .
This Vegan Carrot Cake isn't overly sweet, but it's rich in flavor
One of the things I love most about this cake is that it's not too sweet. You get lots of flavor in other ways. I use 3 spices in this cake: cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, to pack in taste.
The ingredients in this Vegan Carrot Cake is like a big group of friends who work together to pull off a big surprise party -- for your taste buds.
The Vegan Coconut Yogurt Icing is a must have for this cake
Lastly, a bright Vegan Coconut Yogurt Icing tops off this carrot cake. The tartness of the lemon very faintly peeks through, and adds an important bit of lift to this Vegan Carrot Cake.
Coconut yogurt makes a lush vegan icing for cakes
The coconut yogurt makes this icing creamer than others, and gives it more structure, so it sits beautifully on the carrot cake. It will form a nice thin shiny crust, but underneath the crust you'll find a lush icing.
Since coconut yogurts vary in consistency, you want to slowly add in the lemon juice so that your final vegan coconut yogurt icing is not too runny.
Please keep in mind that you may not need all the lemon juice that the recipe indicates.
Tips for baking this vegan carrot cake
What I've found with vegan baking is that sometimes judging whether or not a vegan cake is done is difficult.
If you can take a cake out of the oven at the right time, perfect. Way to go!
But if you are not sure if the cake is done, like I often am, err on the side of the cake being overdone. This is true especially of this cake.
If this cake is underdone, it will be moist, but also a little gooey, which does not complement the coarse texture of the crumb.
If the cake is ever so slightly overdone, you may end up with a crispy exterior, but instead of a gritty sludge of an underdone cake, the inside might just be a tad more crumbly (not a bad thing at all!).
Making your own vegan buttermilk for this cake
I often get questions about adding vinegar to vegan cakes. I do it because essentially I'm making a "vegan buttermilk substitute."
Since this is a vegan carrot cake recipe, whereas you might normally use buttermilk for a bit of creaminess and acidity, this recipe uses oat milk plus a bit of apple cider vinegar.
If the thought of just adding vinegar to a recipe is a bit strange to you, you can make a "vegan buttermilk substitute" by adding the apple cider vinegar to oat milk first, and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
However, to save hassle, I just add both ingredients into the cake batter at once and blitz together.
I really hope this healthy Vegan Carrot Cake recipe becomes a favorite weekend treat for your family. Any questions on how to make this recipe, feel free to let me know in the comments below.
A few other vegan recipes on The Worktop that you might enjoy:
- Vegan Cinnamon Muffins
- Vegan Blueberry Muffins
- Vegan Oatmeal Pancakes
- Eggless Banana Bread (adaptable for vegan)
- Egg Free Banana Muffins (adaptable for vegan)
Vegan Carrot Cake with Vegan Coconut Yogurt IcingPrint Recipe
Vegan Carrot Cake
- 4 medium carrots (just over ½ lbs) (250 grams) - roughly chopped so they fit in the food processor
- 1 cup pecan halves (115 grams)
- ⅔ cup dark brown sugar (100 grams) - lightly packed
- 1 cup quick cooking oats (75 grams)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (140 grams)
- ½ cup whole wheat flour (70 grams)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup oat milk (120 milliliters) (unsweetened) (you can use your choice of milk-alternative)
- ½ cup sunflower oil (120 milliliters)
- ⅓ cup apple sauce (90 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Vegan Coconut Yogurt Icing
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar (325 grams)
- ¼ cup coconut yogurt (60 grams)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (45 milliliters) (or you can use a milk-alternative in a pinch)
Vegan Carrot Cake
- Preheat the oven to 325°F / 160°C. Line a 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large food processor, pulse the carrots and pecan halves until they are finely chopped. Add in the sugar, oats, flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and ground nutmeg. Pulse until everything is mixed. Add in the remaining ingredients and pulse until everything comes together into a pourable batter, and the largest bits are roughly the size of coarse coffee grounds. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, and the top of the cake springs back when lightly touched. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer it to a cooling rack. Allow the carrot cake to fully cool before spreading on the icing.
Vegan Coconut Yogurt Icing
- In a large bowl, add in the powdered sugar. Whisk in the coconut yogurt. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. You are aiming to achieve a thick consistency for the icing (similar to tacky glue), so it does not run off the cake. If the icing is still too thick, add in the remaining lemon juice, a bit at a time.
- Once the cake has completely cooled, spread the icing on the cake using an offset spatula. Allow the icing to sit until set and dry.