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.
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. It isn’t overly sweet like some carrot cakes that you would have for dessert. Instead, it’s a delicious cake that can be served for breakfast without too much guilt.
This recipe for Vegan Carrot Cake packs in 4 carrots, whole wheat flour, oats, pecans and apple sauce
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. For example, instead of just white flour, this cake uses both white and whole wheat flours. And instead of using all oil, you swap out part of the oil for apple sauce.
The other reason for the long list of ingredients is because this cake has a lot of different 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. 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, like some cakes you would have for dessert
The complexity of flavors also adds to the ingredient list – 3 spices – cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. And because it is a vegan carrot cake, whereas you might normally use buttermilk for a bit of acidity, this Vegan Carrot Cake uses oat milk plus a bit of apple cider vinegar. 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.
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. 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. Keep in mind that you may not need all the lemon juice that the recipe indicates.
The Vegan Coconut Yogurt Icing is a must have for this cake
What I’ve found with vegan baking is that if you can take a cake out of the oven at the right time, perfect. But if you are not sure if the cake is done, 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 little more crumbly.
Vegan Carrot Cake with Vegan Coconut Yogurt Icing
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.
Vegan Carrot Cake
- 4 medium carrots (just over 1/2 lbs) (250 grams) - roughly chopped so they fit in the food processor
- 1 cup pecan halves (115 grams)
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar (100 grams) - lightly packed
- 1 cup quick cooking oats (75 grams)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (140 grams)
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (70 grams)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup oat milk (120 milliliters) (unsweetened) (you can use your choice of milk-alternative)
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil (120 milliliters)
- 1/3 cup apple sauce (90 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Vegan Coconut Yogurt Icing
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (325 grams)
- 1/4 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.
Vegan Carrot Cake adapted from the Food Network.
See a few other carrot cake inspired recipes on The Worktop: