Vegan Carrot Cake, perfectly spiced and incredibly moist. Topped with creamy vegan cream cheese frosting, and simple to make in just 1 bowl!

piece of carrot cake being lifted out of whole cake

Once you realize how easy this carrot cake is to make, you will find yourself making it over and over again! Not only is it made in 1 bowl with simple ingredients, it is the best tasting carrot cake, vegan or not. The cake layers are super moist, so flavorful and full of texture. It’s such an incredible dessert, for Easter or any day!

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close up piece of orange cake on a white plate

How to make it

It’s easy! First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 8-inch cake pans with a little circle of parchment paper, and then spray the pans generously with oil. This will help your cakes come out of the pans with no problems!

Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk. Now, pour in the canola oil, applesauce, non-dairy milk, and vanilla. Mix to combine, then fold in the shredded carrots and walnuts.

bowl with cake ingredients

Divide evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops of the cake are set.

2 round carrot cakes uncooked in pans

You can also test with a knife to see if it comes out mostly clean in the middle. They will be golden brown on top when done. Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 20 minutes before carefully removing them, then let them cool completely before frosting.

2 round cakes cooked

What kind of frosting should I use?

Traditionally, carrot cake uses cream cheese frosting, so I prefer Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting for this cake. Vanilla Frosting is also a great option.

The only thing with vegan cream cheese frosting is it can be a bit unstable if it gets warm, so make absolutely sure your cakes are cooled completely before frosting, and keep the frosted cake in the refrigerator, just to make sure the top layer of your cake doesn’t slip off!

piece of carrot cake on a white plate

Possible substitutions

  • Sub whole wheat pastry flour, or even spelt flour for the white flour if desired.
  • Sub coconut oil or melted vegan butter for the canola oil. You might be able to omit the oil and replace it with more applesauce, but I haven’t tried it.
  • Sub pecans for the walnuts, or leave the nuts out entirely.
  • Replace the applesauce for 1 cup of crushed pineapple for pineapple carrot cake!

close up of piece of carrot cake

Want more vegan cake recipes?

piece of cake on plate with a fork

square image of carrot cake

1 Bowl Vegan Carrot Cake

Vegan Carrot Cake, perfectly spiced and incredibly moist. Topped with creamy vegan cream cheese frosting, and simple to make in just 1 bowl!
4.92 from 24 votes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated carrots (about 3 large carrots)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 Recipe Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare 2 round 8-inch cake pans by lining the bottom with parchment paper and spraying well with oil.
  • In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients and whisk well. 
  • Pour in the canola oil, applesauce, almond milk and vanilla and mix until combined with a large spoon. Now fold in the grated carrots and walnuts.
  • Pour the cake batter evenly between the prepared pans, then bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops of the cakes are set. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for about 20 minutes before carefully removing from the pans. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.
  • Once cooled completely, frost with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting, or Vegan Vanilla Frosting if preferred. Enjoy! Store leftover cake in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, covered.

Notes

  1. May substitute whole wheat pastry flour, or white whole wheat flour for a whole grain option. I haven't tested with gluten free flour.
  2. May substitute soy, coconut or any other non-dairy milk for almond milk.
  3. May use melted coconut oil or another oil in place of the canola.
  4. I prefer Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting for this carrot cake, but you could use my Vegan Vanilla Frosting instead.
  5. To make cupcakes instead, fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full and bake for 20-25 minutes until set on top. Pipe frosting on each cupcake.
  6. Calorie calculation does not include Frosting.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 432kcal, Carbohydrates: 66g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 348mg, Potassium: 280mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 42g, Vitamin A: 5352IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 91mg, Iron: 2mg

 

 

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