Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Today, I’m finally publishing my recipe for a vegan carrot cake that’s just perfect for sharing with friends and family. It contains no dairy or eggs, yet tastes just as good (if not better!) than its traditional counterpart. This was the cake that I chose to bake for my mum’s and father-in-law’s birthdays this year and I’m pleased to say, it went down a treat!

This cake is really easy to make and uses basic pantry ingredients. The frosting is made with dairy-free cream ‘cheese’ which, here in the UK, is widely available in health food shops and larger supermarkets. With its characteristic ‘sweet and tangy’ flavour, this frosting is the perfect complement to carrot cake. However, if you prefer, you could easily swap it for a more traditional (dairy-free) butter cream frosting.

I must admit, this recipe has been a long time coming (the culmination of about two years’ worth of experimenting!) Carrot cake is one of my all-time favourites so I was determined to keep experimenting until I’d created a vegan version that replicated the one of my childhood memories. I had set the bar high!

My family were very willing cake testers and gave positive feedback on all the various versions I created but, for me, they were never quite right. The main issue that I needed to nail was the texture. If you’re a carrot cake connoisseur, you’ll know that it has a very specific texture. It isn’t like a traditional ‘light and fluffy’ sponge cake. It’s a lot more dense and moist; almost fudge-like.

It had been at least 20 years since I’d eaten a traditional carrot cake so my reference point was pretty old (and with questionable reliability!) but this Easter I finally got to indulge in carrot cake once more; and at the most unexpected of places… the vegan fast food joint ‘Vurger’ in Valencia, Spain.

After we’d ordered our burgers and were making our way to the seating area, I caught sight of a glass cabinet filled with the most incredible-looking cakes. Each one was at least three layers tall and covered in the most beautiful frosting. There were a selection of flavours on offer, including double chocolate, chocolate cherry, and carrot cake. Much to our delight, we discovered that another vegan fast food joint called ‘Aloha’ also stocked these beautiful cakes. My family ended up going to Vurger and Aloha three times, just so we could try out all the cakes!

Filled with fresh memories of how carrot cake should taste, as soon as I returned home I dusted off my scribbled experiments and enthusiastically set to work on ‘perfecting’ my recipe. I experimented with different ratios of wet/dry ingredients, varying ratios of carrots and nuts, different shape tins and baking times, and finally came up with a recipe that I’m 100% happy with. It might not be to everyone’s taste but, for me, this cake is just spot on flavour and texture-wise. It’s dense and moist, with plenty of carrot and walnuts for added layers of texture. It’s not sugary sweet, but instead flavoured with beautiful, warming spices.

Cream cheese frosting is the perfect topping for this cake. A few years ago, it was difficult to find vegan cream cheese here in the UK (let alone a great-tasting one!); however lately there’s been an explosion of dairy-free ‘cheeses’ entering our shops. When it comes to vegan cheese, everyone’s tastes differ so it’s worth trying a few and seeing which one most appeals to your taste buds. Two of my personal favourites are Violife Creamy Original  and Tofutti Creamy Smooth Original. These have a very subtle cheese flavour, with a lovely creamy texture, making it perfect for cake frosting. I’ve also used Sheese Creamy Original and Tesco Free From Soft Cheese for topping carrot cake. These two have a stronger cheese flavour so need a touch more icing sugar to balance the flavours.

 

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This recipe is being submitted to the Suma Blogger’s Network. Big shout out to the lovely people at Suma who supplied the ingredients I used to create this recipe.

Ingredients from Suma (available from independent health food shops in the UK):

Aspall Organic Cyder Vinegar
Suma Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
Suma Organic Coconut Blossom Syrup
Suma Grapeseed Oil
Suma Mixed Spice
Suma Ground Cinnamon
Doves Farm Organic Fine Plain English Wholemeal Flour
Doves Farm Organic Plain White Flour
Doves Farm Baking Powder
Doves Farm Bicarbonate of Soda
Violife Creamy Original
Tofutti Creamy Smooth Original

If you make this cake, I’d love to hear your feedback and any suggestions for adaptations. I haven’t attempted a gluten-free version yet, so if you do, please let me know whether it works out and how you substituted the gluten flour. I’m still very new to GF baking so any help is very much appreciated!

I’d love to see photos of your creations too! You can tag them #bitofthegoodstuff on social media and they’ll find their way to me. You can also connect with me here on my social media channels: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest.   

Happy baking!

6 thoughts on “Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

    1. Thanks for your kind words Kelly ❤️ So pleased you’re enjoying the blog and the recipes! I totally agree with you about the importance of focusing on fresh foods and natural ingredients. That’s what the human body thrives on (something I’ve learnt through personal experience!) I feel a million times better since I moved to a plant-based diet focusing on natural, whole foods. My weight’s stabilised, I’ve got more energy than ever before and my immune system is way stronger. I actually feel like I’m getting younger rather than older. Amazing!

  1. Carrot Cake has always been one of my favourites and this one comes out lovely! Super delicious!! It’s as good as your Lemon Drizzle cake in the book (my favourite cake ever)!!!

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