This yummy vegan carrot cake is delicious, full of spices, raisins and grated carrot. It's so moist you'll definitely want another slice. It's also nut-free making it perfect for those on vegan and nut-free diets, as well as everyone else of course!
When I needed to take a vegan cake to cake club recently it wasn't a hard decision to make a vegan carrot cake. You see, my husband is not the biggest fan of carrot cakes but I love carrot cake.
This means if I'm making a cake to eat at home, I feel I should take his tastes into account. At least some of the time. However, if I'm taking a cake to cake club, I can make whatever I like and still get to enjoy it! I love cake club for this.
Bring on fruity spiced cakes! For my first cake club I made an apple, cinnamon and caramel cake. I still hanker after a slice whenever I'm reminded of it! Give me that or carrot cake any day over chocolate cake or a plain madeira cake. Not that I'd say no to any cake in reality though.
This vegan carrot cake is just as good as a non-vegan cake!
Did I mention that this nut free carrot cake is vegan? I'm not vegan and this is my first vegan cake. Or at least it was the first time I made it! I've made it a few times since then.
I have to admit that I was a little worried about whether it would turn out ok or whether I'd be thinking there was something missing. I needn't have worried.
I'd choose to make this carrot cake recipe again whether I needed to make it a vegan carrot cake or not. Although I should say I do have a great non vegan carrot cake recipe as well!
The Inspiration for this vegan carrot cake
This recipe is slightly adapted from a vegan carrot cake recipe on the Vegan Society website. After all, that seemed a good place to start looking.
Maybe I cheated a little by making a carrot cake for a vegan challenge as lots of carrot cake recipes use oil anyway instead of butter. I used rapeseed oil for this cake but I think it would be nice to experiment with coconut oil another time.
What ingredients do you need for this carrot cake?
For this cake you'll need grated carrots, raisins or other dried fruit, self-raising flour, baking powder, caster sugar, cinnamon, dried ginger, chia seeds, salt, vegetable oil, water, vinegar and vanilla extract plus a little vegan butter to grease the cake tin.
For the icing I just use vegan butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract.
Adding chia seeds to the carrot cake
The recipe I used didn't contain any replacement for eggs but as I love chia seeds so much at the moment I added a spoonful. You can make a proper chia egg by letting the chia seeds sit in double the amount of water for 5 minutes before using.
I didn't think that was necessary for this recipe though. The texture is great without doing anything extra.
Can you adapt this cake
I don't tend to change this nut-free carrot cake too much but you can make small changes. Why not use soft brown sugar instead of caster sugar? It really accentuates the autumnal spicy caramel flavours.
Add extra spices to make the cake more strongly spiced. This is a fairly mild spiced cake. You could easily get away with adding an extra teaspoon of ginger and cinnamon if you like more strongly spiced cakes. You could also replace them both with mixed spice.
Instead of just raisins you can add a mixture of raisins and diced dried apricots.
Do you need any special equipment?
If you have a cake tin, a wooden spoon and a mixing bowl you can make this cake.
However, when making the icing it is easier to get a smoother, lump-free texture if you make it in a food mixer.
Storing and freezing
I store this cake in an airtight container in the kitchen and it keeps well for at least 4 days.
You can also freeze it for up to three months. Wrap it up well in baking paper and put it in an airtight freezer bag.
If you freeze it, it's best to freeze it without the buttercream icing and then decorate it when you drefrost it.
Personally, I don't think you even need to use the buttercream. I love carrot cake without it too.
More recipes using chia seeds
I've also used chia seeds in these non-vegan lemon and raspberry muffins and these chocolate chia ones . Although chia seeds are traditionally used in vegan baking I love the slight crunch they give to these two recipes.
I'd love to experiment more with vegan cakes so please let me know in the comments about your favourite vegan cakes and what replacements you use for eggs and butter.
Vegan Carrot Cake
- 225 g carrot grated
- 170 g raisins or sultanas
- 280 g self-raising flour you can use a mixture of white and wholemeal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 170 g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- Pinch of salt
- 200 ml vegetable oil
- 200 ml water
- 1 teaspoon Dash of vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- A little vegan margarine for greasing the cake tin
For the Icing
- 170 g icing sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 85 g vegan margarine
- Preheat the oven to 160C.
- Grease and line a 20cm cake tin.
- Put the first 9 ingredients in a large bowl and stir together.
- Add in all the other ingredients and then stir them together till there are no dry bits.
- Put the mixture in the cake tin and bake in the oven for 60-70 minutes.
- Let the cake cool for a short while in the tin then transfer it to a wire rack.
- To make the icing, beat the icing sugar, plant based butter and vanilla extract together in a food mixer. Or just beat them together with a fork then spread it onto the cake. It is hard to get it as smooth using this method though.
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Le Coin de Mel
Oh my goodness, this looks amazing. I wonder if it would work with a gluten-free flour blend and a bit of raising agent to help it get nice and fluffy rather than too dense. Pinning right now!
I hope it would work with gluten-free flour and extra raising agent but I'm afraid I've got no experience of gluten-free baking myself. Let me know if it works!
I recently helped my friend with her garden opening and of course we had to serve tea and cakes. We made a good selection including a vegan banana loaf but it didn't sell very well. Next year I was thinking of adding a carrot cake to the menu and changing the vegan option. This looks perfect! I've never cooked with chia seeds before but this seems completely fool-proof.
I imagine a vegan banana loaf would be really lovely and chia seeds are definitely a new favourite of mine. worth trying!
Kate - gluten free alchemist
Wow! Fab cake and looks so moist and fluffy! I'm always on the look out for good vegan recipes, so will be bookmarking this for sure. x
Thank you! I'm completely new to vegan baking but I loved this cake and hope you enjoy it too!
Ooooh Corina, carrot cake is my ultimate favourite and yours looks so good! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x
Thank you Kirsty! I love a good carrot cake too and this actually makes me want to try some other vegetable cakes as well so it may just be the start of something.
This sounds amazing! I love that it's vegan. Love all the carrots and raisins peaking through the slice.
Thank you Tara! It's a lovely cake!
Garlic + Zest
Carrot cake is one of my favorites! I've never tried a vegan version -- I eat EVERYTHING. This looks delicious!
I'm sure you'd enjoy this one then!
What Sarah Bakes
I'm always on the hunt for vegan cakes for my vegan friends and I have a feeling they are going to love this one! Also, great idea about grinding up chia seeds with golden syrup - must try that!
Yes, I want to try grinding the seeds up next time. Thanks for visiting!
Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
This looks so moist and yummy - how did you get such a flat top on it?! Mine always end up rising too much in the middle! Would love a slice of this.
Thank you! I'm really not sure how the top ended up so flat as I have to say I'm not an expert at baking and this is also only my first vegan cake. It was really delicious though!
Natalie | Natalie's Food & Health
Wow I looove carrot cakes... actually carrot ANYthing 😀 Your cake looks amazing. Love how you used raisins. It's like "little" surprise inside every bite 😉 Pinning. Sharing!
Thank you Natalie! The raisins are lovely in here and it means this cake really is full of fruit and veg!
Love the use of spices and raisins!
Thank you! I think they go so well in a carrot cake and the raisins help to keep the cake lovely and moist too.
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
I only tried carrot cake for the first time last year and I am hooked. I need to try this vegan version.
Better late than never! I remember having carrot cake occasionally as a child when we were at other people's houses as it wasn't something my mum made. I hope you like this version if you do get to try it.
This looks lovely!! I LOVE carrot cake too, its so good! Violife makes a lovely vegan cream cheese that makes a really good vegan cream cheese frosting! I agree the ground chia seeds & golden syrup are the way forward its the only egg replacer I ever use!
Thanks Midgie! I'll have to try Violife if I need to make another vegan frosting as I have to admit that I do love a cream cheese frosting on a carrot cake.
Angela / Only Crumbs Remain
What a fabulous cake Corina, and yet it contains no eggs! It amazes me how wonderful vegan cakes can look, and this is certainly no exception. I've never made a vegan cake before, but I have used aquafaba so I must recommend you try it - you and your family would never know that it was really chickpea liquid!
Thank you Angela! I'm sure I will use aquafaba soon, although yesterday I used chickpeas for something and just threw away the liquid without thinking!
I do love a good carrot cake and this does look like a good one! I'm loving the sound of clandestine cake club - what a great idea!! 🙂 I'm not sure I've ever made a vegan cake before. Plenty of dairy free ones, sure - especially carrot cake. I always do mine with olive oil, but it sounds like a great challenge and your cake doesn't seem to have suffered for it! Eb x
You should have a look for a Clandestine Cake Club near you. I love making cakes but don't often have time as I'm normally focusing on savoury recipes. I find CCC gives me the excuse I need!
All about a Mummy
Carrot cake is a new favourite of mine. Couldn't stand it as a kid. This sounds great!
I'm pleased you like it now! I do that with some things and then I wish I hadn't avoided them for so long, except I've never avoided carrot cake!
This looks soooooo delicious. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks so much! I wish I hadn't eaten it all as I'd love to eat some more now!
Lovely! Carrot cake is so amazing-- I'm always looking for new recipes for it, and this one looks great!
Thank you! I'm so pleased you like it and yes, it's great to find new recipes and tweak the flavours of a cake.
Dana @ IveGotCake
This looks so freakin amazing, I would love a few pieces of this right about now, heehee!
Thank you Dana! I'm so pleased you like it
Kristy from Southern In Law
Carrot cake is one of my all time favourite cakes so this looks absolutely perfect!
Thank you Kristy! I do think you can't get much better than a good carrot cake!
What a really lovely cake.
Thank you Philip!