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Front view of carrot cake cupcakes with a carrot garnish.

Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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4 from 1 review

  • Author: Lexi
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 16-18 cupcakes 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


These vegan carrot cake cupcakes are perfectly moist, fluffy, flavorful and topped with a creamy, tangy vegan cream cheese frosting. Much easier than making a layer cake, and a perfect vegan dessert for birthday's, Easter, Thanksgiving and more!


Units Scale


  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour* (read notes for gluten free adaptation)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 cup nondairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
  • 1 cup golden or regular raisins
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) vegan cream cheese
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F / 175˚F  and line muffin tin with liners.
  2. Cream the butter in a stand mixer, then add in sugar and brown sugar and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Add applesauce and vanilla extract and continue mixing until incorporated.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and cloves.
  5. Add half of the dry mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until incorporated. Then add half of the nondairy milk and the apple cider vinegar. Add remaining dry mixture, then remaining milk and mix until the batter is smooth.
  6. Fold in shredded carrots, raisins, and walnuts until evenly incorporated.
  7. Using a large cookie scoop, portion the batter into lined muffin tins, filling about 3/4 of the way. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  8. While the cupcakes are baking, beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, and beat until stiff. Add vanilla and cinnamon.
  9. Make sure the cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting.
  10. Optional garnish: use a vegetable peeler to peel thin strips of carrot, then roll into a spiral for a cute and simple garnish. You can also sprinkle each cupcake with finely chopped walnuts. 


*If using gluten free flour, we suggest using 2 cups of gluten free all purpose flour and 1 cup of oat flour. 

Cool the cupcakes & frosting: you'll need to fully cool the cupcakes before frosting. Likewise, it's best to get the vegan cream cheese frosting nice and cool before piping. It tends to collapse a bit with heat, so you'll need a bit of patience here!

Don't overmix the frosting: if you beat the vegan cream cheese and butter for too long, it will start to separate. Mix just until combined, then until stiff when you add in the powdered sugar.

Walnuts: Feel free to sub with pecans. If you have a nut allergy, you can leave them out or sub in the seed of your choice. 

Storage: we recommend storing leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Carrots: we use a cheese grater to grate whole carrots, but you can also use a food processor attachment if you have one (it's much quicker!). 

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake with frosting
  • Calories: 460
  • Sugar: 41.7 g
  • Sodium: 324.1 mg
  • Fat: 24.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 59.4 g
  • Fiber: 1.8 g
  • Protein: 3.4 g