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Front view of carrot cake on a cake stand.

Vegan Carrot Cake

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  • Author: Lexi
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This vegan carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is a showstopper! Flavored with warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and studded with golden raisins, shredded carrot and walnuts, it's packed with flavor and so moist. It's perfect for a birthday cake and our recipe is also gluten free, so everyone can enjoy!


Units Scale


  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 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:

  • 3/4 cup vegan butter, softened to room temp
  • 12 oz vegan cream cheese, softened to room temp
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F / 175˚C. Use butter or cooking spray to grease two (2) 8” cake pans, then lightly dust each pan (make sure to get the sides!) with flour. This will help the cake release more easily from the pans.
  2. Cream the butter in a stand mixer, then add in sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add applesauce and continue mixing. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together gluten free (or regular) flour, oat flour, baking powder and baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and cloves. 

  4. 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 smooth.
  5. Fold in shredded carrots, raisins, and walnuts. Divide batter equally between each cake pan and smooth with a spatula. 
  6. Bake for 40 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting
  7. While the cakes are baking, beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, and beat until stiff. Add vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Make sure the cake is completely cooled before frosting. You can pop the cakes in the fridge to speed up the process.
  8. Use a serrated knife to level the top of each cake (this will keep your cake from tilting or worse, falling over!). Frost the top of the first cake. Top with second cake add remaining frosting to top and sides. Use an offset spatula to smooth out the frosting. It doesn't have to be perfect!

  9. Garnish, then slice and serve. If not serving right away, refrigerate until ready to serve. 


Not gluten free? Sub the gluten free all purpose flour AND oat flour with regular all purpose flour (3 cups total).

Storage: store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

Freezer storage: You can also freeze leftover slices of vegan carrot cake for up to a few months. They will keep best if wrapped in plastic or reusable wrap. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before serving. 

Make sure to let the cakes cool completely, and work quickly with the frosting. To prevent melty frosting, you don't want to spend too much time working with the frosting once it goes on the cooled cakes. The more you spread it around, the more it will warm up, which means it may get a bit runny. We recommend frosting the cake and then storing in the refrigerator before serving. For best results, we suggest refrigerating the cakes for several hours before frosting.

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. 

  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 807
  • Sugar: 85.7 g
  • Sodium: 652.2 mg
  • Fat: 33.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 127.4 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 5.4 g