Vegan Carrot Cake with Vanilla Coconut Cream Frosting


Vegan Carrot Cake with Vanilla Coconut Cream Frosting

This moist, nutty, vegan carrot cake packed with warm and fragrant spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and fresh ginger is a true family favorite. The secret to this cake is adding baby carrot food to the batter, a tip I got from Vegetarian Times years ago! I also like to add pineapple for sweetness, fresh ginger for spice, and walnuts for crunch. From the very first bite you can taste the silky-smooth, sweet coconut cream cheese (vegan) frosting, and we all know that a good frosting is the best part of any cake! This does take some time to put together, but it’s a great weekend project and I promise it will be worth it -- you and your loved ones will love it!

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Allergens: Soy, Tree Nuts, Wheat
  • Servings: 12



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 flax eggs (4 tablespoons flax meal + 8 tablespoons water)
  • 3 cups carrots (grated)
  • 2 6-ounce cans crushed pineapple (well drained)
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts (crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (finely grated)
  • 4 ounce baby carrot food or carrot pure
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Coconut Cream Frosting

  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1 cup vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum
  • 1 vanilla bean


  • Walnuts (chopped)
  • Cayenne Pepper


  • 2 8-inch round cake pans



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Brush 2 8-inch round cake pans with oil and line bottoms with parchment.

  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. Set aside.

  4. In large bowl, whisk together oil, both kinds of sugars, carrot puree, ginger, and vanilla extract until smooth (about 2 minutes).

  5. Add flax eggs and mix well.

  6. Incorporate flour mixture into liquid ingredients in 2 additions.

  7. Gently fold in carrots, pineapple, and nuts. Take care not to over-mix!

  8. Divide batter between 2 cake pans and bake until toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean (about 50 minutes).

  9. Remove cakes from oven, place pans on wire rack, and let cool for 10 minutes.

  10. Run knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto cooling rack, then let cool completely.


  1. Split and scrape vanilla bean. 

  2. In bowl, mix vegan cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla with handheld mixer until creamy. Set aside.

  3. In another bowl, whip coconut cream and gum until stiff, then carefully fold in vegan cream cheese.

  4. Chill for at least 30 minutes before spreading. (It will firm up a bit).

Assemby and Garnish

  1. Place one cake layer on cake platter.

  2. Spread 1 cup frosting over top of cake, then place second cake on top of that.

  3. Spread remaining frosting over top of second cake and sides of both.

  4. Sprinkle top and sides with crushed walnuts and lightly dust with Cayenne pepper.


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Comments? Questions? Please share!

    • veggiecurean

      Dear Suzanne, yes! I have used the base to make muffins. They come out really well. You will have to adjust the baking time. Cheers, Shikha

    • veggiecurean

      You can leave out carrot puree. That is to give the cake an intense carrot flavor. If you do leave our carrot puree, then please adjust the recipe to 4 cups of carrots-grated. Enjoy! This cake is our family’s favorite.

  • Jess

    Does the recipe call for 2 cups of flour? Or does the 2+ cups mean it needs more? Thanks!! 🙂

    • veggiecurean

      2 cups. Thanks for asking to clarify. It’s a great cake. Hope you like it.

  • Jess

    Made exactly as stated but adjusted baking temperature and time for 2 9-inch pans. This cake was *delicious*! We were hesitant to dust it with cayenne, but it added a nice kick. Will definitely make again!!

    • veggiecurean

      Awesome Jess. So glad to hear that you liked it. Cheers!

  • Alisha

    I am very excited to prepare this for my sons birthday. However, I am new to baking…Is there baking modifications I need to use with a higher altitude? I live in Nevada.

    • veggiecurean

      Hi Alisha, it’s a great birthday cake. I make it every year for my husband’s birthday.
      For baking at higher altitue, you should make the following modifications to this recipe.
      – increase oven temperature by 25degrees F.
      – add 1 tablespoon of the water to the batter and mix well
      Enjoy! Please do share how the cake comes out for you. And Happy Birthday to you son!

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