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

Ingredients

Cake

  • 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

Garnish

  • Walnuts (chopped)
  • Cayenne Pepper

Instructions

Cake

  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.

Frosting

  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.

BON APPÉTIT!