This recipe for carrot cake is easy, vegan, and OIL FREE! The cake is moist, perfectly spiced, and topped with a smooth vegan cream cheese icing. Carrot cake doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure anymore!
Am I the only one that looks back on every year and wonders where the hell the first 3 months of the year went?
Well, here we are. 2017 is nearly one-quarter done. And you know what that means. It means that spring has finally arrived. SPRING. IS. HERE. Spring “officially” arrived last week, but you know how it is, those first days where the weather doesn’t quite know what season it really is. But I think it’s safe to say, another winter is behind us. Yaasss. Getcho stupid ass out of here, winter. *rolls eyes*.
Okay but for real, spring means cute baby bunnies, bunnies mean carrots, carrots mean carrot cake. Right? Carrots are my most favourite vegetable ever. It’s ridiculous, you don’t even want to know. Soo, combining carrots and dessert isn’t even a question.
Plus, what’s better than carrot cake that is 1. easy, 2. vegan, 3. oil free? Nothing my friends, nothing.
This is a super simple take on a classic. Using applesauce instead of oil makes for a moist and fluffy cake topped with vegan cream cheese icing that tastes just like the real thing.
I personally opted to make carrot cake cupcakes as opposed to an actual cake, out of shear convenience. I wanted perfectly sized portions of grab and go cake, sans mess. Hence the unimpressive icing job. As long as it tastes good, right!? This recipe yields 24 cupcakes that sit at 250 calories each, WITH icing. Boo-yah.
But this recipe would work perfectly for two 8-9” rounds or a 9” x 13” sheet cake. And of course, it’s totally customizable – adding walnuts, raisins, coconut, etc., would add even more delicious to the already delicious. I took a few of mine and sprinkled some ground walnuts mixed with a little sugar on top.
So if you like carrots, cake, or a combination of the two, give this recipe a try!
And make sure to use the hashtag #sweetlikecocoa on social media so I can see all your carrot-y creations!
- Dry Ingredients
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- Wet Ingredients
- 2 cups dairy free milk
- 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 8 oz vegan cream cheese *
- 1/2 cup vegan butter, room temperature (I used Earth Balance)
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 °F
- Grease and/or line your baking sheet of choice (I used a muffin tin and made cupcakes - you could used 2 8"-9" inch rounds or a 9" x 13" pan)
- In a medium bowl, add flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir until combined
- In a large bowl, whisk together dairy free milk, applesauce, vinegar and vanilla extract
- Stir carrots into wet ingredients
- Slowly add in dry ingredients (in about thirds) to the wet ingredients
- Stir until just combined
- Pour batter into prepared baking sheet
- Bake for 25-35 minutes. A toothpick should come out without any crumbs but may seem slightly moist
- While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting by creaming the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy
- Mix in the vanilla extract
- Add the powdered sugar a bit at a time, and continue to mix until you have a frosting like consistency (should be fairly stiff, but spreadable)
- Wait until cake is completely cooled before frosting
* I used a full container of Daiya Plain Cream Cheese Style Spread, which is a little less than 8 oz but works perfectly fine
The nutrition information below is based on 24 cupcakes, and will differ if you prepare this recipe as a two-layer round cake or a large sheet cake