One of my all time favorite cakes! This moist spiced vegan carrot cake is a perfect springtime treat and very simple to make. The cream cheese frosting whips up easily in a food processor. Two great easy recipes to have in your arsenal! This recipe make one 8″ layer or two 6″ layers of cake. Double the recipe for a 2-layer 8″ or 9″ cake.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
- 3/4 cups dark sugar such as coconut palm sugar or whole cane sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground clove (or allspice)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened soy or almond milk
- 1/2 cup canola or olive oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) vegan butter, softened at room temperature
- 8 oz vegan cream cheese or thick Greek-style coconut yogurt
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- natural orange food coloring (optional)
- edible flowers
- natural sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Grease the bottoms and sides of two 6″ cake tins with vegan butter/shortening or oil and line the bottoms with parchment paper rounds.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove in a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Whisk together milk, oil, maple syrup, vinegar, vanilla and orange zest in a large measuring cup or bowl. Fold shredded carrots into wet mixture with rubber spatula.
- Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined, being careful not to over-mix the batter.
- Divide batter equally into prepared pans and spread with rubber spatula.
- Bake at 350˚F for 35-40 minutes until golden brown, cakes come away from the sides of pan and a toothpick inserted into the center of cakes comes out clean.
- Remove cake from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes.
- Run a butter knife along the sides of pan to loosen cake if needed. Then invert cakes onto a cooling rack and peel away the parchment paper. Cool to room temperature before frosting.
- Add softened butter and cream cheese or yogurt to bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Add sifted powdered sugar, salt, vanilla extract and lemon zest and process until smooth and thick, stopping to scrap sides as needed, about 30 seconds – 1 minute.
- If frosting is too loose (which may be the case when using yogurt), sift in an additional 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and pulse to combine. Repeat by sifting in more powdered sugar by the tablespoonful if needed until frosting is thick and spreadable.
- Optionally transfer about 1/2 cup of frosting to a separate bowl and stir in natural orange coloring until you’ve reached your desired shade. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Transfer remaining frosting to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Put a small dollop of frosting onto center of a cake plate and position first layer of cake.
- Spread about 1 cup of frosting on top of the bottom layer of cake with an offset spatula then place second layer on top.
- Spread the remaining frosting onto top and sides of cake.
- Spread colored frosting onto sides and top in your desired design.
- For a naked cake presentation, use an icing smoother, bench scraper or offset spatula to scrape away frosting on sides.
- Decorate top of cake with edible flowers and/or naturally colored sprinkles.
- Keep cake refrigerated until ready to serve. Cover and refrigerate leftover cake for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months, thaw in refrigerator to serve.
- Optionally add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter and/or 1/2 cup raisins. Fold them in when you add shredded carrots.
- I used Dunaliella Salina, a naturally super bright orange algae powder, to create the orange colored frosting. I needed about 2 teaspoons to get a bright orange shade per 1/2 cup of frosting.
- This is the Vegan Cream Cheese I used. Best tasting I’ve come across from the supermarket.
- I used Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks for the butter.
- Similar Natural Sprinkles Mix and Shimmer Pearls to the ones I used.