MOIST Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting (2024)

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posted by Britt Berlinon Mar 24, 2023 (last updated Mar 14, 2024) 74 comments »

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4.8 from 20 reviews

This is honestly the best vegan carrot cake you’ll ever have, and it’s a crowd favorite with even non-vegan eaters. No eggs, no dairy, one bowl, and easily gluten free, this carrot cake is topped with a super lush and a creamydairy free cream cheese frosting. Soon to be your favorite cake recipe ever!

MOIST Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting (1)

Reasons to love this vegan carrot cake

Just wait until you try thisunbelievably vegan carrot cake recipe. Seriously, whether you’re vegan or not, I know you will fall in love with it.

Like my ultra rich vegan vanilla cake and chocolate cake recipes, this secretlyvegan cake‘s flavor is just perfectly sweet while being so tender, soft, and moist with the perfect crumb.

Using a dairy free vegan cream cheese frosting,you’ll be able to create a carrot cake fit for a bakery (or even better!).

This recipe is so good, I even based my carrot cake loaf and carrot cake cheesecake off of it.

Pretty cool, right?

And like my vegan lemon blueberry cake, this carrot cake can be made injust one bowl.

MOIST Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting (2)

If you need more proof, then the carrot cake king himself (my dad lol) claims this is his favorite carrot cake. Carrot cake is his absolute favorite cake of all time, so I wanted to make sure that this eggless and dairy free carrot cake would pass his high standards 😉

Now, my dad is not one to like many gluten-free and/or vegan creations, but this carrot cake changed his mind!

So let’s get into the ingredients for this vegan carrot cake! Because there are a few ingredients that, yes, they’re common in the kitchen, but I’m betting you probably have never tried them in a carrot cake 😉

MOIST Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting (4)

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Ingredients Needed:

For this eggless carrot cake, you’ll need a few key ingredients:

  • Grated Carrots:if you want an arm workout, you can grate about 6-7 large carrots. You’ll rinse and remove the skins of the carrots. Then use a box grater- it’s much easier!
  • Flour:You can use all purpose flour, gluten free 1:1 flour (I recommend King Arthur’s mix), or even oat flour!
  • Dairy free yogurt:My absolute favorite vegan egg substitute. I love using Forager Project cashew milk yogurt, but you can use your favorite! Another great option is applesauce, but I really love the texture of yogurt.
  • Dairy free milk:Soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk work wonderfully here! We’ll mix it with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to create the vegan buttermilk.
  • Brown sugar:You can also sub in coconut sugar.
  • Granulated sugar:Be sure that your granulated sugar is vegan. I always use Florida Crystals for that reason.
  • Vegan butter:I recommend using Miyoko’s vegan butter, or if you’re nut-free, sub in either coconut oil or Violife vegan butter.
  • Leavening agents:this is your baking powder and soda.
  • Spices:well, you can’t have a carrot cake without the spices! I use a blend of cinnamon, Allspice, and nutmeg! Hits the spot!

Traditionally, carrot cake also contains chopped walnuts or pecans and raisins. I personally love a non-crunchy carrot cake, and simply use the nuts as a garnish. However, if you’re nut-free, you can also just omit the garnish! I always try to keep my nut allergy people in mind when creating these vegan and gluten recipes because I feel they’re highly underserved!

SO I omitted the walnuts…and the raisins (because truthfully, I don’t like when carrot cake has raisins!).

MOIST Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting (5)

However, you may find the optional add-ins listed in the notes section of the recipe!

Now onto the vegan cream cheese frosting, because you cannot do a vegan carrot cake with any other frosting, in my humble opinion. And it’s not even complicated! Check out the ingredients below!

We’ve really come a long way with vegan “dairy” options. I personally find that vegan cream cheeses tastes just as good, if not better, than regular cream cheese.

For the frosting you’ll need:

  • Vegan cream cheese:I personally love to use Tofutti or Kite Hill for cream cheese frostings.
  • Vegan butter:for a vegan butter that tastes good and is simple, I highly recommend Miyoko’s. It’s the base that I use in all of my vegan buttercream recipes too!
  • Dairy free milk
  • Powdered Sugar:Also known as confectioners’ sugar! Again, I recommend Florida Crystals, as they’re 100% certified vegan.

Overview: Step by Step Photos for How to Make a One Bowl Vegan Carrot Cake

For the full written instructions and ingredientmeasurements, see the bottom of this post in therecipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.

MOIST Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting (6)
MOIST Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting (7)
MOIST Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting (8)
MOIST Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting (9)
MOIST Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting (10)
MOIST Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting (11)

Carrot Cake FAQ’s

Can I bake this carrot cake as a sheet cake instead?

If you don’t want to make a layer cake, you can absolutely bake this cake batter in a 9×13 sheet cake pan.I also have this smaller version of a one layer vegan carrot snack cake that’s absolutely delicious!

What gluten free flour blend do you recommend?

Typically, I recommend using King Arthur measure for measure gluten free flour, as that’s the gluten free blend that I test all my cake recipes with. It’s truly equal in weight to all purpose flour, making it a great and easy substitute. Plus, I find that this is the flour blend that locks in the most moisture!

Can I bake this carrot cake into carrot cake cupcakes?

Absolutely! Simply fill the cupcakes with the batter and bake for about 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Can I use whole wheat flour?

I do not recommend subbing in whole wheat flour, as it typically calls for a different ratio of wet ingredients.

I still can’t get over how delicious this vegan carrot cake tastes, and with the vegan cream cheese frosting, you’re just going to be blown away!

I’m planning on making this recipe for Easter, but it’s also wonderful during fall and Christmas time 🙂

I’ll probably make this for my dad on Father’s Day as well, since he loved it so much! Oh, and don’t expect this cake to last you long, because it will for sure be gone in the snap of a finger!

Let me know in thecomments below if you gave it a try,as well as leaving a rating down below⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ so that others may find it!

As always, I love to see your beautiful creations onInstagramandPinterest, so be sure to tag me there.

Happy carrot cake baking!

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

MOIST Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting (13)

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!


MOIST Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting (14)

MOIST Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 Stars4 Stars3 Stars2 Stars1 Star4.8 from 20 reviews

  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 18 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
Print Recipe


This is honestly the best vegan carrot cake you’ll ever have, and it’s a crowd favorite with even non-vegan eaters. No eggs, no dairy, one bowl, and easily gluten free, this carrot cake is topped with a super lush and a creamydairy free cream cheese frosting. Soon to be your favorite cake recipe ever!



  • 2 cups (180 g) grated carrots, about 6-8 medium carrots
  • 1 cup (240 mL) vegan buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 (440 g) cups all purpose flour or cake flour*
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 1/4 cup (230 g) brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 cup (226 g) vegan butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 batch vegan cream cheese frosting


  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F, and line three 6″ cake pans or two 8″ cake pans with cooking oil and parchment paper. Make sure the carrots are grated, and mix together the dairy free milk with the apple cider vinegar to create the vegan buttermilk.
  2. Prep the dry ingredients:You can just add the dry ingredients all at once, but if you’d like to, you can pre-mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Simply whisk together the flour, spices, and leavening agents. Set aside.
  3. Make the carrot cake batter:In a large bowl, whisk together the vegan butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until combined. Then add in the dairy free yogurt and vanilla extract. Mix just until combined.Then add in the flour, leavening agents, and spices in about 3 increments, alternating between pouring in the vegan buttermilk as well. Be careful not to over mix. I try to mix just until there are no dry streaks left. Fold in the carrots.
  4. Bake:Divide the batter evenly into the cake pans.Bake the cakes for about 35-37 minutes for 6″ cake pans, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Cool:Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer them to cooling rack to fully cool. Do not frost until the cakes are cool to touch, and there is absolutely no heat coming from them.
  6. Make the vegan cream cheese frosting:To prepare the frosting, cream together the vegan butter and cream cheese with a stand mixer or using a hand mixer and a large bowl.Sift in the powdered sugar in increments of 1 cup, beating the mixture between each cup until combined. Add in 1-2 tbsp dairy free milk if needed to achieve a smooth texture.
  7. Assembly:Frost the cake, applying about 1/3 cup frosting in between each layer, and coating the sides of the cake. If you’d like to pipe the carrots onto the sides, reserve about 1/2 cup total frosting and divide in two bowls. Color one with vegan orange coloring and the other with vegan green. I used a Wilton Piping Tip 66 and Wilton Piping Tip 1.
  8. Slice and serve!Store any leftovers in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Gluten free:I recommend King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour. I’ve also tested this with oat flour!

Walnuts/Raisins:If you’d like to add in walnuts, raisins, or pecans, you may add in 1/3-1/2 cup of each (if you’re using just walnuts, add in 1/2 cup, if you’re adding in all three, use 1/3).

The Original Paleo Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe:

This recipe has been retested and adjusted from its original to suit more households. However, there are some original readers that love the original Paleo Vegan carrot cake version, so I left it here in case you prefer this one!

Vegan Carrot Cake

  • 1 cup shredded carrots (can buy pre-shredded)
  • 1 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup cassava flour flour
  • 3 tbsp ground flax/chia seed (mixed with 1/3 cup water)
  • 1 cup coconut milk with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or vegan butter (unsalted) (melted)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato (pre-cooked)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup vegan cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 cup vegan butter (room temperature)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 batchvegan caramel sauce(optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375F and grease three 6″ cake pans with olive or coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together oat flour, cassava flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and sea salt.
  3. Pour in coconut milk, olive oil, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and ground flax seed mixture, and mix until well combined.
  4. Add in shredded carrots and mashed sweet potato. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour evenly into both cake pans and place cake pans in the oven.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool fully before frosting.
  8. *Follow instructions below for the frosting so that you make it while the cakes are cooling.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a medium bowl and using a hand mixer, beat together vegan cream cheese, vegan butter, and coconut milk.
  2. Add in powdered sugar and beat until it becomes thick.
  3. Set aside and cover until ready to frost (you can place it for a few minutes in the fridge, but not too long because you don’t want it to harden).
  4. Frost cake, top withvegan caramel sauceif desired, and enjoy!


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 336
  • Sugar: 35.1 g
  • Sodium: 284.8 mg
  • Fat: 10.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 58.3 g
  • Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Protein: 3.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 13 mg
MOIST Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting (2024)


Does carrot cake with cream cheese frosting need to be refrigerated? ›

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises refrigerating any food made with cream cheese after 2 hours (that includes time spent making the food). The same typically goes for frostings made with other perishable foods such as.

Why is my carrot cake too moist? ›

Why is my carrot cake too moist? Keep the extra nuts and, god forbid, coconut out of things, and definitely don't add pineapple—it'll make the batter too moist. Carrot cake is oil-based, rather than butter-based. This keeps it moist and helps it last for days.

How do you keep carrot cake moist overnight? ›

Double-wrap unfrosted cake layers to make them airtight.

Bundle each layer in one or more sheets of plastic wrap, then seal the wrapped layers inside large plastic zipper bags individually. By doing so, you'll be keeping the freshly-baked cake off-limits to air and moisture.

Is carrot vegan? ›

Carrots come from a plant and are vegetarian and vegan. If you cook carrots with animal products such a cheese, butter, or honey, they will no longer be vegan, but a carrot in and of itself is always vegetarian and vegan.

Do baked goods with cream cheese frosting need to be refrigerated? ›

From Paula's Pumpkin Bars to Giada's Spiced Apple-Walnut Cake With Cream Cheese Icing to the classic Red Velvet Cake, it's hard to escape cream cheese frosting's creamy goodness. So does it need refrigeration? Food Network Kitchens: Yes, you should always refrigerate any cake or cupcake that has cream cheese frosting.

Can you leave carrot cake with cream cheese frosting out overnight? ›

Unfortunately, cream cheese frosting is susceptible to becoming a breeding ground for bacteria, and leaving a cake with cream cheese frosting out overnight is an easy way to ruin it. Brush up on the best ways to store cake with cream cheese frosting in the fridge and freezer.

Is butter or oil better for carrot cake? ›

Vegetable oil produces a more moist, tender cake than butter. Yes, butter generally tastes better, but it makes the cake come out a little firmer than I like. Don't worry—there's plenty of butter in the frosting to make up for it. Should carrot cake have raisins?

What is the best way to grate carrots for carrot cake? ›

Place a box grater on a cutting board. Using a downward motion, scrape the pointed end of the carrot along the large holes of the box grater. Be careful to keep your hands and fingers out of the way! Repeat this shredding motion until you reach the last 2 inches of each carrot.

How fine should carrots be grated for carrot cake? ›

Think thin

It's true that carrots are the star of the show, but aim for finely grated pieces rather than chunky. The finer you grate the carrots, the more evenly they will be distributed throughout the cake (for the perfect texture), and the more evenly the cake and the carrots will bake.

Can carrot cake batter sit overnight? ›

If you don't wish to mix and bake this sourdough carrot cake straight away, you can ferment the cake batter overnight. In order to do this, you will want to mix the batter a little differently. To ferment the cake batter overnight, leave out the baking soda, but mix the rest of the ingredients as instructed.

Should I refrigerate carrot cake before frosting? ›

Cream cheese frosting and carrot cake are a little unruly when they're warm, so the fridge is your friend. The cake itself is much easier to frost and slice when it's been refrigerated — the soft, moist crumb contracts when it's chilled and doesn't tear or fall apart as easily.

Should unfrosted carrot cake be refrigerated? ›

Storing an unfrosted carrot cake – While most unfrosted cakes can be kept at room temperature, carrot cake needs to be refrigerated. Since the ingredients include fresh carrots, the cake can develop mold if kept in a warm or humid climate.

What is surprisingly not vegan? ›

Honey. Honey is a controversial food for many vegans. Bees do produce it, and it is also a food source in the hive. Because bees produce it, and bees have died to make it, honey is not considered vegan.

What is a super vegan? ›

Super vegans are committed to a plant based diet and look for products certified by The Vegan Society, Cruelty Free International and other reputable organisations. There are multiple benefits of veganism but most people are attracted to the impact it has on farmed animals and fish.

Which vegetable is not vegan? ›

No vegetable is an animal product, so yes. Of course, vegetables can be prepared in a way that includes animal products, like broccoli with cheese. That's vegetarian, but not vegan, because it includes the cheese.

How long can carrot cake with cream cheese frosting sit out? ›

Cream cheese frosting should always be stored in the refrigerator. Cream cheese is a perishable food, and per, perishable foods should not sit in room temperatures for longer than two hours.

How long can carrot cake with cream cheese sit out? ›

The bottom line is, if you're not actively eating carrot cake, you should store it in the fridge to be on the safe side. If you do have cake on the table for entertaining, follow the two-hour rule to keep it fresh and safe to eat.

How long can carrot cake be unrefrigerated? ›

If you want to keep carrot cake in tip-top shape from beginning to end, the FDA recommends that you don't leave it on the counter for any longer than two hours. A big part of what makes carrot cake so moist and delicious is that it's made with multiple dairy products.

How do you store a cake with cream cheese frosting overnight? ›

If your cake is frosted with cream cheese or ganache, make sure to cover it and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. Covering your cake prevents the air from making it dry.

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