Vegan Carrot Cake with “Cream Cheese” Frosting

Vegan Carrot Cake with “Cream Cheese” Frosting

You’d never know this Vegan Carrot Cake, complete with “cream cheese” frosting was dairy free! Get the recipe below.

Vegan baking

I’ve waxed lyrical time and time again on this blog about why vegan baking doesn’t have to be scary. There are so many fantastic recipes out there for everything from a simple vanilla sponge cake to decadent chocolate cake, zesty lemon drizzle and sticky ginger cake too. The best bit is there’s no need for weird and wonderful ingredients. I promise you that you can make a delicious cake with ingredients you are already familiar with. Today we are making Vegan Carrot Cake.

Even before I went vegan my carrot cake recipe was “halfway” to being plant based. By that I mean instead of using butter, it used oil. So no swap required there. It did, however, contain eggs. The eggs were really only there to bind the cake together a job that can just as easily be done with some mashed up fruit! Hurrah!

If, like me, you like your carrot cake with a good inch of cream cheese frosting on top then don’t worry, I’ve got you covered there too. It turns out that if you make cream cheese frosting with plant based alternatives then it is a lot more stable. Until I found out about Kerry Cook’s foolproof cream cheese frosting I had no end of disasters. It’s a really tricky frosting to master and sometimes no matter what you do it just goes wrong. But, using plant based “butter” and dairy free “cream cheese” you have none of the worries about runny, lumpy or yellow frosting! My go-to brands for vegan cream cheese frosting are Flora Buttery and Koko’s Dairy Free Soft Cream Cheese. The result is a thick and creamy frosting that spreads easily. It’s also a lovely pale colour which makes it a fantastic base for decorating your cake any way you wish.

To decorate my cake I covered the cake with a thin layer of frosting then used a range of icing tips to pipe flowers in 3 different colours. You can find a more detailed tutorial on piping these flowers here.

A Vegan Carrot Cake decorated with piped flowers and tall gold candles

The recipe

This vegan carrot cake is perfect for any occasion. How will you decorate yours?

Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is dairy and egg free!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword carrot, caster sugar, cinnamon, light brown sugar, non-dairy milk, nutmeg, pecan, pineapple chunks, salt, self raising flour, vanilla
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Decorating time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12 people


For the cake

  • 300 grams self-raising flour
  • 200 grams light brown sugar
  • 200 grams caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 0.5 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 250 grams tinned pineapple chunks (drained weight)
  • 250 millilitres vegetable oil
  • 175 millilitres plant milk e.g. almond or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 3 large carrots grated
  • 125 grams chopped nuts e.g. walnuts or pecans

For the frosting

  • 500 grams icing sugar
  • 200 grams non-dairy cream cheese
  • 75 grams non-dairy butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste


For the cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and prepare 2 7 inch cake tins by lining them with grease proof paper.

  2. Sift the flour, sugar and spices into a large bowl and whisk to ensure they are well combined.

  3. Roughly mash the pineapple before adding to the bowl along with the vegetable oil, plant milk and vanilla paste.

  4. Mix the ingredients so they are just coming together before folding in the grated carrots and the chopped nuts.

  5. Spoon the cake mix evenly between the two tins and place into the centre of the over to bake for 45 minutes - 1 hour (until the cake is springy to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean).

  6. Let the cakes cool for 15 minutes before removing from their tins.

  7. Allow the cakes to cool completely before decorating.

For the frosting

  1. Add the icing sugar, butter, cream cheese and vanilla paste to a large mixing bowl.

  2. Gently beat the ingredients together by hand until you have a thick, smooth consistency. (If using electric beaters be very careful not to over mix as this will destabilise the frosting).

  3. If the frosting is a little too thick, add up to 25 grams more non-dairy butter.

  4. Use roughly 1/4 of the frosting to sandwich your two cakes together. The remainder of the frosting cake be used to decorate the cake as you choose.

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