Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Traditional carrot cake with walnuts, cinnamon and of course cream cheese icing!

This new recipe for Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing is quite possibly better than my original Tropical Carrot Cake recipe!

How can that be true! I’m not just saying that!

Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

I’m telling you this cake is super moist and loaded with carrots and even an addition of apple for more moisture and flavor and the spices in combination with a perfect amount of toasted walnuts is going to send you and your friends to carrot cake heaven! Vegan or Not! I promise!

I shared this cake with a non-vegan friend of mine.

This guy is “So not vegan” he actually told me the word “vegan” scares him!

He is just one of the many uninformed masses who think we are trying to pass off cardboard as dessert! Not so!

When he tasted this cake he literally boomed, “Gretchen! This is the most amazing cake I have ever tasted! How can it be vegan!??”

So I hope you too will get over your “fear of vegan” since it is nothing more than delicious, animal friendly ingredients that are much better for you and the planet!

Don’t believe me? Click here for more

This one bowl mix will make you a ve-liever in no time! (ok that was just bad)

5.0 from 4 reviews
Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Serves: 1- 3 layer 7" cake
  • Vegetable Oil 1 cup (240ml)
  • All Purpose Flour 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (140g)
  • Cake Flour ½ cup (60g)
  • Baking Powder 1 teaspoon (4g)
  • Baking Soda 1teaspoon (4g)
  • Salt ¼ teaspoon
  • Ground Cinnamon 1¾ teaspoons
  • Brown Sugar ½ cup (105g)
  • Granulated Sugar ½ cup (100g)
  • Ground Flax Seeds 3 Tablespoons (24g)
  • Hot Water 6 Tablespoons (90ml)
  • Vanilla Extract 1½ teaspoons (7ml)
  • Carrots 4 medium (approx 2 cups 250g)
  • Granny Smith Apple 1 medium peeled approx ¾ cup
  • Orange Zest from ¼ large orange approx 1 teaspoon
  • Toasted Walnuts ¾ cup plus more for garnish *optional
  1. Combine the flax with the hot water and let stand to thicken
  2. In a large bowl combine the sugars with the oil, vanilla extract and the flax mixture, whisk smooth
  3. Add the orange zest
  4. Then sift together all of the dry ingredients directly into the bowl and whisk smooth
  5. Add the grated carrots and apple and the nuts then mix smooth
  6. Pour batter into greased cake pans and bake immediately at 350°F in a preheated oven for approximately 25-40 minutes depending on the size of your pans. Bake Until they are Done
  7. Cool cakes while you prepare the Cream Cheese Icing recipe below and then assemble cake as shown in the video
You can freeze un-iced carrot cake layers wrapped well for up to 1 month

Iced cake must be kept refrigerated but may stay at room temperature for up to 3 hours max


5.0 from 4 reviews
Vegan Cream Cheese Icing
Serves: 4 cups
  • Vegan Cream Cheese 2 Tubs (2cups) (454g)
  • Earth Balance 1 stick (½ cup) (112g)
  • Confectioner's Sugar 2 cups (240g)
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon
  • Vegan Buttercream 1 cup *optional
  1. Smooth cream cheese and butter with a paddle attachment
  2. Add sifted confectioners sugar, blend on low just to combine
  3. Add extract then add optional vegan buttercream icing
  4. Mix smooth
Vegan Cream Cheese Icing must be kept refrigerated but can stay out at room temperature for up to 3 hours



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  1. My oldest grandson was just diagnosed with severe allergy to Milk, eggs and all poultry….among other things that were previously identified. Your vegan recipes are a godsend! Thank you!

  2. Hello, I m from Bangladesh. liked your recipe very much. Last few months I m following ur channel. I make butter cookies and it was fantastic. Everyone in our family liked it. I will try this recipe soon.

  3. Congrats to you! Proud of you for standing true to your beliefs. It will ease your heart and for sure make you happier while you’re at peace with your soul. I’m not vegan but continue to support you and try these recipes.
    Peace be with you, Happy Thanksgiving, keep up the GREAT WORK!!!!

  4. Hey my girl, I was wondering if I could substitute the flour for GF flour? If so, would I use 1 1/2 GF flour? I just came upon this recipe and I grated about 10 pounds of carrots for Christmas baking and tomorrow I am making a gluten free, vegan free cake but I would love to make this one but not sure of the flour mixture. Dang, I am making your meringue buttercream and I came across this. How did I miss this a month ago when I was researching. Dang it! Pouting

    1. HI! While I do not get into much gluten free baking, I have been told by several faithful followers here at Gretchensbakery that YES a gluten free mix with work GREAT with most all my recipes!

      1. Oh my gosh! Gretchen, you replied to me. Thank you so much as I appreciate it. I am surprising an 8 year old who is dairy and gluten allergic. I am so stoked, AND you replied. I am completely honored. You are a genuine awesome lady. I am a faithful follower however, I make Geek Cakes vegan Italian Meringue Buttercream. Happy Friday!

    1. If you Omit the buttercream, you will have no buttercream.
      I you make it with crisco it will give you a heavy greasy mouthfeel, not really desireable

  5. How can I make your tropical carrot cake into a vegan one? Before I went vegan I loved that recipe. Now I want it, but vegan style lol can I follow the exact recipe, but switch out the butter for oil and replace the eggs w Aquafaba?

    1. Yes that would be fine! I do love this version here with the flax eggs though! Ive gotten rave reviews from peeps who are NOT vegan!

  6. Hi Gretchen, I made your vegan carrot cake and wow! it is delicious and moist, was even better the next day. I also tried the vegan chocolate cake and that was good also. Thank you !! 🙂

  7. This cake is AMAZING- as is ALL your recipes! I have a 911 though- I just realized I don’t have any cake flour left and can’t make a run to the store. Can I just use All Purpose as a sub? Thank you!! 🙂

    – Susan

  8. Gretchen, I have to say that I love all your recipes that I have tried. I get great compliments and I tell everyone where I get my recipes! I can’t take the credit for them myself. I trust you and your recipes for all my baking needs. I will not go anywhere else! I have a ton of baking books and my printer is on the blink, but I’m here….hand writing yours! I’m so grateful for you. You’re like my sweet little guardian baker angel! lol Thank you so much for sharing all of this with all of us!

  9. I love your recipes! We are having a surprise party for my step mom. She is Gluten and Dairy intolerant. Is there any way to the gluten free also? Thank you.

  10. hi Gretchen
    I love your work.
    I have just started a vegan bakery business and having a major problem with the icing . My cakes (baby cakes right now making only red velvet, mud, and carrot three varieties only)need to be blast frozen before delivery and then once they reach their destination some would be taken out for use and refrigerated ,the rest would go into their deep freezer . In this case what recipe should I be using for icing which is commercial but also GOURMET. and is commercialy stable.Only using butter cream icing gives me no edge as most vegan bakers are are doing it.
    what is confectioners sugar ?in Australia I get two types o icing sugar pure icing sugar ,and icing sugar with a 4% tapioca added to it.i can import if needed.

    1. HI great job and congrats! As for “commercially stable” that could be difficult if you are only able to get home baker ingredients. The best stabilizer for buttercrema is the shortening addition, and when I had my bakeryu it was Sweetex brand Ho Ratio shortening, so see if you can get something comparable then here is an article for Choosing the Best Buttercream, however I would recommend the American Buttercream recipe here
      The icing sugar we get here in the USA has cornstarch added so I will imagine that is similar to the one with the tapioca you get?

  11. Thank you for also writing down the European quantities. This is makes it so much easier for me. Can’t wait to try this out.

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