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Vegan Carrot Cake

  • Author: Brita Britnell
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 1 large cake 1x


I’m excited for you to try this Vegan Carrot Cake with Maple Buttercream frosting! It’s soft and fluffy while being full of carroty goodness and so deliciously MOIST! It can be made as a sheet pan or as a round double layer cake.



For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • Zest + juice of half an orange (¼ cup of juice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup plant based milk
  • 2.5 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 cups shredded carrots

Optional add ins:

  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

Vegan Maple Buttercream:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) vegan butter, room temp*
  • ¼ cup plant based milk
  • 2 cups vegan powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract OR maple extract for extra maple flavor


For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Grease a 9×13 sheet cake pan or 2 8 inch cake pans and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugars with oil, applesauce, vanilla, orange juice and zest, and milk and set aside.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and add to the wet.
  5. Stir together until incorporated. 
  6. Fold in the carrots and other add ins. Batter will be relatively thick.
  7. Transfer to the sheet cake pan (or divide evenly between the two pans). Place in middle rack of oven and bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Remove and allow to cool fully before adding frosting.

To make the frosting:

  1. Beat the butter in a stand mixer until fluffy (about 30-45 seconds).
  2. Add the plant based milk and turn mixer on to low.
  3. Begin adding the powdered sugar in, ½ cup at a time. Once it is all added, scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add in the maple and extract and turn mixer on medium-high. Beat for 1-2 minutes, until mixture is light, fluffy, and a nice frosting consistency. Add a little more powdered sugar (to thicken) or milk (to thin) as needed or desired.
  5. Ice the cake as desired and sprinkle on a few extra nuts to make it pretty! :D


*I’ve been loving the Country Crock Plant Butter lately and while very tasty in this recipe, please know that it makes the frosting rather thin as it gets warmed. If you’re making this cake in the summer or in a humid environment, I do not recommend the Country Crock brand but would instead try the Miyoko’s or Earth Balance brands if you have access to them!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegan cake, vegan carrot cake, healthy carrot cake