Vegan Carrot Cake for Easter

Vegan Carrot Cake

24 Karrot Cake from More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally by Fran Costigan

If you are looking for a moist, light, and spiced just right vegan carrot cake, I’m confident to say, this is the one for you! A universal favorite of my students in my baking classes, and no, they are not all vegan, this is also a frequently requested wedding cake. Since the cake appeard in More Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally in 2006, I added a bit of apple cider vinegar, resulting, I think, in an even lighter cake. But if you don’t use vinegar, you are ok to leave it out. Fill and frost with your favorite recipe. As shown here in these photos of cakes made by students, coconut whipped cream (and edible flowers!) is often the choice.  I frequently serve a single layer of the cake (make a 1/2 recipe) without frosting, because the cake is so flavorful on it’s own. In that case, I decorate it with a light dusting of confectioners sugar. Actually, the cake makes a perfect addition to a brunch, because it’s not too sweet. This is not an inexpenisve cake, with more than a cup of maple syrup and no granulated sweetener, but believe me, it’s worth it! Lately I’ve been adding candied carrot shreds to the top of the cake, but that is another blog post.


24 Karrot Cake from More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally by Fran Costigan

24 Karrot Cake

Makes an 8-inch two-layer cake (8 to 12 servings)


  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup mild tasting extra virgin olive oil or another neutral oil
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, Grade B baking maple or dark amber
  • 1/2 cup any plant milk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (4 to 6) peeled, shredded carrots, firmly packed


  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Oil two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper cut to fit.
  1. Soak the raisins in the orange juice for about 10 minutes, or until they are plump. Drain, reserving the juice.
  1. Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add the pastry flour, AP flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, mace, and cloves to the strainer.
  1. Use a wire whisk to sift the ingredients into the bowl. Whisk to mix and aerate.
  1. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the oil, maple syrup, plant milk, 2 tablespoons of the reserved orange juice, the vinegar, and vanilla until well blended.
  1. Pour into the dry mixture and stir with a whisk until the batter is smooth.
  1. Stir the grated carrots and drained raisins into the batter with a rubber spatula.
  1. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a spatula.
  1. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are golden, the sides have started to pull away from the pans, and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs.
  1. Cool the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife between the cakes and the inside of the pans. Invert each layer onto a rack. Remove the pans and carefully peel off the parchment paper. Invert the layers again topside up onto racks. Cool completely.
  2. To protect the layers from cracking or breaking, slide a cardboard circle under each one.
  1. Wrap the layers in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for until cold, before filling and frosting, using any favorite frosting.


Recipe from More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally, © 2006 by Fran Costigan.




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    • Hi Suzi. The frosting was simple coconut cream whipped in stand mixer with confectioners’ sugar. Refrigerate a couple of cans of full fat coconut milk at least overnight. Remove the hardened cream that rises to top. (This does not happen every time, hence the extra cans.) Beat with electric mixer, adding sugar to taste. Chill.

    • Christina, to use a larger pan, you need to increase the batter. Makes sense, right? So, scale the recipe here x 1.5 and bake a little longer perhaps. The depth of batter in the pan should remain the same. This is why I encourage people to measure batter; you can then go from pan to pan. We go through this carefully in the Essential Vegan Desserts Course.

      • Hi Fran, I would love to attempt this recipe as I love carrot cake. Instead of maple syrup, can brown or castor sugar be used? If yes, what would be the amount? Also have you attempted this with vegan butter as well or just oil as in this recipe.

        • Hi Roma,
          To answer your first question,you can’t substitute liquid sweeteners for granulated sweeteners without a lot of adjusting.
          The same is true of subbing vegan butter for oil. You can melt the butter and use it. Let me know what you decide to do.

          These are principles that are very important to learn, which is why we have entire units in my Essential Vegan Desserts Course at Rouxbe.

          Thanks for writing.
          Take care!

  • Hi Fran
    I made your vegan carrot cake for Easter and everyone loved it! Can you tell us the calories per serving without frosting? thank you

    • Hi Ana,
      I’m so glad the Carrot Cake was a success for Easter! I don’t do calorie counts. I figure desserts are treats for celebrations and don’t worry about calories!

      Best wishes,

    • Jivan,
      I cannot tell you how much this means to me. While a wider variety of ingredients and egg replacers – not in the recipe- are available, I too love this carrot cake.

      Thank you for sharing your praise. If you have any photos of yours, I’d love to see them. You can share at francostigan vegan pastry chef on Facebook and Instagram @goodcakesfran.

      What frosting, if any do you use?

      Thank you and have a lovely weekend.
      Take care!

      • Dear Fran,

        I am making this cake today for Easter (it’s in the oven right now!) and what a joy it is a make it. The frosting I love is a blend of cashew, coconut cream, vanilla and agave. YUMM!
        Wishing you a lovely day.

        • Happy Easter Jivan,
          I am sure you 24 Karrot Cake turned out great! Your frosting is a winner with the cake. Tag me in a photo so I can see the cake if you post it on social.’
          Or send me a photo!! I want to see.

          Wishing you a lovely day.
          Take care,

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