In the search for the best vegan carrot cake recipe, I had to conduct tests. Vegan cake tasting is serious business, not to be taken lightly.
Basically, the verdict came down to two vegan recipes-- and both are outstanding.
Both vegan cake recipes are simple and delicious, and you can't go wrong with either of them.
I'd still have to give the blue ribbon to my mom's old-fashioned carrot cake, which is easy to veganize and really gives you that bite of moist cake with a wonderfully sweet cream cheese frosting. There's a reason she's been collecting praise for this recipe for decades.
My mom is a famous baker in her circle of friends. She's known for baking 15 entire desserts for a group of 20! The beauty is that each attendee can go home with a chunk of their favorite dessert.
One of the most renowned desserts is her carrot cake. It took me a few years to turn it into a vegan dessert, even though it was truly easy to convert. I love veganizing naturally moist cakes like banana bread and this carrot cake because the carrots in it keep it tender and moist.
There wasn't any milk or butter in her original recipe, so the only thing to replace was the eggs, and I used Ener-G egg replacer. You could easily substitute in another vegan egg substitute like whipped flax seeds.
This vegan carrot cake recipe is simple and absolutely delicious. I like to think that even though it tastes so good, it's still retaining some of the amazing benefits of carrots, so it's healthy-ish. Except of course if you consider it uses 2 cups of sugar and 1.5 cups of oil. Eesh.
Side note: I have made this with only one cup of oil and 1/2 cup of applesauce and it was just as good.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil and dust with a flour two 8" cake pans and set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
In a separate bowl, beat the Ener-G eggs until very light and fluffy.
Add the canola oil to the dry ingredients, and gradually add in the eggs. Lastly, fold in the carrots and nuts.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake starts to pull away from the pan and a fork inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
This is a simple and delicious vegan cream cheese frosting.
Whip the cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer or stand mixer just until combined. In "normal" cream cheese frosting recipes you are really trying to whip until these fats are light and fluffy, but vegan cream cheese doesn't react the same, so just do it until the two are one.
Add the sugar in small batches and beat until nice and fluffy. Then add in the vanilla and beat again until fluffy. This whole step should take about 3-4 minutes.
Frost the cake once it is completely cooled.
Makes enough to frost one 2-tier cake.
This lower fat vegan carrot cake recipe comes out smooth and fluffy and you won't even notice the difference. It uses applesauce as a substitute for some of the canola oil, and uses more flavorful sugar with the brown sugar.
You could also try using chia gel instead of any oil in the recipe, in the same way as I do with my low-fat banana bread recipe.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease and flour a 10" X 9" or square cake pan.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda.
Add in the sugars, shredded carrots, egg substitues, oil, apple sauce, and vanilla.
Mix the batter just until well mixed, and then fold in the nuts.Transfer the carrot cake batter to the baking pans.
Bake at 325 °F for about 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool on a cooling rack before frosting.
Beat cream cheese and margarine until light fluffy, about 4-5 minutes
Add the sugar and vanilla, and beat until thick and fluffy, about 2-3 more minutes.
Frost your vegan carrot cake recipe only when it is completely cooled to make sure no crumbs make it into the frosting.