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layered vegan carrot cake with orange cream cheese frosting on a plate.
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Vegan Carrot Cake

Layered vegan carrot cake with tangy dairy-free orange cream cheese frosting. The perfect vegan cake for your Easter table.
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings 15
Calories 276kcal

Ingredients

Carrot cake

  • 300 g plain flour
  • 120 g granulated sugar or superfine/caster sugar
  • 120 g soft brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 270 ml soy milk or almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 120 ml sunflower oil or rapeseed oil, vegetable oil, light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 225 g carrots freshly grated
  • 100 g walnuts finely chopped

Frosting

Optional garnishes

  • kumquats
  • orange slices or blood orange slices
  • carrots

Instructions

Carrot Cake

  • Please read over the recipe and instructions fully before getting started as well as the above blog post which contains more detailed instructions, images, and tips.
  • Preheat your oven to 175°C (347°F). Line the base of three 6" cake tins with a circle of parchment paper and spray the sides with oil spray.
  • Add the plain flour, granulated sugar, soft brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and sea salt to a large mixing bowl, whisk and set aside.
  • To make the vegan "buttermilk" add the soy milk and apple cider vinegar to a jug, stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Add the sunflower oil, vanilla extract, and orange zest to the jug and mix using a fork.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and whisk carefully to combine. Do not overmix the batter.
  • Divide the batter into the lined cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes. Check they are ready by inserting a skewer, it should come out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 15-20 minutes and then carefully turn them out onto a cooling rack to cool further. Refrigerate the cakes in an airtight container until ready to use. Chilling the cakes for a few hours (or overnight) makes them easier to work with and decorate.

Frosting

  • Add the orange juice to a saucepan and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Reduce the volume to 50ml, checking every so often by pouring it into a measuring jug. Once ready the juice will have a syrupy consistency. Set it aside to cool completely for about an hour or chill in the fridge overnight.
  • Prepare a batch of vegan cream cheese frosting according to the recipe.
  • Add the reduced orange syrup to the frosting, one teaspoon at a time while whisking in between each spoon to incoporate it into the buttercream.

Assembly

  • Using a serrated knife, carefully cut the domes from the tops of the cakes if there are any to get them as even as possible. Place a tiny amount of frosting on a cake turntable and secure the first sponge layer on top of it.
  • Use an offset spatula/pallet knife to spread a layer of frosting on top of the sponge. Add the next layer of cake and repeat with another layer of frosting. Top with the final layer of cake. Use the remaining frosting to coat around the sides on top of the cake and smooth everything out with a cake scraper.
  • Decorate with carrots, carrot tops, and orange slices.

Storage

  • This cake is best served at room temperature to ensure it keeps its fluffy consistency. If you don't plan on eating it all in a day or so, seal it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Then remove the cake from the fridge about 1-2 hours before serving to bring it back to room temperature.

Notes

  • Nutritional information is based on the cake without buttercream
  • As with all baking, measuring with a kitchen scale will always give you the most accurate results, therefore I highly recommend that you measure the recipe in grams.
  • Preheat your oven properly as the oven temperature affects the texture, flavor, and browning of the cake. I usually aim to preheat the oven a good 30 minutes before baking.
  • Use freshly grated carrots for the best flavor as well as provide moisture that can be lacking from pre-packaged grated carrots.
  • You can create a carrot sandwich cake with 2 x 9-inch pans. Just note, that the baking time may take a little longer, so keep an eye on the cakes and bake for more time accordingly. 

Nutrition

Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 349mg | Potassium: 172mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 2611IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 2mg