This healthy vegan carrot cake is refined sugar-free and uses all-natural ingredients right down to the decorations.
This vegan carrot cake is SO delicious, so don’t let the “healthy” label suggest otherwise. Plus it’s just so cute to look at and really fun to make too.
Ingredients to make a healthier vegan Carrot Cake
You will need:
- Spelt flour – You can also use wholegrain flour or gluten-free flour
- Coconut oil
- Almond milk – Or soy, oat, rice, cashew milk etc.
- Flaxseed “eggs” – This is an egg replacer made using 2 tbsp flaxseed and water, which makes an excellent binder
- Agave nectar – You can also use maple syrup
- Spices – I used ‘Mixed Spice’ but you can use Pumpkin Pie spice mix which is a similar blend
- Ground almonds – Or ‘almond flour’
- Coconut milk – It’s very important you get the full-fat tin, as we want the cream from the top. It’s also worth chilling beforehand to make sure the fat rises to the top.
- Vegan food dye – I use a vegan orange food dye for the marzipan. Check the labels in your local store or buy online.
Decorating the cake
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
The frosting is just ground almonds, coconut milk, sweetener and vanilla.
It creates a really thick, smooth frosting that holds up well and won’t melt or separate.
I frost the first layer, before sandwiching the second layer of the cake and then decorating the top.
You can be really fancy with how you frost the cake but I like to create simple swirls, for a rustic look (and because cake decorating isn’t my forte…)
Raw “Marzipan” Carrots
My favourite part of this cake is the cute little carrots that go on top. They’re so much fun to make!
The marzipan is made up of ground almonds, a little sweetener and some vegan orange food dye.
Then it’s moulded into shape by creating a sausage-shape then tapering the ends by rolling the ends in the palms of your hand.
I like to dip a small knife into some cacao powder and score the carrots horizontally for that organic look.
The finishing touch is to add some fresh rosemary or parsley sprigs into the tops.
For the carrot cake
- 300 g / 2 cups spelt flour*
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground mixed spice, or pumpkin pie spice mix
- 120 ml / ½ cup melted coconut oil, melted
- 240 ml / 1 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk
- 2 tbsp flaxseed mixed with 80ml / ⅓ cup water
- 175 ml / ¾ cup agave nectar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 300 g / 2 cups grated carrots
- 65 g / ½ cup chopped walnuts
For the almond and orange frosting
- 150 g / 1 ½ cups ground almonds
- Coconut cream from 1 can chilled coconut milk, simply scoop the fat from the top of the can
- 60 ml / ¼ cup agave nectar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp orange juice
For the marzipan carrot decorations
- 3 heaped tbsp ground almonds
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- A drop of vegan orange food dye (check the label)
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- Rosemary or parsley leaves
To make the cake
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F. Line two 8-inch cake tins with greaseproof paper and grease the sides.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, mixed spice and stir to combine.
- Add the coconut oil, almond milk, flaxseed mixture, agave, vanilla and vinegar. Stir to combine.
- Lastly, stir in the carrots and walnuts.
- Transfer the mixture to the cake tins and bake for approximately 35 minutes or until a cake tester / skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Leave to cool completely before decorating.
To make the frosting
- Mix all the ingredients together until you have a thick, smooth frosting. If it's too soft or watery, add more almonds.
To make the marzipan decorations
- Mix the ground almonds, agave and food dye together in a food processor until it's completely combined and creates a dough. When you press the mixture it should stay in place. If it's too dry, add more agave and if it's too wet, add more almonds.
- Take a small piece of the marzipan and roll into a sausage shape then taper the ends to create a carrot shape.
- Dip a knife's blade into the cocoa powder and use it to drawn lines across the carrots (to give an authentic look).
- Add rosemary or parsley leaves to the tops of the carrots to create the carrot tops.
- Once the cakes have cooled, frost the top of one of the cake layers and place the other one on top. Frost the top of the cake and top with the marzipan carrots! Enjoy. Best kept refrigerated to keep the frosting "set".
*You can use equal amounts plain flour instead, if you wish.
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 486Total Fat 32gSaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 2mgSodium 169mgCarbohydrates 45gFiber 7gSugar 20gProtein 11g