Vegan Carrot Cake - The Little Plantation

PLEASE NOTE: The photos for this blog post and the recipe slightly improved in December 2015.


Ok, so let’s get this straight – this cake sadly doesn’t really count towards your 5-a-day (although at a push and if you twist my arm I may let this one pass for adding ½ of your daily requirements ;)). BUT this creation is a healthier choice than the non-vegan carrot cakes you find in most shops and cafes. Plus, as you’ll find with this recipe, a little bit of naughty mixed with a little bit of nice can be quite delicious. In fact, this cake is super delicious and most of the people who eat it are completely and utterly amazed that it’s vegan! 

There are two ways to make the cake – I use the 20cm cake tin without icing if the cake is just for us at home. Spelt flour doesn’t rise so much, so it ends up being a relatively flat but utterly scrumptious cake. If I want to be a bit dramatic - as I wanted to be here, for this photoshoot -, I used 3 very shallow 15-cm cake tin and iced it. The simple, single layer cake requires more time in the oven though than the 3 layered cake (see below for details). 

This recipe is based on one I found in the beautiful Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. I bought the book just before I moved to eating a mainly plant-based diet. It seemed suuuucccchhh a shame to have this amazing book and not be able to cook from it, so I decided to ‘veganise’ some of the recipes. This is the result of one of my attempts. Enjoy!

Vegan Carrot Cake - The Little Plantation


Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: around 80 minutes if using 1 cake tin, 20 minutes if using 3 shallow cake tins
Serves: 10 - 12

Cake Ingredients:

250g (organic) light brown sugar
150g of plain flour
150g of (organic) spelt flour (OR plain flour)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
2-3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ teaspoon of salt (I use Pink Himalaya Salt)

3 tbs of (organic) milled chia seed (I use Nutiva) and 9 tbs of water (OR use 3 eggs for non-vegan version)
250ml (organic) sunflower oil
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
300g carrots, washed, peeled and grated
100g shelled walnuts, chopped (OR sunflower seeds for nut-free version)
20-cm cake tin base-lined with greaseproof paper OR 1-2 15-cm cake tin but this will change cooking time (see above) 

Vegan Carrot Cake - The Little Plantation

RAW VEGAN ICING (optional)

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Raw Vegan Icing Ingredients:

2 cups of cashew nuts (soaked for a few hours)
Juice of ½ lime
1/3cup of maple syrup
1/3 cup of water or as needed

(Icing inspired by This Rawsome Vegan Life)

Decoration Ingredients (optional):

Decorate with chopped walnuts, which you can arrange in a half moon shape, grapes, pomegranate seeds and flowers.

Cake Instructions:

Pre-heat the oven to 170C (or 325F)
Base line the cake tin with greaseproof paper
With a big spoon mix the dry ingredients of sugar, flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt together in a large bowl. Make sure the sugar clumps are completely broken down and everything is nicely combined. 
In a separate bowl, mix the oil, vanilla and carrots.

IMPORTANT: In a small bowl mix the milled chia and water. Please do not let it stand for too long as it goes a bit dry. Instead, once mixed, combine with the wet bowl (oil, vanilla and carrots).

Mix the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not mix too long.
At the end, please add in the walnuts.
Then put the mix in the tin(s) and pop in the oven.
Please leave in the oven for the above noted time (depending on tin size). Check with a toothpick to see if the cake is done. Depending on your oven it may require another 10minutes.

Vegan Carrot Cake - The Little Plantation

Raw Vegan Frosting Instructions:

Discard water in which cashews were soaked. Then place cashews, lime juice and maple syrup in a high power blender (I use a Vitamix). Mix until creamy and smooth. Add a little bit of water if necessary. 

When the cake is done, please remove it from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Then take it out of the tin(s) and let it stand for another 10 minutes. Cover the cake (layers) with icing and decorate with fresh fruit, flowers and chopped walnuts (optional). 
Serve with a great herbal tea and…
All’s good

Tip 1: If you are making a single-layered cake, there is enough icing to cover the entire cake. 
Tip 2: If you are making a layer cake this amount of icing will not allow you to ice the whole exterior of the cake. If you wish to do so, I'd add another 1/2 cup of cashew nuts a little bit more lime juice, water and maple syrup too.