Hey Vegans and vegan lovers! I've got an amazing vegan carrot cake for you! This moist, spiced carrot cake has carrot, walnuts and pineapple and a "cream cheese" frosting as well as adorably tiny little carrots on top! If you love a moist carrot cake this is a pushy recipe Dear Reader!
This is a cake for a party and for around 10 people. You can of course easily halve this cake and make it a single layer carrot cake if it's for fewer people. This vegan cake is so moist, it's almost pudding-y in texture. There's carrot, pineapple and walnuts and a range of spices. Best of all the cake part just requires one bowl and a spatula!
Another plus is that you can make the cake and the icing the day before and put it all together on the day. You can also make the fondant carrots ahead of time so that they dry and set. Make sure to air dry the fondant carrots at room temperature (do not place in a box where they will sweat).
Vegan cakes, unlike bread, are easy to make and produce extremely good results. There are no eggs in this as the dairy is replaced with oil and butter substitutes. I normally use Nuttelex buttery.
"Cream cheese" frosting: I made this originally with vegan cashew cream cheese and I found it way too sloppy and runny to recommend. For this cake I'd recommend making a "buttercream" icing and adding lemon to it to give it that tangy cream cheese flavour. Tip: to avoid sifting icing sugar which is a particularly burdensome task in this quantity, place the icing sugar in a food processor and blitz until all lumps disappear.
I made this carrot cake for an Elliott birthday picnic. Mr NQN's younger sister Amaya was having a birthday and it was on a bitterly cold and windy Sunday.
Elliott picnics are always eventful and I sometimes forget how wild they are compared to other families. Sometimes it's amusing wild like when I asked Mr NQN to wash the cake plate he licked the icing off it before washing it. But sometimes it's a bit too wild for me.
Laporello, Amaya's husband needed to change their three year old son's nappy. I did not realise that he was doing it about 1.5 metres behind me until the fetid stench hit my nostrils and I had to flee. I had foolishly assumed that he would find a spot further away in the enormous garden common area but no. I understand that some parents are immune or desensitised to things but I was not. Also not at a picnic while people are eating. Also I have a phobia of that sort of things which didn't help. We left shortly after that.
As we were leaving Araluen Mr NQN's other sister called out to me, "I'll see you at the next Elliott Black Comedy picnic!". A more perfect description I could not imagine...
So tell me Dear Reader, are you immune to that sort of thing? Are your family gatherings eventful or peaceful?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Vegan Carrot Cake
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 1 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 35 minutes plus cooling time
Cooking time: 1 hour
- 3 cups/450g/15.8ozs cake flour
- 3 cups/630g/22.2ozs. brown sugar, firmly packed
- 3 teaspoons bicarb of soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 2.5 cups/625ml/21flozs water
- 1 cup oil/250ml/8.8flozs. (neutral like grapeseed, rice bran)
- 1/2 cup/120ml/4flozs white vinegar
- 200g/7ozs grated carrot (roughly 2 medium carrots)
- 100g/3.5ozs. walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- 150g/5ozs. crushed pineapple, drained well
"Cream cheese" frosting
- 200g/7ozs vegan butter (like Nuttelex buttery)
- 6 cups/780g/28ozs. icing or powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For carrot decorations:
- 50g/1.7ozs. fondant
- Electric orange and leaf green edible food colouring
Note: You can make the cake and the icing the day before and put it all together on the day. You can also make the fondant carrots ahead of time so that they dry and set. Make sure to air dry the fondant carrots at room temperature.
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line two 20cm/8inch round tins with parchment on the base and sides.
Step 2 - In a large bowl (the largest you have, I prefer clear bowls so I can see if there is flour at the bottom of the bowl) whisk the cake flour, brown sugar, bicarb, salt and spices. In a jug measure the water, oil and vinegar. Make a well in the flour mix and gradually add the wet mixture. When it is mostly added stir in the carrot, walnuts and pineapple and mix to combine. Do not worry that this seems like it is very wet and not like a traditional cake batter.
Step 3 - Divide the mixture among the two tins and bake for 45 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 160C/320F and bake for another 15 minutes. This cake may seem cooked after 45 minutes but because it is such a wet mixture it needs a bit extra time. Cool in the tin completely.
Step 4 - To make the frosting beat the vegan butter until smooth. Then on low speed add the icing sugar and lemon juice. Tip: to avoid sifting icing sugar, place the icing sugar in a food processor and blitz until all lumps disappear. Add the lemon zest and vanilla.
Always start fondant shapes with a ball
Step 5 - Sift cornflour onto a non stick board or on a parchment lined tray. Colour three quarters of the fondant orange and one quarter green. Start with rolling an orange ball and then shape into a carrot using the balls of your hands together in a V shape as shown. Then roll small green balls and flatten out to a small rectangle.
Then use your palms shaped in a V to shape the carrot
Step 6 - Using scissors "snip" the fondant in three places to create the fronds. Attach the green to the orange and place on the tray. You want around 8 carrots (or 10, everyone wants a slice with a carrot, trust me on this ;) ). Using a butter knife or a fondant tool make little indents in the carrots. Allow to dry and firm up in a well ventilated room (don't put these in a box yet). You can do this a week or two ahead of time.
Snipping the "fronds" of the carrot with scissors
Attaching the fronds to the carrot
Drawing lines on carrots with a fondant tool
Step 7 - Place one cake layer on a serving plate and then spread with half of the frosting. Then place the second layer on top and then spread the remaining frosting. Decorate with the carrots.