Vegan Carrot Cake


This vegan carrot cake recipe with almond flour is packed with carrots, raisins and pecans, which add wonderful texture. Vegan butter and vegan cream cheese combine with rice flour to create a creamy, tangy frosting. Letting the frosting chill in the fridge is crucial so it thickens, giving it a more spreadable consistency.

a recipe photo of the Vegan Carrot Cake
Photo: Photographer: Stacy K. Allen. Food Stylist: Ana Kelly, Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman
Active Time:
55 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 20 mins



  • 2 cups superfine almond flour

  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour

  • cup granulated sugar

  • cup packed light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce

  • ¼ cup flaxseed meal

  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 ½ cups grated carrot

  • cup unsweetened shredded coconut

  • ¼ cup packed golden raisins

  • ¼ cup toasted chopped pecans, plus more for garnish (see Tip)


  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 5 tablespoons white rice flour

  • teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup vegan butter, softened (see Tip)

  • ½ cup vegan cream cheese, softened (see Tip)

  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray; line the pan bottoms with parchment paper.

  2. Whisk almond flour, all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl until well combined and no sugar clumps remain. Add 1 cup almond milk, applesauce, flaxseed meal, orange zest, orange juice and 1 teaspoon vanilla; whisk just until combined. Fold in carrot, coconut, raisins and pecans until combined.

  3. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and spread into an even layer with a small offset spatula. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean and the sides of the cakes just start to pull away from the pan sides, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pans on wire racks for 15 minutes; gently remove the cakes from the pans and let cool completely, parchment-side down, on the racks, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  4. To prepare frosting: While the cakes cool, combine almond milk, rice flour and salt in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened to a paste, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a small wide, shallow bowl; let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

  5. Place butter in a large bowl; beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl sides as needed. Add cream cheese; beat on medium speed until light and smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl sides as needed. Add the cooled rice flour mixture; beat on medium-high speed until smooth and combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Refrigerate the frosting, covered, until thickened and spreadable, at least 1 to 1 1/2 hours or up to 12 hours.

  6. To assemble cake: Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate, discarding parchment paper; top with 1 cup frosting, spreading to the edges with an offset spatula. Cover with the remaining cake layer, discarding parchment paper; spread and swirl the remaining frosting on top all the way to the edges. Garnish with pecans, if desired.

To make ahead

Cover and refrigerate frosting (Steps 4 & 5) for up to 12 hours. Refrigerate assembled cake for up to 1 hour.


Two 9-inch round cake pans; parchment paper


For the best flavor, toast nuts before using in a recipe. To toast chopped nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes.

For best results, bring butter and cream cheese to room temperature before mixing.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

321 Calories
19g Fat
35g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Serving Size 1 piece
Calories 321
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 19g
Added Sugars 14g 28%
Protein 6g 12%
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Vitamin A 2048IU 41%
Vitamin C 3mg 3%
Vitamin D 13IU 3%
Vitamin E 5mg 36%
Folate 4mcg 1%
Vitamin K 2mcg 2%
Sodium 327mg 14%
Calcium 206mg 16%
Iron 2mg 11%
Magnesium 49mg 12%
Potassium 196mg 4%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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