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Perfectly moist and studded with raisins, this vegan carrot cake is sweetened with dates and banana and gets its rich flavor from cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and vanilla. A blender is used to grind the oats into a flour and combine the liquid ingredients, then the batter is mixed by hand to avoid overbeating. No need to peel the carrots before shredding them—just give them a quick wash to remove any dirt or grit. The cake will keep for up to five days and tastes even better the day after it’s made. It also freezes well. Spread with Vanilla Bean Frosting or serve on its own.

Recipe from straightupfood.com

vegan carrot cake

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups unsweetened plant milk, such as almond, soy, cashew, or rice
  • 4½ ounces pitted whole dates, chopped
  • ¾ cup raisins, divided
  • ½ cup sliced ripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)
  • 1¾ cups regular rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1½ cups finely shredded carrots
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup Vanilla Bean Frosting (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine the plant milk, dates, ¼ cup of the raisins, the banana, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes or until dates are softened.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper (or use a silicone baking pan).
  3. Place the oats in a blender. Cover and blend until a powder forms. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves.
  4. Transfer the date mixture to the blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Add the date mixture to the oat mixture in bowl; stir just until combined. Fold in the remaining ½ cup of raisins, the carrots, and walnuts (if using).
  5. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan; cool on a wire rack. Spread the cake with Vanilla Frosting (if using).
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Comments (113)

(4.89 from 62 votes)
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Kelly2 weeks ago
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Great flavor but mine turned out gummy inside. I followed the recipe exactly.

Lynne2 weeks ago
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I’ve been making this recipe for a couple of years and absolutely love it. It’s my “go-to” recipe for making a b’day cake for even our non-vegan friends. Everybody loves how moist and delicious it is. I always double the recipe to make either two 8″ square pans or a 9×13 pan (easier to decorate and write on) with adjusted baking time. I also make an easy icing with vegan cream cheese, icing sugar and almond flavouring.
I figured it was about time I wrote a comment and was surprised when I looked at the recipe above that it calls for ground up oat meal. I’ve been using OAT FLOUR all this time. Works perfectly.

Mark Huddleson1 month ago
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I recommend not grinding the oats too fine (gives baked goods that “gummy” texture). A coarse grind works much better!

Emily1 week ago
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I’m pretty confused as to why this is called a “carrot cake” because no carrots are used at all within this recipe and it didn’t taste like a carrot cake….the cake tasted fine, but it wasn’t truly a carrot cake….

Pineapple J1 month ago
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Wow! So delicious. Made twice and second time was even better…hint – I used a 9”x13”, parchment lined baking dish and the consistency was perfect, moist and firm throughout. My first make was in the 8” square, as recommended, the cake was good but gooey in the middle. Not bad, but like an undercooked brownie! Try the larger pan, try the recipe…you’ll love it! Lot’s of Easter Day complements. Here’s to healthy cooking! One delicious meal at a time.

Tamara Taylor1 month ago
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So glad I found this recipe and this site! It was perfect!

Alison1 month ago
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This carrot cake is the best ever. It turned out perfectly and my guests for Easter all loved it too. I will definitely be making it again.

Haley smith1 month ago
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This recipe is incredible! Best carrot cake ever!

Tom1 month ago
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This came out soooo great! You would never know this cake is gluten free, oil free and vegan. Also sugar free. I did add 1/2 tsp salt to bring out the flavors, but otherwise followed the recipe. I have a large toaster oven that runs hot, so the cake was one in 20 minutes. Very tasty, sweet and moist without being overly so. Great recipe!

Emily1 month ago
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Delicious!!! I was worried about making this. Only my second vegan cake. It turned out great! I made it 2 days ahead and served it for Easter. Loved it! Will make it again. I doubled the recipe and made it in circle pans and stacked them for a double layer cake. Yum!!!

Terry1 month ago
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Anyone make these into cupcakes??? Wondering if there’s any adjustments to make.

Patricia4 weeks ago
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I made cupcakes, no substitutions needed. I baked them in silicone cups for 40 minutes at 350. This is a marvelous recipe.

Tina2 months ago
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Definitely better the next few days after it has been refrigerated. It was gummy when it first came out of the oven but it was better the next day.

Gina1 month ago
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This cake is AMAZING! Made it along with the Vanilla Bean Frosting for Easter and we LOVED it! So moist and the frosting is sooooo good.

Chris2 months ago
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Love this!

Denise2 weeks ago
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Martha – look at each of your ingredient labels and do the math. It’s not hard to figure out the nutritional content of what you consume without expecting it to be done for you.

Martha Simmons1 month ago
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Please include calories or gram value. Most of us are on a ‘counting’ diet of some kind. Also please list possible substitutes in the recipe!

hkd2 months ago
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Great recipe. I think you could fool nearly anyone who isn’t vegan who thinks they don’t like vegan recipes.

Debi Alexander2 months ago
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I made this 2 days ago.It’s delicious and so moist. My husband, who is not a vegan, said it was outstanding.

Beata Khoo2 months ago
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Did it first time, lovely. I would probably leave bit longer in oven but had it yesterday with friends and this morning finished off 😉
Thank you for recipe

SandraM2 months ago
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This is such a great cake. Made exactly as directed, along with the frosting. Cake was moist and light.
I put the leftover pieces in the freezer for emergencies. Lol.

Lorraine2 months ago
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What is the calorie count for the cake with and without the frosting per serving? Thank you!

Erin1 month ago
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Delicious flavors! This came out more brownie-esque than cake but still tasted amazing.

MJ2 months ago
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I don’t think you’re going to find that information here . WFPB eating is not about counting calories.

Laurie2 months ago
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Could you use date sugar instead of the whole dates?

Renee2 months ago
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This was really fantastic! Everyone loved it. It was a huge hit with the whole family. I love that it is only sweetened with whole fruit. I am definitely going to make this again. I would recommend making this cake.

Michele2 months ago
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Oat allergy in my house. What may I use as a substitute?

Tanya1 month ago
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I’d use buckwheat (I live with celiacs) but you could also use whole wheat groats of gluten isn’t a concern for you.

AG2 months ago
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I would try brown rice flour

Hillary2 months ago
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Maybe chickpea flour?

Camille2 months ago
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Made this today and it is Excellent, Will be my go to dessert from now on. Super moist, super delicious and done with no flour or sugar that’s a win-win!

C. Turner1 month ago
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Absolutely phenomenal flavor! I agree with the folks that advised using a pan larger than 8″.

Mary Salmon2 months ago
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Do you have nutritional values?

Jen S.3 months ago
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I’m not a frosting person and this cake is perfect for that! This recipe surpassed my expectations.

Joan Miller3 months ago
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Can i substitute whole wheat pastry flour for the oat?

LJ2 months ago
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Could I use oat flour instead of rolled oats? If so, what would be the quantity adjustment?

Kim3 months ago
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I am allergic to bananas. Looking for a substitute. Thanks
Kim

Karen1 month ago
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I made this yesterday with oat flour. I replaced about 1/8 th cup less flour than the amount asked for the rolled oats. It came out great!

Michele Machere3 months ago
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We had no bananas and used apple sauce instead! It came out delicious

Kim3 months ago
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I am allergic to bananas. Looking for a recommended substitution. Thanks!

Kathleen2 months ago
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Applesauce, but thinking liquid would need to be decreased a bit, possibly try a tablespoon or so of oat flour.

Monica3 months ago
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Turned out moist and perfect. Totally yummy! Even non-vegan husband loved this!!

Debbie3 months ago
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It was delicious

Stephanie4 months ago
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Awesome. Super delicious

Jackie4 months ago
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Totally impressed!!!

Nancy Spotts4 months ago
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Cake smelled good while baking. Cake was moist and tasted wonderful.

Amiee6 months ago
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I’m making this in advance for the holidays – does it need to be refrigerated? Perhaps wait to frost and just keep the vanilla bean frosting refrigerated?

Maria6 months ago
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Perfect! My house smells wonderful! Thank you for the recipe.

Beth6 months ago
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Would 4 1/2 ounces if dates be 1/4 cup? 1/2 cup ? Or????

Mike2 months ago
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0.5 cup. Takes 10 seconds to google it. Faster than asking a question on this forum and waiting for an answer (facepalm emoji).

Denise2 months ago
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You weigh them on a food scale

Wendy Huss6 months ago
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Wonderful cake! We have made it several times. It always is delicious. Everyone to which we have served it has loved it. We don’t change the recipe at all.

Rebecca7 months ago
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Tip I noticed on – https://www.straightupfood.com/blog/2012/04/22/carrot-cake-donuts/ :

4 ounces pitted dates (7 to 8 Medjools or 14 to 16 Deglet Noor), chopped.

Eli7 months ago
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Does anyone know, how much water I need to add in order to create the vanilla bean frosting?

Denise8 months ago
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Is this suppose to be mushy? Baked for 55 mins & it’s still mushy

Julius8 months ago
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Hi Denise,
I often make bread with a “wet” dough. The trick is to use a high temperature to help it rise and set. Otherwise it can be very heavy and gluggy. I set my oven to 220C and bake for 45-55 minutes checking the top for spring towards the end. 350F is about 175C. Perhaps the oven temperature isn’t as high as you think? I just came across this recipe and saw your comment.
I had lots of trouble with my bread until I increased my oven temperature. Since then they come out beautifully every time.
I also find it best to let my bread cool on a wire rack and then sit in the fridge for at least one day to help the crumb set. Hope this helps.
Looking forward to giving it a go.
Btw my breads are 50:50 grain and legume and easily customised to be gluten free. So every slice of bread is a whole protein snack. Go plant power!

N.Carr9 months ago
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This extraordinary recipe is always a hit!

irene mees4 months ago
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Hi Julius, could you share your bread recipe? Recently, I cannot have glutten – and I miss bread! Your sounds full bodied – which I prefer.

thanks!

Peter7 months ago
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But this is not bread and carrot cake is supposed to be a bit juicy/wet inside. Other than that, tnx for the tip.

Lina Leon7 months ago
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Hi, would love to try your bread recipe it sounds nice

Joy10 months ago
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This was incredible!!!!! I was SO impressed really as was the birthday boy! This is a keeper all the way around!! THANKS for whoever put this together!

Craig Guilfoyle10 months ago
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Fabulous recipe even better taste.

Craig Guilfoyle10 months ago
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Made this today & I’m no kitchen handy chef but this recipe is awesome and the end result is a fabulous tasting moist rich cake.

Tania Southwell10 months ago
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I didn’t have the right sized baking dish so used what I had, which was an 8″ ring cake pan. Maybe because it wasn’t big enough, and even though I kept it in the oven 20 minutes longer, the cake turned out gluggy on the inside. Outside felt great. So after I cut a piece hours later and found it undercooked, I put it back in the oven for another 1/2 hr! The next morning I cut it up and still found it gluggy?? Is that how it is supposed to be or because of the oats? or maybe I threw in the whole banana instead of 1/2 a cup? Anyway it smells great! Will try the recipe again with the right sized pan and no deviation from the original recipe!

Candace M2 months ago
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I think if you whip the oat flour in the liquid it could become gooey. I would fold in the oat flour gently at the end.

N.Carr9 months ago
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Did you remove it from the pan after 15 minutes cooling? I always do that, and the steam that pours out of the cake makes me wonder how mushy it would be if all that steam were trapped inside.

Joy10 months ago
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Going to make this for my son’s birthday. All ingredients are listed in cups and teaspoons except dates. So I’m guesstimating that 4½ ounces pitted whole dates, chopped = 1/2 cup or 3/4 cup? Thanks in advance!

Julianne10 months ago
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I made this today, and I am in no way a great chef or baker and I was surprised at how nice this turned out. Next time, I will cut back on the dates on both the cake and icing as I find it just a little too ‘datey’ for me, otherwise, this is going to be a regular for me. Thank you for sharing this recipe 🙂

Kathleen Kastner10 months ago
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Delicious recipe, definitely a keeper! It reminds me of the Pumpkin Pie Squares recipe. Thank you!

Michelle10 months ago
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Made the cake and the frosting and it was absolutely delicious!!

Ana Maria Rivera10 months ago
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Made this vegan carrot cake and it was delicious seven without the vanilla frosting Amazingly simple and healthy❤️

Adrienne10 months ago
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Is there an alternative to using rolled oats? Psyllium Husks? Almond flour or coconut flour?

Candice10 months ago
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We need a frosting recipe!!!

RaeAnn Moldenhauer10 months ago
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In the list of ingredients it has the frosting listed in blue. Click on it for the recipe.

Tania Southwell10 months ago
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I make one with a 400ml can of coconut cream, 1 cup of raw cashews, some dates (however sweet you like), one ripe banana and a dash of natural vanilla essence. Blend it all up till creamy and refrigerate before use. It is absolutely yummy, but I use it occasionally and sparingly because it is such a concentrated fat…and the coconut cream is not a wholefood.

Natalie10 months ago
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Hi, if I already have oat flour, how much should I use? Thank you

Linda10 months ago
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From what I read, it’s about the same amount.

David10 months ago
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Looks amazing!! Does somebody know how long it can last? Thanks in advace

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Cathy Fisher

Cathy Fisher is the creator of StraightUpFood.com, a website offering free recipes and information on eating a whole-food, plant-based diet free of salt, oil and sugar. She is also a cooking instructor, teaching classes at TrueNorth Health Center and the McDougall Program, both in Santa Rosa, CA. Cathy began eating a plant-based diet in 1999, and in 2016 published her first cookbook, Straight Up Food: Delicious and Easy Plant-based Cooking without Salt, Oil or Sugar.

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