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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

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 (164)

(4.86 from 81 votes)
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Judy Mische4 days ago
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This is truly more of a bake oatmeal. It has a nice flavor, but is dense and heavy, so much so that I would not call it a cake in the traditional sense. That said, it has its place in our menu as a sweeter breakfast item or snack.

Jenn R5 days ago
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Made this last night and was very pleased with the results! The balance in sweetness and spice is very nice. The cake is moist but not mushy. I blended the wet ingredients in my Vitamix on the smoothie setting and everything was super creamy. I swapped applesauce for the banana since I’m allergic. I will definitely make this again.

Nicole1 week ago
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Literally made this at least 10x! It’s delicious! I had a few people try this version against a store bought version and everyone chose this cake. So tasty!

D.Blu1 week ago
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Can you use quick cooking oats, will the outcome be the same?

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Hi D.,

They’ll cook faster than regular oats, so you may need to adjust the cooking time to get the same textural result.

We recommend going extremely easy on coconut milk in your diet, because it’s high in saturated fat. If you do use coconut milk, we recommend getting the beverage kind, which is lighter than the canned kind.

Thank you,

Courtney, editor, Forks Over Knives

D.Blu1 week ago
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What about coconut milk?

Lisa Wise1 week ago
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Looks amazing! Can’t wait to make it

Ilene3 weeks ago
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I look forward to trying these healthy recipes.

Lauren3 weeks ago
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This is better than any carrot cake I’ve ever had in my life, and my non-vegan family was very impressed!

Jj1 month ago
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I see a lot of judgemental comments on this thread when someone is just asking for nutritional info. The forks over knives program is advertised for diabetic patients. Those of us on insulin need to know the exact net carb totals in order to eat any of these recipes. It’s quite time consuming and overwhelming when a recipe has a lot of ingredients. I would think if these recipes were done by nutritionists that it should be easy to publish.

Jenna Hymers1 week ago
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You can add all the ingredients and measurements to any calorie/nutrition app and then it tells everything.

chris r2 weeks ago
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You can find the nutritional info on the web site straightupfood.com.

Kristen C2 months ago
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This is a great cake cake!! I make it for my daughters first birthday so I took out the nuts and raisins and added crushed pineapple instead. . . Yum! Everyone loved it!

Tappi2 months ago
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This is so good. It doesn’t taste healthy at all:) I made it into cupcakes. Baked for 25 minutes. I added a teaspoon of vinegar as suggested in the comments to help the baking soda. Will be making this often.

Jodi2 months ago
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Can I use almond flour for this to make it gluten free?

Lynne2 months ago
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You can get certified gluten free oats – even oat flour.

Tappi2 months ago
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It’s possible that it won’t bind together with almond flour. Oat flour has binding ability. Maybe try it and used a couple of flax eggs to hold it together.

Brooks2 months ago
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Rather than oats, I used whole wheat flour. Does that make it less “wfpb”? I live in Poland where the flour (especially whole wheat) is just ground wheat- no additives.

Paul2 months ago
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Whole wheat isn’t less “wfpb”. Some people just like to add gluten free on top of that, sometimes due to autoimmune issues. Just for your information, industrially milled wheat flour is rarely just wheat that has been ground and put into bags. The components inherently separate during the milling process. Whole wheat is just those components mixed back together without adding other things. On the downside this sounds like pure. On the plus side the flour will be more consistent because there won’t be variation in the amount of each depending on the harvest.

Linda3 months ago
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Made this and I love it! It’s a little time consuming to make but the results are worth it.

Lori3 months ago
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Delicious and naturally sweet with the dates.

Ms. Thai3 months ago
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Very delicious – no sweet like regular carrot cake. Very moist and full of texture.

Cori3 months ago
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Delicious. I used dried raspberries instead of raisins and added 1 heaped tsp ginger powder for a slightly varied flavour. This is my go-to carrot cake recipe.

Barb3 months ago
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This was a very simple and delicious cake. i just used a simple non vegan icing for ease but I will continue to use this cake recipe.

Ellie3 months ago
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Can you put the measurements in grams please? Online converters give conflicting answers sometime.

Sara6 months ago
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Omg – uh-MAZING! I will definitely make this for guests in the future!

Debbie6 months ago
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Its very good. However, would be great with nutritional facts. Calories important for me to know!

LP6 months ago
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just enter your ingredients into the myfitnesspal recipe app

Andrea6 months ago
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Made this over the weekend and it is outstanding – it is so moist and delicious you could skip the frosting but I did make the Vanilla Bean Frosting for it and it is the perfect complement (just a note on the frosting, I added a bit of soymilk to help blend). If you want a dessert for non-plant based eaters this is a great one – they will be amazed, it is so good, better than traditionally made carrot cake!

Mel7 months ago
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I made this in a 8” square dish, and it turned out great. I baked it for 40 minutes. The spices are spot on and make this cake so full of flavor. I made a frosting with firm tofu instead of cashews, and it turned out perfectly. However, the cake is so doggone delicious as is, no frosting necessary (but it’s nice to have on the side to add if you wish).

Neha5 months ago
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Hi! How much tofu did you use?

J7 months ago
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Hello! How long do you bake it if using a 9×13 pan?

Recipe sounds great. Really looking forward to making it!

Forks Over Knives7 months ago
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Hi J! We don’t recommend using a different size pan as it will thin the batter and produce a much flatter cake. However, if you experiment with the size and enjoy the end product, let us know!

Sharen7 months ago
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Absolutely delicious, great without frosting and works well as a snacking cake. I make it often.

Jana7 months ago
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I am really impressed. Taste and texture is so good. I did use some lemon juice with the vanilla frosting. Will make this again .. allot

Cindy Cook8 months ago
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Absolutely delicious!

Michele3 months ago
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Amazingly delicious cake! I have never actually made the frosting, because the cake is so good on it’s own:) Reminds me of a Morning Glory muffin (without all the oil!)

Desiree Brandt8 months ago
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About how many calories are in a serving?

Nomzamo5 months ago
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May I substitute oats for rice flour?

Alex8 months ago
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Still in the oven… Just wondering though about the baking powder when there’s no apparent acidic ingredient like lemon juice or vinegar.

Brooks2 months ago
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I automatically put 1.5 tsp of vinegar in when I see “baking soda” listed as an ingredient. I also did that here.

alex8 months ago
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Forgive me, I meant baking soda.

Jennifer Vigo MS, RDN8 months ago
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it’s always such a pleasure to see how something plant based can turn out well with out the traditional necessities of egg and dairy or added sugar. I made this into cupcakes/muffins. The timing was a guess – it was around 35 minutes for 11. I liked the texture and flavor better the next day. I was short on raisins, so just bumped up the banana and dates a bit, but I prefer the raisin flavor and chew. Did not use the frosting here, so definitely a great breakfast choice that way, but for party-dessert i would use a frosting . – Jennifer MS, RDN

Kelly9 months ago
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Great flavor but mine turned out gummy inside. I followed the recipe exactly.

James Michael7 months ago
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Hi, first time I made it same thing, so I used a 9”x13” pan for the second make and it was perfect! I’ve made this now 1/2 dozen times using the larger pan and it’s perfect! Family and friends love it…moist not gooey! Hope it helps

Lynne9 months 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.

Nicole7 months ago
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Grinding oats in the blender as instructed in the recipe gets you to the same place – oat four. It’s just from scratch is all.

Mark Huddleson9 months 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!

JJ7 months ago
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No carrot’s in the recipe? It’s the third ingredient from the bottom? 12oz’s! Hope that helps Emily.

cindy meuse8 months ago
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It looks like it has 1 1/2 Cups finely shredded carrots in this recipe!

Emily9 months 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 J10 months 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.

Mary8 months ago
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I dont think u are looking at the recipe. There is 1/12 cups of grated carrot in there.

cindy meuse8 months ago
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It looks like there is 1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots in this recipe!

Tamara Taylor9 months ago
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So glad I found this recipe and this site! It was perfect!

Alison10 months 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 smith10 months ago
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This recipe is incredible! Best carrot cake ever!

Tom10 months 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!

Emily10 months 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!!!

Terry10 months ago
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Anyone make these into cupcakes??? Wondering if there’s any adjustments to make.

Patricia9 months 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.

Tina10 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.

Gina10 months 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.

Chris10 months ago
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Love this!

Denise9 months 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 Simmons10 months 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!

hkd10 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.

Jody8 months ago
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Martha,
All foods can be enjoyed, without the need to count calories. That’s why you won’t be seeing as many recipes with nutritional facts;)
Counting calories is restrictive and causes a lot of disordered eating…and can be very triggering for a lot of people. Registered dietician’s are recommending a mostly plant based whole foods diet ( using the word diet here, to describe a healthy eating lifestyle) it is recommended to eat intuitively without restriction.
No more diet’s or calorie counting…yay!

Debi Alexander10 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 Khoo10 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

SandraM10 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.

Lorraine10 months ago
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What is the calorie count for the cake with and without the frosting per serving? Thank you!

Erin10 months ago
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Delicious flavors! This came out more brownie-esque than cake but still tasted amazing.

MJ10 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.

Laurie10 months ago
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Could you use date sugar instead of the whole dates?

Renee10 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.

Michele10 months ago
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Oat allergy in my house. What may I use as a substitute?

Jodi Renaud2 months ago
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I was going to try almond flour.

Tanya10 months 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.

AG10 months ago
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I would try brown rice flour

Hillary10 months ago
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Maybe chickpea flour?

Camille10 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. Turner9 months ago
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Absolutely phenomenal flavor! I agree with the folks that advised using a pan larger than 8″.

Mary Salmon10 months ago
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Do you have nutritional values?

Jen S.11 months ago
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I’m not a frosting person and this cake is perfect for that! This recipe surpassed my expectations.

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vegan carrot cake

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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. Find her on Instagram and Facebook.

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