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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 (57)

(4.97 from 31 votes)
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Rebecca4 days 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.

Eli1 week ago
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Does anyone know, how much water I need to add in order to create the vanilla bean frosting?

Denise1 month ago
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Is this suppose to be mushy? Baked for 55 mins & it’s still mushy

Julius3 weeks 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.Carr2 months ago
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This extraordinary recipe is always a hit!

Lina Leon2 weeks ago
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Hi, would love to try your bread recipe it sounds nice

Joy3 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 Guilfoyle3 months ago
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Fabulous recipe even better taste.

Craig Guilfoyle3 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 Southwell3 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!

N.Carr2 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.

Joy3 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!

Julianne3 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 Kastner3 months ago
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Delicious recipe, definitely a keeper! It reminds me of the Pumpkin Pie Squares recipe. Thank you!

Michelle3 months ago
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Made the cake and the frosting and it was absolutely delicious!!

Ana Maria Rivera3 months ago
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Made this vegan carrot cake and it was delicious seven without the vanilla frosting Amazingly simple and healthy❤️

Adrienne3 months ago
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Is there an alternative to using rolled oats? Psyllium Husks? Almond flour or coconut flour?

Candice3 months ago
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We need a frosting recipe!!!

RaeAnn Moldenhauer3 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 Southwell3 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.

Natalie3 months ago
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Hi, if I already have oat flour, how much should I use? Thank you

Linda3 months ago
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From what I read, it’s about the same amount.

David3 months ago
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Looks amazing!! Does somebody know how long it can last? Thanks in advace

Kim3 months ago
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It’s my tradition now to make this cake every year on my birthday. I follow the recipe exactly and it tastes best the 2nd day after the flavors are mixed.

Tricia3 months ago
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What other type of nut could I use for the frosting? I’m allergic to cashews.

Beth1 month ago
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I haven’t tried this one yet but it looks delicious – and uses macadamia nuts instead of cashews.

https://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/vegan-sauces-condiments/macadamia-vanilla-frosting/

Viktoria3 months ago
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What other GF flour can i use, instead of oats? Thank you

Scott5 months ago
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This has become a favorite for me! And its an important part of satisfying my sweet tooth as I try to transition to a PBWF diet. I’ll start off by saying, I LOVE Carrot Cake! It’s my favorite desert and this recipe is really good, very moist and tastes good. I did alter the recipe a little and instead of 1 tsp of Nutmeg, I only do 1/2 tsp… two tsp made the taste a little strong for me.

I make this on Sunday’s and then eat a piece or two everyday all week. It’s that good! Plus, it keeps me from searching for snacks and sweets. Last thing I will say is, I have horrible acid reflux and I’m on the max dose for medication and I still struggle with it. Sweets usually set it off but not this! I can eat as much as I want with no problems. Thanks FOK!

Elvia5 months ago
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Lo hice para El cumpleanos de mi Hijo y le encanto me lo pidio tres dias seguido gracias por la receta me gusto muchi

Melissa5 months ago
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So delicious! One of few whole foods, plant based cake recipes I’ve seen that does not include flour/coconut sugar/etc. My omnivorous husband with a sweet tooth couldn’t get enough of it. Icing was amazing as well!

Kelly yoder5 months ago
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Top notch

Roseann Magda5 months ago
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Easy to make, and oh! so delicious! It is rich, dense and moist. I gave slices to my two neighbors, one semi-vegan, and one omnivore, and they both loved it. This recipe will go into my regular rotation.

Alison5 months ago
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Think this recipe is delicious and super simple. I made it without the frosting for a little bit healthier option. Loved the texture, very thick, almost banana bread texture.
Recommend

Rachel6 months ago
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When you say ounces of dates, are you referring to 4 oz as in 1/2 cup or to way out 4 oz of dates ?

Scott Lance6 months ago
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This is nothing like any carrot cake I’ve eaten. But it is delicious. I didn’t use the frosting. I’m going to try it as muffins next time.

Christina6 months ago
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What can the dates be substituted with? I need to find a substitution, I do not care for dates at all.

Scott6 months ago
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Once it’s made you cannot detect the dates at all. FOK uses dates for a lot of sweet stuff. I wonder if prunes or dried apricots/mango would work? Oooh I’m even thinking I might try it with mango myself. The good thing about WFPB- even if it doesn’t bake properly you can still eat it- there’s nothing harmful in there.
.

Jane6 months ago
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What can I sub for the banana ? I hate bananas, even the smell of them

In need of a sous-chef2 months ago
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I made it the first time today. I forgot to put the banana in. I think the banana is supposed to help with binding and of course adds some sweetness. But my cake turned out fine without it. It didn’t fall apart or anything and it was sweet enough for me, but if you like it really sweet, you could add a couple more dates or some other sweetener. Great recipe, btw.

Mary DeCoster6 months ago
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If you hate bananas, applesauce should work just as well.

Hayley6 months ago
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I love this cake. So delicious. It would be great if there was a version of the recipe that included pineapple in the cake too!

Jo Ann6 months ago
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I love this recipe. It is not difficult to make if you have a blender. I make it without the icing and it tastes perfect with a cup of tea.

Rachel E.6 months ago
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I have the ultimateeee sweet tooth! And this is better than non-vegan carrot cake. I made this for my daughter’s birthday. Highly recommend this recipe.

Merry6 months ago
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Such a delicious treat for birthdays or just because.

ian h.6 months ago
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So good—I can’t believe this is also gluten-free! I make it without nuts and swap in sunflower seeds for potlucks.

Clare6 months ago
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So good, especially the frosting. Left off the walnuts as I’m allergic, and the cake still held together and was satisfying.

JY6 months ago
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I made this for a friend’s birthday party – made it in a 9″ round pan and it turned out great! Everyone was surprised at how incredibly moist the cake was given how healthy it is. I would make the cake without frosting for an everyday treat or morning cake.

Marijke6 months ago
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Delicious – Even the non-vegan family members have this at the top of their favorite cake list!

Dawn6 months ago
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This will be my birthday cake this year !! Yum!

Cali6 months ago
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Yummmm!

Evan6 months ago
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One of the best WFPB cakes.

Jennifer6 months ago
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Yum!

Lee6 months ago
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Can you substitute oat flour for rolled oats?

Lisa6 months ago
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Delicious and I do not use frosting.

Cindi M.6 months ago
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This cake is heavenly! It’s so delicious, with it without the yummy frosting. As a bonus, it’s healthy – probably healthy enough to eat for breakfast!

Cindi M.6 months ago
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I meant to say with or without the frosting.

Andi7 months ago
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This recipe is so delicious and bonus, it is healthy. I ask for it on my birthday every year!

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about the author

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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