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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 (136)

(4.88 from 68 votes)
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Sara1 month ago
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Omg – uh-MAZING! I will definitely make this for guests in the future!

Debbie2 months ago
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Its very good. However, would be great with nutritional facts. Calories important for me to know!

LP1 month ago
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just enter your ingredients into the myfitnesspal recipe app

Andrea2 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!

Mel2 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).

Neha2 weeks ago
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Hi! How much tofu did you use?

J2 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 Knives2 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!

Sharen3 months ago
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Absolutely delicious, great without frosting and works well as a snacking cake. I make it often.

Jana3 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 Cook3 months ago
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Absolutely delicious!

Desiree Brandt4 months ago
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About how many calories are in a serving?

Nomzamo1 week ago
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May I substitute oats for rice flour?

Alex4 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.

alex4 months ago
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Forgive me, I meant baking soda.

Jennifer Vigo MS, RDN4 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

Kelly4 months ago
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Great flavor but mine turned out gummy inside. I followed the recipe exactly.

James Michael3 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

Lynne4 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.

Nicole3 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 Huddleson5 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!

JJ3 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 meuse4 months ago
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It looks like it has 1 1/2 Cups finely shredded carrots in this recipe!

Emily4 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 J5 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.

Mary3 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 meuse4 months ago
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It looks like there is 1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots in this recipe!

Tamara Taylor5 months ago
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So glad I found this recipe and this site! It was perfect!

Alison5 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 smith5 months ago
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This recipe is incredible! Best carrot cake ever!

Tom5 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!

Emily5 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!!!

Terry5 months ago
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Anyone make these into cupcakes??? Wondering if there’s any adjustments to make.

Patricia5 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.

Tina6 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.

Gina5 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.

Chris6 months ago
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Love this!

Denise4 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 Simmons5 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!

hkd6 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.

Jody3 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 Alexander6 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 Khoo6 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

SandraM6 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.

Lorraine6 months ago
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What is the calorie count for the cake with and without the frosting per serving? Thank you!

Erin5 months ago
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Delicious flavors! This came out more brownie-esque than cake but still tasted amazing.

MJ6 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.

Laurie6 months ago
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Could you use date sugar instead of the whole dates?

Renee6 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.

Michele6 months ago
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Oat allergy in my house. What may I use as a substitute?

Tanya5 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.

AG6 months ago
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I would try brown rice flour

Hillary6 months ago
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Maybe chickpea flour?

Camille6 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. Turner5 months ago
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Absolutely phenomenal flavor! I agree with the folks that advised using a pan larger than 8″.

Mary Salmon6 months ago
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Do you have nutritional values?

Jen S.7 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 Miller7 months ago
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Can i substitute whole wheat pastry flour for the oat?

LJ6 months ago
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Could I use oat flour instead of rolled oats? If so, what would be the quantity adjustment?

Kim7 months ago
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I am allergic to bananas. Looking for a substitute. Thanks
Kim

Karen5 months 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 Machere7 months ago
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We had no bananas and used apple sauce instead! It came out delicious

Kim7 months ago
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I am allergic to bananas. Looking for a recommended substitution. Thanks!

Kathleen6 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.

Monica7 months ago
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Turned out moist and perfect. Totally yummy! Even non-vegan husband loved this!!

Debbie7 months ago
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It was delicious

Stephanie8 months ago
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Awesome. Super delicious

Jackie8 months ago
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Totally impressed!!!

Nancy Spotts8 months ago
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Cake smelled good while baking. Cake was moist and tasted wonderful.

Amiee10 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?

Maria10 months ago
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Perfect! My house smells wonderful! Thank you for the recipe.

Beth10 months ago
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Would 4 1/2 ounces if dates be 1/4 cup? 1/2 cup ? Or????

Mike6 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).

Denise6 months ago
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You weigh them on a food scale

Wendy Huss10 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.

Rebecca11 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.

Eli11 months ago
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Does anyone know, how much water I need to add in order to create the vanilla bean frosting?

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

Julius12 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.Carr1 year ago
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This extraordinary recipe is always a hit!

irene mees8 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!

Peter11 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 Leon11 months ago
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Hi, would love to try your bread recipe it sounds nice

Joy1 year 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 Guilfoyle1 year ago
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Fabulous recipe even better taste.

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vegan carrot cake

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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. Find her on Instagram and Facebook.

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