Cranberry Carrot Cake with Chocolate Ganache

This rustic vegan carrot cake has a subtly cornbread-like texture thanks to the addition of cornmeal. Cranberries add a punch of color and tartness, and the chocolate ganache is downright decadent. You can garnish the cake with chopped cranberries (optional) for added drama.

By Darshana Thacker Wendel,



  • 1 cup plant-based milk
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely grated (2 cups)
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries (3 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Chocolate Ganache

  • ½ cup vegan grain-sweetened chocolate chips (3 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons plant-based milk


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the base and 2 long sides of a loaf pan with parchment paper, or use a silicone bread pan.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the milk, carrots, cranberries, maple syrup, and vinegar.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the cornmeal, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, and mix well.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 1 hour until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. Transfer cake pan to a cooling rack to cool for 5 minutes, then remove cake from pan to cool completely.
  • To make the Chocolate Ganache, pour about 1 inch of water into a saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat, and then lower the heat to a simmer. Place a mixing bowl over the saucepan, add the chocolate chips, and allow them to gradually melt. Once the chocolate is completely melted, add the milk, and mix well using a whisk or spatula. Remove from heat.
  • Pour the chocolate sauce over the cake; allowing it to drip down the sides.
  • Sprinkle the remaining chopped 2 tablespoons cranberries on top of cake, if desired, and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.

Comments (15)

(5 from 7 votes)

Recipe Rating

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I loved this cake! It was a good breakfast cake as it is nutritious and filling. Watch out, if you don't like cornbread texture (the crumbliness), I don't recommend making this. But if you was a big hit at my house. I used oat flour in lieu of wheat (I used 1+1/4 cup oat flour).I only used 1/4 maple syrup as I added about 1/3 cup of no-sugar added raisins. I used 1/2 cup of cranberries in case they were too sour (it was the perfect tart!). I didn't do the chocolate ganache as we just slathered almond butter on top before eating our piece. Will make again!


I don't have access to fresh or frozen cranberries. Do you think I could sub by soaking dried cranberries for 10 mins in warm water?

Susanne Kellner-Johnson

Lovely recipe! I swapped the maple syrup for date paste and the wheatflour for oatflour. I only had coarse organic cornmeal, but this turned out super. I put the mix in a 1lb loaf tin and baked it in my air fryer for 35 minutes and let it sit inside the air fyer for ten minutes with residual heat, with the air fyer switched off as it was getting quite dark on top. It was perfectly done and so tasty, my friends loved it.


Uggh, it looks so good but I have to be gluten free. Any suggestions to sub for WW flour? Thanks 😊


Can I use buckwheat flour in place of the wheat flour? Really like the idea of this loaf, just can not do the wheat. Thanks!


can we substitute almond flour for the cornmeal?

Brooke Bennett

Hi Tomasita, Yes, you can make that substitute, the cake may turn out a little denser/moister, though, since almond flour is finer than cornmeal. It may also give a slightly nuttier flavor. Let us know how it turns out!


Do I mix batter by hand or do I need to use a mixer?

T Wood

A little dry, wondering why we used corn mesl

NOVLET Richards

Just love this recipe already although I haven’t made it yet


Can this be made as cupcakes?


I made it in a cast iron skillet - baked for 25 minutes. Cupcakes may only take 20 minutes but it should work fine.


One of my favorite holiday recipes! And a hit with the family - a win-win!


Made this without the chocolate. Texture turned out nice but it was a bit bitter...maybe my carrots were bitter? Salvaged by serving with vegan squirty cream.


I got some bitter cranberries a while ago. Maybe that was it? Thanks for the comment. I'm going to try it. I don't know if I can get cranberries now, so maybe I'll try raisins or another fruit if I can't find them. I don't usually like berries + chocolate anyway...

About the Author

Headshot of Darshana Thacker

About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.
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