An easter carrot cake decorated with purple eggs and ribbons

A healthy carrot cake recipe which is also vegan

Nothing reminds me of Easter quite like Carrot Cake, so this year I decided to bake one in the shape of a cute bunny. Mind you, it doesn’t need to be Easter for me to think of carrot cake. I could literally eat carrot cake every single day of my life. It’s by far my favorite cake. 

This got me wondering what other people’s favorite cake flavors are. As a result, I put up a poll in a vegan food group I form part of on Facebook, asking the members what their favorite cake was. Surprisingly, the overwhelming majority also opted for carrot cake!

Healthy Vegan Carrot Cake in the shape of a bunny. Coated in Cream Cheese frosting and decorated with crushed biscuits

I can think of a hundred reasons why carrot cake is so popular. It’s versatile and can be enjoyed all year round. The spices make it warm and earthy, yet the cream cheese frosting gives it a zesty kick and refreshing taste. It’s incredibly rich in flavor and feels healthy and sinful at the same time. It totally deserves to have a yearly ‘carrot cake appreciation day’.

Is Carrot Cake Healthy?

It’s never a bad idea to sneak in some veggies. Nevertheless, carrot cake can still make the list of ‘unhealthiest’ cakes if it contains loads of sugar and saturated fats. As always, it’s about what’s inside the cake, and perhaps what it’s topped with. There are plenty of recipes that are healthier in nature. Namely, these recipes focus on cutting down the sugar, using oil in place of butter and sweeteners rather than sugar. 

With this easy carrot cake recipe, I took things a step further. My dessert recipes (such as my Vegan Chocolate Cake and  Helwa tat-Tork Cheesecakes) usually contain a small amount of sweetener, to keep the taste as authentic as possible. Yet for this healthy recipe, I wanted to try out something different and use just fresh and dried fruits as sweeteners. I wanted to ensure it’s the best carrot cake recipe you can try, which consists of absolutely nothing artificial.

Slice of healthy carrot cake decorated with ribbons and easter eggs

So What is Carrot Cake Made With?

The base ingredient (apart from grated carrots) is a blend of flours. I used wholemeal, oat, and brown rice flour to give it a deeper flavor. Additionally, this variety of carrot cake is sweetened using only fruits. I used a combination of apples, bananas, dates, apricots, and sultanas. In fact, the recipe is ideal for those who avoid any kind of processed ingredients.

Since the cake contains no eggs, sugars, and sweeteners of any kind, the consistency is moist, dense, and almost fudgy. It’s not the fluffy and airy kind of cake. I also like my carrot cake quite spicy (cinnamon has plenty of health benefits). If you prefer a milder palate, feel free to reduce the quantity of cinnamon and spices.

Healthy Vegan Carrot Cake decorated with eater eggs and a purple ribbon

The list of ingredients does seem very long at first glance, but don’t be disheartened! Most ingredients are staples you’ll find in the cupboard anyway. Similar to many vegan recipes, you often need to use a blend of ingredients to create the perfect taste and texture. Yet the process to make this cake is still very simple. You basically chuck all the ingredients in a food processor and bake the mixture.  

The recipe is also very versatile and you can alter the ingredients to your liking. For example, you can make this vegan carrot cake with pineapple instead of applesauce, giving it a zesty twist. You can also use any other dried fruits you prefer, instead of the mix of dates, apricots, and sultanas. I’d love to know if you have positive results using gluten-free flours!

Can Carrot Cake be made with olive oil?

Yes! I love using olive oil in cakes and it’s often my go-to oil. Olive oil has a moderately high smoke point which makes it perfectly suitable for baking. I like to replace half the olive oil with a mix of applesauce and soy-based greek yogurt. This makes the recipe much lower in calories

Finally, what’s the best part of eating a healthy vegan carrot cake? Well, for me it’s surely the frosting! This vegan cream cheese frosting makes for the perfect topping. That tangy ‘cream cheese’ taste comes together with the sweetness of the cake perfectly.

Healthy Carrot Cake topped with Vegan Cream Cheese frosting and decorated in a purple ribbon

Healthy Vegan Carrot Cake

Geraldine Bartolo
This healthy carrot cake recipe is sweetened with just fresh & dried fruits and topped with amazing vegan cream cheese frosting for a perfect spring dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine world cuisine
Servings 12 slices
Calories 257 kcal

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Food Processor
  • Electric Hand Mixer
  • Silicone Mold

Ingredients
  

Carrot Cake Ingredients

  • 1 Banana mashed
  • 100 g Soy-based Greek Yogurt
  • 25 grams Olive Oil or coconut oil
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 50 ml Lemon Juice
  • 3 tbsp Applesauce
  • 150 ml Almond Milk or other plant milk
  • 200 g Grated Carrots
  • 100 g Wholemeal Flour
  • 100 g Oat Flour
  • 100 g Brown Rice Flour or more oat/wholemeal flour
  • tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • pinch Salt
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Mixed Spices
  • 65 g Dates
  • 75 g Apricots
  • 60 g Sultanas
  • 30 g Crushed Nuts

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • 20 g Coconut Butter
  • 125 g Vegan Cream Cheese
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • ½ Can Coconut Milk chilled overnight
  • 30 g Date Syrup

Instructions
 

Cake Instructions

  • Mash the banana and add the yogurt, oil, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, applesauce, and almond milk. Mix well and add in the grated carrots.
  • Add all the remaining cake ingredients to your food processor and pulse until the dried fruits are completely broken down and all ingredients are well combined. 
  • Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and whisk until very well combined. 
  • Place the mixture into a silicone mould or a 25cm pan (lined with parchment paper) and bake at 180°C in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes. You’ll know your cake is ready when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Frosting Instructions

  • Prepare the vegan cream cheese frosting by combining all the ingredients into a bowl and whisking until light and fluffy consistency is achieved.
  • When the cake is ready, let cool in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely (if the cake is not completely cool, your frosting will melt). Top with ‘cream cheese’ frosting. 

Video

Notes

Make sure you let the cake cool completely before frosting, or your frosting will melt over the cake.


If you use My Fitness Pal to log your food, you can find this recipe listed on the database as ‘The Healthy Malteser Healthy Carrot Cake’ 

*The nutritional info is based on 12 large servings of cake including frosting. The recipe caters for a large dish so you can cut the cake into smaller servings if you’re watching your calorie intake.  


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