Recipe & Photo by Sophie MacKenzie WHOLEHEARTED EATS


Vegan carrot cake is an all-time Autumn favourite around my house. While some consider it a Spring dessert, for me it’s all about Autumn with it’s warming spices and root veggie base. Traditional recipes rely on a lot of sugar and a ton of oil, but this version is much lighter cutting some oil for apple sauce and maple syrup for sugar. The addition of a good dose of cardamom and a hint of orange zest makes this recipe more modern and less like your mum’s carrot cake of yesteryear.

This vegan carrot cake is almost healthy enough to nibble on for breakfast. So, if cake for breakfast is just your thing, try baking these in a muffin tin to make the perfect morning treat. 

I topped mine with some maple sweetened whipped coconut but a simple glaze will work just as well. For something entirely different, but delicious, try icing yours with a chocolate ganache.

PREP TIME:  10 minutes

COOK TIME:  35 minutes

DIETARY CONSIDERATION:  Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Sugar-Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free,



  • 2 1/4 cups flour

  • 2 tsp. baking powder

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 1 tsp. ground ginger

  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom

  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1 cup almond milk

  • 1/3 cup light cooking oil

  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrot

  • Zest of 1 orange

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


Square baking pan


  • Line a 23 cm (9 inch) square baking pan with parchment and pre-heat the oven to 180 C (350° F)

  • Combine all the dry ingredients in one large bowl and the dry ingredients in another.

  • Combine the wet ingredients into the dry, string just until combined.

  • Scoop carrot cake batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched.

  • Let the cake cool a bit before transferring to a cooking rack. Let cool completely before icing

  • I iced my cake with coconut whipped cream and toasted coconut, but a vegan cream cheese or glaze would also be nice.

Stacey Christie