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Easy Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe

Do you need a spring-like cake to satisfy everyone? This Easy Vegan Carrot Cake is irresistibly delicious and it ranks up there with just about any non-vegan carrot cake we’ve tasted.

whole carrot cake on a pedestal.

Easy vegan carrot cake.


This cake is inspired by a recipe we found in a grocery store flyer from the grocery store Lidl. (Lidl, originally founded in Germany, is increasingly making inroads across the U.S.) Who knows where your next great cake inspiration is going to come from?

What Makes a Cake Vegan?

So what makes a cake vegan? A vegan cake uses no animal products, so therefore it has no eggs or dairy (butter or milk).

But often vegan cakes call for items like flax eggs (made with flaxseed meal), something that most people who don’t do a lot of vegan baking don’t have on hand.

Vegan carrot cake with a slice out of it.

Instead, this easy vegan carrot cake uses club soda, a nifty substitute for eggs in any baking recipe. The club soda adds lift as well as liquid to the batter. It’s also paired with baking powder and apple cider vinegar for lift as well as a little tang.

Easy Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe

Easy Vegan Carrot Cake

An easy vegan carrot cake, using ingredients most kitchens have on hand, based on a recipe from Lidl market.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword carrot cake, vegan
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10


For the cake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 cups grated carrots (about 4 medium carrots)
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup club soda
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup vegan butter or margarine
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Additional grated carrots for garnish


For the cake

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Add the brown sugar and carrots; stir to combine.

  2. Add the coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and club soda, and stir until just combined. Fold in the coconut and golden raisins.

  3. Pour the batter into two greased 8" cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes, then gently remove them from the pans onto a cooling surface.

For the Frosting

  1. Using a mixer, beat the vegan butter or margarine until soft; then add the powdered sugar, ginger, lemon juice, and salt.

  2. Place one layer of the cake on a cake stand and frost the top of it. Place the second layer on top of the first and frost either just the top, or the top and the sides. Garnish with additional grated carrots.

Why Do People Put Carrots in Cake?

Why do people put carrots in cake? That’s a question that we mulled over while making this cake. We found an answer in several parts. First, historians trace it back to Medieval times when cooks made a carrot pudding. Next, the idea of carrot cake was introduced during World War II, when there were rations on sugar. (Bakers used carrots to add sweetness without additional sugar.) And last, carrot cake made a resurgence in the 1970s when it was touted as a “healthier” version of cake.

Bowl of colorful carrots.

Red, yellow, and orange carrots.

According to Molly O’Neill in the New York Cookbook, George Washington made one particular carrot tea cake famous during an event at Fraunces Tavern in Manhattan. (That happens to be one of our favorite cookbooks, and one of our famous recipes. In fact, we even adapted it one time to make a celery-carrot tea cake.)

Whether it’s healthier or not is debatable, once you add the sugar and frosting. However, it’s definitely a pretty way to brighten up your spring menu. We like using multi-colored carrots whenever possible. And for the garnish on this cake, we tried to incorporate bright red and yellow carrots in addition to orange ones.

If you’re looking for other vegetables to put in cakes, we highly recommend this Cranberry-Ginger Parsnip Cake from Dorie Greenspan’s “Everyday Dorie” cookbook.

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