Carrot cake is a decadent, classic dessert that can easily be made vegan and still retain its trademark moisture and texture.

Rich and delicious, this carrot cake is filled and topped with a thick layer of faux cream cheese frosting for extra creaminess in every bite. A slice paired with a cup of coffee feels right any time of day — even at breakfast.

Prep Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 12 hours, 20 minutes (includes chilling time)
Serves: 8 to 10

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Ingredients:

Carrot Cake
4 carrots, roughly chopped
1 cup raw pecan halves
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup bran (miller’s bran, not prepared cereal)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or soy milk
1/2 cup grapeseed oil or canola oil, more for pan
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

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Orange “Cream Cheese” Frosting
2 cups full-fat canned coconut milk or unsweetened soy milk
1/2 cup vegan butter such as Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks, room temperature
1 cup icing (confectioner’s) sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp orange zest
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz/227 g tofu ‘cream cheese’ such as Tofutti, room temperature

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Directions:

Carrot Cake
1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line the bottom two 8-inch cake pans with a round of parchment paper; grease sides and parchment with a bit of oil.
2. In a food processor, pulse carrots and pecans until finely chopped. Add remaining carrot cake ingredients except raisins, if using, and pulse until a smooth. Quickly pulse in raisins, if using, and smooth into prepared baking pans.
3. Bake cake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out nearly fully clean and top is dry to the touch.
4. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, run a knife around perimetre, unhinge springform pan or flip out from cake pan and transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely to room temperature.

Orange “Cream Cheese” Frosting
1. In a medium saucepan, add milk, butter, icing sugar, cornstarch and orange zest. Whisking constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off heat and whisk in small pieces of cream cheese until completely smooth; whisk in vanilla.
2. Pour into a medium bowl, cool to room temperature, cover and chill for at least 8 hours in refrigerator, preferably overnight.

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Assembly
1. Whisk frosting straight out of refrigerator (let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before whisking if too firm). Frost cooled cake in between layers, on top and on the sides, if desired. Slice and enjoy.
2. Store frosted cake airtight in refrigerator up to 5 days. Freeze unfrosted cake, wrapped tightly, for up to 2 months.

Looking for more tasty vegan treats? Check out: 25 Vegan Desserts Even Non-Vegans Will Love.