Scrumptious yet easy vegan carrot cake cupcakes with lots of beautiful spices, walnut pieces and the dreamiest cream cheese frosting. Just like your corner bakery!
These delightful treats are just like your traditional carrot cake but in cupcake form! They are moist, tender and have soooo much nostalgia. Perfect as a vegan Easter dessert or any time of the year!
Simple ingredients to make these vegan carrot cake cupcakes
I'm a huge fan of using everyday pantry staples in my recipes. For this, you'll need:
- Plain or all-purpose flour
- Brown or coconut sugar
- Plant-based milk
- Grated carrot (coarse or fine)
- Apple cider vinegar because this makes the cupcakes more tender
- Sunflower oil or other light tasting vegetable oil
- Chopped walnuts
- Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)
- Baking powder
No weird ingredients and you probably have already everything to make these today!
Preparing the vegan carrot cake cupcake batter
Honestly, recipes with multiple steps such as whisking aquafaba until it's fluffy really intimidates (okay, annoys) me. For this recipe, simply add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and mix. Add the wet ingredients then mix again!
The batter should be quite rough and shaggy like below. The carrots will leak moisture when we bake them so a thick batter is perfect!
When you spoon your batter into your cupcake liners, I'd recommend using an ice cream scoop. It allows you to get evenly sized cupcakes and it's just easier (and less messy)!
Making the vegan cream cheese frosting
Cream cheese frosting is slightly different from a conventional buttercream.
Normally with buttercream, you whip the butter until it's light and fluffy then add the sugar. This creates an airy, relatively stable and kind of firm frosting.
However, when you whip cream cheese in the same way, it softens and becomes loose. Butter has more fat than cream cheese so it will always be more firm. To make the cream cheese frosting, I'd recommend until creaming it with a spoon.
My tips for making a firmer cream cheese frosting
Cream cheese frosting will never have the same shelf-stability as buttercream, whether it's vegan or not. However, if you need to keep the frosting at room temperature for an occasion, I'd recommend that you:
- Add a little more icing sugar to the frosting.
- Add a little corn flour (starch) to the frosting. This absorbs any additional liquid (from the cream cheese and butter) and makes it more firm.
Dare I say, I LOVE these vegan carrot cake cupcakes without frosting or a minimal smear of it. But it's up to you!
I hope you enjoy this recipe xo
Check out my other easy vegan cake recipes
- Easy Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake
- Apple Crumble Tea Cake
- Oreo Cookies and Cream Cake
- Coconut Lime Cupcakes
- Strawberry Cupcakes
- Zebra Bundt Cake (chocolate + vanilla)
You may also like:
Vegan carrot cake cupcakes
- ~1 ¾ cups (190g) finely or coarsely grated carrot, (around 2-3 medium carrots)
- ¾ cup (190mL) plant-based milk, such as almond, soy or coconut
- ¼ cup (65mL) light-tasting vegetable oil, such as sunflower or rapeseed
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
To decorate (optional)
- ½ cup (120g) vegan cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup (115g) vegan butter
- 3 cups (300g) icing or powdered sugar, or to taste**
- ¼ cup (30g) walnuts, chopped roughly
- Extra cinnamon, if desired
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a cupcake tray with liners.
To make the cupcakes:
- Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix until combined or until there are no more big lumps except the walnuts. Add all the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Divide the batter amongst your cupcake tray.
- Bake the cupcakes in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer can be inserted into one and it comes out clean. The cupcakes will still be moist from the carrot.
- Cool the cupcakes in the tray for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack. If you can't help yourself and eat the cupcakes at this point (no judgement), they will be very moist. However, when they cool, they will be perfect!
To make the frosting:
- Add the cream cheese and butter to a bowl. Cream or mix with a spoon until just combined. Add the sugar and mix until just combined. If you overmix the frosting, it will become loose and may not hold up. Add more icing sugar for a firmer frosting.
- Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes as desired. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped walnuts and dust with ground cinnamon.
- Serve immediately. Alternatively, store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days. Allow them to come to room temperature before serving.
** More icing sugar will create a firmer frosting whereas less icing sugar will create a softer frosting.
Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help other readers and Rainbow Nourishments.