Scrumptious yet easy vegan carrot cake cupcakes with lots of beautiful spices, walnut pieces and the dreamiest dairy free 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, easy Spring recipe or for any time of the year. These are my favorite carrot cake recipe and I bet they'll become yours too!
Simple ingredients to make these vegan carrot 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 (I recommend this over cane sugar for flavour)
- Dairy free 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! Since they're vegan, they're also eggless and dairy free :).
Preparing the vegan carrot cake cupcake batter
Lots of eggless dessert recipes require you to whip aquafaba and have multiple steps. However, I want something SIMPLE! 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)!
How to make vegan cream cheese frosting
Cream cheese frosting is slightly different from 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.
Dairy free cream cheese frosting is also different from conventional cream cheese frosting (with dairy)! Dairy free cream cheese almost always comes in tubs and have a lower fat percentage than block cream cheese. So, we need slightly different ingredient ratios (basically more sugar).
Tips for making a stable dairy free 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.
How can I make icing for carrot cake without cream cheese?
Dare I say, I actually LOVE these vegan carrot cupcakes without frosting.
If you don't have cream cheese, you can frost the cupcakes with vegan buttercream OR coconut whipping cream Alternatively, skip the frosting and sprinkle the unbaked batter with walnuts to make vegan carrot cake muffins!
Customising these cupcakes
To make healthy vegan carrot cake cupcakes, you can:
- Substitute plain flour for whole wheat flour or spelt flour
- Substitute oil with applesauce
If you want gluten free vegan cupcakes, check out the recipe card below for flour substitutions.
For extra punch, substitute the plant-based milk for orange juice to make orange carrot muffins or cupcakes!
Check out my other easy vegan cupcake recipes:
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) dairy free milk, such as almond, soy or coconut
- ¼ cup (65mL) light-tasting vegetable oil, such as sunflower or rapeseed
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 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.
Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help other readers and Rainbow Nourishments.