Discover the perfect vegan carrot cake recipe that’s moist, flavourful and easy to bake. Your taste buds will thank you.

One of the tastiest cakes is a carrot cake with the cinnamon, mixed spice, walnuts, incredible icing and moist sponge. Traditionally, carrot cake icing has cream cheese, but vegan cream cheese is predominantly made from coconut oil, which behaves differently when whisked as it becomes too runny to work with, so I prefer to use a traditional butter icing for this vegan version as it stays light and fluffy. I’ve suggested a generous amount but use as much icing as you want on your cake.

Prep time: 20-25 minutes

Cook time: 35-40 minutes

Serves: 8-10


  • 125 ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
  • 175 g (scant 1 cup) light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 300 ml (1¼ cups) non-dairy milk
  • 375 g (3 cups) plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 70 g (¾ cup) walnut halves, chopped, plus extra to decorate
  • 4 carrots, about 300 g, grated

For the icing

  • 250 g (2 cups) icing sugar
  • 125 g vegan butter
  • grated zest and juice of ½ orange
  • 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk


  1. Preheat a fan oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 450 g loaf tin with baking parchment.
  2. Whisk the oil, sugar and vanilla extract together in a large bowl for a few minutes until the sugar starts to dissolve, then stir in the milk.
  3. Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, mixed spice and salt, and gently combine. Stir in the walnuts and grated carrot.
  4. Spoon the batter into the greased and lined loaf tin and bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 5–10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, for the icing, sift half the icing sugar into a large bowl, add the butter and beat with a whisk until light and fluffy. Whisk in the remaining icing sugar, half the orange zest and all of the orange juice and milk by hand or with an electric whisk until light and smooth.
  7. Spread the icing over the top of the cake (it’s fine if a little runs down the sides). Sprinkle the top with the remaining grated orange zest and chopped walnuts. Store for three to four days at room temperature, or in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Other recipes you may be interested in:

This vegan carrot cake recipe is an edited extract from Make It Vegan by Madeleine Olivia, published by Hardie Grant. Available in stores nationally from 4 January 2024. RRP $45.00. Photography by Ali Green and Clare Winfield.

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