Carrot Cake with Lemon Icing

This carrot cake is based on a trusted recipe from a friend’s cousin, a recipe that was veganized 10 years ago, and has been served to many party guests over these years. To make it more suitable for a weekday tv-night with friends, I cut the oil by more than a half, substituting a part of it with soy yogurt. I also cut the sugar in almost half of the original amount, and the “mmmm”s I got from my friends confirmed that the taste of this semi-healthified cake doesn’t pale in comparison with the heavier version!

I love lemons and the combination of tangy and sweet in this cake, but a vegan cream cheese frosting goes extremely well with this as well. I make it by just mixing a package of soy cream cheese with lemon juice and grated zest, and then add some confectioner’s sugar in the mix.

The Wet Mix:

  • 1 and 1/2 dl plain soy yogurt
  • 1 dl canola oil
  • 2 dl muscovado sugar
  • 4 dl finely grated carrots
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground flaxseed
  • 1 dl soy milk

The Dry Mix:

  • 2 dl spelt flour
  • 1 dl wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 dl walnuts, coarsely ground

I mixed the wet and the dry mixes in separate bowls, and then combined the two. Then I covered a rectangular baking dish, about 30 cm x 20cm, with baking parchment, poured the batter in the dish, evened the surface, and baked the cake in 225 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.

NOTE: The cake might need to bake a little longer, up to 30 minutes – some bloggers have found the cake too moist with 20 minutes’ baking time.

The Icing:

  • 2 tablespoons plain soy yogurt
  • juice and grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 to 4 dl confectioner’s sugar

I whisked together the yogurt, lemon juice, and zest, and then added enough sugar to create a relatively runny icing. The I waited until the cake had completely cooled, and poured the icing over the cake, leveling it with a butter knife. I let the icing dry up in the room temperature for a few hours before serving.


  1. Posted April 12, 2008 at 13:18 | Permalink

    Anni, you amaze me. I will try this recipe to impress my non-vegan coworkers!

  2. Posted April 12, 2008 at 13:52 | Permalink

    I usually make vegweb’s naked carrot cake, but I will definitely try your appealing version!

  3. Anni
    Posted April 12, 2008 at 20:30 | Permalink

    Alice: I’ve fed this to non-vegans many many times, and everyone always liked it! Actually, I’ve brought this cake to my summer job farewell parties on two occasions, and my co-workers were very impressed. There was 1,5 dl more oil and 1 dl more sugar then… But the taste was the same, texture in this version is just a little lighter.

    Celine – I’ll have to check out the vegweb cake, there might be room for another carrot cake recipe in my life!

  4. Posted April 12, 2008 at 20:50 | Permalink

    carrot cake is one of my favorite things. this looks amazing!!

  5. Posted April 19, 2008 at 17:55 | Permalink

    That looks so yummy! I haven’t had cake for ages that I dreamt of making one the other day (I dunno how to make vegan cakes in real life). That dream vegan cake was really disgusting I woke up feeling I want to puke.

  6. Posted May 2, 2008 at 11:43 | Permalink

    Thanks for a great recipe! I made a gluten free version the other day. Hope you don’t mind me posting the recipe again (with my alterations) :)

  7. Anni
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 11:47 | Permalink

    Emma – no problem, I just left you a comment on your blog!

  8. Posted September 3, 2009 at 18:30 | Permalink

    I guess cutting further the sugar in half, using not so finely grated carrots and replacing soy milk with oat milk couldn’t really change the outcome, but I’m still happy that mine almost looks like the one in this picture, which is something that hardly ever happens to me. And it’s really-really delicious and still very moist although I made it yesterday. This is a pleasingly simple and very good recipe, thanks a lot!

  9. Rui Ribeiro
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 12:32 | Permalink

    I used whole flour instead of spelt, coffee flavored soy milk, almonds instead of walnuts, and doubled the cinnamon. :) Used less sugar in the frosting, hope people will like it a bit more bitter. I recommend also using a flat tin to get a cake like the picture and to give the frosting a chance to even out. The temperature is also too high, you will get better results with 180 or 190 and 40/45 minutes.

  10. Anni
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 15:22 | Permalink

    Rui – I’m glad you found inspiration from my recipe! It seems that this recipe lends itself well to adjustments, probably why I like it so much myself…

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