This is my absolute favorite carrot cake recipe. Imagine a beautifully soft crumb enriched with pecans, cinnamon, and maple. I love to add California golden raisins to the batter, and a hint of nutmeg. And, for those of us that only want a small cake for a special occasions (or just because), the recipe produces a small 1/8 sheet cake for 4 to 6 people.
Believe it or not, this is a vegan carrot cake recipe made with plant based ingredients and natural dairy substitutes. Enjoy the cake with or without frosting. You won’t be disappointed!
Tofu is used to replace the eggs, and vegetable oil is used to make the cake nice and moist. It might seem odd to bake a cake using tofu, but you don’t taste it at all. For future reference, tofu makes a wonderful egg and dairy replacement for many baked goods.
The cake batter itself is thick and glossy, but this is normal. It will bake into a super soft, highly flavored cake. Pure maple syrup is used to not only keep the cake moist, but to add notes of autumn flavor. You can, however, use simple syrup as a substitute.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Easy to make
- Simple ingredients
- Lovely cinnamon and maple flavor
- Small serving sizes
- This cake is vegan
- This cake is dairy and egg free
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8″ x 4″ loaf pan
Large mixing bowl
Stand mixer or hand mixer
Optional: 2 piping bags with couplers
Optional: #3 and #68 piping tips
Vegan Mini Carrot Sheet Cake
For the cake
- 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup (60g) silken tofu
- 1 cup (130g) cake flour
- 1/2 cup (130g) cane sugar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp (5g) ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp (5g) baking powder
- 1 cup (100g) shredded carrots
- 3 tbsp (45g) raisins
- 2 tbsp (30g) pecan pieces, toasted
- maple syrup for brushing, or simple syrup
For the frosting
- 1/4 cup (60g) Earth Balance
- 1/4 cup (60g) Vegetable Shortening
- 1 1/2 cup (150g) powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Optional: orange and green food coloring
Make the cake
Preheat your oven to 330°F (165°C).
In a large mixing bowl, mix the tofu and vegetable oil until creamy and smooth.
In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk or sift together the cake flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking powder.
A third at a time, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and aerate on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes. The batter will be very thick and waxy in appearance. This is normal.
Fold the shredded carrots, raisins, and pecans into the cake batter.
Spray an 4×8 baking pan with nonstick spray. Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
Bake the cake in the oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until the cake is golden and a toothpick runs clean when probed into the middle of the cake. Brush a light layer of maple syrup on top of the cake.
Allow the cake to cool completely before serving or frosting.
Make the frosting and decorate the cake
Place all of the frosting ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend with a hand mixer or stand mixer until the icing is smooth and airy. This should take approximately five minutes.
If making carrot decorations, spread only half of the icing evenly across the cake. Otherwise, spread all of the frosting onto the cake and enjoy!
Divide the remaining icing between two small mixing bowls. Place two drops of orange food coloring into one, and two drops of green food coloring into the other. Mix the colors well.
Prepare two piping bags and place couplers inside. Fill one bag with orange frosting, and the other with green frosting.
With the orange frosting, pipe a carrot in the center of the sheet cake.
Attach a #3 tip to the green bag and pipe swirls around the carrot to serve as vines. Then, attach a #68 leaf tip to the piping bag and pipe leaves around the vines and at the head of the carrot.
Enjoy your beautiful carrot cake!
- This recipe can be paired with other frostings if you are not a fan of plant-based frostings. Try Cream Chees Frosting or Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
- If decorating the carrot cake is intimidating, decorate the top of your cake with crushed toasted pecans. The cake will look just as appetizing and attractive!
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