This eggless carrot cake is made with no eggs and a secret ingredient to keep it moist and delicious. Made with fresh carrots and a tangy lemon frosting!
What do you do when you are hanging out for a carrot cake but you are egg free? Make this delicious vegan carrot cake. Made with fresh carrots, crunchy pecans, and luscious vegan lemon buttercream to top it off!
Eggless cake-making can be tricky. Eggs provide a lot of things in baking including moisture, fats, and structural integrity. So when baking without eggs you need to think carefully about what the eggs are doing in the recipe and how to bake without them.
I tested this recipe in a number of different ways. The best egg replacement I found and the secret ingredient in this cake is apple sauce! The apple sauce does a few things in this cake. It adds moisture and some natural sugars. The naturally occurring pectin in the apples helps add structural integrity to the cake which sets as the cake cooks. With the double-leavening combination of baking powder and baking soda to help give the cake some lift, the pectin helps stop the cake from collapsing back down again after it's baked.
Even with the apple sauce making egg-free cake can be tricky and can be prone to going flat or sinking in the middle.
Here are my top tips and tricks for eggless baking (they are useful for regular baking too!):
- Preheat your oven - Turn it on about ten minutes before you put your cake in, longer is fine.
- Use fresh baking powder - Baking powder can lose its effectiveness over time. If I want it perfect I always buy new baking powder.
- Get it in the oven quickly - The leavening agents will start reacting as soon as they come in contact with the wet ingredients. Once mixed get your cake into the tin and into the oven asap.
- Don't check on your cake too early - Opening the oven door lets out the heat and can cause your cake to collapse if it hasn't baked for long enough and had time to set.
Looking for more fun Easter desserts? Why not try making my fabulous Easter egg cheesecake or shredded wheat nests or for something different my hot cross bun ice cream or carrot ice cream! Delicious!
Carrots: it wouldn't be a carrot cake without carrots! Freshly grated carrots are best for this recipe. Look for smaller carrots if possible as they are likely to be sweeter and less woody. You can not substitute with canned or frozen carrots, they need to be fresh.
Pecans: I've tested this recipe both with and without pecans and I defiantly prefer it with pecans. The nuts add some texture and some good oils to the cake. You could use traditional walnut if you like or almonds or brazil nuts, or leave them out altogether for a nut-free alternative.
Apple sauce: the secret ingredient! Apple sauce is a common replacement for eggs in baking. It helps add some much-needed moisture. The naturally occurring pectin in the apples helps give the cake some structural integrity.
Cinnamon: ground cinnamon is a traditional spice to add to carrot cake.
Nutmeg: some ground nutmeg is another traditional carrot cake spice and pairs beautifully with the carrots.
Ginger: ground ginger adds some lovely warmth to this recipe.
Vanilla extract: sometimes also called vanilla essence, depending on where you live. You can use either, or imitation vanilla essence, depending on your preference and budget.
Brown sugar: also known as light brown sugar, adds to the caramel notes of this recipe. You could use white sugar if you prefer, or experiment with dark brown sugar.
Baking powder: is a common ingredient in cakes and baking, used to help the cake rise. For the best results use fresh baking powder and not one that's been sitting around the cupboard for a while.
Baking soda: also known as bicarbonate soda or bicarb. This is NOT the same as baking powder and you can not substitute this.
Plain flour is best in this recipe. You can also use all-purpose flour. It's important to use flour that does not have any rising agents as we will be adding our own in the right amounts to help this cake rise.
Vegetable oil: adds some much-needed fats to this cake. You can try substituting with similar oils such as peanut or canola.
How to make eggless carrot cake
Preheat your oven to 320°F (160°C) (fan forced). Grease your cake tin and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.
NB to get the lovely high on this cake I used a slightly smaller 7-inch by 2 & ½-inch springform cake tin (18cm x 6.5cm). You can use a wider cake tin if that's what you have, but your cake will be flatter and may take less time to cook.
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a bowl and mix well.
Roughly chop the pecans. Grate the carrots using the large side of a box grater.
Add the pecans and grated carrots to the flour and mix thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, oil, apple sauce, and vanilla and mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. The mix will be quite dry and quite lumpy. This is fine as long as all the flour has been mixed into the wet ingredients and there are no dry streaky bits of flour.
Tip into the prepared cake tin and get straight into the oven. Bake for one hour and ten minutes. The cake will be a lovely golden brown when cooked and a skewer inserted into the cake will come out clean. Wait until the cake is completely cooked before removing it from the tin and peeling off the parchment paper. You can put a tea towel over the cake and remove it from the tin the following day if you like.
To make the vegan lemon buttercream
Hot tip: make sure the cake it completely cool before frosting, or the butter cream will melt when you put it on!
Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. It's important not to skip this step or you made end up with lumpy buttercream!
Add the vegan butter and lemon juice. Mix with an electric handheld mixer or in a stand mixer until smooth and creamy.
Smooth the cool cake with a butter knife or spatula. Decorate with whole pecans and you're done! Also lovely with some extra finely grated lemon zest sprinkled over the top.
How to serve
To serve grab a cuppa, pop the cake onto a pretty plate, slice and enjoy! Perfect to serve with some of my carrot ice cream for an Easter get-together, for morning or afternoon tea or just because!
How to store
This vegan carrot cake will store well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Have you made this recipe? Tell me how it went in the comments below and tag me on Instagram so I can see your delicious creations! @keep_calm_and_eat_icecream
Looking for more yummy dessert recipes?
Why not try making
- Carrot ice cream
- Shredded wheat nests
- Hot cross bun ice cream
- Old fashioned fruit cake
- Passion fruit cheesecake
- Chocolate red velvet cake
Eggless carrot cake
- Spring form cake tin, 7" x 2.5" (18cm x 6.5cm)
- 2 cups (300gms) plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup (120gms) pecans
- 1 and¼ cups (230gms) grated carrots, about 2 - 3 medium carrots
- 1 cup (220gms) tightly packed brown sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- ½ cup apple sauce
Vegan lemon buttercream
- 1 cup (160gms) icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon (25gms) non diary margarine
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeesed lemon juice
- extra whole pecans for decorating
- Pre heat your oven to 320°F (160°C) (fan forced) . Grease a line a spring form cake tin, 7" x 2.5" (18cm x 6.5cm) with baking paper.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to a bowl. Mix well.
- Roughly chop the pecans. Grate the carrots using the coarse side of a box grater.
- Add the pecans and carrots to the flour mix and mix well.
- In a separate bowl add the brown sugar, oil, vanilla and apple sauce. Mix well.
- Working quickly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix the cake batter lightly until just combined. Try to make sure there are no unmixed flour streaks but do not over mix.
- NB the cake batter will be quite dry and lumpy, This is normal.
- Tip the batter into the tin and smooth down.
- Bake for one hour and ten minutes or until cake is golden brown and a fine skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before removing it from the pan.
Optional vegan lemon buttercream
- Sift the icing sugar into a bowl.
- Add the margarine and lemon juice.
- Beat on medium with electric hand beaters or in a stand mix until light and fluffy.
- Frost the cooled cake and decorate with whole pecans. Lovely with some freshly grated lemon zest over the top to!
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online database. The nutritional content of ingredients may vary by brand. If you require accurate nutritional information, you should calculate this based on the specific brands and products you are using.
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