Carrot cake must surely be one of the nation’s favourite teatime treats, and there’s absolutely no reason why vegans should miss out, so here’s a plant-based cruelty-free version, with dairy-free cream ‘cheese’ icing to top it off. And it really is easy, I promise. The list of ingredients is longer than I had hoped, but each one is there for a reason, and even if you’ve never baked a cake before, this is a really simple one to put together.
This was actually my son’s first birthday cake, (and yes, I cut out a slice for the purposes of these photographs before he had blown his candle out… poor kid! Well, I won’t get away with it again as he’ll know what’s going on next year when he’s two, so this was my last chance….).
This fairly epic cake was a brilliant opportunity to road-test my favourite new kitchen gadget, the Magimix 4200XL food processor. I have been eyeing up these lovely machines for ages, stroking them as I walked past in John Lewis, dithering in the sales on Black Friday. But I just wasn’t sure I needed one quite enough.
It turns out I did. With three different sized bowls for different functions, this does SO many kitchen tasks really well. For this cake, I finely chopped the walnuts in seconds in the mini chopper bowl, then grated the carrots in seconds in the medium bowl with the coarse grating blade, and then whipped up the cream ‘cheese’ icing in the large bowl with no mess, and no film of icing sugar over every kitchen surface (as is so often the case when I make it by hand).
I opted for the larger of the Magimix models, as I wanted to have plenty of capacity for batch-cooking, but it is still surprisingly neat and tidy In the corner of my work surface.
I had a cheap ‘n’ cheerful food processor many years ago, but never used it as it was too big to keep on the work surface, so was stashed out of sight and mind in a cupboard. But I use my Magimix a lot as it looks good and is compact, so is there whenever I need to finely chop an onion, make a quick breakfast smoothie, grate some carrot or beetroot for a lunchtime wrap, blend a soup, julienne vegetables for a stir-fry, turn potatoes into chips in seconds, and so many more functions.
Sleek and sturdy, pleasingly heavy and easy on the eye – it is brilliant to have one of these in my kitchen.
- 270 g carrots
- 135 g walnuts
- 1 orange
- 135 g sultanas
- 400 g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 240 g soft light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 400 ml soya milk
- 160 ml rapeseed oil (or other flavourless oil)
- 440 g icing sugar
- 60 g dairy-free margarine
- 80 g dairy-free cream 'cheese'
- 3 tbsp soya milk
- 3 tbsp shelled pistachios (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan) / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Grease two 23cm (9 inch) cake tins and line the bottoms with baking parchment / greaseproof paper.
Peel and trim the carrots and grate them into a bowl. Finely chop the walnuts and add to the carrots. Grate the zest of the orange into the bowl, and finally weigh the sultanas and add to the bowl.
Next, put the flour, baking powder, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl.
Mix the soya milk and rapeseed oil in a jug, then tip them into the large bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix (by hand) until combined and the batter is fairly smooth. Tip in the carrot, walnuts, orange zest and sultanas and stir until fully combined.
Bang the bowl firmly onto the work surface (this stops the raising agents starting to work too early). Divide the cake mixture between the two tins, and bang each tin on the work surface once again, (you will see tiny bubbles come to the surface).
Bake for 25-30 minutes until a knife or skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack, peel off the paper and leave until fully cool.
TOP TIP: If you have time, the cake will be even better if you now put it in an airtight container or tin overnight. The crust will become soft and the cake will become more moist.
Place the icing sugar, margarine and cream cheese into a large bowl (or mixer), and beat together until completely smooth. Add the soya milk one tablespoon at a time until the icing is light and fluffy.
Sandwich the two cakes together with a layer of icing in the middle (use about one third of the icing for this), and spread the remaining icing over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios if you wish, or any other chopped nuts.
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There are plenty of quick and easy vegan recipes in my new book, ‘Vegan in 15‘*. Hop over to Amazon for a look. Thanks for your support!
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I’m linking this recipe with CookBlogShare hosted this week by Hijacked by Twins
Disclosure: I was given a Magimix food processor to review for this post – there was no expectation of a positive review and all opinions are my own.