Want a healthy vegan carrot cake? Here it is with a special ingredient… mango! Tender, moist, delicious. Vegan, oil-free, and whole-grain.
At least once a month I’m asked for a healthy vegan carrot cake recipe.
Especially since I’ve had this vegan carrot cake recipe in my files for over three years.😲
What makes this vegan carrot cake special?
It’s such a unique version of carrot cake that I was sure to include it in Dreena’s Kind Kitchen (order book here).
Unique how, you ask?
Often applesauce is used as a default for oil-free baking. But this isn’t always best, as I’ve mentioned in other posts.
In this healthy carrot cake, in that it uses frozen mango (pureed with other wet ingredients) to add natural sweetness, beautiful color, and moistness to the cake.
Healthy Carrot Cake: The Frosting!
I’ve opted for a coconut butter-base for this frosting, as it is very reminiscent of a traditional cream cheese frosting to me. If you prefer not to use coconut butter, you can absolutely substitute cashew butter instead (raw cashew butter preferred for optimal color).
I think this is just a beautiful cake to serve on Mother’s Day. Look how beautiful it is!
I’d love to hear what you think of this healthy vegan carrot cake.
We love it, and I hope you do too! x Dreena
Healthy Vegan Carrot Cake
- 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 cup frozen mango chunks see note for substitution
- 1/2 cup sliced ripe speckled or overripe best banana
- 1/4 cup plain non-dairy milk
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1/3 cup softened coconut butter (see note for substitution)
- 3 – 3 1/2 TB nondairy milk
- 3 – 3 1/2 TB pure maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare an 8 x 8 glass brownie pan (or similar size) by wiping surface area with a light coat of oil, and then using a thick strip of parchment paper to line the inside (makes it easier to remove the cake after cooling). In a large bowl, add flour, almond meal, coconut sugar, baking powder and baking soda (sift in both), cinnamon, salt, and allspice. In a blender, add mango, banana, maple syrup, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Puree until smooth. Add wet mixture to dry, along with the carrots. Stir until just well combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Once cool, frost (see below), then let frosting cool, and serve.
Frosting: Gently warm the coconut butter (or raw cashew butter, see note) by either placing the jar in a hot water bath, or by placing the measured 1/3 cup in a warm oven (about 250 degrees) until it softens. Once softened, measure and mix all ingredients (starting with 3 tbsp each of milk and maple syrup) together in a bowl until well combined. Add extra milk/syrup as needed to thin and sweeten as desired. Use a spatula to spread frosting over the cake. Chill and serve!
- Note: You can make this batter into muffins if you prefer. Fill 11-12 lined cups, and bake for 23-25 minutes.
- Mango Note: I have tested this cake with frozen pineapple and it is also delicious! Because pineapple is sweeter, use a scant 1/2 cup measure of maple syrup.
- Coconut Butter Substitution: If you don’t want to use coconut butter, substitute raw cashew butter. It is thick and has a pale color, so works quite well. You won’t need as much milk to thin, since it isn’t as dry as coconut butter. Start with 1 tbsp milk, then adjust as needed.
Special thanks to Nicole Axworthy for the food photos.
This post was originally published May 2018 and updated for April 2022.