This moist carrot loaf cake is a delicious and easy dessert to make! It's perfect for a special occasion or just because you want something sweet. The recipe is simple, and the end result is sure to impress. It doesn't lack any flavor, is full of nutrients, and is vegan and gluten-free.
We make this moist carrot cake loaf recipe year-round since we love to have it not only as a dessert, but we often eat a slice of carrot cake bread for breakfast with our morning coffee and morning celery juice: it means heaven to us!
But carrot cake bread is a popular springtime recipe that peaks with Easter celebrations. All the Easter eggs and bunnies just seem to scream for carrot cake!
The base of the cake is olive oil (no worries, you won’t taste it), flax eggs, brown sugar, and soy plant milk.
Organic brown sugar adds the perfect amount of sweetness, while vegan buttermilk and flax egg make the batter come together as a fluffy, light, and healthy cake. This is our vegan trick for vegan baking recipes.
And for gluten-free flours, I went with my go-to gluten-free blend, which we use for vegan pancakes, banana bread, and all sorts of vegan baking; but I have also tested the recipe with Bob’s Mill blend and regular wheat milk (for those that don’t mind gluten as part of your cake).
The result is a healthy, fluffy, and airy carrot cake bread that retains its moisture without getting mushy, which was our primary goal.
- Freshly Shredded Carrots: The star of the show, these add natural sweetness and moisture to the cake. Plus, they're packed with beta-carotene, which is good for your eyesight.
- Olive Oil or Neutral Vegetable Oil: Acts as the fat component, making the cake moist and tender. Olive oil also adds a subtle, fruity undertone.
- Brown Sugar or Coconut Sugar: Sweetens the cake and adds a caramel-like depth of flavor. Coconut sugar offers a lower glycemic index option.
- Gluten-Free Flour Mixture (or Wheat Flour if not GF): Provides the structure for the cake. Going gluten-free? No worries, the texture will still be on point.
- Baking Powder: The leavening agent that makes the cake rise and become fluffy. It's the secret behind every airy bite.
- Ground Cinnamon: Adds a warm, spicy kick that complements the sweetness of the carrots. Plus, it's an antioxidant powerhouse.
- Vanilla Extract: Elevates the flavors and adds that classic cake aroma. It's like the wingman to all the other ingredients.
- Soy Milk or Other Dairy-Free Milk: Adds creaminess and helps with the cake's structure. It's also a great source of plant-based protein.
- Lemon Juice: Works with the plant milk to create a vegan buttermilk effect, adding tanginess and aiding in the cake's rise.
- Flax Meal: Acts as a vegan egg substitute, providing binding and moisture. It's also a sneaky way to include Omega-3 fatty acids in your dessert.
Walnuts and raisins.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Pre-Heat oven to 355 ºF (180 ºC), on fan mode.
Prepare the ingredients
Add the soy milk, lemon juice, flax meal, and water to a medium bowl. This is a combination of vegan buttermilk and a flax egg. Let the mix sit for ten minutes.
You can see above how vegan buttermilk and flax egg would look if made separately, but for simplicity and after making this recipe countless times, I find that mixing all together in the same bowl provides the same results. Yey for washing fewer dishes!
While you wait for your mix to curdle, shred the carrots; there is no need to peel them.
In the same bowl, add the oil, brown sugar, gluten-free flour, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract, shredded carrots, and a pinch of salt, and gently fold.
Add the coarsely crushed walnuts if used.
Oil a bread-greased loaf pan and then coat it with flour. Then, pour the carrot cake batter into the prepared loaf pan. If you prefer, you can use parchment paper instead.
Make sure the batter is even before continuing to bake.
Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the carrot cake loaf to cool completely before slicing, or add the optional frosting.
Once the carrot cake loaves cool, it’s frosting time!
We regularly eat this cake without any powdered sugar and cream cheese frosting as most carrot cake recipes call for, but when we feel like having an extra indulgence or using it as a birthday cake, we go for our white chocolate vegan frosting.
We like adding the zest of a lemon on top of the frosting. Fresh nutmeg is another great addition.
Hint: you can make more than one and top each other for a tall festive option.
- Carrot cake olive oil - instead of olive oil, you can use any neutral vegetable or coconut oil. We have also used melted vegan unsalted butter, and it works!
- Dark Brown sugar - coconut sugar, maple syrup, white sugar, and agave syrup also work. Homemade date paste can also be used on a 1:1 ratio.
- Soy milk - you can use any plant milk you like. To make vegan buttermilk, usually, the best are those with higher protein content. We use either our homemade soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk.
- Flax meal - you can replace it with chia seeds (exact amount), an egg replacer like Bob Mill's, or, if you are vegetarian, simply use three eggs. The role of a flax meal is to bond the rest of the batter's ingredients.
- Flour - we use our gluten-free blend, but you can use Bob's mill blend or even regular wheat all-purpose flour. I haven't tried it with whole wheat flour.
- Baking powder - you could use a mix of baking powder and baking soda (50:50 ratio) if you want to make it even more fluffy. I personally don't like the aftertaste of baking soda, so I avoid using it most of the time.
- Chopped Walnuts - chopped pecans also work well.
When we want to make a twist to this recipe, just for a change, we like to use our pumpkin spice mix, which has ground cloves, ground ginger, and the regular cinnamon ginger nutmeg pair very well with this healthy carrot cake loaf.
Other ingredients you can experiment with (always using 1 ounce = 20 grams) are raisins, sultanas, shredded coconut, and vegan chocolate chips.
Mind that changing your baking dish will impact how tall your carrot cake bread will be and how long it will take to bake.
A larger loaf pan will result in a shorter cake and less baking time.
You can use the same batter for a circular baking sheet or make cupcakes as well.
Store this healthy carrot loaf cake leftovers covered at room temperature, for 2-3 days, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or covered well in the freezer for several weeks.
However, this carrot cake bread is best when eaten fresh.
Set out for 10 minutes before serving from the fridge, so it warms and becomes more tender. Let thaw entirely from the freezer.
Ensure the temperature is even in your oven; before putting in the vegan carrot loaf, you can place a heat-resistant container with a cup of water on the bottom so the oven temperature is even inside (in case you don't have a convection oven).
🍞 More bread loaf recipes
Try also our sweet potato cake, which is super easy to make, light, and fluffy!
If you try this olive oil carrot cake recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag a photo #ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Moist Carrot Loaf Cake
- 2 medium carrots 200 grams, shredded
- 2 ¾ oz olive oil 80 ml plus extra to oil the loaf
- 3.5 oz brown sugar 100 grams, or coconut sugar
- 3.5 oz gluten-free flour 135 grams (or our gluten-free flour mix)
- 3 ½ teaspoons baking powder 16 grams
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup soy milk or other plant-milk
- ½ teaspoon ground vanilla 1 gram, or a teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons flax meal or chia seeds, or an egg replacer like Bob Mill's
- 3 tablespoons water
- Pre-Heat oven to 355 ºF (180 ºC). Use fan mode.
- Prepare your ingredients. Add the soy milk, lemon juice, flax meal, and water to a large mixing bowl and wait 10 minutes. Shred the carrots while the mix curdles.
- Mix. In the same bowl, add the oil, brown sugar, gluten-free flour, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla, shredded carrots, and a pinch of salt, and combine well. Add the coarsely crushed walnuts if used.
- Bake in a lined 9.5 x 5-inch (24 x 13 cm) bread greased loaf pan for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool down. Allow the carrot cake loaf to cool down before slicing, or add the optional frosting.
- We like adding lemon zest on top and freshly ground nutmeg if using frosting.
- Store cake leftovers covered at room temperature, for 2-3 days, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or covered well in the freezer for several weeks. However, this cake is best when eaten fresh.
- Let set out for 10 minutes before serving from the fridge, so it warms and becomes more tender. Let thaw entirely from the freezer.
- If avoiding oil, substitute with applesauce. The cake loaf may not be as moist or bake up as nicely.
If nut-free, omit the walnuts.
I used my gluten-free blend. If subbing, I would recommend either using Bob’s Mill gluten-free mix or using regular baking flour if you don’t need your loaf cake to be gluten-free.
- Recipe adapted from Vegan Carrot Cake.
- Nutrition information is an estimate and it is calculated without frosting.
🌡️ Food safety
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with a high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
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