Vegan Carrot Cupcakes, loaded with flavor, moist, and so delightful, even picky eaters will love them! Keep reading for the step-by-step video, recipe tips, and full printable recipe!
PERECT Allergy-Friendly Carrot Cupcakes
This is one of my favorite cupcakes to make, and I can’t wait to share it with you – just in time for Easter! Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is one of my favorite cakes EVER but I know not everyone is confident in their cake making skills.
That’s why I made it my mission to come up with a magical top 8 free Carrot Cupcake recipe that was as easy as it was delicious. It’s rich, moist, flavorful, airy and easily comes together without lots of fancy equipment. It’s simply PERFECT!
Homemade Carrot Cupcake Ingredients
Alright, let’s make our shopping list! The ingredients needed for homemade carrot cupcakes are ones you probably already in your kitchen! To make this recipe, you will need:
- Oil: Any neutral-flavored oil will do. I typically use vegetable oil, but coconut, avocado or canola oil would work too.
- Sugars: Both granulated (white) and brown sugar. (*If a sugar is labeled organic, that means it’s not filtered with bone char!)
- Applesauce: This replaces any need for eggs, keeping it extra soft and moist.
- Milk: My preferred dairy free milk is Flax milk (made by Good Karma) but you could also use Soy, Coconut Milk, Almond or Cashew milk depending on availability and allergens.
- Flour: Unbleached All-purpose flour, All-Purpose or 1:1 Gluten-free Flour Blend (like Bob’s Red Mill) all work wonderfully in this recipe. If you are using a different GF flour, just check if they require using in Xanthan gum then add if necessary.
- Spices: Ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
- Baking soda and baking powder: This recipe uses both.
- Salt: I used fine sea salt.
- Vanilla extract: Because it’s cake!
- Freshly-grated carrots: Either grate them by hand with a box grater, use the shredding attachment on a food processor. Most grocery stores carry the pre-shredded version if you’s like to save a step.
- Cream cheese frosting: Made easily with shortening, butter, salt, vinegar, lemon juice, vanilla and powdered sugar. A safe-store bought brand can be subbed in a pinch.
Ingredient amounts and full instructions included in the recipe box below.
How To Make Carrot Cupcakes
To make this homemade carrot cupcake recipe, simply:
- Prep your cupcake pans. Grab 2 pans and line 24 cavities with cupcake liners.
- Make the cake batter. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, followed by oil, applesauce, dairy-free milk and vanilla extract. Fold in shredded carrots last.
- Fill and bake. Portion the batter evenly into your cupcake pans. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the oven and let them cool 15 minutes in the pan, until they reach room temperature. Meanwhile…
- Make the frosting. See notes below.
- Assemble and frost the cupcakes. Once the cupcakes reach room temperature, spread on frosting with a knife OR grab your favorite Wilton Piping Tip (I love using 1M or 2D)
This recipe also makes a 2-layer, 8″ round cake. Find instructions in the Notes section.
Watch This Step-by-Step Recipe Video
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting without Cream Cheese
This dairy free cream cheese frosting recipe is easy to make and perfect for these carrot cupcakes or our red velvet cake. We start with a base of vegan shortening & stick butter then add in a touch of vanilla extract, white or apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to bring out just the right cream cheese flavors without having to resort to highly processed cream cheese alternatives.
This dreamy cream cheese frosting recipe can either be made by hand in a mixing bowl or in a stand mixer — you choose! For the best and creamiest frosting, be sure your shortening and butter are at room temperature, then beat them together until completely smooth.
Carrot Cake Baking Variations
Wanna turn those carrot cupcakes into something else? With a few little changes, you can make the following:
- Layered Cake: This exact recipe will also make an 8″, 2 layered cake. Simple prep 2, 8″ cake pans with parchment paper then sprayed with non-stick spray. Evenly distribute batter between pans and bake 35-45 minutes. Cool in pans, refrigerate 15 minutes, remove then frost.
- Donuts: Half the recipe for 1 dozen, delightful carrot cake donuts. Prep donut pans with a little spray and fill 2/3rd full. Bake 10-15 minutes then cool in pan. Feel free to use the same frosting (just cut in half and use a little less powdered sugar so its easier to spread on the donut tops).
- Sheet Pan Cake: This little recipe does it all! Prep a 9×13″ sheet pan with non-stick spray then pour batter. Bake approximately 25-30 minutes, when cake is lightly puffed in the middle and browned on the edges, and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. And if you love the simplicity of sheet cake, you’ll want to make this Strawberry Lemonade Sheet Cake too.
Making Ahead & Storing Cupcakes
These carrot cupcakes can be baked and stored in an airtight container a day ahead of frosting. The frosting can also be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Just bring to room temperature and whip until light and fluffy again.
The frosted cupcakes can be left at room temperature for up to 8 hours, but after that, it’s best to refrigerating the cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Other Recipes You May Like:
Printable Carrot Cupcake Recipe Below
When you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it turned out! Please let me know by leaving a review below. Or snap a photo and share it on Instagram; be sure to tag me @allergylicious.
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or 1:1 GF Blend)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup applesauce
- 3/4 cup dairy-free milk (we use flax)
- 1/2 cup neutral oil (canola, safflower, refined coconut)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extracr
- 3 cups finely grated carrots (approx 3 large carrots)
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup dairy free butter, room temp
- 1/2 cup vegan shortening
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°· Line muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients. Pour in wet ingredients (applesauce, flax milk, oil, and vanilla extract) then mix to combine with a spatula. Fold in carrots.
- Scoop batter into cupcake liners, filling 3/4 full. Bake 18-22 minutes or until center comes out clean when toothpick is inserted in the center. Allow to cool before removing from pan and frosting.
Make Cream Cheese Frosting:
- In a large bowl, blend together the utter and shortening, just until creamy. Do not overmix, otherwise it will get too soft.
- Sift in powdered sugar, pulse a few times, then add in vinegar. Pulse another time or two then add lemon juice and vanilla extract then sprinkle in a pinch of salt. Blend on high speed until creamy and fluffy. If it's too soft, add a little more powdered sugar. If too dry, you can add in a little water or dairy-free milk.
- Frost cupcakes using a piping bag and your favorite decorator tip. Or simply spread on and add sprinkles if desired.
* This recipe will also make an 8" layered cake. Use 2 cake pans, prepared with parchment paper and a little spray. Bake 35-45 minutes. Cool 20 minutes before removing from pan.
**This recipe also makes yummy donuts if using a donut pan. Lightly spray 24 donut pan cavities and fill half-way with batter. Bake 12-15 minutes then allow to cool in pan.
***To make Gluten Free, simply exchange flour in recipe for a 1:1 Blend, such as Bob's Red Mill or Better Batter (no other changes are needed for these).
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 408Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 311mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 1gSugar: 45gProtein: 2g
Nutritional information is only an estimate based off of using an online calculator. Numbers will change depending on brands used.