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Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes With Zesty Frosting
This recipe makes up the finest vegan carrot cake muffins with zesty frosting, guaranteed!
Freshly grated carrots and warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg make these carrot cake cupcakes irresistibly delicious. These little mini carrot cakes are then slathered with fresh, citrusy frosting and topped with chopped walnuts for even more flavor and texture.
If you are following a vegan diet there is no need to compromise when it comes to cupcakes. These vegan carrot cake cupcakes deliver all the things you’d expect from a non-vegan cupcake: flavor and moistness. No bland or dry cupcakes over here!
Why You’ll Love these Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes With Zesty Frosting
These cupcakes are packed with flavor and are easy to make. No funky ingredients are required either. You can most likely find everything you need at your local grocery store or even your pantry!
Helpful Equipment To Make Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Cupcake/muffin tray
- Mixing bowl
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Piping bags for your frosting
- 1 and 1/2 cups (188g) All Purpose Flour
- 1 cup (200g) Light Brown Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp Nutmeg
- 2 Flax Eggs (2 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed + 6 Tbsp Hot Water)
- 1 and 3/4 cups (192g) Grated Carrot
- 1/3 Cup (80ml) Canola Oil (or Vegetable Oil)
- 2 Tbsp Applesauce
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Distilled White Vinegar
- 4 cups (480g) Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 cup (112g) Vegan Butter
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2–3 Tbsp Lemon Juice – You can freshly squeeze this or use bottled juice
How To Make Vegan Carrot Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and then mix together until combined.
Create your flax eggs by adding 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed to a bowl and adding 6 tablespoons of boiling hot water. Let it sit for a few minutes until it become thicker and somewhat slimy in texture, sort of like an egg.
In new mixing bowl, add the newly created flax eggs, grated carrot, oil, applesauce, vanilla extract, and vinegar and mix together until it becomes a thick batter.
If the batter seems too thick to mix properly, set the bowl aside for 2-3 minutes and then come back to it and start mixing again.
Line a cupcake tray with cupcake paper liners and then divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners. If you can only do 6 at a time, half the mixture evenly, baking 6 at a time.
Bake for 25 minutes. To check if they are ready, insert a toothpick into one of the cupcakes, if it comes out clean then its ready, if there are crumble or liquid, it needs to be baked for longer.
Transfer the cupcakes to to a wire cooling rack to cool, after 10 minutes, remove the cupcakes from the tray and leave on the cooling rack. Once they have completely cooled you can start frosting them
To create your frosting, you will need to add the powdered sugar, vegan butter, vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice to the bowl. Using a stand or hand mixer, starting at a low speed, mix gradually increasing speed until the frosting is thick and smooth.
If you want to make it a little more zesty, add in some extra lemon juice.
Check that your cupcakes are completely cool, if so transfer your frosting to a piping bag and pipe on the frosting onto the cupcakes. You can decorate them with chopped walnuts if you want or sprinkles!
- Prep time is approx 15 minutes
- Bake Time is approx 25 minutes
All About Vegan Carrot Cake
If you aren’t familiar with vegan baking this recipe is easy to make however there are a few ingredients you’ll need to familiarize yourself with, such as flaxseed eggs.
For eggless carrot cupcakes, you’ll need to use flaxseed mixed with water as the egg substitute.
For dairy-free carrot cupcakes, vegan butter is used instead of traditional butter. Look for a substitute in the dairy case of your grocery store or in the health/natural foods aisle.
- Instead of nutmeg add a touch of allspice.
- Use chopped pecans or almonds instead of walnuts.
- You can also substitute mashed banana for the applesauce.
Tips & Tricks/notes
- Measure the flour correctly using the spoon and level method (spoon it into your measuring cup and then level off the top with a knife, don’t scoop it, and don’t pack it into the cup). Or weigh it on a food scale to be total accuracy.
- Grated carrots – these should be fresh carrots that you grate yourself. Don’t buy a bag of pre-grated carrots because they will be too dry for this batter. We need freshly grated carrots. The moisture from the carrots seeps into the batter making sure it doesn’t become too thick.
- You can use our lemon frosting as described here, or you can swap it out for our Vegan cream cheese frosting that is made with a homemade cashew-based vegan cream cheese.
- If you don’t have a hand or stand mixer, you can use a wooden spoon and some good old fashioned elbow grease.
- You can also use a Ziploc bag for your frosting if you don”t have any piping bags. Just place your frosting in the Ziploc bag, squeeze as much air as you can out and close the Ziploc and cut a corner off then squeeze as you would a piping bag – just don’t squeeze too hard, or you will be wearing your frosting!
How to Store
Storing and freezing: These carrot cake cupcakes lose none of their moistness or flavor when kept (covered) in the fridge and they last for at least a week, though of course the fresher the better. They are also freezer friendly (frosted or unfrosted) for up to 3 months, just ensure that you wrap them in baking paper and cling wrap so they dont get freezer burn.
Why are my carrot muffins not moist?
If your carrot muffins are not moist it could be you baked them too long, your oven might be too hot or you are not using fresh carrots.
How can I make carrot cake frosting without cream cheese?
If you are following a vegan or nondairy diet it is possible to use cashews to create a non-dairy-like cream cheese.
What can you use to make vegan cake frosting that tastes good?
Just because a frosting is vegan doesn’t mean it won’t taste good. Vegan frosting with powdered sugar and vegan butter will have a similar taste and texture to regular, non-vegan, cake frosting.
If you are looking for a vegan alternative to carrot cake these vegan carrot cupcakes are perfect. Moist, tender, and loaded with the traditional flavors of the carrot cake you’ve come to know and love. Feel free to top them with this fresh lemon frosting or the cashew-based vegan alternative mentioned above. Both are delicious options.Print
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