That title is a bit of a mouthful, but I feel it necessary to say up front that these are THE BEST, and they are ALL VEGAN.
The base of this carrot cupcake recipe comes from Loving It Vegan. Check out her blog for amazing goodies, and the link if you want to see the original recipe with Orange Cream Frosting. When first trying her recipe, I found I had to tweak it a bit, and have always used the same tweaked recipe ever since. It comes out amazing every time!
I prefer to make the recipe as muffins and reduce the amount of sugar used, but when I’m really craving that carrot cake noms, I ice those puppies! Loving It Vegan uses an orange frosting, which is tasty, but doesn’t quite hit the spot for me. I wanted a proper vegan cream cheese frosting to get the classic carrot cake feel.
I’ve come across so many recipes for vegan cream cheese icing that use some vegan cream cheese base. That’s all well and good, but I don’t really enjoy vegan cream cheeses. Well, I only enjoy this recipe from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken, and enjoy is probably too neutral a word. I LOVE IT. That is for another blog post though (one about bagels, and it is coming).
I am particularly proud of this frosting, as it is of my own creation, and really hits the mark (in my mind). Let me know if you agree or disagree!
I did take my cue from my favourite vegan cream cheese recipe, however. It was surprisingly simple to get the flavour I was searching for. Just add some ACV and lemon juice. Bingo! Well, see below for specifics.
Vegan Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
This recipe will make 12 cupcakes or muffins. To make muffins, simply omit the icing. Also, the number of cupcakes yielded will vary based on whether you include the walnuts. They also freeze nicely.
Prep time: 10-15 minutes.
Cook time: 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
- 2 cups of flour (your preference)
- 1 cup of lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 1/4 cup grated carrot
- 2 flax eggs (2 tbs ground flax, mixed with 6 tbs hot water)
- 1/2 cup avocado oil (or melted refined coconut oil)
- 1/3 cup apple sauce
- 1 tbs apple cider vinegar (unfiltered)
- 1 tbs orange juice
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups of icing sugar
- 1/2 cups of vegan butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp of lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp of salt
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease or line your muffin cups.
Prepare your flax eggs by mixing 2 tbs of flax meal (ground flax) with 6 tbs of hot water. It’s best to keep opened bags of flax meal in the refrigerator to keep the flax from turning rancid. To counteract the coolness of the flax meal, I usually combine it with just boiled water. I find the flax won’t coagulate nicely without the heat. Mix the water with the flax meal and let it sit for 10 minutes to achieve the egg-like gooey texture.
While you are waiting for your flax eggs, grate up your carrots.
Combine your dry ingredients together in a large bowl, sifting flour first.
Next, add in your grated carrot, and wet ingredients. Mix in thoroughly.
Add in flax eggs once set, and mix again.
If you are using walnuts, add them to the batter last.
You will find the cake batter to be quite thick and sticky. This consistency bakes perfectly, giving a slightly crunchy outer layer and moist, chewy muffin centre. Don’t be tempted to add more liquid!
Spoon into muffin tray, 3/4 full. The muffins will expand. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges look slightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Let cool before icing.
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Mix up your vegan butter and icing sugar until thoroughly combined, and then add your apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and salt, and mix again.
You can mix by hand with a spatula or with an electric beater for a fluffier consistency.
Ice cupcakes with a knife or piping bag once cupcakes have cooled completely. Voila!