These easy vegan carrot cake cupcakes are incredibly moist and flavorful with cinnamon, nutmeg, crunchy pecans, and delicious coconut cream frosting. The perfect vegan breakfast muffin for any time of the year.
Are carrot cake cupcakes vegan?
No, an authentic carrot cake cupcake recipe contains eggs, butter, and milk. Most cupcake frosting recipes also contain cream cheese.
How to make vegan carrot cake cupcakes?
It’s super easy to make these moist vegan carrot cake muffins. All you need are a few pantry ingredients. Let me explain how to select them and the eventual substitution you can make for each.
- All-purpose flour – you can also use spelt flour or white whole wheat flour.
- Unrefined cane sugar – white sugar or sugar-free erythritol work as well for a sugar-free vegan carrot cake muffin.
- Brown sugar – or coconut sugar or golden erythritol.
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Carrots – make sure you grate them finely. It delivers even more texture, moisture, and flavor to these vegan carrot cupcakes.
- Vanilla extract
- Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
- Almond milk or any plant-based milk you like, including soy milk, oat milk.
- Olive oil – or vegetable oils like canola oil or nut oil like almond oil and coconut oil.
- Chopped pecans or walnuts or sultanas raisins.
Make the Vegan Buttermilk
First, stir the lemon juice and almond milk together in a small bowl. Set aside to give some time to the acid to curd the milk lightly.
Combine dry ingredients to wet ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Make a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredients: oil and almond milk mixture.
Stir in add-ons
Now, add grated carrots, chopped walnuts, or chopped pecans and stir well to combine. Feel free to add 1/2 cup of shredded coconut in the batter if you are a coconut lover!
Fill cupcake liners
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 12-hole muffin pan with a paper liner. Fill each muffin tin evenly with the carrot cake batter.
Bake the cupcakes in the center rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a pick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
Cool the cupcakes on a rack until they reach room temperature. It takes about 1 hour.
You can serve this recipe as vegan carrot muffins with no frosting, or to make vegan carrot cupcakes, add one of my two vegan frosting recipes:
- Vegan vanilla frosting – this one is made with vegan butter and vanilla. It’s a thick, creamy, and fluffy frosting similar to regular cream cheese frosting without the dairy. It’s easy to pipe to create beautifully presented cupcakes.
- Vegan coconut frosting – this is an easy frosting, lighter in texture. You don’t need a piping bag to spread this on top of your cupcakes. It’s an easy 2-ingredient vegan frosting recipe, but it requires a little bit of organization because you must place the can of coconut cream in the fridge the day before!
You can customize this cupcake recipe by adding some extra ingredients in the batter, like 1/2 cup of:
- Unsweetened shredded coconut
- Finely chopped canned pineapple slices – make sure you pat dry the slices before adding, or they release too much moisture in the batter.
Can I use this recipe to make a cake?
Yes, yes, and yes! This is an amazing vegan carrot cake batter to turn into an 8-inch vegan carrot cake recipe. Of course, if you want to make a two-layer cake, double up the recipe or make this recipe two times.
I recommend baking each batch separately, so you will need 2 round pans.
Simply use one of my vegan frosting recipes to frost the cake.
How to decorate vegan cupcakes?
First, make sure the carrot cupcakes have completely cooled down. If you add frosting on hot cupcakes, it melts, spreads, and gets absorbed by the cupcake.
If you are using vanilla frosting, use a piping bag and pipe on top of the cupcake. If you use the coconut cream frosting, spread with a spoon.
Top each cupcake with a sprinkle of chopped nuts and cinnamon.
Can I make this an oil-free vegan carrot cake?
Yes, you can replace the oil in this recipe with unsweetened applesauce. This option makes the cupcake very moist and a bit sweeter.
Can I use other flours?
You can’t use almond flour or coconut flour in this cupcake recipe. These low-carb keto flours are very high in fiber and won’t work in an egg-free muffin recipe.
However, you can use spelt flour, white whole-wheat flour, or all-purpose gluten-free flour containing gum – I used bob red mills. The recipe with gluten-free flour doesn’t rise as much, but the taste is still delicious.
How to store carrot cake cupcakes?
You can store these vegan carrot cake cupcakes in the fridge for up to 4 days in a sealed box. Another option is to freeze the cupcakes and thaw them the day before serving.
If you love carrot cake recipes, try my no-bake carrot cake energy balls!
Have you made these vegan carrot cake muffins? Share a comment or review below! I love to hear your feedback on my recipes.
Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- 1 cup Almond Milk - or any plant-based milk
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 1 ½ cup All-purpose Flour
- ½ cup Unrefined Cane Sugar
- ½ cup Light brown sugar - or coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
- ½ cup Light olive oil - or any vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 ½ cups grated carrots
- ½ cup chopped pecans - or walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 12-hole muffin tray with a paper liner. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk lemon juice and almond milk. Set aside.
- In another large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Make a well in the center of the flour and add olive oil, vanilla extract and almond milk mixture.
- Combine, scraping down the sides to bring all the ingredients together, and it forms a smooth batter.
- Stir in grated carrots and chopped nuts until well distributed into the batter.
- Divide the batter evenly into the 12 muffin holes.
- Bake on the center rack of your oven for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool down on a rack completely before adding any frosting.