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Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Sweet Vanilla Frosting (Gluten Free Option)

If you love classic carrot cake, then these Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Sweet Vanilla Frosting are the perfect treat for you!

Vegan and Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Sweet Vanilla Frosting on a table with carrot decorations

Need an easy and delicious dessert for, oh, I don’t know… a gathering with friends and family, a work or class party, or, because it’s Wednesday and you’ve realized you deserve a darn good vegan cupcake with creamy vanilla frosting? Well in that case, look no further!

These scrumptiously fun Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes will knock your socks off and put a smile on everyone’s face –  guaranteed. Bonus – You’d never guess in a million years that they’re vegan.

Why This Recipe Works:

  • These cupcakes have just the right amount of spice and are super moist.
  • Carrot cake cupcakes are great for holidays or springtime celebrations.
  • This recipe is great to serve to guests; after all – everyone loves a good cupcake! It’s like being given your own individual little cake.
  • These treats are egg free, nut free, dairy free, and can easily be made gluten free!

Wait, you can make fluffy cupcakes without eggs or dairy?

That’s right! The non-dairy milk and vinegar combo acts as a vegan buttermilk and egg replacer in this case – total vegan baking magic at work!

How to Make Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Sweet Vanilla Frosting:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F/177°C.
  2. Then, line 12 spots of a cupcake pan with paper liners. (But have a second pan on stand by just in case! I’ll explain later…)
  3. In a small bowl, combine the WET ingredients and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, add the DRY ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Then, add the WET ingredients as well as the grated carrot to the bowl with the DRY ingredients and mix well by hand.
  6. Fill your cupcake liners with batter until just 2/3 full. Be mindful not to add too much – we don’t want those cupcakes to overflow as they rise! Use a second cupcake pan with a couple extra cupcake liners, if needed.
  7. Bake in your pre-heated oven for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted down the center comes out free of batter. Be sure to test this on several cupcakes.
  8. After 10 minutes out of the oven (or until cool enough to handle), very carefully and slowly turn the cupcakes out onto a cooling rack and then immediately turn them right side up to finish cooling.
  9. Cool completely before frosting, but in the meantime, bask in the glory of your beautiful carrot cake cupcakes, not to mention their marvelous scent. Enjoy!

You’ll find the recipe for Sweet Vanilla Frosting HERE and in the full recipe card below.

Looking for other vegan cupcake recipes? Then you have to try my:

Carrot cake cupcakes on a table

Top Recipe Tips:

  • Be sure to let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. Try using pastry piping bags and tips to make them look picture-perfect.
  • It’s important to only fill each muffin cup 2/3 of the way with batter. Otherwise they might overflow as they bake.
  • For something extra special, try topping your cupcakes with a dusting of cinnamon.
  • Not big on frosting? These cupcakes are so delicious on their own and can certainly be served as carrot cake muffins for breakfast, brunch or a sweet snack, instead.
  • For reusable liners, consider baking your cupcakes in silicon cupcake liners 

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you make this recipe gluten free?

To make vegan gluten free carrot cake cupcakes, use your favorite gluten free all-purpose flour in place of regular all-purpose flour. Then, add 1/4 tsp. of xanthan gum, if your baking mix doesn’t already contain it. Check the labels for all remaining ingredients to ensure they’re gluten free as well.

Can this recipe be halved or doubled?

Yes and yes. Halve the ingredients to make 6 fluffy cupcakes. Double the ingredients and use two muffin pans to prepare 24 treats.

Can this recipe be made into a two-layer round cake?

Yes! Simply double the recipe (frosting, too!) and bake in two greased 9-inch round cake pans in a 350 F/ 177 C oven until the surfaces are firm and a toothpick inserted down the center comes out batter-free, about 30 minutes.

What is the best way to store carrot cake cupcakes?

They’ll keep well for a day or so at room temperature. But to keep them fresher for longer, cupcakes should be kept in a sealed container and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Do leftover vegan cupcakes freeze well?

Absolutely! Wrap each cupcake individually in plastic wrap. Then place them all together in a airtight container or a storage bag, and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature anytime you’re craving carrot cake!

Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Sweet Vanilla Frosting (Gluten Free Option)

If you're craving classic carrot cake, then these (amazingly) Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Sweet Vanilla Frosting are the treat for you!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: plant based, vegan
Keyword: Carrot Cake Cupcakes, Vegan Carrot Cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 – 15 cupcakes
Calories: 525kcal

Ingredients

Wet

  • 1/2 c. + 2 Tbsp. non-dairy milk (148 ml) such as almond, cashew or soy (avoid oat milk for this recipe)
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar   (15 ml)
  • 1/3 c. + 1 Tbsp. canola oil (or other neutral flavored oil) (94 ml) nonGMO or organic, if possible

Dry

  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (210 g) OR gluten free all-purpose flour (240 g) (if your GF flour mix doesn't already contain it, add 1/4 tsp. of xanthan gum as well.)
  • 1 c. granulated sugar 230 g
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. + one pinch nutmeg

Carrots

  • 1 1/2 loosely packed c. grated or shredded carrots, about 2 large carrots peeled and grated (148 g)
  • *Want to add raisins or walnuts? Go for it! Add 1/4 c. of either one.

For the Sweet Vanilla Frosting:

Instructions

Cupcakes

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F/177°C.
  • Then, line 12 spots of a cupcake pan with paper liners. (But have a second pan on stand by just in case! I'll explain later…)
  • In a small bowl, combine the WET ingredients and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, add the DRY ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Then, add the WET ingredients as well as the grated carrot to the bowl with the DRY ingredients and mix well by hand.
  • Fill your cupcake liners with batter until just 2/3 full. Be mindful not to add too much, since we don't want those cupcakes to overflow as they bake! Use a second cupcake pan with a couple extra cupcake liners, if needed.
  • Bake in your pre-heated oven for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted down the center comes out free of batter. Be sure to test this on several cupcakes.
  • After 10 minutes out of the oven (or until cool enough to handle), very carefully and slowly turn the cupcakes out onto a cooling rack, and then immediately turn them right side up to finish cooling.
  • Cool completely before frosting, but in the meantime, bask in the glory of your beautiful carrot cake cupcakes!

Sweet Vanilla Frosting

  • Using an electric stand or hand mixer, cream the shortening on a medium speed for about 30 seconds.
  • Then, add half of the powdered sugar and half of the milk and mix on high for about 30 seconds.
  • Next, add the salt and remaining sugar and milk.  Mix on high again for another 30 seconds. If you feel the frosting should be slightly thicker, add a spoonful or so more of powdered sugar.  For slightly looser frosting, add another splash of milk – but be careful – a little goes a long way!  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Frost your cupcakes the old fashioned way with a butter knife or offset spatula, or, put your fancy pants on and place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a decorating tip!

Notes

  • Be sure to let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. Try using pastry piping bags and tips to make them look picture-perfect.
  • It’s important to only fill each muffin cup 2/3 of the way with batter. Otherwise they might overflow as they bake.
  • For something extra special, try topping your cupcakes with a dusting of cinnamon.
  • Not big on frosting? These cupcakes are so delicious on their own and can certainly be served as carrot cake muffins for breakfast, brunch or a sweet snack, instead.
  • For reusable liners, consider baking your cupcakes in silicon cupcake liners 

Nutrition

Serving: 15g | Calories: 525kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g
Tried this Recipe? Follow me Today!Mention @AudreyDunham or tag #AudreyDunhamRecipes!

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