These easy vegan carrot cake cupcakes are light, moist, and full of flavor! They’re perfect for when you want carrot cake but don’t want the fuss of cutting and serving a whole cake.

Vegan carrot cake cupcakes with vegan cream cheese frosting with a bite taken out of one of them.

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These vegan carrot cupcakes are great for Easter, Mother’s Day, or Birthday parties. They are what my husband requests for his birthday every year, and they never disappoint. These cupcakes are actually a variation of my original vegan carrot cake recipe that I made for my own wedding – so you know this recipe is good!

❤️ Why make this recipe

These carrot cupcakes are made with everyday ingredients that you probably already have plus they are dairy-free, egg-free, and can easily be made gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free too.

🧾 Ingredients and substitutions

  • Grated Carrots – fresh carrots that are peeled and chopped or shredded into small pieces.
  • Flour – for the base of the cake. I usually use all-purpose flour, but you can also use cake flour or even whole wheat flour. Any grain-based gluten-free flour mix will work well too. I like my homemade gluten-free flour blend made from oat flour.
  • Baking Soda – to help your cake rise.
  • Baking Powder – to help your cake rise.
  • Salt– for flavor.
  • Cinnamon – for flavor.
  • Nutmeg and Ginger or Pumpkin Pie Spice – You can use 1/2 nutmeg and 1/2 ginger or a pumpkin spice mix to make it easier. You can also use freshly grated ginger to give it that extra punch of flavor.
  • Brown Sugar – to sweeten the cake. You can also use half brown and half white sugar or use coconut sugar instead. Note – look for organic sugar to be sure it’s vegan.
  • Plant-Based Milk – for moisture and add some protein. I usually use soy milk, but almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, or oat milk all work well too.
  • Vanilla Extract – for flavor.
  • Oil – to make it moist. You can use any neutral flavored oil that you would like vegetable oil, refined coconut oil, or canola oil. I don’t recommend olive oil unless it is very light olive oil. You can also swap out 1/2 of the oil for apple sauce or crushed pineapple if you would like a lower-fat option.
  • Frosting – Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting or my homemade Vegan Buttercream Frosting made with vegan butter and powdered sugar work best, but you can also make it easy and use store-bought frosting – most varieties of Pillsbury and Duncan Hines are vegan. 
  • Note – I don’t use any type of vegan egg replacer for baking in this recipe. Some vegan carrot cake recipes call for flax eggs, apple sauce, or other things to replace the eggs in traditional carrot cake, but I don’t find it necessary. The shredded carrots alone work as an egg replacement.

🔪 Helpful tools

  • A Cheese Grater or Food Processor – to chop up or grate the carrots into very small pieces.
  • A Large Mixing Bowl – to mix everything.
  • Muffin Tins – and cupcake liners to bake the cupcakes.
A platter full of vegan carrot cake muffins with cream cheese frosting and orange and green sprinkles with an orange flour behind them.

🥄 How to make vegan carrot cake cupcakes

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

Step 1 – Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C).

Step 2 – Prepare your muffin tins lining them with cupcake liners and spraying the liners with a little spray oil.

Step 3 – Chop or grate the carrots into small pieces and set them aside.

Step 4 – Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices to a large bowl.

Step 5 – In a smaller bowl (or large measuring container), mix the brown sugar, plant milk, vanilla, and oil then stir with a whisk.

Step 6 – Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a whisk.

Step 7 – Add the shredded carrots and beat with a whisk again for about 30 seconds until everything is incorporated. (You don’t want to use an electric mixer or even stir it too much or your cupcakes will be chewy.) (Add nuts and raisins at this time if you choose.)

Step 8 – Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake liners filling them about 3/4 of the way full to leave plenty of room for them to rise.

Step 9 – Bake at 375° F (190° C) for about 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Step 10 – Allow cooling on a rack for about 15-20 minutes before removing from the muffin tins. Allow them to cool completely before frosting.

Step 11 – Frost with my homemade vegan cream cheese frosting or my vegan buttercream frosting. (I also love these with vanilla buttercream with 2 TBSP of apple cider vinegar added instead of milk – this gives it a tangy cream cheese flavor without needing vegan cream cheese. You can also add a teaspoon of cinnamon to vanilla buttercream for cinnamon frosting.)

Note – This recipe makes a lot of cupcakes (about 32), it’s great for a party, but feel free to cut the recipe in half.

👩🏻‍🍳 Pro Tips

  • Use a food processor to chop your carrots to save time and effort – and keep your hand from hurting from all that grating.
  • Be sure to preheat your oven and don’t put the cupcakes in until it has reached 375° F.
  • Grease your cake pans before adding the batter.  If you reduce the amount of oil in this recipe, be sure to line the bottom of the pan with parchment as well. 
  • Be sure to chop the carrots up into very small pieces.  You don’t want big chunks of carrots in your cake.

🥡 Storage

Refrigerate: These carrot cake cupcakes will keep well on the countertop for 24 hours or in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

Freeze: Extra cupcakes can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. They freeze best unfrosted.

A vegan carrot cupcake with a bite out of it with a plate of cupcakes behind it.

If you are looking for some more vegan Easter ideas, try my bird nest cookies, vegan marshmallow peeps, carrot zucchini muffins, or deviled potatoes.

🌟 More vegan cupcakes

📌 Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for new vegan recipes!

📋 Vegan carrot cake cupcakes recipe

Vegan carrot cake cupcakes on a metal plate with a bite taken out of one of them.
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5 from 1 rating

Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes

A classic vegan carrot cake made into cupcakes without eggs or dairy.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 3 1/4 cup flour, use any gluten-free flour mix if needed and add 1 tsp of xanthan gum if the mix doesn't contain any.
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 cups brown sugar, or 1 cup white and 1 cup brown sugar. You can also use coconut sugar.
  • 1 1/2 cup plant-based milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup oil, any neutral-flavored oil will work. Make it lower fat by using 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup apple sauce or crushed pineapple.
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, and/or raisins (optional)

To frost the cake

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C).
  • Prepare your muffin tins lining them with cupcake liners and spraying the liners with a little spray oil.
  • Chop or grate the carrots into small pieces and set them aside.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices to a large bowl.
  • In a smaller bowl (or large measuring container), mix the brown sugar, plant milk, vanilla, and oil then stir with a whisk.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a whisk.
  • Add the shredded carrots and beat with a whisk again for about 30 seconds until everything is incorporated. (You don’t want to use an electric mixer or even stir it too much or your cupcakes will be chewy.) (Add nuts and raisins at this time if you choose.)
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake liners filling them about 3/4 of the way full to leave plenty of room for them to rise.
  • Bake at 375° F (190° C) for about 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow cooling on a rack for about 15-20 minutes before removing from the muffin tins. Allow them to cool completely before frosting.
  • Frost with my homemade vegan cream cheese frosting or my vegan buttercream frosting. (I also love these with vanilla buttercream with 2 TBSP of apple cider vinegar added instead of milk – this gives it a tangy cream cheese flavor without needing vegan cream cheese. You can also add a teaspoon of cinnamon to vanilla buttercream for cinnamon frosting.)

Notes

  • Use a food processor to chop your carrots to save time and effort – and keep your hand from hurting from all that grating.
  • Be sure to preheat your oven and don’t put the cupcakes in until it has reached 375° F (190° C).
  • Grease your cake pans before adding the batter.  If you reduce the amount of oil in this recipe, be sure to line the bottom of the pan with parchment as well. 
  • Be sure to chop the carrots up into very small pieces.  You don’t want big chunks of carrots in your cake.
Serving: 1cupcake, Calories: 300kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Sodium: 376mg, Potassium: 150mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 29g, Vitamin A: 2383IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 81mg, Iron: 1mg
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