These soft, moist, and fluffy vegan carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are the perfect Easter dessert for kids and adults alike – They‘re egg-free, lactose-free, dairy-free, and much healthier than traditional recipes! You can also transform these handy little carrot cakes into gluten-free or nut-free muffins!
Easy Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Easter is just around the corner. And if you’re wondering what you could bake during the holidays, I have the perfect treat for you. This recipe for moist and nutty vegan carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting is guaranteed to make your family happy!
Besides my best vegan moist carrot cake and carrot cake pancakes, these super cute muffins make the perfect afternoon dessert along with a cup of tea or coffee. Since they’re even healthier than traditional cakes and not overly sweet, you can also enjoy them as a breakfast or brunch snack on Sundays! Of course, carrot cupcakes are not only perfect for Easter but for any season and any occasion like birthday parties, celebrations, picnics, and more! The ingredients are easy to find at a store and it takes only a few minutes to whip them up!
A simple traditional Easter Dessert
For me, Easter is unimaginable without a piece of classic vegan carrot cake. It gives off a wonderful aroma of nuts and cinnamon already during baking. The flavor of a traditional carrot cake is nutty, slightly spicy and it has a natural sweetness due to the grated carrots.
Anyway, this year I wanted to present my popular carrot cake in a new way: as vegan carrot cupcakes (or muffins)! They taste at least as delicious and are topped with a delicious lemony cream cheese frosting. Decorated with chopped pistachios and vegan marzipan carrots, each cupcake becomes a real eye-catcher. If you want to make them without the cream cheese, you can alternatively opt for a dairy-free whipped cream topping or simply omit the topping completely.
Tips for perfect vegan cupcakes and muffins
These delicious carrot cupcakes come together in no time. Just be sure not to over-mix the batter, so that they also become wonderfully soft and fluffy. You can choose whether you want to bake the cupcakes with or without paper liners. If you skip the cupcake liners, make sure to grease your muffin pan properly. To save time, you can preheat the oven while you’re making the batter. Then you’ll only have to wait 25 minutes for the muffins to get baked through. In the end, you can use a toothpick to check for doneness as the baking time may vary, depending on your oven or pan used. If the toothpick comes out clean, they’re ready, otherwise, bake for a few more minutes.
How can I substitute ingredients from the recipe?
- All-purpose or spelt flour: For gluten-free vegan carrot cake cupcakes, you can replace the regular flour with a gluten-free 1 to 1 flour blend. Whole wheat flour will work too but it makes the cupcakes less soft and fluffy. Depending on the flour used, you may need to adjust the amount of liquid as different flours absorb different amounts of liquid.
- Ground almonds or hazelnuts: Feel free to use other nuts you like. Just keep in mind that this may change the taste. For a nut-free version, simply replace the ground nuts with 2/3 cup more flour. Since nut meals contain more fat than flour, I recommend adding 1 tbsp more vegetable oil.
- Baking powder and baking soda: 1 tsp baking soda can be replaced by 2 tsp baking powder or the other way around.
- Raw cane sugar: You can also use regular granulated sugar or coconut blossom sugar. If using maple or agave syrup instead of sugar, I recommend using a little less plant milk. If you’re trying to reduce the sugar in your diet, you can try birch sugar or erythritol. Anyway, whatever you choose, take note that using another sweetener may change the color and texture of the cupcakes.
- Applesauce: This acts as an egg substitute and provides a better binding and more moisture. Alternatively, you can use one mashed banana or other fruit puree or soy yogurt. You can also use two chia or flaxseed eggs. To make this, mix 2 tablespoons of ground chia or flax seeds with 6 tablespoons of hot water and let swell for 5 minutes. Another option is to mix 2 tablespoons of soy flour with 4 tablespoons of water or simply use a vegan egg substitute from the store.
How to make Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes
As always, I recommend checking out the recipe video and this step-by-step instruction first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Making the batter
In a measuring cup, whisk together the applesauce, vegetable oil, dairy-free milk, sugar, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Then set aside. Next, sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add ground almonds, baking powder, baking soda, a pinch of salt, and cinnamon, and whisk everything together. Now pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and mix briefly until just combined. Then fold in the finely grated carrots.
Step 2: Fill into the pan and bake
Once your batter is ready, divide it into a 12-count muffin pan lined with cupcake liners. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (180°C) for about 25 minutes. When a toothpick comes out clean they are done. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then remove onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Step 3: Make the frosting and garnish!
Once your vegan carrot muffins have cooled completely, mix together the ingredients for the dairy-free cream cheese frosting using an electric handheld mixer. To pipe it onto the muffins, use a piping bag with a star-shaped nozzle. If you like, you can then decorate the cupcakes with small marzipan carrots, chopped pistachios, or any decoration of your choice. And that’s it! Now they are ready to serve!
How to store and freeze
These vegan carrot muffins stay soft and moist for 3 to 4 days. Simply place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge. For longer storage, you can also freeze them without the frosting.
These Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes are:
- Dairy-free (lactose-free)
- Soft and fluffy
- Perfect to take away
- So delicious!
- The perfect afternoon dessert or even as breakfast and brunch snack!
More easy vegan baking recipes for the Easter holidays
- Best Vegan Carrot Cake
- Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
- Vegan Blueberry Babka
- German Bee Sting Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
- Mandarin Cheesecake with Streusel
- Yeast Roll Cake with poppy seeds
- Vegan Madeleines
- Blood Orange Bundt Cake
- Carrot Cake Pancakes
If you try this easy vegan recipe for carrot cupcakes, please leave me a comment and a rating because I would love to read your feedback! And if you take a photo of your delicious carrot muffins and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka to make sure I don’t miss your post! Happy baking! 🙂
Moist Carrot Cake CupcakesAuthor:
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- 7 oz (200 g) carrots finely grated
- 1 ⅔ (200 g) all-purpose or spelt flour or gluten-free flour*
- 1 cup (100 g) ground almonds or hazelnuts
- ½ cup (100 g) raw cane sugar or other sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda or 1 tsp more baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup (100 g) applesauce
- ⅓ cup (100 ml) + 1 tbsp vegetable oil e.g. canola or sunflower oil
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) dairy-free milk e.g. soy, almond, or oat milk
- 1 tbsp apple cider or white vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
*Note: Be sure to check out the recipe video + step-by-step photos in the blog post above. Also, I recommend using metric measurements.
- Preheat your oven to 356°F (180°C). Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- Grate the carrots finely and set them aside.
- In a measuring cup, whisk together the applesauce, vegetable oil, dairy-free milk, sugar, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Then set aside.
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add ground almonds, baking powder, baking soda, a pinch of salt, and cinnamon, and whisk everything together.
- Now pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and mix briefly until just combined. Then fold in the grated carrots.
- Divide the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. When a toothpick comes out clean they are done.
- Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then remove onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
- Once they’re cooled, mix all the ingredients for the cream cheese frosting with a hand mixer until creamy. Pipe or spoon it onto your cupcakes and garnish with small marzipan carrots, chopped pistachios, or whatever decoration you desire.
- For information on storage & freezing as well as ingredient substitutions and many more helpful baking tips be sure to read the blog post above!
- The nutritional information is calculated for 1 cupcake of 12 without frosting and decoration.
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