After many attempts to make it as perfect as possible, my vegan carrot cake bars recipe is an Easter recipe that I think you'll adore. It is some best carrot cake that I have ever made and it takes less than 30 minutes to bake inside the oven.
Each cake 'bar' is topped with a smooth and delicious dairy-free cream cheese frosting, chopped walnuts, as well as vegan chocolate eggs! When it all comes together, these treats taste gorgeous!
Of course, you don't have to be served specifically for Easter. They make a great dessert for springtime in general and you definitely shouldn't miss out. The cake is unbelievably light and fluffy and the frosting is the creamiest.
Some other carrot cakes you will like are my vegan carrot walnut loaf cake and vegan carrot sheet cake. For something a little different also try my vegan strawberry lemon layer cake which is another tasty option.
Why You Will Love This Cake
- Fantastic Texture - The moisture levels in these bars is next level! They will be some of the lightest carrot cakes that you've ever tried!
- Perfect For Easter - When I first made these cake bars, they were intended to be an Easter snack. This is why I decided to add the vegan mini chocolate eggs on top. However, even though vegan chocolate eggs may not be available all year round, you can still make the cakes whenever you like.
- A Great Topping - The dairy-free cream cheese frosting that I used for this carrot cake might just be one of my favorites that I've ever made. The consistency is very similar to the ones I used on my vegan red velvet white chocolate sheet cake bars and vegan mascarpone chocolate sheet cake bars in the sense that it's ultra creamy and also light and airy.
- Allergy Friendly & Plant Based - This vegan carrot cake Easter bars recipe is completely vegan and dairy free.
- Freshly grated carrots - Make sure that you use fresh carrots. Grate them yourself. Don't buy pre-grated carrots as the cake won't be anywhere near as moist as it should be. In fact, it could even end up being quite dry.
- Apple cider vinegar - This is the most important ingredient that you will need for making the vegan buttermilk. The 'buttermilk mixture is the main thing that gives the cake its amazing texture and can not be left out.
- Light brown sugar - Light brown soft sugar has a beautifully strong flavor, due to its high molasses content which gives it a rich and delicious taste. I've used it for many cakes such as, my vegan sticky toffee pudding and vegan cherry chocolate cake. It's slowly becoming my most preferred type of sugar.
- Vegan cream cheese - The main ingredient for the cream cheese frosting. It gives the topping a different feel to an ordinary dairy-free buttercream frosting and I'm totally here for it!
- Vegan butter block - Please use a vegan butter block, as opposed to a vegan margarine as they are often made up of completely different components. Margarine spreads are often too thin to be used for frosting, which needs to be on the thicker side.
- Vegan mini chocolate eggs - Of course, it's not always Easter time, so these mini eggs are totally optional. I opted for the dairy free Swiss Truffle eggs from Rhythm 108 but you can use any that you wish.
See recipe card for full information on individual ingredients and quantities.
Substitutions & Variations
- It's not always Easter, so therefore, chocolate eggs (and especially vegan chocolate eggs) are not always available. You can use any chocolate you like as a topping for these carrot cake bars. This could be chocolate shavings, chocolate chips or chocolate chunks. They'll all compliment the frosting and cake amazingly.
- If chocolate isn't calling your name you can add a different topping. I already recommended chopped walnuts as part of the recipe, but you can use anything you like. For instance, you can use desiccated coconut, chopped pecans and pistachios and fresh blueberries. For my vegan banana pudding poke cake, I topped it with homemade caramel sauce. These all make excellent toppings and the options are endless!
How To Make Vegan Carrot Cake Bars
For the full method, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
1: Line a square cake tin with parchment paper. Set aside.
2: Make your buttermilk. Let it curdle.
3: Add the dry carrot cake ingredients to a bowl.
4: Add the wet ingredients. Fold.
5: Pour the batter into the lined pan. Bake.
6: Let the cake cool. Prepare the topping.
7: Make the cream cheese frosting in a stand mixer. Top the cake with it. Slice and serve.
Avoid over-mixing the cake batter - When mixed correctly, this cake is one of the lightest and fluffiest on my entire blog. However, by over-mixing this cake could become very sad. You've bought all of your ingredients and the last thing you want is a dense lump of cake. Not ideal. Be conscious when mixing. Fold instead.
Use fresh carrots - Freshly grated carrots are where all the moisture is. Pre-packaged ones may have been sat around inside shops for a long time and little moisture will have been retained as they will have dried out. Fresh wins every time.
Making the vegan cream cheese frosting - The vegan cream cheese frosting is made inside a stand mixer. In the past, I have occasionally made them by hand, but it's much better watching a machine do the work for you! It's really is easy to make. You just need to cream the ingredients together and then it will begin to thicken nicely.
This could be due to your baking powder and/or your baking soda being expired. The temperature of your oven also may be incorrect.
Perhaps the cake batter was over-mixed which can cause this. Another reason could be because you didn't use room temperature ingredients.
Carrot cake is traditionally served with a cream cheese frosting. For this recipe, I have created an extra creamy cream cheese frosting recipe which is so tasty and it enhances the cake greatly.
My favorite way to store my carrot cake bars are at room temperature or in the fridge. I often leave them at room temperature for 24-48 hours after baking, then I transfer them over to the fridge for a further 2-3 days.
Yes, you can and what makes these even better is that you can also freeze these with the frosting on them! Freeze for up to 3 months. I like to use airtight containers.
More Tasty Vegan Baking Recipes
If you tried this Vegan Carrot Cake Easter Bars Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!
Vegan Carrot Cake Easter Bars
For the carrot cake batter:
- 165 g freshly grated carrots
- 60 g walnuts finely chopped
- 200 ml soy milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 190 g all-purpose flour sifted
- 150 g light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 0.5 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 50 ml canola oil rapeseed
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 100 g vegan cream cheese room temperature
- 65 g vegan butter block room temperature
- 250 g powdered sugar sifted
- 0.25 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Finely chopped walnuts optional, to taste
- Vegan chocolate eggs optional, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 177 Celsius. Grease an 8x8 inch square baking tin and line with non-stick parchment paper.
- Make sure that your carrots are grated, and your walnuts are chopped beforehand, then make the vegan buttermilk by mixing the soy milk with the apple cider vinegar.
- Set the grated carrots and chopped walnuts aside. Let the vegan buttermilk curdle for 8 minutes.
Make your carrot cake batter:
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the dry cake ingredients (including the carrots and the walnuts) until combined.
- Next, pour in the curdled soy milk, canola oil and the vanilla extract. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined and all the flour lumps are gone. Don’t over-mix the carrot cake batter.
- Pour your cake batter into the lined, square pan. Spread the carrot cake batter to the corners. Make sure it is even and flat.
Bake the cake:
- Bake your carrot cake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes. A toothpick will come out clean when it is ready.
- Let the cake cool inside the tin for 10-15 minutes, then transfer over to a cooling rack to cool completely. Don’t add the frosting until all the warmth has left the cake.
Make the cream cheese frosting:
- In a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, cream together the vegan cream cheese with the vegan butter on a high speed until creamy.
- Gradually, add in the powdered sugar. Allow the stand mixer to keep mixing while you add it. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, pour in the vanilla.
Decorating the carrot cake:
- Spread your cream cheese frosting over the cake and smooth out with a palette knife. Sprinkle chopped walnuts on top and vegan chocolate eggs/vegan mini eggs if you wish to make this cake Easter themed. If you are making this cake at a different time of the year, feel free to skip the chocolate eggs.
- Slice the cake and serve the carrot cake. Enjoy!
- When mixed correctly, this cake is one of the lightest and fluffiest on my entire blog. However, by over-mixing this cake could become very sad. You've bought all of your ingredients and the last thing you want is a dense lump of cake. Not ideal. Be conscious when mixing. Fold instead.
- Freshly grated carrots are where all the moisture is. Pre-packaged ones may have been sat around inside shops for a long time and little moisture will have been retained as they will have dried out. Fresh wins every time.
- The vegan cream cheese frosting is made inside a stand mixer. In the past, I have occasionally made them by hand, but it's much better watching a machine do the work for you! It's really is easy to make. You just need to cream the ingredients together and then it will begin to thicken nicely.