You’ll never guess that these Carrot Cake Cupcakes are vegan, thanks to a surprise ingredient…chickpeas! Fluffy, moist, and perfectly topped with non-dairy cream cheese frosting. This post is brought to you by LouAna Oils and The Feedfeed.
I have a soft spot in my heart (and my belly) for cozy, homespun desserts. You know, those classics that are no fuss, that are not exactly known for being photogenic showstoppers (but could be!), are made with love and passed on for generations. I love upside down cakes and fruit crisps, and a good galette; desserts that you can whip up when whimsy strikes.
Carrot cake is another one that comes to mind, and I can’t believe that I haven’t shared a recipe with you! How does that happen, nine years into blogging? Call it an oversight, or maybe I was just looking for the perfect time, and that is now.
I made it my goal this year to transform my favorite carrot cake recipe into the easiest, fluffiest, moist, and vegan (!) Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, and guess what? I did it, with the help of LouAna Oils and The Feedfeed!
It took me several batches (not complaining, because each iteration was delicious) to perfect, and you have to make them!
If you love baking with coconut oil, then you are going to LOVE baking with LouAna Liquid Coconut Oil even more. Since it’s already a liquid, it’s easy to measure and pour (no need to melt anything!), just like any other cooking oil. And the best part is that there is no aroma or taste, which allows the carrots to really shine through! It’s the perfect substitute for any cooking oil, butter or margarine for baking, sautéing, and beyond!
There really is no hint of coconut, unless you want there to be, and I did, so I added some shredded coconut and pecans in these cupcakes because they add so much flavor and chew to the cake.
There’s also one more secret ingredient in these cupcakes, can you possibly guess? To replace my egg, I turned to aquafaba, which is the liquid in canned chickpeas, but I also threw in some chickpeas into the mix, inspired by recipes that use them in flourless chocolate cakes, for example. I found that adding both the aquafaba and the chickpeas added the moistness the cupcakes needed, and allowed for the batter to bake into such beautifully fluffy and moist cupcakes, I was able to fool my family when they tasted them — they were shocked that these carrot cake cupcakes were completely non-dairy!
If you’re wondering about the frosting, I turned to non-dairy cream cheese and vegan butter — and it topped the cupcakes beautifully.
I have to admit, I have grown to love this recipe more than the standard carrot cake recipe I have in my binder from a dear old coworker; I don’t feel like I’m giving anything up, and as my husband said, “this is the kind of vegan recipe I like.” I think you will agree.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by LouAna Oils and The Feedfeed. Thank you for supporting brands that matter to me; sponsored posts such as this help behind the scenes at Kitchen Confidante. All opinions in this post are, as always, my own.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes (Vegan)
For the carrot cake cupcakes
- 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated carrots*
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup LouAna Liquid Coconut Oil (find it here!)
- 1/4 cup aquafaba liquid from canned chickpeas
- 1/4 cup canned chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
For the non-dairy cream cheese frosting
- 8 oz nondairy cream cheese at room temperature
- 8 tablespoons vegan butter at room temperature
- 2 cups confectioners sugar sifted
- ¼ teaspoons vanilla
Make the carrot cake cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a muffin pan by lining with cupcake liners or lightly coating with baking spray.
- In the bowl of a blender or food processor, add the carrots, sugar, coconut oil, aquafaba, chickpeas, coconut, and pecans, and pulse until just combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking powder. Add the carrot mixture to the flour and mix until combined.
- Divide the batter evenly into the muffin pan.
- Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let it rest in the muffin pan for 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Make the non-dairy cream cheese frosting:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla. If the frosting is too thin to spread or pipe, chill in either the refrigerator or freezer (don't forget about it!) until it’s a workable consistency.