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Orange Vegan Carrot Cake w/ Cashew Nut Cream Frosting

August 1, 2011

Orange Veagn Carrot Cake w/ Cashew Nut Cream Frosting

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a cake recipe here on Veggie num num so I’m very happy to be sharing this super tasty vegan recipe with you today.

As a kid I would bake cakes all the time; they are probably the very first things I felt truly comfortable cooking. So I’ve had a little fun lately playing around with a few of my favourite cake ingredients to come up with a simple and tasty vegan cake recipe.

The recipe is both egg and dairy free and makes a really delicious and moist cake perfect for an afternoon or morning tea or even as a dessert cake for an after dinner treat.

The cashew nut cream is so good!! I could eat it all on it’s own and a great alternative to the usual cream cheese frosting. Make sure you use raw un-slated cashews and you’ll need a good high-powered food processor to get the best result.

I love the subtle spicy flavours of the orange, cinnamon and cardamom they play so perfectly with the sweetness of the cake and the creamy cashew nut frosting. Enjoy cut into thick slices with a nice hot cup of tea!!

Orange Vegan Carrot Cake w/ Cashew Nut Cream Frosting

Preparation time: 60mins // Makes 1 loaf cake

  • 2 tsp white chia seeds
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup unbleached self raising flour
  • ½ tsp freshly ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1½ cups grated carrot (approx. 1 carrot)
  • ½ cup sultanas (raisins)
  • ½ cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 large orange, zest
  • 125ml (4 fl oz) rice bran (or vegetable) oil

Cashew Nut Frosting

  • 150g (5 oz) raw un-salted cashew nuts
  • 1 orange, juice only
  • 1/3 cup icing (powdered) sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla essence

In a small bowl combine the cashew nuts with just enough water to cover and set aside to soak while you prepare the cake.

Combine the chia seeds with the water, stir well and set aside for about 10 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/356°F and grease a 23cm x 13cm (9inch x 5inch) loaf tin, lining the bottom with grease proof paper, set aside.

Sift the flour and spices into a large bowl, add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Add the grated carrot, sultanas, chopped pecans and orange zest. Stir again making sure all the ingredients are well combined.

By now the chia seeds and water should be jelly like, stir again and add to the cake mixture with the oil.

Fold the oil and chia mixture through for a few minutes combining well with all the ingredients. Transfer the cake mixture into your prepared loaf tin and place on the middle shelf of the pre-heated oven to bake for 45 minutes.

Check the cake frequently towards the end to ensure it doesn’t burn.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling prepare your cashew nut frosting. Drain off the water from the soaking cashew nuts and transfer them to a food processor.

Adding half the orange juice process the nuts on high for about 3-5 minutes, stopping to scrap down the sides often, until the nuts form a smooth paste. Add more orange juice as you go if needed.

Once the nuts are smooth and creamy add any remaining orange juice the icing sugar and vanilla, process quickly for 1 minute to combine.

One the cake is completely cool spread over the frosting thickly and top with a little extra orange zest if you desire.

A really simple a tasty vegan recipe that makes a super yummy carrot cake. Be sure to store the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it should keep well for a few days, enjoy!

Orange Veagn Carrot Cake w/ Cashew Nut Cream Frosting

{This recipe was adapted from a Carrot Cake & Geranium Cheese recipe found in The Complete Encyclopedia of Vegetables and Vegetarian Cooking by Roz Denny & Christine Ingram}

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  • Jennifer (Delicieux) August 1, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Oooooh this looks so good Trudy!! I love the way you’ve used the cashew nut cream as a frosting too! I’m SO going to try that, it’s a great idea.

    By the way, we have the same cake rack 😉

  • chow vegan August 1, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Wow, I love the look of your carrot cake! There’s so many yummy ingredients in it. And the cashew nut cream frosting is genius! I always feel so guilty using cream cheese. :-)

  • chinmayie @ loe food eat August 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Looks great! Just can’t believe it’s vegan :) Recipe also looks very easy with simple ingredients… have to try this!!

  • Emma August 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Looks lovely. Carrot cake is my favourite and I bet the orange really gives this a nice twist. So nice to see a non vegan cream cheese frosting too!

  • corina August 1, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    These look so moist and I like the idea of the cashew nut frosting. I’ve never heard of chia seeds though? Would any other seeds work as an alternative?

  • Tiff @ Love, Sweat, and Beers August 2, 2011 at 6:50 am

    That looks gorgeous – and more importantly, it looks delicious. I now have a hankering for carrot cake.

  • [email protected] hobbyandmore August 2, 2011 at 8:17 am

    the cake looks divine!! my to bake list is growing with all these sinful creations!.. cant take my eyes off of this post! lovely!

    -Richa @

  • Elise August 2, 2011 at 8:41 am

    I’ve never tried chia seeds but I’m determined to when I do my next specialty food order! I shall bookmark this for when I do!

  • [email protected] August 2, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Looks absolutely delicious – I love carrot cake and the icing looks like a great alternative to cream cheese. Beautiful photo also – thanks!

  • @SuperfoodAnita August 2, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I love how you used cashew nut cream instead of cream cheese. I might try making this with coconut sugar instead of icing sugar to make it even more healthy. Thanks for sharing. Love your photos too.

  • sally August 2, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Who would have thought you could get such creamy looking frosting from cashews? I love carrot cake and can’t wait to try this version.

  • Trudy ~ Veggie num num August 2, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Hi everyone thanks so much for all the lovely comments and feedback!!

    Chia seeds are a really handy ingredient in any kitchen and I simply buy them either from our local health food store or even the heath food/whole food section in our major supermarket. Corina chia seeds become quite jelly like when combined with water which makes a good substitute for eggs in baking. I have not heard of or tried any other seeds in the same manner. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding them in a good supermarket or whole foods store.

  • Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner August 2, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Oh my gosh. Ohmygosh. OH MY GOSH!!! That looks AMAZING!

  • Erica (Shona's mum) August 2, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Wonderful looking cake Trudy. I’m going to bake for my sister’s 60th birthday dinner tomorrow evening. Thank you again for your wonderful recipes.

  • Karolina August 2, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Wow.. That looks amazing!!

  • Sasha August 2, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Your photos are so so pretty, and the cake looks absolutely irresistible :) gorgeous little post

  • Alissa @ Not Just Apples August 2, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    This looks really good! I love the idea of adding the chia seeds to it :)

  • jeffie August 7, 2011 at 1:31 am

    What’s the difference between white and regular chia seeds? This looks insanely delicious by the way!! You had me at cashew cream frosting.

  • Trudy ~ Veggie num num August 8, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Thank you for the lovely comments all 😀

    Hi jeffie, as far as I know there is no difference between white and regualr (black) chia seeds, I think it just depends on the colour of the flower. I have used both black and white chia seeds to make the ‘gel’ and there was no difference in the outcome. Hope you enjoy this scrumptious recipe :)

  • [email protected] Would Cathy Eat? August 18, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Fantastic recipe! This is going on my “must make” list!

  • Karmalily August 21, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Wow, that looks incredible, and I’m definitely going to be making that as soon as I can. I love that the frosting is nut-based and doesn’t call for prepackaged and unhealthy vegan cream cheese.

  • Jenny August 24, 2011 at 9:38 am

    It looks like a lovely cake, and such a great idea for the icing too. Can’t wait to give it a try!

  • Melanie September 8, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Made this on the weekend and it was so nice! Very easy to make and a great way to add the very beneficial and nutritional chia seeds into a dish. Will definitely make on a special occasion to show off how vegan food can taste just as good as everything else!

  • Heidi - Apples Under My Bed September 11, 2011 at 9:34 am

    I’ve recently fallen in love with carrot cake. For years I felt like the odd one out, not quite understanding what all the fuss was about. Now I get it :) This looks beautiful!
    Heidi xo

  • the hungry birdie October 27, 2011 at 6:31 am

    Wow, this looks incredible! I am always on the hunt for good vegan carrot cakes although I’m sad to say I have never tried making any myself…The ingredients seem simple enough though, I want to give this a try 😀

  • lyndsay October 28, 2011 at 6:28 am

    this looks soooo good! i can’t wait to try and make cashew nut cream, though i don’t know if my food processor is strong enough! so happy i found your blog, some amazing vegetarian recipes… thanks for sharing!

  • Jen November 22, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    This cake is absolutely delicious! I can’t believe how moist it stays – even after two days!

  • slavica November 29, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Hi! I made the cake today and it turned out absolutely delicious!!!
    Thank you very much for a great recipe.

  • Jan July 21, 2012 at 8:18 am

    This was divine! I just love the Cashew Nut icing – it was a big hit – no one guessed it was Vegan -it’s all gone now, but will be on the menu again next week!

  • Emma March 26, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Do you think I could make this in a round tin? Any suggestions on size and timings? I want to make it for a birthday cake and for some reason feel like a round cake rather than a loaf is more appropriate..