Carrot cake is something I make a lot this time of year. My boyfriend and his family love carrot cake, so I’ve usually already made a couple by now and planned more for the holidays. Even though it’s not my favorite, I can still appreciate such a classic treat. And I know it may seem like I keep making recipes for things I’m not particularly fond of (looking at you, pumpkin conchas), but at least I’ve been open-minded and ended up really liking the treats. Unsurprisingly, here’s yet another one of those! This year, I wanted to see if I could transform the recipe somehow, and let me tell you, donuts are the way to go.
One night not too long ago, I was brainstorming out loud to Lui some interesting fall recipes I could start working on. I had been on Pinterest all day for inspiration, but I wasn’t getting that far. I knew I wanted to make carrot cake, but I was tired of getting the sheet pan and doing the same old thing. Then, Target (of course) notified me of a little discount I could get on bakeware — and what picture does it have? A donut pan. Okay so not the most exciting origin story…
Anyways, I picked up a donut pan, made my batter and gave it a shot. I don’t know if it’s the shape, or maybe my taste buds have seriously changed since last year, but I could eat a carrot cake donut every single day. It’s such a soft, moist cake to the point that it doesn’t feel right calling it a cake. Then, there’s most of the sweetness from the glaze, and that beautiful crunch on top from the pecans. It really has everything I could ask for (not to mention, a serving of vegetables in my dessert isn’t bad).
I also really love this recipe because it makes so many donuts. Like, not so much that you have a bunch of carrot cake donuts you don’t even know what to do with. More like just enough to satisfy that craving and then maybe one more the day after that. It’s pretty inexpensive to make, save for the pecans, and it’s something anyone can enjoy.
If you need a little break from the pumpkin overload, want a fun new project, or just love carrot cake, you really have to try these. And with the toppings, they make for a super cute breakfast centerpiece! Who said cake can’t be for breakfast?
Vegan Carrot Cake Donuts Recipe
Vegan Carrot Cake Donuts
- 5 small/medium carrots peeled and shredded
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¾ cup neutral-flavored oil canola, vegetable oil, etc
- 4 flax eggs
- 1 ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cloves
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ¼ tsp salt
Cream Cheese Frosting Glaze
- ½ cup softened vegan butter
- 8 oz vegan cream cheese
- ½ tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 1-2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 cups chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease your donut pan with butter or cooking spray
- Wash your carrots, peel and shred them on a cheese grater (or with the peeler)
- In a large bowl, mix the carrots with all of the dry ingredients until combined
- Then, add the flax eggs and vanilla and fold until just mixed (the batter will be very thick)
- Evenly distribute the batter into each section of the donut pan. Fill each section no more than 3/4 full
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes before carefully removing
- While the donuts bake, make the frosting glaze. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, use an electric mixer, or mix by hand until everything is smooth and creamy. Add more powdered sugar as needed
- On a cutting board, roughly chop 2 cups of pecans
- Once the donuts have slightly cooled, dip upside down in the glaze and spread evenly over the top.
- Sprinkle pecans over the glaze, and enjoy!
- I used really small carrots when I made these, so if your carrots are larger/thicker, you probably only need about 3
- I made one batch with pecans in the batter and the topping — if you want to add anything to the cake, add them in last and use about 1 cup, depending on the size. Just gently fold chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, whatever you like into the batter right before putting it in the molds
- If you don’t like cream cheese/cream cheese frosting, these would be so tasty with some date syrup on top, or even a dollop of coconut whipped cream! These can also definitely be eaten on its own without any glaze if that’s your preference