This Vegan Carrot Cake + Orange-infused Frosting isn't your traditional version of carrot cake. Not only is it completely dairy-free, moist, + fluffy, but it's also loaded with shredded carrots, orange zest, pecan chunks, pineapple, and a ton of warm, fall spices that create one decadent flavor. Topped with a creamy orange-infused frosting and sprinkles of chopped walnuts. A definite crowd-pleasing treat for the holiday season.
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease OR line with parchment paper the following cake pans: ONE 8-inch round cake pan, ONE 6-inch cake pan, and ONE 4-inch cake pan. **NOTE: You can also do THREE 8-inch cake pans if that's what you have on hand!**
In a separate large bowl, add the flour, pure cane sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, ground ginger, orange zest, and sea salt and whisk together dry ingredients until well incorporated.
Using a food processor, shred the carrots until completely minced. Add shredded carrot to the dry ingredients and mix well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce, almond milk, vanilla, pure cane sugar, maple syrup and coconut oil.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix together well using a spatula until fully combined. Gently fold in chopped pecans and diced pineapples.
Pour batter evenly into all three cake pans and Bake them for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. **NOTE: Smaller cakes will bake before larger one, so keep your eyes on cakes after the first 20 minutes or so.**
Once cake is fully baked, remove from oven and let cool completely on a cooling rack, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the frosting.
Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer (fitted w/ a paddle attachment) and beat until smooth. If frosting is too thick, add additional milk, 1 Tbsp at a time. If too thin, add additional powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp at a time, until desired consistency is met.
Once cake has cooled, place on desired cake stand or platter and frost in between layers and over entire cake. Sprinkle chopped walnuts atop if desired.
Slice and enjoy.
Keep cake tightly wrapped using plastic wrap and refrigerated for about 1 week.
Note: Raisins or coconut flakes can also be added in cake if preferred.