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Vegan Carrot Loaf Cake with Orange Icing

 An easy recipe for vegan carrot cake with orange icing. It slices well, can be frozen, and is perfect for afternoon tea or dessert.

vegan carrot cake

Vegan carrot loaf cake with orange icing

My latest easy loaf cake is a gently spiced carrot cake.

It's very quick to make and tastes great.

It's soft and moist and much lighter than many carrot cakes.

I do hope you try it soon.

Carrot cake with orange buttercream icing

Vegan Orange Buttercream Icing

Carrot cake is always good served plain, but really something special when you add icing or buttercream.

Vegan buttercream is super easy to make. It's just a combination of vegan butter or marg, icing sugar and some added flavour, whisked until thick and creamy.

The thicker you make it the less it will drip and it is more likely to stay in place. As you can see mine could have been a bit thicker, but I don't mind it dripping down the sides.

If you think it needs to be thicker, just add more icing sugar.

Flavouring buttercream icing

I usually flavour buttercream icing with vanilla extract or vanilla paste but for this cake the flavour I added was orange.

Freshly squeezed orange juice and orange zest was used to flavour the icing.

The cake also included orange juice and zest too.

Orange works so well with the carrots and spices.

easy vegan carrot cake

Lining a loaf tin

It's really important to line your loaf tin, so the cake can be easily removed.

I prefer to use loaf liners as they are super easy.

I really can't be bothered faffing about measuring a loaf tin and cutting non-stick baking paper to fit. No thanks.

However, if you have more patience than me then go ahead and do it that way. I know it is the traditional way to line a loaf tin.

This cake is made in a 2 lb (900g) loaf tin.

I have to point out that these can vary in size, as I have a couple this size and one larger and they are all classed as a 2 lb loaf tin.

Loaf tin lining tip

You may think if you've bought loaf tin liners then that's it, job done, but you would be mistaken.

The liners are size-specific but they don't fit all the snuggly as they are fanned in a concertina style around the edges.

If you just pop it in and then try to pour in the batter, you may be unfortunate enough to find it flaps about a bit while you are trying to pour. 

It's not the first time I have ended up pouring some cake batter outside the liner.

My tip is to rub some margarine around the inside lip of the loaf tin, then when you add the liner and press it against the sides, the marg acts like glue and holds it in place.

It makes all the difference.

Vegan carrot cake topped with orange buttercream icing on a floral platter

What you need to make vegan carrot loaf cake

Here are the ingredients you need to make both the carrot cake and the buttercream icing.


  • OAT MILK - or your regular milk
  • ORANGES - you will use the juice and zest in this recipe
  • VEGETABLE OIL - or other mild oil
  • PLAIN FLOUR - also known as all-purpose flour
  • BROWN SUGAR - or demerara sugar
  • SALT


  • VEGAN BUTTER - or margarine
  • ICING SUGAR - also known as confectioners sugar

Leftover carrots? Try this delicious carrot sandwich filler.

Why I love loaf cakes so much

You may have noticed I love loaf cakes. I have shared quite a few with you.

Here are the reasons I love them so much.

  1. When I make a cake in a round cake tin, I feel like it needs to be layered up with a filling and topping. Fine for a special occasion, but a lot of extra work.
  2. The loaf cakes I make are super easy, you just fold the wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
  3. My loaf cakes don't need a whisk or stand mixer.
  4. They are light and fluffy.
  5. They slice well.
  6. They can be frozen when they cool (before any icing is added).
  7. They look great!
  8. You don't have to figure out what size cake pan you need, it's always the same loaf tin.
  9. You can buy liners ready to insert.
  10. They taste fabulous.

More easy vegan loaf cakes

Here are a few more vegan loaf cakes for you to try. They are all super simple to make.

  1. Apple Loaf Cake
  2. Banoffee Pie Loaf Cake
  3. Blackberry Lime Drizzle Lime Cake
  4. Blueberry Lemon Loaf Cake
  5. Cherry Bakewell Loaf Cake
  6. Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
  7. Chocolate Loaf Cake
  8. Coconut Loaf Cake
  9. Jaffa Cake Orange Cake
  10. Lemon Drizzle Cake
  11. Sticky Golden Syrup Loaf Cake
  12. Treacle Banana Gingerbread

  13. To find all my loaf cakes and tips for making the best loaf cakes, go to my article Easy Vegan Loaf Cake Recipes.

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a slice of carrot cake on a yellow side plate

How long will carrot cake keep?

This loaf cake can be kept in an airtight container for a few days.

Because it has buttercream on it, you need to keep it in the fridge.

If you don't add the buttercream you could wrap it in baking paper and store in a cake tin or airtight container for a few days on the countertop.

Can you freeze carrot cake?

You can slice this carrot cake and flash freeze it in slices, then pop them into freezer bags to freeze until you want a slice.

To defrost it, take a slice out of the freezer and defrost it in the fridge.

Then enjoy!

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An easy recipe for vegan carrot cake with orange icing. It slices well, can be frozen, and is perfect for afternoon tea or served as dessert.

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How to make vegan carrot loaf cake

Scroll down for step-by-step photos followed by a full printable recipe. If you don't have a printer, hit print then save as a PDF.

Making vegan carrot cake - step 1 (flavoured milk in a jug, dry ingredients in a bowl)


  1. Preheat the oven and line your loaf tin.
  2. Add oat milk (or your regular milk to a jug along with orange juice and zest and set aside.
  3. Measure flour into a mixing bowl.

Making vegan carrot cake - step 2  (sugar, spices and grated carrot added to the dry mix)


  1. Add brown sugar, spices, baking powder and salt to the flour and mix well.
  2. Now add the grated carrot.

Making vegan carrot cake - step 3 (oil added to milk mixture and folded into the dry ingredients)


  1. Fold the carrots into the dry ingredients.
  2. Add oil to the milk mixture, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  3. Fold in until just combined.

Making vegan carrot cake - step 4 (cake mix poured into loaf tin and baked)


  1. Pour the cake batter into the lined loaf tin and bake until golden and a skewer comes out clean.
  2. Leave to cool in the tine for 10 minutes before moving to a baking rack to continue cooling.

Making vegan carrot cake - step 5 (orange buttercream made in a mixing bowl)


  1. While the cake is cooling, make the buttercream.
  2. Add the vegan butter (or margarine) to a bowl with orange juice and zest, then add icing sugar and mix with a hand whisk, or electric whisk.
  3. Add more icing sugar if you think you need it.
  4. Pop it in the fridge until you need it. If you don't have much room in the fridge, transfer to a smaller bowl.

Making vegan carrot cake - step 6 (frosted carrot cake)


  1. Spread the buttercream onto the cooled cake.
  2. Slice and serve.
  3. Enjoy!

carrot cake, carrot loaf cake, vegan loaf cake, vegan carrot cake, vegan carrot loaf cake, carrot and orange cake, orange buttercream icing
British, vegan
Yield: 10 slices
Author: Jacqueline Meldrum
Vegan Carrot Loaf Cake with Orange Icing

Vegan Carrot Loaf Cake with Orange Icing

An easy recipe for vegan carrot cake with orange icing. It slices well, can be frozen, and is perfect for afternoon tea or dessert.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 1 H & 10 MTotal time: 1 H & 20 M


Carrot Cake
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) oat milk (or your regular milk)
  • 100 ml (1/3 cup) orange juice
  • 3 tbsp orange zest (zest from 3 large oranges)
  • 100 ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil
  • 250g (1½ cups + 1 tbsp) plain flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 200g (1 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 150g (1 1/3 cup) carrots, grated
Orange Buttercream
  • 100g (1/4 cup + 3 tbsp) vegan butter (or margarine)
  • 2 tbsp orange juice1 tbsp orange zest (from 2 large orange)
  • 300g (2 cups + 1 tbsp) icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • pinch salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/350f/gas mark 4.
  2. Line a 2 lb (900g) loaf tin.
  3. Measure the milk into a jug and add the orange juice and zest and set aside.
  4. Measure the flour into the mixing bowl with the sugar, baking powder, salt and spices and mix.
  5. Add the grated carrots and mix again.
  6. Add the oil to the milk mixture, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  7. Fold in until just combined. Do not over mix!
  8. Pour cake batter into the loaf tin and bake for an hour and 10 minutes. Check with a skewer after 1 hour.
  9. Leave it to cool in the tin, then move to a baking rack to continue cooling.
  10. While it is cooling, make the buttercream. Pop it in the fridge until you need it, then spread generously over the top of the cake, slice and serve.
  11. Enjoy!


I baked this for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Ovens vary as well as our placement of the shelves, so check your cake at 1 hour, by inserting a skewer or toothpick into the centre of the cake. If there is batter on it, it needs longer.

If you don't want to make buttercream, you could make a simple icing by mixing icing sugar with orange juice and zest, then drizzle it on.

You can keep the cake in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days, or freeze before you add the icing, in slices and defrost in the fridge when you fancy a slice of cake.

262 calories per slice with no butter cream icing

379 calories per slice with orange icing

390 calories per slice with orange buttercream

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)


Sat. Fat (grams)


Carbs (grams)


Fiber (grams)


Net carbs


Sugar (grams)


Protein (grams)


Sodium (milligrams)


Cholesterol (grams)



  1. The orange icing makes this cake all the more amazing! Love how it's full of spices!

    1. Oh yes the orange icing really makes it special.

  2. I am going to make this today. I have everything I need. You always seem to know. Just a little orange icing I think. Jill

    1. I have heard that before.I hope you and your daughter enjoyed the cake

  3. OMG that looks the bees knees.

  4. this looks fantastic! I cant wait to make it I love carrots and with orange icing its a win win!

  5. Carrot cake is one of my favourites and this loaf looks amazing. Even better that it is vegan.

    1. So many people love carrot cake and you'd never know this one was vegan!

  6. So moist and yummy! The icing makes it to-die-for

  7. This carrot cake looks and sounds amazing! My family is going to be all over this cake. I’m so excited for the orange icing! Definitely making this today with my daughter!

  8. We love carrot cake nd so look forward to trying out this vegan version!

    1. It's super easy, moist,full of flavour and no one would guess it was vegan.

  9. I cannot wait to try this. I am a huge fan of carrot cake, and this recipe sounds just incredible!

    1. Thanks Danielle and I have to say it is pretty gorgeous Nd so easy to make.

  10. Mmmm such a beautiful moist vegan carrot cake!

    1. It is and it's super quick and easy to make too.

  11. This is the bread of my dreams! As a complete carrot cake lover and someone that can't eat eggs, I'm obsessed with this recipe! That orange icing is perfection on top!

    1. You would never know they weren't there but this one would be perfect for you

  12. Loved the orange icing! It went perfectly with the carrot cake. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yay! I am so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for letting me know

  13. I am making this today but I only have self raising flour. Can I use that instead?

    1. Sorry I just spotted your comment. Yes you may use self-raising flour but if you have it, I'd add a generous pinch of baking powder too to help with the rise.

    2. I made it with the self-raising and it's very good. I will try your tip next time.

  14. I made this at the weekend and it is as good as it looks Jacquline. Jill

  15. Great recipe - was absolutely delicious!!!


I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x