Raw, Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
December 5, 2011

Raw, Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

If this post doesn’t make you guys smile, I don’t know what will. Those right there are by far the daintiest, pretties, and tastiest raw treats I have ever made. And the beauty of it all is that they weren’t even hard.

It all started on Friday, when I had dinner with Valerie at LPQ. It is by now a tradition that, every time I see Valerie, she brings me a bag of her extra frozen juice pulp, because she knows that I’ll put it to good use in crackers, breads, and wraps. This time, she outdid herself:

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I was actually hard to carry that home.

One of the perks of this particular bag was that Valerie had separated all of the carrot pulp away from the other pulp. This means that I’ve got quite some weeks of carrot bread, carrot cake, and other carrot creations to look forward to. I decided to begin with carrot cake, but not just any old kind: all raw, all vegan carrot cake. And to make it more fun, I decided to turn it into cupcakes (cupcakes that you all will be able to make, too, because you can substitute grated carrot for pulp!).

Raw, Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

And since Christy had asked me, on Friday, if I knew of a good vegan cream cheese frosting that was Tofutti free, I decided to share the recipe for my favorite version.

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Also as easy as…well, a lot easier than pie.

Raw, Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting (raw, vegan, gluten and soy free)

Serves 6

1 cup walnuts (not soaked)
1 cup dates
2 cups carrot pulp OR grated raw carrots. If you use grated carrots, use cheesecloth or paper towels to squeeze the carrot and remove as much excess moisture as possible (same deal if you have “wet” pulp)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
Dash nutmeg
1/8 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup raisins

Raw, Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting (makes over 1 cup)

1 cup cashews, soaked 1+ hours
6 pitted dates, also soaked 1+ hours (you can soak them together!)
Dash sea salt
1 tsp lemon juice
Water

Few drops stevia (optional, but useful if the 6 dates aren’t quite sweet enough for you)

1) Process the dates and walnuts in a food processor fitted with the S blade till they resemble a Larabar mix.

2) Add carrot pulp or grated carrots and spices. Process till the mix has taken the form of a smooth “dough.”

3) Add raisins and pulse to combine.

4) For the frosting: rinse cashews and dates of their soak water, and place in a food processor with salt and lemon. Process until the mixture is pasty and well combined. Add just enough water as the motor is running to get the frosting consistency you want.

5) Push the carrot cake dough into six muffin tins or ramekins and refrigerate for about an hour. Remove from the fridge, and get frosting!

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6) Serve, snack, and savor.

The taste of these cupcakes is disturbingly close to the “real” thing! And, given this humble and simple list of wholesome ingredients, you might even say that this dessert is realer than the real thing.

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I hope you can see all of the natural texture! I love how the raisins add some variety, along with the walnuts.

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Next time you need a lift—and from your responses to Saturday’s post, it sounds as though a bunch of you could use some end-of-year levity—I suggest you get grating or juicing. You won’t be sorry.

Till tmw,

xo

Categories: Gluten Free, Raw

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    125 Comments
  1. Amazing and now one of my favorites! One of the best parts of this recipe is there is no agave nectar or other type of raw sugar. Absolutely love how it is but will try dehydrating the cake part next time around.. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes with the world. Makes it so easy to be a 100% raw! 🙂

  2. I just made this recipe, but made a big, round carrot cake instead. Next time I think I am going to make mini cupcakes and make a fancier icing, but for how simple this recipe is, it’s a knockout!

  3. OMG! just finished making this and it is AMAZING! Im about 90% raw and just got a vitamix so I decided I would put it to use. It turned out so delish. YUMMMM

  4. Made these yesterday. Great flavor, very rich and good. Despite dry carrot pulp, still more of a pudding than cupcake. More mushy than cake-like but not sure it could be otherwise. Also noticed color of frosting is more gray than white. I should have added a little water, blended a little more but taste good. Thank you for this recipe!

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  6. Someone from my church brought these for our Lenten brunch this week and let me tell you…they are amazing!!! I went to get a second one off the table and they were all gone. One of the best raw food recipes I have ever had!

  7. Just made these! They’re in the fridge now. Can’t wait to eat them. The batter was delicious!!!

  8. These were perfect! Oh so delicious and nutritious! Our family loves them. Thank you so much for such a wonderful cupcake recipe!

  9. Thanks Gena, I look forward to making these. Carry on the great work of inspiring people to eat good food 🙂

  10. I made these last night – my meat eating family ate them and my 4 year old loves them. Thank you for these!

  11. We just made these and they are FANTASTIC!!! Thanks for sharing. Planning on making them again soon…….YUMMY 🙂

  12. Hi! 🙂 I want to ask if maybe can I substitute cashews for another thing like almonds? or pecans or walnuts? Because it’s hard for me to find cashews that are not salted and toasted, and when I’ve found they are a little expensive, thank you! 🙂

  13. I never knew what to do with my fruit juice pulp, and I think I just found the solution! Will be trying those very soon, thank you for sharing!

  14. Thanks for this recipe Gena! We did a ton of juicing over the weekend and I was left with lots of pulp and didn’t know what to do with it all. Came over to your blog, of course, and found many great ideas! This was my favorite.

    I actually used a combination of apple and beet, instead of the carrot, and was left with a yummy sweet treat. Also baked them in mini-muffin tins for about 15 minutes because I don’t have a dehydrator. Wouldn’t have thought to do this on my own, so thank you!

  15. Oh thanks so much for this, I added some shredded coconut in! this is amazing, I may even roll it into balls and roll in coconut as truffles, yum! 🙂

  16. I was looking for a raw cashew frosting for my cupcakes and I found it right here! It’s delicious! Can’t wait to bake the cakes to go under it. Might make your raw carrot cakes one day, too. This is the second recipe I’ve made of yours since I found your website last week.
    :o)
    Thanks!

  17. May I ask what sort of dates that you use in this recipe? I’m curious of I could use Medjool dates?

    Thanks!

  18. So I just made these for my family and I and the taste was perfect but the dough was very mushy. Does anyone know how to firm it up or maybe what went wrong? Thanks!

  19. These were yummy but my icing didn’t turn out like yours, it was kind of runny and I had not added water. Not really sure what I did wrong. I soaked the cashews overnight but not the dates. Maybe my processor isn’t strong enough?

    I didn’t have the small cupcake forms so I put it in an 8 x 8 pan.

    Very tasty. Thank you for the awesome recipes.

  20. My daughter will be making these for her Birthday. She’s so excited to share a healthy treat with her friends.

  21. I just ate my first mini cake… Wow. I’m baffled how amazing and delicious it is without using anything naughty. I happened to save a load of ginger and carrot pulp awhile back so I defrosted it earlier today. Not baking it somehow made this entire process more rewarding. I love this and will make it again. Thanks!

  22. I just discovered your site today while surfing for a raw carrot cake recipe. I’ve tried other recipes that I wasn’t crazy about, but this one is a WINNER! And it’s so easy! It will be part of my permanent repertoire of desserts. Thank you!

  23. I cannot WAIT to try these!! We’ve gotten carrots in our CSA box each week for the past few weeks, so I’m excited to have a new way to use some carrots! Thanks!!

  24. OKay I made these tonight and they were great! My only dissapointment was that my frosting was brown not that beautiful white. I don’t see how it can come out that white when you’re using dates.

    Any suggestions?

  25. I am a “beginner” vegan and I have to say, I’ve tried raw desserts before that were terrible. These, however, were delicious! It’s nice to have a way to use the carrot pulp from my juicer instead of just throwing it away. BTW – we made your shepherd’s pie over Christmas and it was a hit! I love your recipes. 🙂

  26. Hi Gena! Quick question..can you makes these a day in advance? I want to make them for my daughters party alongwith a vegan carot cake.i have a lot to do..so it would be helpful if I could. Thanks!

    Liv

  27. I just wanted to share that these freeze really well, which is perfect if you’re planning on eating all 6 by yourself like I did.

  28. Thank you for this wonderful recipe! The icing is divine. I have really missed cupcakes since I’ve adopted a high raw diet. This is the first raw cupcake recipe that I’ve tried and it’s nice to start off with an easy, delicious recipe!

    Loving them!

  29. I just made these and they are sooooo good! I sprinkled shredded coconut on the top and I think it would be good to try just a little fresh pineapple with it too. Thanks for such a great recipe.
    Patti

  30. Found your website today. I made raw carrot pecan cookies–so these cupcakes are on my list for next week. Good work!

  31. Hi Gena,

    I just made these and they are totally delicious. I have been trying to find a healthy vegan treat to make for my sister when she comes into town and I think I know what I am going to make now! 🙂 Thank you for providing vegan “treats” that are nothing but wholesome healthy ingredients. It makes being vegan so much easier and enjoyable.

  32. these are so cute! have you seen the whole BOOK devoted to raw cupcakes that just came out? on my wish list!

  33. DELICIOUS! Whipped up a batch last night and my husband even thought they were yummy! THANKS

  34. I just made my first batch of mini raw vegan cheesecakes, but as soon as I’ve finished the seven that are still in my freezer, I WILL be making this. My heart is soaring.

  35. Really good! I threw a bit of coconut milk in the icing for that coconutty taste – and since I prefer my “regular” carrot cake with coconut and pineapple, I might do a variation like that next. Thanks!

  36. These look fantastic, and I am so glad you don’t mind taking my extra pulp off my hands. I love having carrot pulp separated generally – makes making the Cafe Gratitude raw bread so much easier/faster and adding it to smoothies easier (after trial and error, I came to the decision that I really only like either zucchini or carrot pulp in smoothies, but not regular green juice pulp).

  37. Saw these cute little things and had to print out the recipe immediately. Can’t wit to try, thanks!

  38. oh my. ever since i had that crappy larabar version of carrot cake i was hoping someone would come up with something along those lines. i actually prefer raw desserts over ones with egg in them (i dont eat dairy). will be trying this!

  39. These look amazing! I’ve just started thinking about how to do raw vegan cupcakes, I will definitely be making these in the near future!

  40. WOW, just what I needed and when I needed it! Just the other day I sorta made a promise to myself to drink carrot juice like every day now I know what to do with the pulp! Thank you so much.

  41. yum yum! it has been a few months since we made our raw carrot cake, always a favorite of ours. and love your take on it, with the addition of the nuts for texture 🙂
    Hope you have a wonderful day! HUGS

  42. My heart is smiling! I don’t know why but for some reason this just made my (called into work at 6:30 am) self feel much better. I think, due to that response, I’ll be picking up some raisins and cashews on my way home; I’ve got the rest in my cupboards! Thanks so much for this. My bf and I are carrot cake lovers.

  43. These are really impressive cupcakes, Gena! I love all of the ingredients and surprised they are so cake-like with no baking or dehydrating! Go you! Thanks for a great recipe!

  44. You and your creativity are such great advocates for raw foods! I think anyone who tried these would be instant converts to the lifestyle. Why eat regular carrot cake when there is such a delicious and healthy alternative? Thanks for sharing.

  45. That looks amazing and delicious, I wish i had your imagination when it comes to devising my own recipes. But i see no problem in using your delicious suggestions!

    My only issue is that so many of the recipes I end up doing contain nuts and seeds and substantial quantities and at the end of the day, i realize i am consuming a lot of fats. So my question to you is… is there anything i can use as a substitute to nuts and seeds for raw “breads” or crusts? Most require cups upon cups of nuts and seeds, and i ended up freaking out a bit over this. 🙂

  46. Who knew that carrot pulp could be so exciting! I like to add apple cider vinegar and a nice dash of salt to my raw cashew cream cheese, it really gives it that dairy taste!

  47. Ohhh Yumm,,,,can’t wait to try these(saved in faves). I just tried kelp noodles for the first time and used you broccoli/kale recipe and saved all the other ones for the coming weeks(LOVE). Thank you

  48. You, dear lady, are a genius. I’ve never wanted to make raw carrot cake before and now I see no other choice. Looks so good!

  49. gena, i love your blog! i cannot wait to try this recipe out!!! i can pretty much guarantee we’ll be loving it in our household. and i just love how simple the recipe is, makes it so easy to tackle! 😉

  50. Those look so delicious! I haven’t made any raw desserts yet but this sounds like a great way to use my carrot pulp. I agree with the other commenters and wonder where you find the time for college, friends, yoga, your culinary indevers, and this amazing blog!

  51. Yay carrots are on sale at the store and I have a big bag of cashews and dates I need to use up! Your recipes have been fitting in with my life and my pantry perfectly lately! 🙂 I will make these soon and post about how I liked them!

    • I just made these for dessert for my family and overall we really enjoyed their unique and very tasty flavor! We found them to be incredibly rich and really mushy. I made them with grated carrots instead of carrot pulp so the dough was really watery and mushy even after chilling in the fridge. I added probably about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of rolled oats that I processed into flour and they were still a bit mushy but the consistency was better. I would definitely recommend to others to juice their carrots first. I also added a bit of extra sugar to the frosting because it wasn’t quite sweet enough for me. We loved the frosting and it paired well with the cupcakes but we didn’t find it tasted like regular cream cheese frosting at all. Overall we found them very tasty but very different from “regular” carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Will make again once I get a juicer!

      • Fiona,

        I should have mentioned that it’s best to squeeze the carrots forcefully with paper towel to wring out moisture — will edit the recipe accordingly!

        G

      • Also my frosting came out light brown, not nearly as white as yours looks. I’m not sure why mine came out differently, but I wish mine looked as white as yours!

  52. Oh! These are so, so, so cute to look at after a long day. So cool to create a a raw cupcake – and how did you apply the frosting?

  53. Nice score on the carrot pulp…and separated no less. Valerie is a sweetheart and you put it to great use.

    These look fabulous and I love the cream cheese frosting idea…that’s sort of how I go about making raw vegan cheezecake, 1 c cashews, lemon juice, but I have never used dates. Only agave. Your frosting looks thick and puffy and wonderful…things usually boil down to the frosting for me 🙂

  54. Another reason I can’t wait to go home for the holidays – my juicer and the many bags of pulp waiting for me in my mom’s freezer. These look incredible! I love that cross-section picture where you can see the cashew cream frosting sinking into the cupcake.

  55. Yum! You probably know that carrots are about my favorite food. I’m not much of a fan of nuts in cake, but I can see how the walnuts would do good in here. I’ve made something very similar using mac nuts and coconut rather than walnuts, and I even like a little flax in there.

    What a score with all the veggie pulp! I don’t have a juicer but definitely covet that pulp 😉

  56. These look utterly charming and delightfully sweet (in multiple ways!) 🙂 I’m bookmarking this recipe to try the next time I have dates on hand. This is exactly the kind of sweet treat we love, and would be fun to serve to guests over the holidays. Thanks for taking the time from what must be a breathtakingly grueling schedule to make and share such wonderful recipes and photos. (I really hope medical school works out for you, because the world could sure use more doctors with your perspective and knowledge!)

  57. Gena, I don’t know how you find the time. You are the eighth wonder of the world! Keep rockin’ on as you juggle your studies with your incredible creativity in the kitchen. You are a joy to follow. (I feel like I sound like I am at least 79 years old in this comment, but I promise you, I’m not!)