Raw, Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

by Gena on December 5, 2011

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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!).

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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

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,


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{ 112 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer December 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm

I AM smiling! :) These are gorgeous!


Wendy December 5, 2011 at 6:51 pm

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!)


Laloofah December 5, 2011 at 7:03 pm

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!)


Ela December 5, 2011 at 7:05 pm

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 ;)


Cassandra December 5, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Thanks so much for posting this recipe, and especially a non-Tofutti cream cheese recipe. I’m so excited to try these out.


lauren@spicedplate December 5, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Oh my. This is something I NEED right now!


Nada (One Arab Vegan) December 5, 2011 at 7:12 pm

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.


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 5, 2011 at 7:15 pm

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 :)


Hannah December 5, 2011 at 7:28 pm

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?


Elena December 5, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Woo hoo! No dehydrator required AND no Tofutti – score! Thank you for sharing.


Fiona December 5, 2011 at 8:07 pm

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!


Fiona December 7, 2011 at 6:58 am

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 December 7, 2011 at 7:01 am

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!


Gena December 7, 2011 at 9:05 am


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!



barefoot and frolicking December 5, 2011 at 8:43 pm

yumm!! I can’t wait to make these :)


Danielle @ Gluten and Dairy Free Living December 5, 2011 at 9:01 pm

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!


bilandra December 5, 2011 at 9:15 pm

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! ;)


Janessa December 5, 2011 at 9:15 pm

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!


Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn December 5, 2011 at 9:24 pm

FAN. Right hurr.


Crystal @YogiCrystal December 5, 2011 at 10:07 pm

These look heavenly, oh my goodness!! : )


Robyn December 5, 2011 at 10:37 pm

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


Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama December 5, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Get out! These look amazing! I love carrot cake and think this much healthier version sounds fantastic. Can’t wait to give it a try.


Jami December 5, 2011 at 11:54 pm

These are just adorable. I can’t wait to make them for my family over the holidays!


Heather December 6, 2011 at 12:04 am

Yummy. Good excuse to juice some carrots! :)


Ali December 6, 2011 at 1:07 am

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!


Raw Antonia December 6, 2011 at 3:23 am

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. :)


Lw August 18, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Sprouted buckwheat?


Laura December 6, 2011 at 5:04 am

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.


JL goes Vegan December 6, 2011 at 6:39 am

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!


Marlena Torres December 6, 2011 at 7:11 am

omg. SO CUTE! Also totally drool provoking. A definite must-try for moi! XO


Alexia @ NamasteYoga December 6, 2011 at 8:25 am

these are my perfect little dessert cakes! i love making raw desserts and surprising other people with new flavours and textures. these look amazing, BOOKMARKED!


Lia December 6, 2011 at 8:34 am

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.


Pure2raw twins December 6, 2011 at 9:08 am

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


elizabeth December 6, 2011 at 9:39 am

My kinda recipe. Yum.


Lauren December 6, 2011 at 9:57 am

Wow! These look so good! I love carrot cake anything!


McKella December 6, 2011 at 10:00 am

Those are so cute! Those are simple enough that I might try them soon. Yum!


Anonymous December 6, 2011 at 10:08 am

This Looks like a GREAT recipe thanks! Good Job! :-)


Radu December 6, 2011 at 10:27 am

The recipe you prepared is quite healthy and easy to prepare. I bet it’s tasty also.


Mary Jane December 6, 2011 at 12:36 pm

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.


Sarah December 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm

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!


Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles December 6, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Wow, judging by all that pulp Valerie must drink loads of juice! These look incredible. I’m continually amazed by the versatility of raw foods!


Hoshigaki December 6, 2011 at 1:04 pm

I should make these…


the delicate place December 6, 2011 at 2:03 pm

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!


Valerie @ City|Life|Eats December 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm

I am so glad I am not the only one who did not like that Lara bar. :)


Carissa December 6, 2011 at 2:58 pm

I’m so excited to make these! The consistency looks amazing & I love that the frosting looks easy and is so healthy.


J December 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Raw cupcakes sound divine!


Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes December 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Raw carrot cake sound amazing!


MizShrew December 6, 2011 at 3:49 pm

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


Fern December 6, 2011 at 5:03 pm

omg. wow. these are on my list of treats to make this weekend. they look awesome gena!


Valerie @ City|Life|Eats December 6, 2011 at 5:52 pm

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).


Kat December 6, 2011 at 11:50 pm

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!


Ashleigh December 7, 2011 at 1:04 am

Wow… love this!


Hannah December 7, 2011 at 6:54 am

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.


Jayme December 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm

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


bitt December 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm

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


anastasia@healthymamainfo.com December 7, 2011 at 5:32 pm

These look so cute! Can’t believe they are actually raw.


Christina December 8, 2011 at 11:36 am

Wow, those look amazing, and I’m so happy they’re all raw!! Can’t wait to try. Thanks, Gena!


jessy jones December 8, 2011 at 3:35 pm

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.


Jane H. Johansen @ Nord Vegan December 8, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Oh my! Such lovely little temptations :D


Irina December 10, 2011 at 4:49 pm

beautiful cupcakes! Can’t believe they are raw and that cream cheese frosting rocks!


Eli December 10, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Great recipe! How long will these last?


Mirella December 11, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Just made these – they are AMAZING!!! Thank you :)


ben December 12, 2011 at 10:46 am

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


Gena December 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Welcome to CR, Ben!


Patti December 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm

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.


Gena December 19, 2011 at 11:01 pm

So happy you liked!


Faye December 31, 2011 at 3:16 pm

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!


Kat January 18, 2012 at 10:35 pm

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.


Gena January 19, 2012 at 7:41 am
Liv January 19, 2012 at 11:22 pm

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!



Gena January 19, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Yes, you can! Keep them in the fridge.


Liv January 20, 2012 at 3:46 am

Thank you! I am sooooo excited!



Brittany January 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm

These look so good!! I am going to make these tomorrow! Thanks for this perfect recipe!


Lyn February 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm

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. :-)


Steph February 2, 2012 at 10:36 pm

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?


Marissa February 8, 2012 at 11:42 pm

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!!


Catherine April 5, 2012 at 5:48 pm

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!


Shannon April 7, 2012 at 3:14 pm

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!


aharte April 21, 2012 at 8:09 am

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


Diana Coleiro May 24, 2012 at 7:33 am

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.


Bart June 7, 2012 at 11:45 am

Very beautiful and delicious! Looks very professional. I’m gonna try to make it also.


Claire June 15, 2012 at 6:52 pm

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!


Bart June 29, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I love raw food!!! I feel so clean after eating and is so healthy.
Love this website!


Bart July 13, 2012 at 10:53 am

I hope more and more people gona live healthy.


angela July 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm

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



Lara August 6, 2012 at 10:43 am

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.


janet @ the taste space August 23, 2012 at 7:57 am

Absolutely delicious, Gena! Thank you so much for sharing it! I can’t believe how moist and flavourful they were… and WAY better than traditional carrot cake. :)

I wrote about mine here: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/raw-carrot-cake-cupcakes-with-cashew-frosting


Vegan Muslimah August 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm

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! :)


Catherine August 24, 2012 at 8:46 am

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!


Gena August 25, 2012 at 8:45 am

So glad that you enjoyed it!


kim@hungryhealthygirl August 24, 2012 at 6:22 pm

I love the ingredients in that frosting….genius! I will definitely be giving these a try!


Taylor August 24, 2012 at 8:30 pm

These were so good! And so cute :)


Raw Pregnancy September 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Fabulous recipe! I have used it as an inspiration to make a version for raw pregnant women but anyone could eat them off course…:-)


Sarah September 8, 2012 at 8:40 am

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!


Angelli October 4, 2012 at 12:18 pm

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! :)


tsimon October 5, 2012 at 7:23 pm

We used mixed nuts and it came out great and tasty.


Angelli October 7, 2012 at 10:18 am

Thank you so much!! :) now I’ll try them.


tsimon October 5, 2012 at 7:22 pm

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


Lucky13 October 22, 2012 at 11:09 am

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


Kay January 18, 2013 at 8:03 am

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


Rose February 3, 2013 at 2:47 pm

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


Carolyn March 31, 2013 at 2:20 pm

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


Gena April 2, 2013 at 8:45 am

One of my favorite raw desserts. Enjoy!


Pelagia April 15, 2013 at 12:25 pm

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!


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Linda May 28, 2013 at 10:05 am

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!


Melissa June 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm

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


Kate1028108390ontheweb June 23, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Could i use almonds in place of walnuts? would i have to soak them?


Eve July 4, 2013 at 5:12 pm

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!


Eve July 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Only now I reeeeally want some carrot juice.


Marian D. March 4, 2014 at 10:39 pm

Thank you for this recipe! It’s great.


Rachel April 2, 2014 at 5:42 am

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! :)


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