Vegan Carrot Cake Jars

My mom came to visit last week, so the first order of priority (as always) was to make Jack a carrot cake. She wanted to make cake jars this time, aren’t they cute? Perfect for a picnic, or perhaps to sell out of a truck? We’ve been brainstorming about a family cheesecake truck for years but these would be way easier.

I had some leftover vegan cream cheese on hand, so we made these vegan this time.

We did a whole bunch of cooking together, so get ready for a whole slew of mom recipes!


Vegan Carrot Cake Jars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 8-oz jars
For the cake:
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup oil
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 pound carrots
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
For the frosting:
  • 4 oz tofutti cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease 12 8-oz mason jars.
  2. In a food processor, combine the sugar, oil, applesauce, and almond milk. Pulse for 10-20 seconds. Using the shredder disk, shred the carrots into the mixture.
  3. Transfer the carrot mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon and mix with a hand mixer until all ingredients are combined – about one minute.
  4. Fill the prepared jars ½ way full with the batter. If you have more batter than jars, put the rest in a baking dish. Or if you don’t have any jars, bake them in whatever you like.
  5. Place jars in a shallow baking dish with ½ inch of water at the bottom. The water bath will promote even cooking and prevent the jars from breaking. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when touched.
  6. Set aside to cool.
  7. Make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla until combined and creamy. Add more liquid or sugar as needed to reach your desired consistency.
  8. Spoon a dab of frosting on cooled cakes.


If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. Laura from on said:

    I love the sound of cake in a jar. The cuteness of it all is hard to resist. And (guilty pleasure time) I LOVE tofutti cream cheese in frosting. It’s too good. How do they make it so good?! Guh.

  2. Stacy from on said:

    You mention so many things that I love in this one post: carrot cake, visits from mothers, cream cheese frosting, things in jars, individual desserts. How can you go wrong with that much goodness??

  3. Courtney Jones from on said:

    Awe, these cake jars are so very cute! I am excited to try the vegan cream cheese icing. This is definitely going on my priority list of things to try. Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚ Hope you are having a nice week!

    • jeanine from on said:

      Thanks! It works pretty much the same as regular cream cheese icing – no one would ever even know the difference πŸ™‚

  4. Tina from on said:

    Mmmm, How long do you think these would keep?

    • jeanine from on said:

      They won’t keep all that long, just like regular cake. Maybe 4 or 5 days max.

  5. Cookie + Kate from on said:

    Fun! I love carrot cake, but so far I’ve only made a super decadent, layered carrot cake for a friend’s baby shower. Your recipe looks much healthier and I have no doubt that it could taste just as good as the other! I wish I could have fun cooking with my mom in the kitchen but she’s not much of a cook! I love her anyway. πŸ™‚

  6. Lara on said:

    What fun! How long do you cook them for? In a water bath? Wondering about glass breakage…

    • jeanine from on said:

      Oops! I forgot to include those things… I just updated the recipe. We cooked them for 30 minutes, (but my oven takes longer than most – check around 20 mins). We did put them in a dish with a 1/2 inch water bath to prevent breakage.

  7. Jacqui from on said:

    Oh yum! This is my kind of carrot cake and they’re so cute in little jars too!

  8. Katherine from on said:

    This looks fun! I can’t wait to try.

  9. Jeanine,
    Stumbled here from Foodgawker and I’m loving it.. You have such a beautiful calming space, love the design…
    And so glad to find so many vegan recipes…
    Carrot cake is one of my favorites and I almost always use apple sauce as an egg substitute.

  10. Jenn on said:

    Cute!! I had a craving to make cake last week and put them in little jars too– so much fun to eat and serve πŸ™‚

  11. Kasia from on said:

    i really love this recipe πŸ™‚ looks so easy and rewarding

  12. Daniella on said:

    Oh my gosh. I am so excited to make these. This must happen tonight! lol. One question, when you say “oil” what kind would you recommend? Thanks!

    P.S. I’m new to your site today and have looked through nearly your whole blog. everything looks amazing and so fresh. Inspiring! So glad I came across it.

    • jeanine from on said:

      Hi Daniella,

      Welcome! I like to bake with coconut oil, but vegetable oil or canola oil also work just fine.

      • Daniella on said:

        Oh great, I have both those options at home. Thanks very much.

  13. Leslie on said:

    If I don’t have almond milk (and don’t want to buy it just for this recipe), what would I sub in? An egg, since it calls for egg substitute? I’m vegetarian, not vegan, so I’m fine with a non-vegan substitute.

    • jeanine from on said:

      Hi Leslie,

      Just use regular milk, whatever kind you have (it’s my mom’s recipe and she uses skim milk). And use and egg if you like, I use an egg in this all the time… I just try to accomodate for the vegans when possible.

      • Leslie on said:

        Thanks so much!

  14. Joshua Lepley from on said:

    Everything about your blog is beautiful. The design, photos and rich content combine to make a top notch food blog. Gorgeous.

  15. Mariana on said:

    I have a question, how do I make the frosting? Just mixing everything at once? Sorry if it is a silly question hehe. LOVE your blog,

    Thank you!

    • jeanine from on said:

      oops! Yep, just mix it with an electric stand or hand mixer, add the milk only as needed.


    • wyatt on said:

      My girlfriend was a carrot cake junkie before she started doing the vegan thing a couple years ago. It is the one thing that really tempts her. We made these tonight with our daughter’s easy bake oven in absence of jars and they turned out supprisingly well.

  16. Sarah on said:

    How many servings (and of what size) does this recipe make? Thanks.

    • jeanine from on said:

      Hi Sarah, 12 little jars or you can use an 8×8 or 9×13 baking dish (serving size depends on how big you slice!).

      • Sarah on said:

        Thanks! Is that 12 8-oz or 4-oz gem jars?

  17. Katy on said:

    Hi was wondering what the measurements stand for in the icing ingredients? Thought T might be teaspoon & C cup but that seems like a lot of sugar!
    Thanks, really want to try this!

  18. Sian Madoc-Jones on said:

    If I don’t have spelt flour can I use white or whole wheat floor without much trouble? This looks amaze I can’t wait to give it a try.

    • jeanine from on said:

      Hi Sian – I would do a mix of half white flour and half whole wheat (or whole wheat pastry) flour

  19. Sarah on said:

    This sounds amazing! I don’t see the instructions for mixing the frosting. Would you please advise?

  20. Lisa on said:

    Can you use other flour? Like teff, coconut, almond??

    • I haven’t tried it with any of those – definitely not with coconut flour (coconut flour is never a 1:1 swap), and I wonder if it’ll be too oily and dense with almond flour. Sorry I can’t be more helpful! I think your best bet might be to try an all-purpose gluten free flour that you like (I like Pamela’s).

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