Vegan Fig Carrot Cake Recipe

August 16, 2017

If you’re riding the alternative flour train, get on board with cassava! This grain-free, Paleo-friendly starch is made from the large, tapered cassava root (it looks a lot like a sweet potato), and can often be used as a 1:1 sub in your favorite recipes. We whipped up a vegan cake filled with spices like nutmeg and cloves, then spread an irresistible, cashew-based frosting on top. And here’s a tip: The nuts need to soak overnight, so build that into your baking time!

Vegan Fig Carrot Cake

Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 9 hours and 5 minutes


For the cake

Dry ingredients
3 cups Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour
½ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup chia seeds
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger

Wet ingredients
1 cup water
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup coconut oil, melted
¾ cup applesauce
½ cup mashed pineapple
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups shredded carrots
1 cup raisins
¾ unsweetened shredded coconut

For the cream cheese frosting
2 cups raw cashews
⅓ cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2, 9-inch baking pans with parchment paper and coat with coconut cooking spray.

For the caramel sauce
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons cashew butter
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 to 10 figs, sliced in half

Make the cake
In a large bowl, add dry ingredients; whisk to combine. In a medium bowl, add wet ingredients; stir to combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients into the well; stir until just combined. Add carrots, raisins, and coconut; stir, but do not overmix. Divide batter equally between the prepared cake pans and spread with an icing spatula to level out. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center of the cake. Let cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting
Place cashews in a medium bowl and cover with water; soak overnight. Drain and rinse cashews, then add to a food processor along with the maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and sea salt; process until smooth. Transfer frosting to a bowl and chill for at least 2 hours before using.

Make the caramel sauce
Whisk together the coconut oil and maple syrup in a small sauce pan over medium heat, until smooth. Whisk in the cashew butter, salt, and vanilla extract until fully mixed. Chill until ready to use.

Frost the cake
Place one layer of cake on a serving plate. Top with 1 cup of frosting, and spread it evenly over cake. Top with another cake layer. Add another 1 cup of frosting to top, and spread evenly over top, and slightly over the sides of the cake. Frost the sides of the cake by spreading a heaping spatula full along the sides, then scraping excess frosting off as you go. Repeat until cake is covered with frosting on all sides.

Drizzle perimeter of cake with caramel sauce. Place fresh figs on top of caramel sauce. Serve.

Recipe credit: Angela Gaines

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Nicole Gulotta

Nicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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