I literally had some minor panic attacks the first few days after I went vegan. I decided to cut out all meat, eggs and dairy overnight and waking up that next morning felt like a dream. Am I really doing this? Am I crazy? What the heck am I gonna eat for breakfast?!?!
It took a couple of days for the fear and anxiety to wear off, but it took even longer for me to feel comfortable with plant-based cooking and baking. There were a lot of botched meals when I tried using new to me ingredients and methods. There were a lot of breakfasts eaten for dinner because I didn't have any ideas of what to cook. There were a lot of "cheats" when I felt so overwhelmed and had huge craving for the way I used to eat that I just gave in (mainly in regards to dessert...hello wedding cake!) I'm sure there was also a lot of shuddering when I tried to explain to my friends and family what I was going to eat and where I was going to get my protein.
At times I wondered if my new lifestyle would ever feel normal or easy. Would I give in to the stress and pressure and go back to eating meat, eggs, and dairy? Would my dessert cravings ever go away? Would traveling be possible eating a plant-based diet? Well, to rid you of the suspense that I'm sure you're dealing with;), my new plant-based lifestyle DID get easier. My intense sweet tooth started to subside. I learned how to whip up quick, simple plant-based meals. I learned what foods worked well to prepare on the weekend to make dinner easier throughout the week. I gained more confidence in my decision and learned how to communicate why I went plant-based to others.
I also learned a lot of tips and tricks to make dairy and egg-free baking easy. I used to have to research recipes and baking substitutes for a looooong time before I felt like I could try out a batch of muffins or some banana bread. Now I have some simple swaps up my sleeve that make "veganizing" baked goods so easy to do.
I actually just got an e-mail from a reader who has created an awesome baking substitute guide. If you're looking for easy way to substitute eggs, milk, or butter in your baked goods, go check out this awesome guide HERE!
Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cashew Frosting:
Speaking of baked goods, let's talk about these Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cashew Frosting!! I'm so so happy with this recipe. I made them to celebrate a friend's exciting news and everyone that had one loved them. Success! In my opinion, these Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cashew Frosting are a healthier version of carrot cake. The base is oil-free and sweetened with pureed apple and coconut sugar. Raisins add chewy sweetness and the creamy cashew frosting adds lots of richness, making these cupcakes feel like a real treat!
I hope you make these for your next celebration! If you give them a try, let me know! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag #theconscientiouseater on Instagram!
Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cashew Frosting
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup non-dairy milk
- ⅔ cup apple sauce
- 2 ¼ cup flour*
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- pinch nutmeg
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 ½ cups cashews soaked in hot water
- ½ cup water
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F and grease 15-18 muffin tins with cooking spray or use silicone muffin liners. Set aside.
- In a bowl mix together the shredded carrot, coconut sugar and vanilla. Add in the non-dairy milk and applesauce and stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients mentioned from the flour to raisins.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. It's okay if the batter is slightly lumpy.
- Distribute the batter between your muffins cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cupcakes and allow them to cool for a while before removing them and placing them on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, make the cashew frosting by draining the soaked cashews and placing them in a high speed blender or food processor along with remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth adding more water if necessary to make everything blend.
- Pour the cashew frosting into a bowl and place the frosting in the fridge to thicken up for about 45 minutes.
- Once the frosting has thickened and the cupcakes are completely cooled, spread a generous layer of cashew frosting on each cupcake.
- Serve and enjoy!
What kind of sugar do you use for the frosting?
I made my own powdered sugar by blending organic cane sugar and arrowroot powder together, but any store bought powdered sugar would work!
Do you think coconut sugar would be sweet enough?
I would think so! Hope they work for you Olivia!
Thanks Faith! Baking them right now!
Ah yay!! I really hope they work out. Let me know!
The cake is good, but find another recipe for the frosting... or at least omit the water, because it is not creamy at all.
Ah sorry to hear that your frosting wasn't creamy! Mine thickened up after some time in the fridge and was perfect! Hope you were still able to enjoy them:)
Anne Peterson says
Just a question, could you use regular milk in this recipe if you are not vegan? Will it change the consistency?
Hi Anne! Regular milk would work fine!! I hope you make them!
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table says
I am a carrot cake junkie and I think these look amazing. That frosting MAKES it! 🙂
Seriously, whoever came up with carrot cake was a genius!! And the frosting is pretty darn good:) Thanks Laura!
Natalie | Feasting on Fruit says
One of my favorite little treats! And those swirly sweet clouds of frosting on top <3 I would happily have these at all of my celebrations! And that substitution guide is really comprehensive. Vegan treats aren't really so tricky with a little experimentation!
Thanks Natalie! It was fun to make them for a celebration and have everyone love them! And I agree. Vegan (or any special diet) baking get's easier the more you learn and experiment!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
Baking vegan (and GF for me!) is one of the best things! Everything taste so much better and once you figure out "how" things work, you would be crazy to ever go back!
I'm so impressed that you bake vegan and GF! Seriously, gluten-free baking is not something I've mastered yet. I'd love to learn more though!
Leah M @ love me, feed me says
Ahhhh!! Seriously feeling these cupcakes right now!! And that frosting hnnnnng!!
They're goooooood. 🙂 The frosting turned out spot on!