Raw Carrot Cake: A Fruit-Sweetened Vegan Dessert Topped with Lemon Cashew Frosting


This innovative, added sugar free, raw carrot cake recipe was shared with us over a decade ago from Vegetarian Times Magazine. Although the magazine wasn’t strictly vegan, it always included an abundance of dairy-free recipes. I enjoyed the print version for years, but it was sadly discontinued. However, it has persisted as a great online publication, and is still a top recipe and information resource for the plant-based community.

Raw Carrot Cake with Lemon Cashew Frosting Recipe (vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, plant-based and paleo-friendly)

Special Diet Notes: Raw Carrot Cake with Lemon Cashew Frosting

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, and paleo-friendly.

3.8 from 4 reviews
Raw Carrot Cake with Lemon Cashew Frosting
Prep time
Total time
This fresh, sweet, and healthy raw carrot cake dessert requires a little pre-planning and several soaking bowls. However, the hands-on Prep time isn't long at all.
Serves: 10 servings
Raw Carrot Cake
  • 6 cups carrot pulp or finely ground carrot (about 8 carrots)
  • 1 cup almonds, soaked for at least 8 hours, drained and rinsed
  • 1½ cups raisins, just covered with water for 1 hour, drained but soaking water reserved
  • 1 cup pitted dates, just covered with water for 1 hour, drained
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons grated nutmeg
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon crushed cardamom pods or ground cardamom (optional)
Lemon Cashew Frosting
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 1 to 2 hours, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup golden raisins, just covered with water for 1 hour, do not drain
  • 1 cup pitted dates, just covered with water for 1 hour, do not drain
  • Juice of 1 lemon
Raw Carrot Cake
  1. If the carrots are ground in food processor, press off excess juice through a strainer or cheesecloth.
  2. In a food processor, process the almonds, raisins and dates until finely ground, or homogenize through a juicer.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the carrot pulp, spices, and zest.
Lemon Cashew Frosting
  1. In a food processor or blender, blend the cashews, raisins and raisin water, dates and date water, and lemon juice until smooth.
  2. Add extra raisin soaking water from cake if necessary to reach your desired creamy consistency.
To Assemble
  1. Line a cake pan with plastic wrap and press the cake mixture firmly into the pan. Turn the pan over onto a serving plate, and remove the pan and plastic wrap. Spread ½ cup frosting on top of the first layer.
  2. Repeat molding with the remaining raw carrot cake mixture and gently release on top of the first frosted layer. Touch up and reshape the cake as needed. Spread the remaining frosting on the top and side of the cake.
  3. Garnish with fresh fruit, nuts, and/or ground cinnamon.
Alternate Frosting Option (Lighter Color and Creamier): Soak 1½ cups raw cashews, drain and place in a high-powered blender. Add ⅓ cup raw honey or agave nectar (for strictly vegan), ¼ cup melted coconut oil, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, and a generous pinch of sea salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add more lemon, to taste, as desired.

More Raw Dessert Recipes

Chocolate Superfood Tart (vegan, gluten-free & soy-free)

Chocolate Superfood Tart

Pear Strawberry Sorbet (vegan, gluten-free & allergy-friendly)

Perfectly Pear Strawberry Sorbet Recipe

Blueberry Cheesecake (vegan, gluten-free & soy-free)

Raw Blueberry Cheesecake Recipe (dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan) from Choosing Raw by Gena Hamshaw

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Mine isn’t as pretty as the picture, but it is tasty. I used the alternate frosting recipe, which came out similar to the photo. I’m not a big fan of date-sweetened frostings, so the alternate was good.

  2. Pretty disappointed in this recipe. As others have said the frosting isn’t white. It comes out brown. I even added some shredded coconut to try to whiten it. I was able to get it smooth but I soaked the cashews overnight. The cake part itself doesn’t hold together very well at all. I pressed it into the cake pans flat and smooth, when I cut the first slice it crumbled apart. The photo is very misleading. Wish I had used my ingredients for another recipe.

  3. While the picture is super pretty, the real frosting did not turn out this way. It was darker like raisins and just didn’t seem like real frosting. It was overly sweet and more gritty in appearance (and I have a Vitamix.) So, not sure what the issue was. I ended up using pre-packaged dairy-free cream cheese, lemon, and a little bit of the frosting from this recipe. turned out yummy but still not the nice smooth creamy texture I was looking for. the cake was very delicious.

  4. Perhaps more dates? Blueberries? Some other dried fruit that takes on moisture easily, keeping the taste of that fruit in mind. An alternate frosting recipe has also been provided.

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