Preheat oven to 350°F (175 °C) and prepare two 9 inch cake pans. Line the bottoms with a circle of parchment paper or a silicone cake pan liner and grease the sides well with some oil or vegan butter. Set aside for now away from the hot oven.
To a large mixing bowl add the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, flax, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Mix them together well.
To another bowl or jug add the oil, milk, vinegar and vanilla and stir them up.
Put the grated carrots, chopped pineapple and nuts in the bowl with the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir it all together well but gently, making sure you scrape right into the bottom but don't over mix. Just keep going until you can no longer see any dry flour.
Immediately spoon evenly into the prepared cake pans. Even out with a spatula and bake for approximately 45 minutes. The time will vary depending on your oven, the colour/material of your pans etc so check them a little before that and don't worry if they take a few minutes longer. Use a toothpick or metal skewer to test done-ness. A few moist crumbs might stick but otherwise it should be clean. The sides of the cake should be coming away from the edges of the pan and when you poke the cake gently with a finger in the centre it should spring back.
Remove the cakes from the oven and place them on a cooling rack in their pans. Don't remove them from the pans until they are cool. This helps keep the cakes nice and moist. Allow a good few hours for them to cool completely.
Make the vegan cream cheese frosting. Add the vegan butter to a large bowl and beat it with an electric mixer on a medium high speed until soft and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and beat again until combined and smooth.
Now add the arrowroot powder, salt, vanilla and about 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Beat on the lowest speed for about 20 seconds until the powdered sugar has stopped flying around, then add another 2 cups. Beat again on low until it's mostly combined then turn the speed up to medium high again and beat until smooth and creamy, scraping down the edges with a spatula as needed to get any dry powdered sugar off and into the mix. Add the remaining powdered sugar to thicken it as needed. Using it all makes the frosting much easier to handle and the cake easier to frost and slice. Do not be tempted to add any more liquid to the frosting at any stage because it will become too runny. Once done, cover the bowl and put in the fridge until needed.
When the cake is completely cool, carefully remove one layer from its pan and place on a serving plate or cake stand, lined side up. Gently peel off the parchment paper/silicone liner.
Remove the frosting from the fridge. If it feels too firm to spread leave it to soften for 10 minutes or so. (If you keep it in the fridge any longer than that it might need another quick 20 second beat to fluff it up again). Dollop the frosting generously onto the cake, making sure you save enough in the bowl for the top and sides. Spread it out evenly with a spatula or pallet knife, taking it almost but not quite to the edges. If at any point in the process the frosting starts softening too much just pop it and the cake in the fridge until it firm up a bit.
Remove the other cake from its pan and place very gently on top of the frosted layer, lined side up. Peel off the liner gently and dollop on the remaining frosting. Spread it all over the top and down the sides if desired.
To make slicing easier refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes before cutting into it. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This recipe has been created using my Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting recipe. For even more detailed information about it, including success tips and substitution ideas please check out the post. For the very best results, weighing the ingredients with a digital kitchen scale and measuring with measuring spoons where appropriate is highly recommended. Cup measurements just aren't accurate enough when baking.Pineapple - Measure and weigh it after squeezing most of the liquid out of it in your hand. Just gather it up in your fist and squeeze over a bowl or the sink. No need to go crazy but just get most of it out. I use canned pineapple chunks and chopped them into small pieces. You could also use canned crushed pineapple. Fresh pineapple chopped into small pieces is fine too. Vegan Butter - A firmer butter like Earth Balance or my Vegan Butter recipe is recommended. Soft butters like Becel will lead to much softer/looser frosting. Arrowroot powder - Also sometimes called arrowroot starch or arrowroot flour. This really helps keep the frosting stable, thicker and firmer. You could use cornstarch instead but arrowroot works best and dissolves better. The frosting - The frosting is pretty stable thanks to the arrowroot powder, but if you want to pipe with it I recommend chilling it in the fridge for about 30 minutes. This will ensure it holds it's shape. Do not add any liquid to the frosting other than the 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (or alternative extract if desired). Any more will affect the outcome of the frosting. PAN SIZE NOTES:Cut this recipe in half to make: one 9 inch round cakeone 9 x 5 inch loaf cakeone 8 x 8 inch square cake Remember to adjust the cooking time to suit. The oven temperature can remain the same but remember to adjust the cooking time to suit. Bake until the center of the cake is springy to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean (timing will depend on the pans used).Make the recipe as vegan carrot cake cupcakes instead of a cake. Fill cupcake liners almost to the top and bake on 350°F (175°C) for approximately 23 to 25 minutes. Check doneness with a toothpick. This full recipe will make about 36 muffins so you might want to reduce it by half or two thirds.GLUTEN FREE? To make vegan carrot cake gluten-free use a good 1 for 1 all purpose gluten-free flour like Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1.STORAGE & FREEZING: For detailed storing and freezing tips see the post above.