Hippie Vegan Carrot Cake with Pineapple & Cream Cheese Frosting! | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #carrotcake #cake #dessert #pineapple #recipe

Hippie Vegan Carrot Cake with Pineapple

If I had to pick a favorite kind of cake, vegan carrot cake with pineapple would definitely be a contender for the number one spot. I love the dense crumb, loaded with shredded carrots and studded with bits of crushed pineapple, chewy coconut, chopped walnuts, and sweet raisins (I am firmly on team pro-raisin when it comes to baked goods).

Hippie Vegan Carrot Cake with Pineapple & Cream Cheese Frosting! | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #carrotcake #cake #dessert #pineapple #recipe

And the frosting! I’ve never been much into cream cheese on bagels, but cream cheese frosting is a different story. It’s just so perfectly smooth and dreamy, and I really enjoy the tang it adds to otherwise mostly one-note sweet frostings.

Hippie Vegan Carrot Cake with Pineapple & Cream Cheese Frosting! | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #carrotcake #cake #dessert #pineapple #recipe

It had probably been years since I enjoyed a memorable vegan carrot cake, so when Avery was kind enough to send me a review copy of Simple Recipes for Joy, I of course gravitated toward the gorgeous Hippie Carrot Cake (and bookmarked at least five other recipes to make in quick succession).

Simple Recipes for Joy is the debut cookbook from Sharon Gannon, who you may recognize as the founder of Jivamukti yoga and her famous Jivamukti Cafe in New York City. I’ve yet to try her method of yoga or eat at her cafe, but I can tell you that having read through her fun and quirky cookbook and made this vegan carrot cake, I can totally see why Sharon has such a loyal following, including big-name celebrity supporters like Russell Simmons, Sting, and Darren Aronofsky (Aaron’s face lit up when he saw his endorsement of Sharon’s recipes).

Hippie Vegan Carrot Cake with Pineapple & Cream Cheese Frosting! | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #carrotcake #cake #dessert #pineapple #recipe

Hippie Vegan Carrot Cake with Pineapple & Cream Cheese Frosting! | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #carrotcake #cake #dessert #pineapple #recipe

Hippie Vegan Carrot Cake with Pineapple & Cream Cheese Frosting! | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #carrotcake #cake #dessert #pineapple #recipe

Hippie Vegan Carrot Cake with Pineapple & Cream Cheese Frosting! | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #carrotcake #cake #dessert #pineapple #recipe

This cake is SO good. So good that I’ve been giving Aaron big slices of it to take to work because I wanted to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Confession: I did eat it for breakfast one day. Okay, two days.

Sharon calls it “Hippie Carrot Cake” which makes me smile, but really there is nothing earthy-crunchy about it. This is the kind of dessert you can serve to vegans and omnivores alike and it’s simply delicious cake, that happens to be vegan.

If you’re looking to show someone how awesome vegan food can be, this vegan carrot cake with pineapple would be the cake to do that.

Hippie Vegan Carrot Cake with Pineapple & Cream Cheese Frosting! | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #carrotcake #cake #dessert #pineapple #recipe

Hippie Vegan Carrot Cake with Pineapple & Cream Cheese Frosting! | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #carrotcake #cake #dessert #pineapple #recipe


Hippie Vegan Carrot Cake with Pineapple

Hippie Vegan Carrot Cake with Pineapple & Cream Cheese Frosting! | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #carrotcake #cake #dessert #pineapple #recipe

Hippie Vegan Carrot Cake with Pineapple


Serves: 8-12

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 40 mins

Total Time: 55 mins

What do hippies eat? Granola, whole-wheat bread, sprouts, and vegan carrot cake with pineapple, of course!

Hippie Vegan Carrot Cake with Pineapple & Cream Cheese Frosting! | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #carrotcake #cake #dessert #pineapple #recipe

Hippie Vegan Carrot Cake with Pineapple



For the cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • egg replacer equivalent of 3 eggs, already prepared
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup safflower oil or canola oil
  • 2 cups peeled and finely grated carrots
  • one 14-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup shredded dried coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins

For the frosting:

  • See recipe notes*

Cuisine: Vegan Servings: 8-12

Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 40 mins Total Time: 55 mins

What do hippies eat? Granola, whole-wheat bread, sprouts, and vegan carrot cake with pineapple, of course!


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans with vegetable oil and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, place the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt and mix well. In a medium bowl, place the egg replacer, brown sugar, and granulated sugar and mix with an electric mixer until creamy. Stir in the vanilla, then stir in the safflower oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together well. Stir in the carrots, pineapple, coconut, walnuts, and raisins.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pans. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool on a wire rack.
  • When completely cool, spread a layer of frosting on the top of one of the cakes, then place the other cake on top of the frosted cake. Spread a layer of frosting on top of the second cake and all around the sides of both cakes.

Notes [2]

A couple of readers have run into issues with the frosting recipe from the Simple Recipes for Joy Cookbook, which is why I’ve opted to remove the original recipe. That recipe worked when I tested it, but it’s producing inconsistent results for other people and that’s no good. Instead, I recommend you use my own vegan cream cheese frosting and double the recipe if you’re making this cake. I made my frosting to top some vegan carrot cake cupcakes (highly recommended if you’d prefer cupcakes to cake!) and the frosting turned out beautifully the handful of times I tested it.

I use the ener-g brand of egg replacer with good results. If you’d prefer not to buy it online, you can often find it at Whole Foods and other health stores.

Recipe reprinted by arrangement with AVERY, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2104 Sharon Gannon, Simple Recipes for Joy.

Leave a Comment

  1. Kristina says

    Carrot is definitely my consistently favorite type, but my mom makes this chocolate cake with peppermint buttercream that is just so delicious that it is my favorite cake recipe (I’m working on making a plant-based version that measures up. I’m almost there!).

    1. Amanda says

      Chocolate + peppermint is so good!

    2. Can this work in a sheet pan?

      1. I don’t see why it wouldn’t! I would just Google the sheet pan size you plan to use to get a general sense of bake time, because that will likely be different.

  2. Stephanie says

    My favorite cake is a layer cake with chocolate mousse, but this recipe looks fantastic for family get togethers!

  3. Christie says

    I absolutely love carrot cake. I also love that this was made vegan!

  4. Carrot Cake is my favorite cake! But maybe add some cocoa powder…omg…that would be amazing!

    1. Amanda says

      The frosting recipe for this carrot cake has an option to add cocoa powder, actually. I think you’d love it!

  5. Sophia says

    Just one kind of cake? Well, you can never go wrong with the classic chocolate cake with chocolate icing. My favorite pre-veganism cake was one my mom made that had white wine in the cake, chocolate icing on the sides, and chestnut paste on top. I wish I had the talent to veganize it, but even baking with a recipe is intimidating for me.

    1. Amanda says

      Wow, that cake sounds amazing! Maybe you could break it into mini projects to veganize. Start with the frosting, then the cake, then the chestnut paste? I sometimes find this approach is helpful when a recipe seems intimidating. 🙂

  6. court says

    Carrot cake is my favorite!

  7. Amanda says

    My favorite kind of cake before I went vegan was ice cream cake-chocolate cake with mint chocolate chip ice cream. I know I can make that myself now without dairy, but haven’t made it yet!

  8. Heather says

    This time of year a spice cake with tons of fresh figs or maybe kumquats and persimmons sounds perfect!

  9. sarah says
  10. Nicollette D says

    Before I was vegan, I had a piece of carrot cake cheesecake at that chain known for cheesecake. I’ve been wanting to veganize it for years.

  11. Becca says

    Almond white cake with almond frosting

  12. This looks lovely! I, too, ate cake for breakfast last week. Ah, the perils of being a food blogger… My favourite cake is probably cheesecake with passion fruit, which is very sad considering the fact I don’t eat it anymore… A close second would a particularly nice and tangy lemon tart.

    1. Amanda says

      I’m so with you on the tangy lemon tart. Anything lemon. 🙂

  13. Shannon says

    It’s kind of boring, but my favorite is vanilla!

  14. Alice says

    If I had to pick I would choose bannana bread but it’s truly hard question 😉

  15. Lori says

    Carrot cake is my fave!

  16. Paige c says

    I love spice cake!!,

  17. Abby says

    As a baker by trade I see a lot of cakes and eat lots of bites! But I always come back to chocolate and any kind of cinnamon spiced cake, so carrot cake falls into that catagory!

  18. Carolsue says

    I would choose Red Velvet Cake

  19. Shana says

    My step-mom makes the most delicious banana cake. I should probably steal the recipe from her so I veganize it one day soon!

  20. Jennifer says

    Favorite cake? Easy, gingerbread cake with a white chocolate & cream cheese frosting. I haven’t made it in a while since vegan white chocolate is hard to find.

  21. Terri Cole says

    German Chocolate cake is the be-all, end-all for me!

  22. Jessie says

    This looks so delicious!! I can’t wait to make it 🙂

  23. Jessie says

    Oops, forgot to mention that my favorite cake is the coconut-lemon bundt cake from Veganomicon. So so good!

  24. Laura S. says

    Carrot cake wins in my book!!! Thank you!

  25. I just made the most marvelous green tea tiramisu!

    1. Amanda says

      That sounds incredible, Ali!

  26. Bianca says

    I LOVE strawberry cake with vanilla icing. Simple, but so good! I also need some floral art (mostly because it is globs of frosting!)

  27. Jillian T says

    Any kind of chocolate cake is my favorite.

  28. Kait says

    I ate there for the first time a few weeks ago! Sooooo good. mmmmm

  29. Vegan pound cake with blueberry sauce. 🙂

  30. Vera K says

    I really do love carrot cake…

  31. Ashley Mauceri says

    This is a tough one…I love traditional yellow cake with chocolate icing! And, of course, carrot cake!! 🙂

  32. Catherine says

    I really love carrot cake!

  33. Jamie H says

    Red velvet. Hands down.

  34. Mel says

    This looks so wonderful! Could one use coconut oil instead of the others lusted?

    1. Amanda says

      Thanks, Mel! I followed Sharon’s recipe exactly so I haven’t personally tried coconut oil. However, I’m pretty sure it would work just fine! Let me know if you make the recipe–it’s one of my favorites!!

      1. Mel says

        Ha – I just realized my typo. I guess I was “lusting” after that cake! 🙂 OK, I”ll post again if I make it with the coconut oil. Thanks!

  35. Karen says

    I absolutely HATE nuts in my food. If the nuts were omitted, would I need to add any other sort of filler or increase any of the other ingredients? Or just make it as listed without the nuts?

    1. Amanda says

      I think you could probably make it as listed but skip the nuts. Or maybe even replace them with a bit more raisins/coconut for texture. Let me know if you make it nut-free and how it turns out!

  36. This looks so good! I cannot wait to try making it – I am also planning on making my own cashew cream cheese and using it for the icing….we’ll see how it turns out!

    1. Amanda says

      Cashew cream cheese?! That sounds SO good!

    1. Amanda says

      I really like the idea behind that recipe–simple, good-for-you ingredients. I’d love to know how it turns out!

      1. I will let you know! I think I’ll get started on it tonight.

      2. The cream cheese turned out amazingly well! Mine did not yield that much moisture after being suspended for 24hrs, maybe because I live in a cold climate (northern Canada, at the border of Alaska). Nevertheless, the texture was spot on! I first tried it in a cream cheese icing for carrot cupcakes, and it tasted wonderful. I was a little reluctant to tasting it on its own, just spread on a bagel, but I finally did last night and it tastes incredibly similar to the dairy version.
        Bottom line – I highly recommend trying this recipe! It’s a bit of a lengthy process, but fun and easy.

  37. Tina says

    This was amazing. Made it for the whole family – with slightly less frosting, as Mr. H only bought one package of cream cheese;-) – but still: delicious, sinful, so good it makes you happy. Thanks a lot for sharing this great recipe. Will need to think about getting the cookbook now!!!!

    1. Amanda says

      I’m so glad your family loved the carrot cake! The cookbook is wonderful–there’s a good mix of really healthy and really decadent.

  38. lil says

    Oh wow, this was exactly what I was looking for. Turned out delicious!

  39. Cassi says

    I LOVE carrot cake! I am a new vegan and I am having my first dinner party and wanted a vegan dessert. I found this recipe. YEAH!!!!1 I do have a question, what did you use as the egg replacer? Can’t wait to make this…..Thanks!

    1. Amanda says

      That’s awesome, Cassie! I used Ener-G egg replacer. I think you’re going to love this cake!

      1. Cassi says

        Thanks so much! I am making it Saturday. I will let you know! 🙂

      2. Cassi says

        The cake was awesome!!!! everyone loved it even the non-vegans. :-). I did have trouble with the frosting. I followed the directions exactly and it was more like “icing” then “frosting”. Could it have been the cream cheese? My family wants me to make again so any advice would be appreciated.

      3. Amanda says

        That’s great! What brand of cream cheese did you use? I’m thinking it was too watery. I used the Trader Joe’s brand when I made mine and the frosting was spot-on.

  40. Cassi says

    Hey Amanda I used vegan gourmet cream cheese from whole foods. Will try traders next time. Thx for this recipe I love carrot cake!

  41. Kathy Ingallinera says

    I made this for Easter but cannot get the frosting to thicken up. I started with 2 cups confectioner’s sugar and 2 – 8 oz containers of cream cheese and it was so thin! I have added almost 4 more cups of sugar and it finally may be thick enough to frost the cake. What happened?

    1. Sorry you had trouble with the frosting recipe, Kathy! It’s a recipe from the cookbook Simple Recipes for Joy, but I have tested it (which is what you see in the photos) with good results. That said, a couple of other readers noted the same thing you did with the frosting, which makes me think the outcome varies a lot depending on brand/thickness of the vegan cream cheese. I have a go-to carrot cake and cream cheese frosting that I’ve since made and tested extensively. I’d love for you to give that frosting a try. I think (hope!) you’ll also love it and have much better results. I’m going to modify this recipe so others don’t run into frosting issues. Thanks you for taking the time to leave a comment.

      1. Kathy Ingallinera says
  42. Molly says

    I made this cake with the frosting linked for the cupcakes and OMG it’s like the most delicious cake I’ve ever tasted… I can’t have it in my house because it’s destroying me. I went over to my friend’s house to make it and as hard as I tried, we STILL didn’t have all the ingredients we needed for some reason. We used powdered instead of granulated sugar, and we somehow completely overlooked the coconut so just used another cup of carrot. The oil we used was left over from what her sister used to fry churros, and we were wondering how it would turn out. Great, as it so happens! (We used apple sauce for the egg replacer.)

    1. I’m so happy you love the cake! That icing is the death of me. haha Zero self control when it comes to carrot cake + cream cheese frosting!

  43. Christy C. says

    Wonderful recipe. My vegan daughter is going to have a very happy birthday. It turned out perfect and delucious!

    1. So happy to hear that, Christy! (and happy birthday to your daughter!)

  44. Jenny says

    Will this work without the desiccated coconut? My little boy had a nut allergy and most brands of desiccated coconut say ‘may contain traces of nuts’.

    1. I think this should work without the coconut, but I haven’t tried omitting it before. Let me know if you give it a try!

  45. RoZ says

    Best Carrot Cake I have ever made!

    1. Amanda says

      Wow, what a compliment! 🙂

  46. Amanda says

    Is this cake okay made a day ahead and refrigerated? Thanks!

    1. Amanda says

      Yes! It should hold up really well if you’d like to make it a day in advance and refrigerate it.

  47. Lidiya says

    Hi Amanda,
    What egg replacers should I use?

    Thank you so much.


    1. Amanda says

      I use the ener-g brand of egg replacer with good results. 🙂 You can often find it at places like Whole Foods. I believe Bob’s Red Mill also makes one, although I haven’t tried it before.

  48. Luci says

    I made this today and it’s delicious on its own without the icing! I used large muffin tins.
    Initially I hesitated because the ingredient list is long and I was short on time. However I had everything on hand and it was easy to assemble. I used 1/2 the amount of sweeter since I prefer less sweetness and added lots of fresh pineapple. I have never made one of your recipes I did not like.

    1. Amanda says

      That’s so great to hear! I agree about the sweetener too—this is a very sweet cake, so I’ll sometimes halve the sugar and it still turns out really well. 🙂

  49. wow you guys!! this recipe looks incredible and so moist and fluffy!

    1. Amanda says
  50. Deb says

    I rarely (never) leave comments but this fabulous recipe requires me to make an exception.

    The recipe was so simple that I —and I am really not a baker—made this cake with the assistance of my 3 year old granddaughter. I had my doubts about the results but figured the shared experience was most important.

    Surprise! The cake was incredibly moist and flavorful—almost spicy and simultaneously sweet (but not too sweet) with a tender crumb. The frosting was so good my helper just wanted to spoon it up. We served it as a birthday cake.

    I left out the nuts and raisins (too easy for a small child to choke on). For adults I would add them back in and possibly omit the icing, topping the cake with a bit more cinnamon and powdered sugar with something like fig compote on the side.

    Thank you!

    1. Amanda says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment, Deb! I’m really happy both you and your granddaughter enjoyed the process of making the cake AND eating the cake. I have a 4 month old daughter—I can’t wait to be able to bake with her. 🙂

  51. Cassie says

    I cannot understand what I did wrong. I followed the recipe exactly but it was SO oily. The oil seeped out of my springform cake pan and all over my oven. The flavor is good but because of the oil the outside of the cake tastes like I fried it. Is that how it’s supposed to be? I didn’t change a single thing about the recipe or the process.

    1. Amanda says

      Hmmm… This is a recipe from Sharon Gannon’s cookbook, but I’ve made it a few times myself and it’s a reader favorite, so I can vouch for the proportions of ingredients. The only thing I can think of based on your feedback would be that you used a springform pan instead of two 9-inch round cake pans, and that could definitely be why the oil seeped out and made a mess. If you decide to try it again, go with the cake pans (NOT springform). Hope this helps and you get some yummy carrot cake in your future! 😉

  52. VG says

    Wow this recipe was perfect, thank you so much. I think it’s the first cake I ever made by myself, and two (non-vegan) people said it was the best cake they ever had. It’s so moist and there are so many interesting things going on flavor wise, but it’s not that hard to make. I second everything that Deb said (except I did put raisins/nuts in and loooove it). My only tip is, if you use the vegan cream cheese frosting recipe provided which is delcious – I would add the confectioners sugar a little bit at a time instead of just putting in the recommended amount, it was a little too sweet for me. I would used 3/4 the amount of sugar for the icing next time. (I actually added a little lemon juice to the frosting to balance the sweet and it tasted really nice). Thank you Amanda, this will be one of those recipes I bring with me for life!

    1. Amanda says

      Wow, what a wonderful compliment! Thank you so much! You made my day. 🙂

  53. Natasha says

    We made this for Easter this year and I think it’s the most delicious cake I’ve EVER made. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. Going to use this cream cheese frosting today to make some cupcakes for our little Father’s Day/Kindergarten graduation Zoom party tonight.

    1. Amanda says

      I’m so happy you love the cake, Natasha! Carrot cake is my favorite, and this one does not disappoint. 🙂 I love that you used the frosting for Father’s Day/Kindergarten graduation cupcakes—adorable!

  54. Justen says

    Try doing your baking recipes by weight


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