Whole-Grain Vegan Carrot Cake Loaf with Lemon Glaze



Growing up, I was always taking pictures. Of everything. My love affair started with a classic pink Polaroid camera and I would save up my allowance to buy new film.

Once I got my first point and shoot digital camera, I rarely left home without it. My family would always teasingly call me, ‘the little tourist’ because I took pictures of EVERYTHING…every moment…everyone…nothing could escape my wrath!

I never expected that my love for photography would blossom into a real hobby in my adult life. Eric bought a Canon DSLR in 2007 and I was so intimidated by it, I didn’t start using it for my blog photos for over two years! Over time, he was able to convince me (and show me) the difference a professional camera (and lens) could make in a photo with the right knowledge.

Let’s take a look at comparisons of my Point and Shoot Camera (Canon Powershot SD800) vs. our Canon EOS 30D. These are unedited photos (except the very last one).

My Canon Powershot SD800 on the macro setting: (no tripod)


Canon EOS 30D with Canon 50 mm 1.4 macro lens: (no tripod)


Check out the colour difference!!! You may also note that the second picture is a bit blurry. That is because I was shooting without a tripod in very low light.

This is the Canon EOS 30D with Canon 50 mm 1.4 macro lens WITH A TRIPOD:


Much more crisp!

Tripods steady the camera when shooting and result in a sharper image. Once I saw the difference a tripod makes, I never went back! Yes, tripods are a pain in the butt and it does take longer to shoot, but to me it is so worth it.

Again, this is the Canon EOS 30D with Canon 50 mm 1.4 macro lens WITH A TRIPOD:


And because I shoot in RAW format, I edit my photos with Lightroom:


All I did was make tiny increases the clarity, contrast, vibrancy, and saturation.

So why all this camera talk? Well, after my carrot loaf shoot yesterday it really hit me how much I love food photography. Nothing is better than looking on the camera screen and getting excited by the shots.

Ok, ok, it also helped that I took a nibble of this loaf and it tasted great!


I kept telling myself, do not eat the slice, do not eat the slice…and then I was like ‘forget that’ and I took a bite! I think it gives the picture more character anyways. ;)

I made this loaf for our family Easter get together this weekend. Ricki says that the loaf freezes well, so after the shoot, I froze the loaf (just until the glaze froze), and then wrapped it tightly two times with plastic wrap and  placed it into an air-tight container. It should keep nice and fresh for Saturday!


I was also amazed at how much impact something as simple as a glaze could make in a photo.



The glaze just makes the loaf look so much more interesting, doesn’t it? I also love how it drips through the rack onto the parchment.


This is quite a dense loaf because spelt doesn’t rise much, but the nutty flavour really makes up for its short stature.

Once I drizzled the glaze over this loaf, the lemon really stole the show and I found myself almost forgetting that I was eating a carrot loaf!  If you are not a lemon fan, I’m sure you can sub almond milk (or any milk) for the lemon juice and create a traditional glaze. I’m sure the glaze would also be very good with a pinch of cinnamon in it too!


Our power went out last night due to a CRAZY thunderstorm, so I need to go reset all the clocks!

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{ 172 comments… read them below or add one }

Chanel May 1, 2011

This was absolutely AMAZING! Thanks for sharing.


Cathy May 2, 2011

You truly rock. I am going to make this as soon as I get home from my vacation! Love that it’s whole grain and not overly sweetened.


Cherina May 3, 2011

Awesomeness in a loaf! I made this last night and it went down a treat. I really love the lemon zest in the mixture.
Thanks for such a wonderful and inspiring site, Angela :)


Masami May 6, 2012

Absolutely delicious recipe. I just baked a loaf and I’m eating it while it’s still steaming (don’t think it even needs the glaze, though that would probably take it to an even higher level of deliciousness). I’m definitely going to be making this again! Love how moist and dense the bread is. Pairs really well with non-fat greek yogurt as a spread btw. :)


Vidya May 12, 2012

So I’m just going to skip ahead to the recipe part. This was absolutely delicious. It came together so fast and disappeared in less than a day. You cannot break this recipe. Maple syrup is ridiculously expensive where I am (Australia) so I used 1/4 cup maple syrup and 1/4 brown sugar – I might try it with all brown sugar next time. I didn’t have flax so added a teaspoon of commercial egg replacer (just a mix of potato starch, some other starches and xanthan gum), used soy milk and very fine whole wheat flour, and skipped the walnuts and glaze. Crazily moist and rich tasting. I think the walnut would have added a little something though, I’m buying some today to give this another go.


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 13, 2012

glad to hear that!


Organic Gardens Network June 6, 2012

I love the ingredients in this recipe. It is difficult to find a wholesome recipe for carrot cake. Your photo with the glaze dripping down the sides of the bread is making my mouth water. I cannot wait to make this recipe. It will be on my list for the weekend and I know it will get eaten fast, I can tell!


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 7, 2012

I hope you like it, it’s a fav of mine


Lindsay July 26, 2012

Can I substitute all purpose flour or whole wheat flour for the spelt flour?


Angela (Oh She Glows) July 29, 2012

Hey Lindsay,

Sorry for the delay in reply – I missed your comment somehow. I havent tried subbing a different flour, but I would assume it works. I suggest reading the comments to see if anyone else tried it out. Goodluck!


Kristiana September 19, 2012

So I attempted to make this tonight…:( it was burnt on the outside and gooey in the inside :( I give up on cooking lol


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 20, 2012

Sorry to hear that! Have you tested your true oven temp recently? Sometimes that causes huge issues. You can pick up oven ther. in most kitchen stores.


Jenna September 27, 2012

I made this and it was soooo good! The only thing is that it did not raise llike shown in the pic. It kind of sunk a bit in the middle. Any suggestions? I didnt forget anything.


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 29, 2012

Hey Jenna, Sorry that it didn’t rise for you! I would check your baking soda to make sure it’s active (just combine a bit with vinegar and if it fizzes, it’s active). You might want to also check your oven temp. Pick up a thermometer and just made sure it’s heating at the temp it says it is. Many ovens are off by quite a bit. Hope this helps & better luck next time!


JOY September 29, 2012

going to try this TODAY! Can I use honey instead of the maple syrup?


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 30, 2012

Hey Joy, Im not too sure! Honey is thicker than maple syrup so it could impact the overall result. Let me know if you do try it out!


JOY September 30, 2012

Hi Angela, I did try it. it tastes fine to me. I don’t know what the one with the maple syrup is like so i have nothing to compare. Just eating another piece now and even cold it still tastes nice. Thanks!


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 30, 2012

glad to hear that it worked for you!


Karyn January 12, 2013

I love your recipes. I have been enjoying them for several months. I find your site is the one I keep coming back too. I made these with my 2.5 year old. He wanted to make muffins, so we put them in a muffin tin. They came out great. It was the first muffin/cake item that I gave my 10 month old too. I found them plenty sweet, so the next time we make them, I will cut back to 1/4 cup maple syrup. We try to keep the sugars low in our family. I would love any ideas you have for vegan kids snacks and kid-friendly family meals.


hannah January 22, 2013

ANGELA, seriously, you are my hero. I wanted to cut down on the oil (ended up using about 2TB), so I added some extra almond milk and flax, and replaced some of the maple syrup with sucanat. LET ME TELL YOU, my partner, who is by no means vegan, proclaimed this as the Best Thing Ever and practically ordered me to make it again as soon as we devoured the first loaf. And I even left off the glaze. A year ago, he would have probably choked at the idea of a vegan, spelt flour, no-real-sugar carrot cake, but today he’s gobbling up every last bit! Thanks for always providing such healthy, interesting, delicious recipes that don’t make me feel like my diet is “missing” something.


Chloe Janotta February 8, 2013

I just made this cake and it tastes SO good! can’t wait to have another piece for supper. :)


Erin May 14, 2013

Mmm! Thank you for the AMAZING RECIPE! I saw this and I knew it is the carrot cake of my dreams! I subbed apple sauce for oil, but everything else I made exactly as in the recipe. The result is soooo tasty! I already ate more than 1/4 the cake myself! The glaze is also delicious. Thank you so much! I just discovered the OSG blog last week, and I am thrilled for all of these fabulously creative vegan recipes! Thank you Angela!


Alexina August 24, 2013

I was wondering if you might do a post about flour? There are so many different kinds- oat flour, almond flour, all purpose, spelt flour… Are any of them interchangeable?


John Rullan September 25, 2013

Wow!… Thank you so much, man are we Gloowing!


Stella October 5, 2013

It’s cooking in the oven right now! I’m new at cooking let alone baking but your blog is making my transition to vegan so much easier! I’ve been cooking and eating your recipes and other vegan food. And just after 1month I was able to get off of my anxiety meds so thank you for your help! :)


Lucinda October 9, 2013

Absolutely delicious! Perfectly moist and just the right amount of sweetness (even without the glaze). Subbed an egg for the flax as I had run out. Everyone in the house loved it – even my husband, who is normally anti-carrot cake. Hard to believe it’s healthy! Thank-you for a great recipe :-)


Jenn November 8, 2013

What’s the best way for storing this if I don’t want to freeze it? How long should I expect it to last?


Jenny November 24, 2013

I have this baking in the oven right now… it smells DIVINE.

40 minutes to go! ;-)


Eline December 15, 2013

Hi Angela,
made the cake this afternoon with cranberry, hazelnuts and agave nectar. Delicious! Thank you for the great recipe! I’ll post it on my Dutch blog soon!

Kind regards, Eline


Chandni March 26, 2014

I made this today with my gluten free flour it’s the best so yummy


Jacqueline April 3, 2014

I made this cake just now but used cold pressed coconut oil. For the flour I used half pastry flour and half coconut flour. The batter was almost like a hard dough? Not sure if the coconut flour did it? Anyway, I ended up folding in about 1 cup of applesauce to make it a bit more workable lol. It’s not out of the over yet, but we’ll see what happens ;)


Chris April 12, 2014

Does anyone know if you can use another flour instead of spelt? Like almond or garbanzo? Not regular wheat or white. I just don’t have spelt and am dying to make this right now! ;)
Thanks for the input!


la_rahh May 11, 2014

Made this on a Sunday afternoon.
It tastes great! The lemon really elevates the typical carrot cake to the next level. I ended up subbing in dried cranberries for the raisins and it tasted great! I do recommend this and will bake again! Thanks Angela for the lovely recipe and photos!


Angel June 11, 2014

I tried making this carrot cake loaf and I love the way it came out.
The lemon glaze was a good addition but for some people it was too sweet.
I would actually love to see a lemon cake recipe on this website. It would be a great cake to serve guests.


Vivi September 13, 2014

hello! loving this recipe, will definitely try this week. One question though, is it possible to replace the flour for whole wheat/AP??


Meghan September 15, 2014

I just made this last night. It was so good – like, amazingly good and used up a lot of random ingredients I had laying around. Would easily be sweet enough without the glaze, but the glaze made it extra lemony and yummy.


Angela September 18, 2014

I made your recipe last night, and it was so crumbly. It was falling apart once you start cutting. I did sub almond meal for flax meal since I was all out. Could that be the reason?



Angela (Oh She Glows) September 18, 2014

Hey Angela, My guess is that it was the flax that was left out – it’s used for binding purposes (as it gels up in liquid). Hope you still enjoyed it nonetheless!


Amber Ballentine November 11, 2014

Hi Angela,

Congrats on your beautiful girl! My family has been on the journey to eat healthy food for along time. Next week is my birthday and I wanted to make a carrot cake. Have you tried any substitutions to make it gluten free?
Everything we have made from your blog and cookbook have been amazing! Thank for all of the wonderful recipes.


Elvisa December 6, 2014

I love this cake. It’s better than any other carrot cake I have made or eaten. But I always end up with a crack on top. I wonder why. And, btw, I love your book. All the recipes that I have made so far were a success.


Sina February 19, 2015

The loaf is in the oven right now. It smells wonderful in my appartment. Can’t wait to pinch a bite :-)
Thank you Angela, for so much inspiration! I’m about to purchase your book, even without being vegan!


Aarti March 24, 2015

That looks amazing and I love the ease of a bread pan. However, I just wanted to ask as I don’t have Spelt Flour, could I use something else? Thank you!


Aarti April 8, 2015

I didn’t want a runny icing and so followed your instructions; but surely those measurements are out? It definitely didn’t work for me! :(


Sarah August 18, 2015

I really really want to make this as carrot cake is just one of my most favorites – but I need it to be GF. Any help on what is best to replace the spelt? I have never had very good luck with this one and the internet is not helping either.


Jaclyn October 8, 2015

Looks awesome, can I replace the flour with wholemeal?


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