‘Hemp Hearts’ Are The Key Ingredient In This Vegan Nut-Free Carrot Cake

Using individual bundt tins will cut cooking time and make snack-sized portions


1 Minutes Read

Small vegan nut-free carrot cakes with lemon drizzle and hemp heart praline cookies in a bundt tin and shot on a cooling rack Hemp seeds are a great nut alternative in baking - Media Credit: Call Me Ishbel

This vegan carrot cake recipe, featuring hemp heart pralines and a lemon drizzle, is my first recipe using hemp hearts and it won’t be the last.

Google “hemp hearts” and you’ll quickly discover the multiple potential health benefits they offer. Best of all, they let you create nutty bakes, such as vegan carrot and walnut-style cakes, without using allergy-inducing ingredients. As an added bonus, hemp is a great source of heart-healthy plant-based protein too. Is there anything not to love about it?

I chose to make these nut-free and dairy-free carrot cakes as individual serves for the quicker cooking time, and I love the presentation. Bundt tins help to reduce bake time, so there is less time to dry out and no soggy centre. You also get a lovely pool of lemon drizzle in the centre. Yum!

Small vegan nut-free carrot cakes with lemon drizzle and hemp heart praline cookies in a bundt tin and shot on a cooling rack
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Cook Time20 mins
Prep Time10 mins


Hemp heart praline
  • 25 g roasted hemp seeds
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
Carrot cake with lemon drizzle (wet ingredients combination)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 150 ml oat or other plant milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 100 g soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
Carrot cake with lemon drizzle (dry ingredients combination)
  • 220 g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup grated apple
Lemon drizzle
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • lemon juice
  • vanilla essence (optional)


Before you start

  • Pre-heat oven to 180ºC and grease the baking tins. Place an oven rack just below the centre of the oven.
  • Toast hemp seeds in the oven or a frying pan until lightly toasted, then set aside.
  • Use a small pan to heat the water and sugar, swirl don’t stir. Once the sugar and water have caramelised stir through the toasted hemp hearts and pour onto a silpat mat or tray lined with baking paper to cool. Once cool, finely chop or blitz into a powder to use.
  • Whisk the wet combination ingredients together in a small jug or bowl and set aside. Make sure the liquid is frothy.
  • Sieve the dry combination ingredients, minus the apple and carrot, into a mixing bowl and whisk in the hemp hearts.
  • Add the grated carrot and apple to the dry mixing bowl and toss in the flour mixture making sure the carrot and apple pieces are coated and separate (not clumped together).
  • Pour the wet into the dry and stir until fully combined.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes in an individual bundt tins tray. Turn out onto a cake rack to cool. While baking make lemon drizzle.

To make lemon drizzle

  • Sieve icing sugar into a small bowl and add enough lemon juice to make it pourable. You can add a few drops of vanilla essence if you choose, but this will make the drizzle more caramel in colour.

To serve

  • Turn out the cakes and top them with your lemon drizzle. Finally, sprinkle dusted hemp heart praline on top.
Hemp hearts are an ideal nut alternative and can be used in lots of allergy-friendly baking.

This vegan carrot cake recipe was republished with permission from Call Me Ishbel. Find the original recipe here.

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