Award-Winning Vegan Carrot Cake Baker Shares Recipe After 16 Years with VegNews Reader

We discovered the tastiest vegan carrot cake in 2007, VegNews declared. This simple cake and frosting was created and sold in Concord, NH's new vegan restaurant Cafe Indigo.

This cake has spread to Whole Foods and other independent merchants nationwide. The café and successful wholesale business closed so founder Patti Dann could write a cookbook, but the recipe lives on.

That perfect balance between a moist crumb and a light-but-sweet cream cheese frosting has always puzzled us, and she shares the recipe with VegNews today.

After 16 years, the secret is out, and we can't wait to bake this crowd-pleasing cake for birthdays, small parties, and holidays. First, the origins of Cafe Indigo's vegan carrot cake.

Her three daughters helped Dann find the best carrot cake. The Dann daughters cooked vegetarian meals on their own, so they were used to it. One kid went vegan, and the family followed suit at the dinner table—Dann wasn't a short-order cook. I wanted to give everyone-friendly food because family meals are vital.

Starting with a vegan wedding cake

Dann started her business from home with a cottage food licence, but her oven capacity rapidly ran out. She created the carrot cake and other Cafe Indigo restaurant and bakery menu items in a commercial kitchen. She served vegan crab cakes, veggie burgers, and a housemade Rachel Sandwich stuffed with seitan when she launched her boutique in 2007.

Home kitchen to Whole Food

Dann's first cookbook targeted children, reflecting her closeness to them.

Cafe Indigo sample

Vegan Kids in the Kitchen helped parents and kids enjoy cooking healthy plant-based meals together. Her vegan grandchildren and her beloved recipes inspired the content.

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