Carrot cake on the keto diet? Yes, you sure can! Try this easy and delicious recipe for a low-carb carrot cake, complete with sugar-free cream cheese frosting. You’ll love the sweet, spiced flavor and moist, tender, crumb. Plus, it’s made with almond flour and coconut flour — so you know it’s low-carb and gluten-free.
2 cups grated carrots
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sweetener, like Swerve
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups almond flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
cream cheese frosting
EASY KETO CARROT CAKE
This cake is so moist and delicious, it will quickly become your new favorite keto dessert recipe. Keto Carrot Cake is pretty simple to make, and definitely delivers on that classic carrot cake taste.
If you leave it unfrosted, carrot cake muffins would make a delicious breakfast or afternoon snack.
Add the sweet cream cheese icing, though, and you’ve got yourself one killer dessert! You can make it as an 8″ layer cake, or keep it super simple and bake it as cupcakes instead!
ARE CARROTS KETO?
Maybe you’re asking yourself if you can eat carrots on a keto diet? Well, I say, yes you can!
I think we need to get it straight that “ketosis” is a metabolic state — not a specific list of “allowed” foods. So yes, carrots do have more carbs than kale. But you can still eat a little bit of grated carrot and stay under your carb limit for the day, no problem.
Carrots have 8 grams net carbs in 1 cup of grated carrot.
It’s similar to the way that so many of you enjoy this keto pumpkin bread. Yes, it has pumpkin puree — but a slice of pumpkin bread still comes in at 3 grams of net carbs.
INGREDIENTS IN LOW-CARB CARROT CAKE
This keto carrot cake is made with a handful of common keto baking ingredients. To replace traditional grain flours, we’re using a mixture of almond flour and coconut flour. And to replace white granulated sugar, we’re using a sugar substitute like erythritol or Swerve.
Along with grated carrots, eggs, and butter, you’ll also need:
Almond flour is one of the most common alternative flours used in keto baking. I pretty much always have a bag almond flour in my pantry. I like to use almond flour with a super-fine texture made from blanched almonds. A finely ground blanched almond flour will give you the lightest, most tender result in your banana bread.
Coconut flour. I also add coconut flour to this banana bread. I think that a mix of almond and coconut flour gives this bread the best texture. Coconut flour is high in fiber and very absorbent, so we only need to use 1/2 cup in this recipe.
Xanthan Gum. Xanthan gum is a keto baking staple. It is a common food additive that helps keto baked good to retain their structure in the absence of gluten. A little bit of xanthan gum goes a long way, so you’ll only need 1/2 tsp. If you don’t have xanthan gum, you can substitute 1 tbsp of ground flax meal. Or, just omit it — but the cake will be more fragile and crumbly because of it. (If you omit it, you might have better luck with cupcakes!)
Sweetener. My preference is to use Swerve granulated sweetener in this recipe — but you could also use monk-fruit sweetener or allulose. If you are planning on using a different sweetener, make sure to check out the back of the bag for the conversion instructions. (Swerve is a 1:1 swap with sugar, but some brands are more or less concentrated.)
Spices. Cinnamon is a classic addition to carrot cake. I also like to add a bit of nutmeg, too.
HOW TO MAKE KETO CARROT CAKE
This carrot cake comes together via the standard “Creaming Method”. It’s very helpful to have a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer to make this recipe, and the accompanying frosting.
To start, preheat the oven to 350F and line the bottom of two round cake pans with parchment. Keto cakes can be fragile, so the parchment will help you get them out of the pan in one piece.
Then, beat together the butter and sweetener until the mixture is light and fluffy. This will take at least 5 minutes, so be patient. The creaming process creates lots of little air bubbles in the batter which will help this gluten-free cake rise. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix to combine. Be sure to scrape the bowl with a spatula to make sure everything is thoroughly incorporated.
In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients– almond flour, coconut flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Make sure you use finely ground blanched almond flour, not almond meal, for the lightest texture.
Finally, fold in the grated carrots and walnuts, if you’re using them. Make sure the carrots are just loosely packed when you’re measuring them. Don’t be tempted to pack them down into the measuring cup or you’ll add too much.
Divide the batter into two cake pans, and spread it out with a small spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top springs back when you touch it — or an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
One final tip — make sure the cake layers are completely cool before you frost them.
TIPS FOR BAKING KETO CAKES AND CUPCAKES
Here are some baking tips that will help you get the best result in this carrot cake recipe, and other similar keto baking recipes:
- Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature before baking. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, place them in a large bowl of very warm water for a few minutes.
- Use fresh baking powder. To test if your baking powder is still active, place a teaspoon of baking powder in a bowl and pour 1/4 cup of boiling water over it. If it bubbles right away, it’s still good.
- Let the carrot cake cool in the pan. Gluten-free cakes are tender when warm. So, it’s best to let the cake cool in the pan before taking it out.
- Be sure to let the cakes cool completely before trying to stack or frost them.
HOW TO STORE AND FREEZE KETO CARROT CAKE
To keep carrot cake fresh, first, make sure you let it cool completely. Then, you can store it wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or in a lidded storage container at room temperature. You keep unfrosted carrot cake at room temperature for a couple of days.
After you frost it with cream cheese icing, though, you will want to keep carrot cake in the fridge. Store it well-wrapped for 3-4 days.
Yes, you can even freeze this carrot cake. I recommend freezing the layers separately, before you frost it. To do this, remove the carrot cakes from the pans and let it cool completely. Wrap the cakes in plastic wrap. For extra insurance against freezer burn or “off” smells, you can then place them in large “zip” freezer bags.
YIELD: 10 SERVING SIZE: 1
Amount Per Serving: CALORIES: 355 TOTAL FAT: 32g SATURATED FAT: 11g TRANS FAT: 0g UNSATURATED FAT: 19g CHOLESTEROL: 111mg SODIUM: 264mg CARBOHYDRATES: 13g FIBER: 4g SUGAR: 5g PROTEIN: 9g
Here is the recipe of my (CREAM CHEESE FROSTING)
It’s easy to make luscious keto cream cheese frosting, even without powdered sugar! All you need are the right low-carb ingredients. This delicious, low-carb, sugar-free cream cheese frosting has just 5 ingredients. It’s the perfect topping for low-carb cakes and muffins!
This keto cream cheese frosting is thick, creamy, and delicious. It’s the perfect icing to pair with my favorite low-carb cake
INGREDIENTS IN LOW-CARB CREAM CHEESE ICING
It’s no secret that traditional cream cheese icing is full of sugar. But, with the right low-carb ingredients, you can easily make keto cream cheese frosting without all that powdered sugar!
So, how do you make cream cheese frosting without powdered sugar? All you need to do is substitute powdered erythritol instead!
You could even use a granulated sweetener, as long as you grind it in a dry food processor first. The sweetener needs to be a powdery consistency before adding it to the frosting, otherwise, your keto cream cheese frosting will be grainy or gritty. Not ideal.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup powdered sweetener, like Swerve
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp heavy cream, or more as needed
HOW TO MAKE KETO CREAM CHEESE ICING
Cream cheese frosting is one of the easiest types of frosting to make. All you need are five ingredients and a mixer! A stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment is my preferred tool for making this icing. But you can also use a hand mixer — your choice!
To start, make sure your ingredients are at room temperature. Then, beat together the cream cheese and butter, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Next, beat in the powdered sweetener and vanilla extract. Start on low, and then increase the speed to really aerate the frosting.
Finally, add some heavy cream as needed to thin out the frosting, You want a creamy consistency that’s thin enough to spread, but thick enough not to run down the sides of your cake or cupcakes. I’d start with a tablespoon or two, and you can adjust as needed.
TIPS FOR MAKING KETO CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
I’ve said this before, but make sure your cream cheese and butter are at room temperature. Cold cream cheese is hard to whip, and will give you lumpy frosting. Softened cream cheese and butter will whip together better for a lighter, smoother frosting.
And, use full-fat cream cheese with as few carbs as possible. Sometimes, organic brands will have fewer carbs than mainstream brands — you’ll just have to check the label. Either way, don’t choose reduced-fat cream cheese which will give you a runnier, less stable frosting.
HOW TO STORE AND FREEZE CREAM CHEESE ICING
You can definitely make low carb cream cheese frosting ahead of time. It stores well in the fridge, and freezes well for longer storage.
You can refrigerate cream cheese frosting for up to 5 days. Store it well covered, and let it come to room temperature before using it. You can even give it a quick re-whip before using.
You can also make a big batch of frosting and freeze it for later baking. When you are ready to use it, let it thaw in the fridge. Then, let it come to room temperature before using. Give it a quick whip before using for the lightest results.
YIELD: 12 SERVING SIZE: 1
Amount Per Serving: CALORIES: 149 TOTAL FAT: 15g SATURATED FAT: 9g TRANS FAT: 0g UNSATURATED FAT: 5g CHOLESTEROL: 42mg SODIUM: 121mg CARBOHYDRATES: 3g FIBER: 0g SUGAR: 2g PROTEIN: 1g
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