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Get ready to fall in love with this low carb keto carrot cake that tastes just like the real thing! Delicious, spicy, and made with a secret ingredient that keeps it perfectly moist.
This cake was on my mind for a long time before I made it. Ever since I created my zucchini spice cupcakes, I started dreaming of a sugar free carrot cake. I just knew it would be amazing as a low carb dessert.
And I was right! Trust me, you are going to love this recipe. With its wonderfully spicy flavor, fluffy and rich cream cheese frosting, and just the right amount of sweetness, it’s the perfect treat.
The secret ingredient
Since I mentioned the recipe that inspired this keto carrot cake above, you can probably guess the secret ingredient. The trick to a super moist low carb carrot cake is zucchini!
Many low carb cake recipes tend to be dry. That’s why I knew zucchini would be a great addition to the batter. Zucchini has so much moisture, it keeps this carrot cake from drying out. And it ensures there’s plenty of liquid for the coconut flour to absorb.
Plus, what a great way to sneak vegetables into your dessert.
How to make low carb carrot cake
This cake is far from complicated to make. In fact, it comes together with just a few simple steps.
You’ll mix the dry ingredients, mix the wet ingredients, combine them, then add the nuts and bake your cakes. The frosting can be mixed up while the cake bakes as well. Then, assemble and frost!
Making the batter
- Stir together almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and allspice in a medium bowl and mix until well-combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Once they’re well mixed, stir in grated zucchini and carrots. Both should be very finely grated, not in chunks, for the best cake texture. Stir in the sweetener as well.
- Add the dry ingredients mixture into the wet mixture, stirring everything well.
- If using nuts, it’s best to toast them in a dry skillet on the stove first. Just put the heat on medium and stir them often until they become fragrant. Then stir them into the batter.
Baking the cake
- Spread the batter evenly between the two cake pans lined with parchment paper or use non-stick silicone pans. You can smooth the tops if necessary.
- Put the two cakes in a preheated 350°F oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are browned and firm to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and allow them to cool before frosting. It’s important to let them cool fully so the frosting doesn’t melt.
Making sugar free cream cheese frosting
- Cream together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until they are well-combined.
- Add in the powdered sweetener and continue to beat until the frosting is smooth. If you only have granular sweetener, you can powder it in a blender or food processor.
- Finally, add in the vanilla extract and heavy whipping cream and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
Assembling the cake
To assemble your keto carrot cake, stack the two cakes on top of one another with a layer of frosting in between. Spread the remaining frosting over the whole cake.
I used two 9-inch round cake pans to make a double layer frosted cake. However, you can bake it in a single 9×13-inch pan or divide the cake batter into cupcake molds. The baking time will just need to be adjusted if using a different size baking pan. My batter took about 25-30 minutes to fully cook.
Are carrots low carb?
Carrots are right in the name of this recipe. So you may be wondering, can you have carrots on keto or low carb diets?
In general, starchy root vegetables like potatoes and carrots are avoided in low carb and keto diets. Also, many on strict keto avoid carrots because they contain more sugar than other vegetables.
However, eating low carb or keto is about managing your carb and sugar intake. There is no such thing as “keto foods,” there are just foods that fit or don’t fit within your keto macros.
When it comes to carrots, they should be enjoyed in moderation. 1 cup, or about 70 grams, has 6.7 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber, so about 4 grams of net carbs. That same amount has 3.3 grams of sugar.
If you’re eating carrots by themselves, you’ll eat that amount in a few bites. So carrots do not make a good low carb or keto snack.
But this keto carrot cake only calls for 1 cup of carrots in the entire recipe, which is cut into 16 slices. This means that there are only 0.3 net carbs and 0.2 grams of sugar per serving from carrots.
If you’ve heard that you cannot eat carrots on keto, don’t worry. The amount of carrot in this recipe will not knock you out of ketosis, and it’s plenty for the cake.
Is carrot cake ok for diabetics?
Traditional versions of this dessert can be sugar bombs.
In fact, carrot cake from a popular restaurant can have over 25 grams of sugar per slice! And carrot cake carbs can reach up to 60 grams. For this reason, I would not recommend restaurant or store-bought versions of the dessert for diabetics.
However, this keto carrot cake recipe was created to be very low in both carbs and sugar. In fact, each slice only contains 2 grams of sugar and 4 grams of net carbs.
If you or someone you know is watching their sugar intake, give this carrot cake a try. It won’t spike your blood sugar, and it’s just as delicious as the real thing. Seriously!
Carrot cake variations
There are a few ways you can switch up this recipe based on what sounds best for you. Here are some ideas:
- Bake the cake as muffins instead for single-serve treats. Just be sure to adjust the baking time.
- To reduce the sweetness, you can use less frosting or eliminate it all-together. The cake is incredibly tasty on its own!
- To lighten the cake, substitute protein powder for a couple tablespoons to 1/4 cup of the almond flour.
- Adjust sweetener to taste. To reduce erythritol, I often lessen the sweetener used an add in concentrated stevia to taste.
- Try different types of nuts. Pecans or hazelnuts are great substitutes for walnuts.
- Switch up the spices and add ground cloves or ginger.
How do you make your low carb carrot cake? I’d love to hear your favorite variations in the comments below!
Tools used to make this carrot cake recipe
- Silicone Pans: Low carb gluten free cakes tend to stick to regular metal baking pans. That’s why I like to use non-stick silicone pans to guarantee an easy release every time.
- Nut Chopper: Chop nuts evenly, either fine or coarse. A nut chopper makes it much easier than chopping nuts by hand. Plus, there’s no worry about over-chopping, which can happen with a hand chopper or food processor.
- Stand Mixer: For a light and fluffy frosting, it’s best to use a good stand mixer that can whip at a higher speed than hand mixers.
- Parchment Liners: If you prefer to use a metal pan, or you just want to make sure none of the bottom of the cake sticks to the pan, you can use parchment circles. Using pre-cut ones saves time and are guaranteed to be a perfect fit.
Other low carb cake recipes
Looking for more low carb cake recipes that you can enjoy on a keto diet? Check out a few of these favorites:
- The Best Low Carb Chocolate Cake has a rich, chocolate flavor and ultra-moist texture thanks to, you guessed it, zucchini!
- Sugar Free Red Velvet Cake is made with low carb flours and topped with a keto friendly cream cheese frosting for a truly special treat.
- Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake is a decadent dessert as beautiful as it is delicious. It’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake is an easy to make, moist chocolate cake topped with sugar free peanut butter frosting.
- German Chocolate Cake is another recipe that uses zucchini for an ultra-rich texture. This one is topped with an amazing coconut pecan frosting!
I’m also loving the way the German black forest cake over at My PCOS Kitchen!
Low Carb Carrot Cake
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice or ginger
- 1 cup coconut oil I used the liquid kind
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup low carb sugar substitute more or less (I use 3/4 cup)
- 1 1/2 cups packed grated zucchini about 295 grams (one medium)
- 1 cup loosely packed grated carrots about 70 grams (1 large)
- 1/2 cup walnuts optional
- 16 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup butter 1 stick
- 1 cup Lakanto powdered monk fruit sweetener or 2 cups regular powdered sweetener
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream more or less for desired consistency
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom of two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper or use silicone pans.
- Stir together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice (or ginger) in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In large mixing bow, whisk together coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir in zucchini, carrots, and sweetener. Then add flour mixture and stir until well combined.Stir in walnuts, if using.
- Spread batter evenly between the two cake pans. Smooth tops if necessary.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until browned on top and cake is firm to the touch.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack before frosting.
- Cream together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer.
- Add powdered sweetener and beat until smooth.
- Beat in the vanilla extract. Add in the heavy whipping cream, a little at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Frosting should be light and fluffy after whipping.
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Note on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
Unauthorized use of this material without written permission from Lisa MarcAurele is strictly prohibited unless for personal offline purposes.
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First published: February 18, 2019… Last updated: December 10, 2019