Keto Carrot Cake (or Cupcakes!)

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.

slice of keto carrot cake with 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!

low-carb carrot cake with sugar-free frosting

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.

keto carrot cake batter in two pans

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. 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.

keto cream cheese frosting on low-carb carrot cake layer

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.

 

frosted keto carrot cake with walnuts or pecans

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.

fork in a piece of keto carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Other Keto Baking Recipes

If you like baking keto desserts, you may also like my:

And, don’t forget the keto cream cheese frosting!

Keto Carrot Cake

Keto Carrot Cake

Yield: 2 8" layers
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Easy keto carrot cake, complete with sugar-free cream cheese icing, is a low-carb, gluten-free dessert. This cake is so moist and delicious, it will quickly become your new favorite keto dessert recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sweetener, like Swerve
  • 4 eggs
  • 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)
  • 1 recipe Keto Cream Cheese Frosting

Instructions

    Preheat oven to 350 F. Line the bottoms of two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Grease the sides of the pans with non-stick spray.

    Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sweetener together for 5 minutes on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla extract.

    In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, xanthan gum, and baking powder -- breaking up any lumps. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter/egg mixture on low speed until just combined.

    Stir in the carrots and nuts, if using.

    Divide the batter between the two pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are set and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

    Let the cakes cool inside the pans for 10-15 minutes, then carefully invert onto a cooling rack. Let them cool completely before frosting.

    To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a serving plate. Use an offset spatula to spread 1/2 of the frosting on top of the first layer. Top with the second cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting on top. (I like to leave the sides of this cake unfrosted. If you want to frost the sides, you may want to make 1.5X the frosting recipe to have enough.)

Notes

Here's my recipe for Keto Cream Cheese Frosting.

I like to leave the sides of this cake unfrosted. If you want to frost the sides, you may want to make 1.5X the frosting recipe to have enough.

FOR CUPCAKES, pour or scoop the batter into paper liners in a cupcake tin. Fill no more than 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Nutrition Information:
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 Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 5g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 9g
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. Carb count will vary with different ingredients and brands. It should not be considered as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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keto carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

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