Insanely tender and perfectly spiced, this keto carrot cake is amazing. No refined sugar, made with almond flour, coconut flour and olive oil, it's a low-carb and gluten-free carrot cake that will surprise you (and any non low-carb eaters who try it!). Almond flour gives it a lovely, soft crumb, and the cinnamon/nutmeg/ginger/cloves combination adds just the right amount of spice without being overpowering.
Plus, CREAM CHEESE FROSTING. It's sweet and fluffy and ultra rich. Sandwich the frosting between two carrot cake layers, then thickly spread it across the top and sides for the perfect frosting finish.
This keto carrot cake is:
- a healthy carrot cake recipe (made with olive oil, low-carb flours and sans sugar!)
- keto, low-carb, gluten-free and even paleo friendly without the frosting
- super tender and moist, just as any carrot cake should be
When I first served my kids a slice of this keto carrot cake, I took extra caution to call it "cake," and intentionally omit the word "carrot," just to ensure there was no bias. 😉 It got the "index-finger-up" review from my four-year-old daughter, who has forever used this method to tell us that something is "super yummy" as she shoves it into her mouth. It's her version of "thumbs-up," and is usually accompanied by a barely distinguishable grunt of the word "good."
It's "just cake," I said to my son, who is very skeptical of any new foods, even desserts (also- may I point out- older and wiser than his sissy and possibly still traumatized by my very early keto baking days). But it got Maverick's approval, along with my extended family who came to visit the next day.
I share this as proof that this keto and gluten-free carrot cake is one of those desserts that truly anyone will enjoy!
the ingredient list
Don't be intimidated by the ingredient list- this is a really easy carrot cake recipe that will take about 15 minutes to prepare before it's ready for baking.
To make keto carrot cake, you will need:
- grated carrot, loosely packed
- olive oil (or melted and cooled coconut oil)
- eggs, at room temperature (pasture-raised when possible)
- apple cider vinegar
- canned coconut milk
- tahini (the "secret ingredient" that makes this low-carb carrot cake extra moist!)
- almond flour (superfine blanched almond flour, NOT almond meal)
- coconut flour
- granulated monk fruit sweetener blend (I love Lakanto Golden sweetener for this carrot cake- use my affiliate code STEMANDSPOON for 15% off)
- shredded unsweetened coconut
- ground flaxseed meal
- baking powder
- baking soda
- ground ginger
- ground cloves (optional)
- raw pecans (optional- I like to toast them to top the cake)
For the keto cream cheese frosting:
- cream cheese, at room temperature
- softened butter
- powdered monk fruit sweetener blend (not granulated)
- salt (optional)
let's make keto carrot cake!
This almond flour carrot cake recipe is really simple, and you can make the cake the day prior to serving (the flavors will actually intensify).
Here's my carrot cake recipe, condensed (see the full recipe and ingredient amounts at the bottom of the page!):
- Make the carrot cake batter. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center. In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture, then stir until combined. Gently fold in the grated carrot.
- Transfer to cake pans. Divide the cake batter evenly between two parchment-lined cake pans. It will be a thin layer- spread it with a spatula to make it even (kitchen hack: use a food scale to make sure each pan has the exact same amount of cake batter).
- Bake. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. The cakes will rise slightly. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely. I place the cakes in the freezer for about 15 minutes prior to frosting, then I carefully pop them out of the pan and remove the parchment paper.
- Frost. Beat together the softened cream cheese, butter, powdered sweetener, vanilla and salt for about 5 minutes, or until it is light and fluffy. Frost the cake, top with toasted pecans, then enjoy!
watch the video!
recipe notes for the best results
- Grate the carrot yourself, as opposed to buying pre-grated carrot (we want all that moisture and freshness!). I usually grate two large carrots with the small side of the box grater.
- Please don't skip the tahini! The carrot cake recipe only calls for a small amount but it adds so much moisture to the cake. A couple of years ago I discovered this tip from Ambitious Kitchen and have never looked back!
- Toasted pecans add a deep, rich flavor to the cake. Toast them at 350°F for 8-10 minutes on a baking sheet. Chop them up and add to the cake batter, sprinkle them on top for decoration, or both!
- You can turn the cakes out onto a plate after they are completely cool, then place in the freezer for 20 minutes right before decorating (this trick helps prevent crumbs from getting in the frosting). Or keep the cakes in the pan, freeze, then carefully pop them out when it's time to frost.
I'm in love with this healthy carrot cake recipe - it's easy to make and is such a tasty, sugar-free dessert! Fresh flowers on top add a fun, springtime touch, or keep it simple with a sprinkling of coconut or toasted pecans. Either way, this cake is, on its own, a special occasion.
more keto cake recipes you'll love...
- Basque burnt cheesecake, aka the EASIEST keto cheesecake you'll ever make!
- Keto lemon pound cake, a delicious and simple lemon loaf!
- Keto coconut cake, a sweet, springtime Bundt cake recipe.
- 2 cups blanched almond flour
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ¾ cup granulated monk fruit sweetener (I prefer Lakanto "Golden")
- ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅓ cup olive oil (or coconut oil, melted and cooled)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 eggs, pasture-raised when possible
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup canned coconut milk
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1-½ cups freshly-grated carrot, loosely packed
- ⅓ cup toasted pecans (optional)
cream cheese frosting
- ½ cup salted butter, softened
- 1 pound (2, 8-oz. packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ½-3/4 cup powdered monk fruit sweetener (see notes)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two, 8" or 9" round cake pans with parchment paper (use a little oil or butter to help the paper stick along the sides of the pan).
- In a large mixing bowl, add all of the dry ingredients (except for the toasted pecans): almond flour, coconut flour, monk fruit sweetener, unsweetened coconut, baking powder, baking soda, salt, flaxseed meal and spices.
- Stir the dry ingredients together then set the bowl aside.
- In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: olive oil, vanilla, eggs, vinegar, coconut milk, and tahini.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture. Stir about 30 seconds, or until well combined.
- Use a rubber spatula to fold in the grated carrot. If you prefer toasted pecans in the cake, fold in ⅓ cup at this time (or save for topping the cake).
- Divide the cake batter evenly between the two cake pans. It will make a thin layer- spread it with a spatula to even out the top (you can also use a food scale to make sure each pan has the exact same amount).
- Place both pans on the middle rack of the oven and bake at 350°F for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The cakes will rise slightly.
- Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely. Place them in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to frosting to help prevent crumbs from getting into the frosting.
- To make the frosting, beat together the softened cream cheese, butter, powdered sweetener, and vanilla for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Remove the cakes from the freezer and carefully pop them out of the pan. Peel away the parchment paper and discard.
- To frost: Set one cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate with a sheet of parchment paper underneath. Place about ⅓ of the cream cheese frosting on top of the cake and spread it evenly to make a thick layer, about ½-inch. Set the other cake on top, then spread the remaining frosting across the entire cake and down the sides. Top with toasted pecans or shredded coconut (optional). Use a spatula to carefully lift an edge of the cake and slide the parchment paper out from underneath of it.
To toast pecans: Place them on a baking sheet and toast at 350°F for 8-10 minutes. Chop them up to add to the cake batter or sprinkle on top of the frosting for decoration.
For the powdered monk fruit sweetener in the frosting, start with ½ cup and taste. For more sweetness, mix in 2-tablespoon increments at a time, to taste.
If using unsalted butter for the frosting, add a pinch of salt for flavor.
Use freshly-grated carrot (as opposed to store-bought, pre-grated carrot) for maximum moisture and freshness (I usually grate two medium carrots with the small side of a box grater).
Don't skip the tahini! It adds so much moisture to the cake with a super subtle flavor (a tip I first discovered from Ambitious Kitchen).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 397Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 353mgCarbohydrates: 15gNet Carbohydrates: 10gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 9g
This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.