World’s Best Keto Carrot Cake

This wonderful keto, gluten-free & grain-free carrot cake is made with lupin flour, it’s moist and fluffy and deliciously spiced! It has a rich texture, with freshly grated carrots, coconut and crushed pecans.

Topped with a sugar-free cream cheese buttercream frosting, this keto carrot cake is a delicious way of celebrating the coming of spring, Easter, lucky people birthdays or anytime really!

A fork cutting into a big slice of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, on a white plate with yellow flowers.

Why this carrot cake is special

Before Like Hot Keto, I’d planned starting a blog with only keto cake recipes. Like Hot Cakes. I just adore cakes. Like cats, all cakes are beautiful, even the ugly ones.

But this lifestyle change had me learning to bake all over again with keto ingredients, and oh boy that was frustrating. (As I’m sure many of you ex-wheat and sugar bakers can relate!)

Anyway, after several frustrating tries developing a keto carrot cake, for the first time in my life I had to dump a cake in the bin. The poor cake! Daniel wouldn’t even try it.

Defeated (and deeply offended), I gave up on the dream of being a cake blogger. Maybe that’s not my calling. Two years went by…

This week, I wanted to create a special carrot cake for Easter. I revisited that ghost of my past, recreating the recipe from scratch with lupin flour. And, on the second try, this keto carrot cake was perfect! Perfect, I tell you! (I mean in taste, decoration wise I did my best, but there’s ample room for improvement, I know…)

A tall, layered keto carrot cake frosted with cream cheese buttercream and decorated with grated coconut, baby carrots.

As I ate, I thought did evil Pris switch the keto ingredients for carbs in the middle of the night? You know, the “I can’t believe it isn’t carbs” feeling? Seriously. I hope you’ll try, and love it as much as we did.

Ingredient notes

Lupin flour – This is my favorite keto flour! Lupin flour has a very fine texture and it’s perfect for baking. It’s much easier to deal with than almond or coconut flours, and it has better macros too: it’s a super high protein flour, with nearly half of its weight made up of protein. So, super satisfying and much lower in calories!

Fluffy, just shredded carrots – Use a box grater, or the shredding discs on a food processor. I know it might be tempting to get a pre-grated carrot pack at the store, but if you do this your cake won’t be as amazing as it can be. Those store bought shredded carrots are hard, dry and flavorless like matchsticks.

A slice of lupin flour carrot cake with coconut and pecans, on a white plate next to a silver fork.

Lots of spices and flavors! – I’m not stopping at cinnamon and nutmeg… a carrot cake is a spice cake, after all. I also added ginger and clove powder, vanilla and orange zest.

For the brown sugar flavor, there’s one tiny teaspoon of blackstrap molasses. It’s a little amount that won’t affect the carb count. If you prefer, you can replace it with a keto brown sugar sweetener, just use it instead of the regular white sweetener.

For the cream cheese buttercream frosting – Use block cream cheese and grass fed, unsalted butter for the best taste and texture. This frosting is quite thick and not super sweet.

Make sure to use a powdered keto sweetener in the frosting (instead of granulated), as the sweetener crystals are pretty hard to dissolve and will affect the texture, making it grainy.

Slice of lupin flour carrot cake on a white plate, fork and flowers.

How to make

Keto carrot cake

You can prepare the cake batter with a strong arm powered whisk, or a hand mixer, but I used a stand mixer. Let the toasters do the work.

Step by step pictures of the keto carrot cake batter mixing and baking.

Start by preheating the oven and preparing the pans. I decided to make a 2-layer cake, so I used two 8″ pans.

For easier unmolding of the cake, butter the pans and flour them with lupin flour. For peace of mind, I always add a disc of parchment paper to the bottom of the pans, and butter it as well.

Whisk together all the liquid ingredients, spices, eggs and sweetener until they are frothy. In another bowl, use a whisk or fork to combine the dry ingredients and fluff them up a bit. Smash down any lumps you may encounter.

Then add half of the combined dry ingredients into the frothy mixture, mix, then add the second half. Beat until smooth. Add the freshly grated carrots (just a reminder!), and mix just until combined.

Divide the batter equally among the pans, and bake at 165 °C (325 °F) for about 40 minutes, until the cake starts pulling from the edges – see the picture above for how it looks before and after baking.

You can have the keto carrot cake just as is, deliciously moist and naked, or you can go ahead and add some frosting:

Lupin flour carrot cake layered with cream cheese buttercream.

Cream cheese buttercream frosting

This keto cream cheese buttercream frosting is quite stiff, so it’s easy to layer it thick and it will support the weight of the cake discs just fine, even if you do more layers.

I used the same amount of cream cheese, butter and powdered erythritol sweetener. If you have a sweet tooth, you can go higher on the sweetener here, even double it up. It might make the frosting harder, though.

You’ll need to leave the butter and cream cheese outside the fridge to soften up a bit before starting. Trying to beat cold butter is not the best use of your time, believe me…

Collage photos of cream cheese buttercream frosting ready in the bowl and two-layer keto carrot cake being frosted.

There’s different methods for making frosting, but they all generally reach the same result in the end. You can either beat the butter first until creamy and then add the cream cheese, or just beat them both together.

The later works well if both ingredients are at about the same consistency, but if the butter is still harder/colder than the cream cheese the first method is easier to get them to combine.

Then, just slowly add the keto powdered sweetener, while the mixer is running on low. If using a hand mixer, pass the mixers over the sweetener as you pour it, carefully not to make the powder fly everywhere.

Finally, increase the speed, and continue beating until the frosting is big and fluffy. Scrape the sides as you go.

A slice of carrot cake with a thick cream cheese sugar-free frosting filling, on a white plate.

Decoration and topping ideas

Frosting the cake – Before spreading the keto frosting on the carrot cakes, they need to be fully cooled down, or the frosting will melt. If your cakes aren’t flat on the top, use a large serrated knife to level them first.

I used an offset spatula to spread the frosting. Cover the first layer of cake with the filling, top it with the second layer cake, then spread the remaining frosting, starting from the top, and then the sides. I placed the cake over my microwave plate to turn it around as I went.

Toppings – Here’s some keto friendly, sugar-free topping ideas to make this amazing carrot cake even more special, say for a birthday or Easter:

  • Fine shredded unsweetened coconut (I used on the sides of the cake, the same that goes in the batter)
  • Pecans or walnuts, crushed or whole. These keto candied nuts are a delicious step up!
  • Real, edible flowers for a beautiful spring theme carrot cake
  • Baby carrots, complete with green leaves: make a hole on the baby carrot with a toothpick and insert a tiny piece of fennel.
Keto carrot cake with white cream cheese frosting, fine shredded coconut and crushed pecans, with spring flowers on the side.

Storage and freezing

This keto carrot cake is super moist thanks to the olive oil in the batter, which makes it stay fresh for longer than a cake made with butter, about one week.

Still, because of the cream cheese topping, the cake needs to be put in the fridge, specially in warm weather.

Always cover or wrap cakes before refrigerating, so that the smells of other foods don’t get absorbed into the cake.

To freeze, wrap the slices (or any amount of cake you want to unfreeze at a time) in parchment paper first, then wrap it again in cling film or put inside freezer bags, or arrange in a sealable container. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or for about one hour on the kitchen counter.


A tall, layered keto carrot cake frosted with cream cheese buttercream and decorated with grated coconut, baby carrots.

World’s Best Keto Carrot Cake

4.87 from 22 votes
This keto & gluten-free carrot cake is made with lupin flour, it's moist and fluffy and deliciously spiced. Perfect for Easter, birthdays, and spring time! Make with cream cheese buttercream frosting, or without – it's great either way!
Author: Pris Frank
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 slices

Ingredients
 

Carrot cake

  • 1 ½ cup (150 g) lupin flour
  • ½ cup (44 g) unsweetened grated coconut
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 5 large eggs
  • ½ cup (96 g) keto sweetener
  • ¾ cup (164 g) light olive oil (or avocado oil)
  • ½ cup (116 g) sour cream or natural / Greek yogurt
  • ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • teaspoon clove powder
  • teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses optional
  • 2 cups (260 g) grated carrots
  • ½ cup (50 g) crushed pecans or walnuts

Cream cheese buttercream frosting

  • 1 cup (230 g) butter (room temperature)
  • 8 ounces (226 g) cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 ⅓ cup (250 g) powdered sweetener
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions
 

Keto carrot cake

  • Preheat the oven to 165 °C (325 °F). Butter and flour two 8" pans with lupin flour. For easier unmolding, add a disc of buttered parchment paper on the bottom.
  • In a bowl, manually whisk together the 1 1/2 cup lupin flour, 1/2 cup unsweetened grated coconut, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum. Set aside.
  • In the mixer bowl, add 5 large eggs, 1/2 cup keto sweetener, 3/4 cup light olive oil. 1/2 cup sour cream. 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar. 1 tablespoon orange zest. 2 teaspoons vanilla. 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder1/8 teaspoon clove powder, 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses (if using). Beat until foamy.
  • (If using a stand mixer, change the whisk into the paddle beater.) Add half of the dry ingredients to the whisked foamy liquid, mix, then add the second half, and mix. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula to incorporate all of the powders.
  • Add the 2 cups grated carrots and 1/2 cup crushed pecans and mix just until combined.
  • Transfer the carrot cake batter into the prepared cake pans, and take into the preheated oven at 165 °C (325 °F) for about 40 minutes, until the cake starts pulling from the edges and an inserted toothpick comes out nearly clean.
  • Wait for the cake to cool down a little before unmolding. If adding the frosting, the cake needs to be fully cooled down first, I recommend refrigerating the cake, covered or wrapped, for a few hours or overnight.

Cream cheese buttercream frosting

  • Using a hand mixer and large bowl, or a standing mixer with the paddle or whisk attachment, beat the 1 cup butter (softened to room temperature ) on medium speed until it's creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the 8 ounces cream cheese and continue beating until it's completely smooth.
  • With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the 1 1/3 cup powdered sweetener and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Increase to high speed, and continue beating for about 3 minutes, until the frosting is voluminous and smooth.

Frosting and decoration

  • After chilling the cakes, use a large serrated knife to smooth out and flatten the tops, if needed. To spread the frosting, use an offset spatula. Cover the first layer of cake with a generous amount of frosting, top it with the second layer cake, then spread the remaining frosting, starting from the top, and then the sides.
  • You can also add shredded unsweetened coconut (I used on the sides of the cake), and pecans or walnuts, crushed or whole. Baby carrots make for a fun looking Easter themed cake.

Notes

Cake pans used for the 2 layer cake on the photos were two 8″ pans.
Use freshly grated carrot, that is moist and fluffy, for the best carrot cake. It’s easily done with a box grater. Store bought grated carrot is dry, hard and flavorless.
The blackstrap molasses adds a deep caramel, burnt sugar flavor that is important in spiced cakes. If you prefer not to use it, I recommend using a brown sugar keto sweetener instead of the regular white one.
For the frosting, use a powdered or confectioner’s keto sweetener. You can also powder the granulated sweetener yourself, or make the blend from scratch. See how to make your own keto sweetener blend.
 
Nutrition information below on the card shows the carrot cake with the cream cheese buttercream topping. For the keto carrot cake only (or if you’d like to add a different frosting), the nutrition information per serving is – Calories: 211 Total Fat: 17.7 grams Carbohydrates: 6.4 grams Fiber: 4.4 grams Sugar: 1.6 grams Protein: 6.4 grams Net Carbs: 1.9 grams

Nutrition

Serving: 1Calories: 347kcalCarbohydrates: 6.8gProtein: 7.3gFat: 32.4gFiber: 4.4gSugar: 2gNet Carbohydrates: 2.5g
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let us know how it was!

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10 Comments

  1. Really the best keto carrot cake. Maybe the best carrot cake, period. I really appreciate that you took the time to share this recipe. I followed to a T. It resulted really moist and fluffy, not too sweet. I think mine looks even better than the pictures! Ha!

  2. Yes, Michelle! It makes 18-20 cupcakes. They will bake much quicker than the whole cake, start checking on them at half the time (20 minutes).

  3. Hello,
    I would like to make this cake, but I was wondering if I didn’t add coconut would that affect any of the other ingredients? Also, since I only have a 6 inch pan, if I halved the recipe how many eggs would I use and how long would you say to bake that one 6 inch pan?
    Thank you for any advice.

  4. Hi Cat! I use 5 large eggs for the whole recipe, so I think the easiest way of halving it would be using 3 medium eggs. Or use 3 large, but whisk one of them separately and discard half of the liquid. It’s okay to leave out the grated coconut. In the 6″ pan the cook time will probably be a little longer than the 40 minutes in the 8″pan (about 5 minutes at least), because the cake batter will be less spread, so there will be less heat on the surface and edges in comparison to the center of the cake. Make sure to test with a toothpick in the center before turning off the oven. Also, please note that the whole recipe makes 2 discs of cake divided in two 8″pans, so even after halving the batter you might still have to discard some (you can just bake the excess in the microwave for a quick taste, no need to throw it away!). The cake doesn’t grow much, so you’ll probably be safe filling the pan a little over 3/4 of the way up. Good luck, I hope it turns out great! 🙂

  5. Hi Pris,
    I just saw your response to my questions. Thank you for such a quick response!
    I ended up buying another 6″ pan just so I could try to make your cake! If I half the original recipe and put it in two 6″ pans, would the time of 40mins be enough? Sorry about all these questions, but I’m not an experienced baker. Thank you for your patience 😊.

  6. Oh, yes! I believe so, maybe it will be ready even a bit earlier! I think the discs of cake will come out a little bit thinner with half the batter in 2 6″ pans, so they will bake faster. Please keep an eye on it, from about minute 30 to 35. When ready they start pulling from the side (please see how it will look like on the last photo of how to bake it here) poke the cake with your finger at the top, if it feels firm it’s done! Or test with a toothpick in the middle, it should come out nearly clean (if there are a few crumbs it’s ok!) It’s my pleasure, Cat, I really hope you have success with your cake!

  7. I just made these and didn’t even pay attention to the recipe having no salt. I made the muffins, no frosting, for a quick breakfast, and they are ok with the texture and flavors being fine but definitely need salt. Am I missing something here? Now I have 17 bland muffins. I will make again but will add 1/2 tsp salt.

  8. Hey Jo! I am sorry that you found the cake bland. We really like it as it is. Did you add all of the spices? You can surely add some salt if you like. If you do and think the flavor is improved, please let me know. I might bake it again to test and update the recipe with your suggestion. Thank you for your feedback.

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