This wonderful keto & gluten-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 healthier and delicious way of celebrating the coming of spring, Easter, lucky people birthdays or anytime really!
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 healthy 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…)
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.
Lupin flour – This is the ultimate keto flour: lupin flour has a very fine texture and it’s perfect for baking. Much easier to deal with than almond or coconut flours, and 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.
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 – you replace it with a keto brown sugar sweetener, just sub in for the regular 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 here (instead of granulated), as the sweetener crystals are pretty hard to dissolve.
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.
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 the 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 the before and after baking.
You can have the cake just as is, deliciously moist and naked, or you can go ahead and add some frosting:
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…
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.
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.
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.
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