Keto Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting: Low Carb Carrot Cake
My husband loves carrot cake. For his birthday, I wanted to see just how low carb I could make one. This keto carrot cake recipe focuses on using almond flour, chopped walnuts and a small amount of carrot; to create a moist (and incredible) cake! It’s so good, I’ve already made it multiple times. The photos just don’t do it justice.
I know what you’re thinking, low-carb and carrot do not belong in the same sentence. And you’re totally right! Carrot is high in carbohydrates and it’s not commonly eaten on a typical keto diet. This recipe uses a smaller proportion of carrot when compared to traditional recipes.
Choose the right cake tin
Seriously. This cake tin was a game changer for me. It’s the first tin I ever owned with a removable bottom, which removes (most) of the stress involved in releasing a cake from a tin. I have memories from my youth of trying to dig around the outsides, flipping the tin over and… nothing. Problem solved.
Make a mini keto carrot cake
The other thing I love is the compact size of this cake, which makes it much more practical for keto desserts in a household of two. It helps so much with portion control! This batter mixture is split in half, to make two small cakes of about 4.5 inches diameter (12 cm) that are then layered.
Be sure to let your keto carrot cake completely cool before removing from the pan. I only have one cake tin, so baked one, let it cool and then baked the other. You could also halve this recipe and make a single-layer mini cake too.
How much carrot do you need?
You don’t need much carrot for this cake, only about half a cup of grated carrot, so a single carrot will do the trick. My supermarket doesn’t sell them as a single item, only in massive bunches, so I solved this by buying one of the tiny packets of mini snack carrots. They worked out perfectly and meant less waste. A tip for grating these; skewer each carrot on a fork and grate as much as you can. This will save your fingers.
Cream cheese frosting
Don’t skip this! This was my first cream cheese frosting and holy moly it is delicious. I wanted to eat it straight from the bowl. It uses equal parts butter and cream cheese, feel free to adjust as you prefer. The cake can be made and frosted the day before. The frosting helps keep the cake moist in the middle and prevents it from drying out in the fridge.
How to use cream cheese frosting
I watched loads of videos to learn how to frost a cake neatly and learnt a few things along the way:
- Use a small dab of cream cheese on your plate or cake sheet to help keep the cake in place.
- You can avoid having to cut the top of your cake flat. Use a concave plate and place the base cake upside down; it will nestle into place. This leaves the totally flat surface (bottom of the cake) facing up.
- Use a liberal layer of frosting in between the cake layers, I was nervous about running out and lost that lovely effect of a thick layer when you cut it open.
- Use a knife or spatula to initially cover the whole cake in a rough base layer of frosting. It won’t look great. Don’t worry. Put it in the fridge to cool. After a few minutes, remove from the fridge and add another layer, this time with the final finish.
- I don’t have any icing tools, so experimented with what I had on hand and ended up using a knife and a metal ruler. It has the perfect flat edge for running around the outside of a cake!
Flours in keto carrot cake
Getting the correct ratio of flour, nuts and carrot is essential to achieve the perfect texture. I like using a combination of coconut and almond flour as a base.
Keto Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cake (liquid)
- 3 tbsp butter softened
- 1 squirt liquid sweetener to personal taste
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tbsp unsweetened soy milk
- 2 whole eggs room temperature
For the cake (dry)
- 9 tbsp almond flour
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
- 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp all spice essential, don't skip!
- 150 grams finely grated carrot around 1/2 cup or 1 small carrot
- 15 whole walnuts finely chopped
For the frosting
- 2 tbsp butter softened
- 2 tbsp cream cheese softened
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 squirt liquid sweetener to personal taste
Preheat your oven to 180 °C (around 350 °F).
Prepare your ingredients by grating the carrot and chopping the walnuts.
Line a small (12 cm) round cake tin for baking. Use a small piece of baking paper, dipped in softened butter and smear it around the inside of the tin.
In a large bowl mix the butter and artificial sweetener together.
Add the remaining liquid ingredients; the vanilla essence, soy milk and eggs.
Beat with a mixer until well-combined and there are no lumps of butter remaining.
Next add the dry ingredients; almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, cinnamon and all spice. Mix until a smooth batter is formed.
Fold in the grated carrot and chopped walnuts until integrated.
Transfer half of the mixture to the prepared cake tin and bake for around 20-22 minutes. To test when ready, insert a toothpick in the center of the cake. When it comes out clean your cake is done!
Allow the cake to completely cool, before removing from the baking tin. Wash your cake tin and repeat the baking process with the remaining half of the cake batter.
Once you have two cakes completely cooled, prepare your frosting. Beat the frosting ingredients; butter, cream cheese, vanilla and sweetener until well combined and smooth.
See the post for detailed frosting suggestions. Add a layer or frosting between your cakes, cover the whole cake in a thin layer and put in the refrigerator. After 5 minutes, remove from the fridge and use the remaining frosting to create a smooth layer.
Decorate with chopped walnuts and enjoy!