Keto as a Way of Life
Keto Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Carrot Cake is one of those desserts that can be served pretty much any time of year. Traditionally, it finds its way onto the Spring Time table around Easter, but I feel like it’s right at home among the pumpkin pies and cookies around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
While the carrots are summery, the spices in the cake have a warm, earthy flavor that work well with a cup of coffee after a holiday meal.
Since Carrot Cake is one of Rebecca’s favorite desserts, I decided to cobble together a Keto Carrot Cake recipe for her birthday back in September. I’m not really the baker in the family, but she LOVED the cake. She kindly declared the recipe a winner, making me feel like a boss (because that’s what she always does).
Then she took the recipe and made it about a thousand times better! That’s because SHE is the baker in the family. I’m ok with that since I maintain the title of Grill Master. With her being the sweet, and I the savory, we make the perfect team! But I digress….
She made this cake for our Keto Thanksgiving meal this year and served it to a bunch of Keto non-believers. They loved it!
I mean, of course, they did. She captured those warm, spicy flavors with the perfect balance of sweetness and texture.
With this recipe, you can enjoy Carrot Cake without destroying your macros. Keto really doesn’t have to be boring when desserts are this spicy and sweet!
Monkfruit quickly became our favorite Keto sweetener. It tastes good, has no aftertaste that we can discern and it doesn’t affect our blood glucose at all. It also stands up to heat better than most other Keto sweeteners.
The only downside is that it’s a little more expensive than other sweeteners, but we think it’s worth it.
Granulated (aka Classic) Monkfruit is a substitute for white sugar, and can be used as a 1:1 replacement in most recipes.
Not only does Monk Fruit have NO effect on blood sugar, there are natural substances in Monk Fruit extract called “mogrosides” that have shown to help control blood sugar in Type 2 Diabetics. Another study indicates that mogroside extracts may help prevent complications related to Type 2 Diabetes. Win Win!
The downside is that Monk Fruit extract is a little expensive right now. You also have to be careful what brand you choose.
Make sure you check out the ingredients! Read those labels!
Some brands put Dextrose or Maltodextrin in it for some reason. And that just defeats the purpose.
We discovered that most brands mix it with Erythritol, which isn’t terrible. Swerve (Erythritol) (affiliate link) is our second favorite Keto sweetener because, like Monk fruit, it doesn’t appear to affect blood sugar. The brand we like best, Lakanto (affiliate link) actually has Erythritol in it.
We also like Monk Fruit extract because we’ve had a lot of success cooking with it. It doesn’t seem to crystalize and mess up the smooth texture of finished baked goods and sauces.
Learn More About Sweeteners
Interested in learning a little more about sweeteners and where they rank for Keto?
We put together a handy chart of 55 sweeteners commonly used on the market today. The chart shows you which sweeteners are actually sugar, which ones are bad chemicals or natural, where they land on the Glycemic Index and more.
We also rank each sweetener on the list as Good, Bad, or Ugly for Keto.
Made of blanched and ground up almonds, this flour offers texture, flavor and substance to baked items.
Since there is no gluten or binding agent in almond flour, you typically have to use eggs in combination with this ingredient in your recipes.
We've tried a few different brands, and they're all good quality, but for the price, we like Blue Diamond. As I write this, it's $.28 cents/oz on Amazon versus $.52/oz for Anthony's and $.66/oz for Bob's Red Mill.
Made from coconut pulp after all the liquid has been removed to make coconut milk, coconut flour is a great low carb, glutten free alternative to wheat flour.
Coconut flour tends to absorb moisture well, and has a distinct coconut flavor, so it's used more as a binder and thickener in recipes rather than as the main portion of flour.
Using too much coconut flour in most recipes will result in a mealy texture, or a end product that is a bit too dry.
Where Almond Flour provides structure, Coconut Flour absorbs moisture and helps with texture and consistency in the Carrot Cake.
Adding coconut flour will allow you to add the protein of the eggs without ending up with such a runny batter. We’ve noticed that if the batter is too runny, the cake won’t set properly. But you also can’t cut back on the moisture or you’ll end up with a flat cake.
You want to be careful to measure coconut flour correctly, though. If you get too much, your batter will end up dry. Coconut flour also has a very coconuty flavor that can become too forward in the recipe if it’s overused.
I know that you know what a carrot is. I just wanted to add a note that you can usually find carrots pre shredded in a little bag at the grocery. I’m a fan of doing things from scratch, but come on. Who has time to stand there and shred a carrot by hand?
Also, it’s easier to get just what you need in the little prepared bags rather than buying a bunch of carrots. Carrots have a good bit of carbs in them, so you’re not going to be eating them all the time on Keto. Why buy a bunch that will just go bad in your fridge?
Pumpkin Pie Spice
A lot of carrot cake recipes will tell you to add Cinnamon, Allspice and Ginger. Those are typically the same spices found in Pumpkin Pie spice.
So, rather than measuring out each spice for this cake, we just toss in some Pumpkin Pie spice. It saves time and adds a little extra depth of flavor.
Now, you can buy your own Pumpkin Pie Spice, or you can use my recipe.
My recipe for the stuff is a little heavier on the ginger side of things, giving it a bit more of a spicy bite while rounding out the flavor with clove and nutmeg. That recipe is below along with the carrot cake recipe, in case you want to use it.
The Method and Tools
We don’t do anything crazy for this recipe or use any special equipment that wouldn’t otherwise be used in baking. But I will recommend one tool that Rebecca and I just can’t do without in the kitchen.
KitchenAid Stand Mixer
By itself, a KitchenAid stand mixer is one of the best inventions since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
The ability to add attachments turns this gadget into a miracle worker.
We use Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer to make our own butter which is super easy! Also, we use ours whip up Keto cake batters, to grind meat for our own Keto-friendly sausage, and a ton of other kitchen tasks.
It's a multi-purpose powerhouse!
Adjusting the Recipe
This recipe is designed to create a three-layer cake. If you want to make a single layer, we’ve found that this recipe is easily adjustable. Just divide the ingredients by three. The cook time is the same.
Thanks for Reading
We hope you enjoy this Keto Carrot Cake. If you give this recipe a try, please let us know how it works out for you. Please drop us a line in the comments below, send us an email at email@example.com or join us on our Facebook Page where we share and discuss Keto recipes all the time.
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Keto Carrot Cake with Cream Chese Frosting
With this Keto recipe, you can enjoy Carrot Cake without destroying your
macros. Keto really doesn’t have to be boring when desserts are this
spicy and sweet!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line the bottoms of three 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper. Give each a light coating of cooking spray or brush with a small amount of melted butter. (not included in ingredients)
In a stand mixer, beat together Room Temperature Butter and Golden Monk Fruit. Medium speed for about 5 minutes until a bit fluffy.
Add eggs to the mixer one at a time until all incorporated.
Add cashew milk and vanilla. Beat until well mixed.
In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients: Almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder and Pumpkin Pie Spice.
When mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients. Continue mixing until everything is incorporated.
Take the bowl out of the mixer and add the grated carrots. Fold these in until just combined. Don’t over mix or your carrots will break up too much in the batter.
Pour equal amounts of the batter into the three cake pans you prepared.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the toothpick test comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting.
In a stand mixer, beat the button and cream cheese until smooth; no lumps, please!
Slowly add the Confectioners Monk Fruit and continue mixing until thoroughly mixed.
Add the vanilla and mix to incorporate.
Finally, add heavy whipping cream a tablespoon at a time until the frosting reaches desired consistency. (Sometimes it will take more or less depending on moisture in the air, moisture in the cream cheese, the shenanigans of the local Leprechauns, etc.)
When your cakes are finished baking, remove them from the oven and let them cool for at least 30 minutes before turning them out (if you try it sooner than that, you risk them falling apart). They’ll still be a bit warm. Let them cool completely before you frost them, or the frosting will melt and slide off.
Stack your cakes into three layers, adding frosting between each layer.
Give the cake a thin crumb coat and let it cool in the fridge for up to an hour before giving the outside a full coat of frosting.
Serve with coffee!
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