Suuuper Tender & Moist Carrot Cake (Cupcakes!) 🥕 gluten free, keto & paleo

Ridiculously tender, moist, and easy to whip up! Your go-to gluten free, paleo & keto carrot cake (or cupcakes!) at just 3g net carbs!

Paleo & keto carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese buttercream frosting
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Carrot Cake (or Cupcakes!)

Paleo & Keto Carrot Cake (Cupcakes) 🥕

With Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting! ☁

Whip it up as a fancy-pants layered cake, or keep it simple with cupcakes. Either way, you can expect a classic carrot cake experience through and through!

And don’t be turned off because ‘carrots aren’t keto’ (of course they are, just not in huge amounts!). The added carrot here is very similar to say pumpkin puree: while you can’t chug an entire can of the stuff, you can surely enjoy it sparingly.

Oh, and an absolute must is it’s ideal companion: our cream cheese buttercream frosting.

Gluten Free, Paleo & Low Carb Carrot Cake Cupcakes Fresh From The Oven
Gluten Free, Paleo & Low Carb Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Spreading Buttercream Frosting On Gluten Free, Paleo & Low Carb Carrot Cake
Gluten Free, Paleo & Low Carb Carrot Cake

The Flours

What works best here is a mixture of super fine almond flour, psyllium husk and flax seed meal best. No xanthan gum is needed here to yield a wonderful and moist crumb (hurray!)

Just keep in mind that for best texture and rise, you’ll always want to regrind your psyllium husk (or powder) and flax meal in a dry blender or bullet.

In terms of brands, for the almond either Anthony’s or WellBees work great. Both are super fine grinds. And for the psyllium husk you’ll want to use the NOW brand, as others may stain your carrot cake purple.

The Sweetener 🍯

You’ve got good options here. Erythritol (Lakanto is awesome here) and Xylitol (non-corn though to avoid tummy troubles!) are my top choices (no aftertaste at all!). Pyure is also a good one for muffins and quick breads, particularly if you’re trying to limit your sugar alcohol consumption (it’s added stevia makes it twice as sweet as sugar… i.e. you add half!).

Oh, and if not restricted by sugars, simply sub 1-to-1 with coconut or regular sugar.

Gluten Free, Paleo & Low Carb Carrot Cake With Fork
Gluten Free, Paleo & Low Carb Carrot Cake
Gluten Free, Paleo & Low Carb Carrot Cake Cupcakes With Butter Cream Frosting
Gluten Free, Paleo & Low Carb Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Gluten Free, Paleo & Low Carb Carrot Cake Cupcakes With Buttercream Frosting
Gluten Free, Paleo & Low Carb Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Bitten Gluten Free, Paleo & Low Carb Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Gluten Free, Paleo & Low Carb Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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Gluten Free, Paleo & Low Carb Carrot Cake (or Cupcakes!)

Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Carrot Cake (or Cupcakes!)  

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Keto, Low Carb, Paleo
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 cupcakes
Calories: 181 kcal

Ridiculously tender, moist, and easy to whip up! Your go-to gluten free, paleo & keto carrot cake (or cupcakes!) at just 3g net carbs!

If baking a layered carrot cake rather than cupcakes, change the serving size to 12 for two layers and 18 for three. 

Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cups for an instant conversion.

Print

Ingredients

For the frosting

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line (or grease and flour) a muffin pan or cake pans, set aside. 

  2. Whisk together in a medium bowl almond flour, flaxseed meal, psyllium husk, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. Set aside. 

  3. Cream butter in a large bowl until softened (1 minute), add the sweetener of choice and continue to cream until light and fluffy. Mix in vinegar, vanilla extract and orange zest until fully incorporated. Mix in the eggs one at a time, the batter will appear slightly 'broken' (don't worry!). 

  4. Add in the dry flour mixture in two parts. Mix for 2 to 3 minutes until fully incorporated and elastic, the batter will thicken as you mix. Fold in carrots and pecans. 

  5. Distribute batter evenly into pan, smoothing out the tops with wet fingertips. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, until deep golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Check in on them after minute 10, and cover with aluminum foil as soon as they begin to brown (minute 13 for us). 

  6. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan before removing, and cool completely in a rack before frosting. If building a layered cake: once cool refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. 

  7. Make your cream cheese buttercream frosting while your cupcakes or cakes are cooling. And frost away! 

  8. If frosted, keep covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.  Without the frosting store in an airtight container at room temperature. 

Recipe Notes

*For best texture and rise, always regrind your psyllium husk (or powder) and flax meal in a dry blender or bullet. 

Please note that nutrition facts were estimated without the buttercream frosting. 

Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Carrot Cake (or Cupcakes!)  
Amount Per Serving (1 cupcake)
Calories 181 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 74mg 25%
Sodium 289mg 12%
Potassium 114mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 1g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 62%
Vitamin C 1.5%
Calcium 5.6%
Iron 5.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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76 comments

  1. Adeline says:

    Made these and they were good (made them in a brownie pan cause thats all I had on hand). Baked mine for a total of 30mins, covered with foil at around the 20min mark. Topped them with the cream cheese frosting and they were good. Definitely a good dupe for the usual high-carb version, can definitely satisfy any craving you may have well.

  2. christina says:

    I made these this afternoon and they came out great! I’ve eaten 2 myself. 😀 Delicious. The only thing I had to adjust was the cream cheese buttercream frosting. It tasted a little too much like cream cheese for me so I added in all 6 tbsp of monk fruit sweetener. I have a feeling they will be even better after spending some time in the fridge. Thank you!

  3. TheaMaria says:

    Hi Paola! What device (brand, model) do you use to re-grind your flax & psyllium? I’ve been using an old Krupps coffee mill and it’s a nuisance to clean between ingredients (as I also use it to powder sweetener). Thanks hon! Love your creativity and ingenuity!

    • Paola says:

      Oh man yeah the clean up! I actually just use my Nutri bullet! I try and regrind the whole package before, aside from sweetener that one needs to be done right before unless you add anti-caking agents such as cornflour (meh, not good stuff so I avoid it).

  4. Jennifer says:

    What is the difference between golden flaxseed and regular? Does it matter which I use? Thank you!

    • Paola says:

      They just behave completely different when baked (regular tends to end up slimy and dense). Want to use golden!

  5. Priscilla Joy says:

    Just made this last night! It was delicious other than being a tinsy bit too salty, so I think next time I’ll just put in the salted butter only. Thanks for the new yummy recipe:)

  6. Toni says:

    So excited when I see a new recipe from you but as I have a tree nut allergy (i.e. no almond flour) I quickly felt sad! I have gone backwards and forwards through the comments, so hope I didn’t miss a previous conversation, but is there anyway to substitute coconut flour and adjust liquid content? Many thanks

    • Paola says:

      Toni how sweet of you to say!! On your allergy, have you tried sunflower seed flour? A bunch of you guys use it successfully throughout the recipes (similar fat etc to almond so it works as a straight sub). On occasion it can turn green in the presence of baking soda (just an FYI)

      • Toni says:

        Thanks Paola, I have searched online but it doesn’t seem to be available here in the UK (unless any UK based people know where I should look – please!). It would be great to try that – I can cope with green! Fingers crossed someone knows where I can buy it…

      • Toni says:

        I managed to find some sunflower seed flour! it is on order now – getting excited again…
        Thank you for your advice

  7. Bisma says:

    Paola, you are God sent!
    I don’t think I would have ever made it through Keto without your cheesecakes, tiramisu, ice cream and flat breads. Between your ebooks and your recent recipes for caramel sauce, pies and THIS Carrot Cake, I am going to go Keto Heaven!
    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I can’t wait to try these!

  8. Jennifer says:

    Hi Paola! So what’s the difference between golden flaxseed and regular flaxseed in your recipes? Does it matter which one I use? Thanks!

  9. Maya says:

    Hi Paola! When I convert the recipe to 12 servings, is that enough for 1 or 2 layers of cake? And if two, is it enough for two layers in 8 inch or 9 inch pans?

  10. Jetta says:

    If I didn’t make these cupcakes, I wouldn’t believe they were 3 carbs! Carrot cake is my favorite cake so I was afraid to make them. I’ve previously only had success making high carb – gluten free versions, so this was heaven. Thanks again!

  11. Jess Kay says:

    Just wanted to say thank you for this amazing recipe! Carrot cake is my absolute favorite and these were honestly so good that I couldn’t even tell that they were low carb cause they taste just like the “real” thing! I added the some of your frosting recipe as well and omg they are to die for. Thank you so much!!!

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Just wanted to ask if the measure of 2 tablespoons of psyllium husks is before or after grinding? Hoping to make this cake asap.

  13. Elsa says:

    Hello Paola, I was really unsure about this recipe (it took like 35 min to bake, as it was REALLY chewy) and yesterday I considered that recipe as a fail. My bf told me to chillax (chill+relax lol) and to let it set overnight. I used xylitol btw.

    Can I say HOW RIGHT was he.

    SOOO YUMMYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!

    Thank you a lot <3

  14. Meagan says:

    What does the psyllium husk do? Can’t seem to find it at local grocery and need to make these tomorrow. Any subs for this?

    • Julie Reser says:

      Megan, Believe it or not I originally found it in the pharmacy section of Walmart years ago. It’s a type of fiber so look in the fiber section otherwise you can buy it online.

    • Paola says:

      Yeah definitely! I can’t take you exactly how long, but if you double the recipe it could be anywhere from 35-45 mins) xo!

  15. Audrey says:

    Hi Paloa, love your recipes. My husband and I have been Keto now for about 5 months and consider it to be our new life style. Just tried your cinnamon rolls and they were a huge hit when I took them to a family dinner. I will be making the 2 tiered carrot cake next. Audz

  16. Rachel says:

    If I can’t get ahold of psyllium husk where I live (at least not quickly), do you think I could sub more flax meal? or some Isopure protein powder? Thank you!

  17. Helena says:

    Hi Paola!
    I have been meaning to write this since I made the cake for my brother back on May 8. It was PERFECT!!! I took pictures to show you but I don’t know how. I used less sweetener 1/4 cup only and I made the frosting with Cashews from another recipe I found elsewhere. Divine!
    Thank you so much, for replying to my questions so quickly. I would not have had such success if it is not for your prompt help.
    Cheers,
    Helena

    • Paola says:

      Helena I’m sorry to have missed your comment earlier! I was actually wonderful the other day if it worked out, and woohooo!! 😉 xo

  18. Helena says:

    Hi again, Paola,
    I forgot to ask you about the portions for a 2-layer birthday cake. When I adjust the portions to 12 it gives me around 5 cups of dry “main” ingredients. I am not sure it will be enough for two 20-cm diameter cake tins. Or will it?
    Thanks!

    • Paola says:

      I just got back to you on the other comment you posted. You’ll be good for 8-inch/20cm cake pans with a double batch. Visually think that 6 cupcakes are enough to cover each tier, as your layers won’t be as tall as a cupcake. xo!

  19. Helena says:

    Hi, Thanks for this recipe. I want to make it for my brother’s birthday. We can’t eat cheese, butter or soy, do you have any recipes/ideas for the buttercream without these ingredients?
    Thanks again!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Helena! Is he keto? In all honesty I haven’t experimented myself with a non-butter frosting, but I know that a lot of vegan sites do ‘buttercream’ with cashew nuts (and its supposed to be very good!). I’m unfortunately intolerant to those, but maybe worth a shot? Hope this helps!

      • Helena says:

        I will try with cashews, I wonder if I can just replace the butter in your recipe for cashew butter…. hmmm…
        Thank you, Paola 🙂

  20. Anita says:

    I made this for my husband’s birthday and it turned out great. I posted a picture on Instagram and tagged you.

    • Helena says:

      Hi Anita,
      Please, did you have to increase the ingredients for a 2-layer birthday cake? When I adjust the portions to 12 it gives me around 5 cups of dry “main” ingredients. I am not sure it will be enough for two cake tins. Or is it?

      • Paola says:

        Just in case Anita doesn’t get back to you, keep in mind that flaxseed meal counts for roughly 3x of flour. So if one batch yields 6 cupcakes, doubling the batch would yield 12 which is good enough to cover 2 tiers. xo!

  21. Ana says:

    Please adopt me so I can live in keto heaven!!!! LOL!!!

    I have been dreaming of carrot cake, so THANK YOU so much for this! I’m definitely going to give these a try in a few days (I just need to gather all my ingredients).

    I love your blog! it’s a breath of fresh air for those of us with an extremely restrictive diet who are just dipping our feet into the whole DIY boat 🙂

    • Paola says:

      LOL!! Always looking for more recipe tasters!! 😜 And yup, it’s all about making this diet a little bit more fun! Hope you enjoy xo!

  22. Paty says:

    Hi Paola:
    Looking for keto carrot cake (my favorite) found you site!
    I am so grateful for all your recipes! We live in Guadalajara, Mexico and as you mention somethimes it is difficult to find some ingredients but I am very happy with this lifestyle.

    Muchas Gracias!

    • Paola says:

      Hola Paty! SO happy you found us and thank you for your comment! Have you checked out iherb.com? It sometimes takes a while to get here, but they have better prices 😉 un beso!

  23. B says:

    These are amazing. The best paleo muffins/ cupcakes I have ever made. These are excellent hot muffins without the icing also. My boyfriend who isn’t paleo said that it was amazing as a real dessert. The cardamom and ginger really shine through.

    Can you please make more recipes like this in different flavors?

    • Paola says:

      That’s awesome B! So happy you guys enjoyed so much! And yup, there’ll most definitely be more flavors coming 😉 xo and Happy Easter!

  24. Alexandra Bennion says:

    What would you suggest s a replacement for flaxseed? I’m allergic to them and new to gluten free baking.

  25. Kate says:

    If you are trying alternative sweeteners, may I suggest Bochasweet. It has no aftertaste, works well with chocolate and keeps low carb ice cream scoopable in the freezer. It is probably the closest to actual sugar as anything on the market currently. It has received rave reviews on Amazon and low carb friends. The only downside is the cost but people have had success mixing it 50-50 with a less expensive sweetener.

  26. Arla says:

    These are fabulous! I love them so much I’m not sharing them! Lol. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

    • Paola says:

      Lol so happy you loved them Arla! And yup, these have to be come of my favorite muffins/cupcakes on the site (along with the lemon poppy seed!) xo and thanks so much for reporting back!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Candace! I haven’t experimented much with monk fruit sweeteners in general, but I just ordered a batch of a few of them as you guys ask a lot about them too (I live in Mexico City right now and I have to order stuff from the US). I actually hadn’t heard about MonkSweet yet, so thanks so much for the intro! I see that it has erythritol, stevia and monk fruit- so it should work in baking like Pyure. I actually tested this recipe with Pyure and it works great, no aftertaste whatsoever.

      Also I do like sweeteners such as Pyure (and seems like MonkSweet is very similar), in that you end up eating half the amount of sugar alcohol as you would with something like Swerve or xylitol. Just keep in mind that in certain desserts (particularly chocolate based) I’ve found them to leave a very bitter aftertaste.

      Hope this helped! xo

      • Candace Bauer says:

        Thanks for replying! I use it in everything now, including chocolate stuff. I haven’t noticed any negative effects or bitterness. Monk sweet seems to balance out the negatives of the bitterness of stevia, cooling effect of erythritol, and overly sweetness of monk. However, I don’t cook as much variety as you do, or as much as you do, so I’m sure there’s likely to be a down side at some point. I used xylitol for a long time, which was fine as long as I was cooking w/it regularly. If there was much of a break, we would have tummy issues. I wasn’t a fan of erythritol’s cooling effect, and it made milk and water taste weird immediately after consumption. But I found certain recipes that worked better. I read about monk fruit juice, and had been using the drops for some time, when I came across Monk Sweetner and was sooo excited to discover how much I loved it! I believe that’s also when I found the Lakanto syrup, which I like. I used to be a chef before staying home to have kids 12 years ago. I started cooking low carb 5 years ago. It’s been fun experimenting. 😉
        I was just introduced to your blog Sunday, and I’m planning to make so many of your recipes! They look great! Thanks for sharing your passion for healthy eating!! God bless!!

  27. Claire A. says:

    I also meant to add that people shouldn’t skip the orange zest and pinches of cardamom and ginger! Added a very nice oomph! Sorry totally spastic as the kids are running around

    • Paola says:

      Oh lol no worries! So happy you enjoyed them so much Claire and thanks so much for reporting back in detail! xo

  28. Claire A. says:

    First of all THANK YOU for making a recipe with xanthan gum! More to come please! Second, these are easily some of the best carrot cake muffins I’ve ever had. My one regret is that I didn’t double the batch because the kids ate them up too 😉

    Will be trying a cake this weekend for Easter!

  29. Jen says:

    Paola I love you more than words can say for these! I thought I would have to miss out on carrot cake this year 🙂

    • Paola says:

      Lol! These are incidental some of the best cupcakes/muffins on the site ;)! Hope you enjoy! xo and happy easter!

  30. Ydestasio says:

    Can’t wait to try these! How high should I fill the cupcake liner and do they bake for the same amount of time as the layer cake?

    • Paola says:

      Hi Ydestasio! Ooops so I forgot to add the baking time for the cake so thanks for the heads up! I baked the cupcakes for 20 mins, and just divided the batter between the 6 cupcakes (filled pretty much to the rim, they do rise but not as much). I’m baking at super high altitude so my stuff rises less generally, but there shouldn’t be a prob with filling them to the rim (batter is thick not pourable!). xo!

          • YDestasio says:

            OMG! Paola! This is the best low carb thing I have baked to date. The texture is seriously just like a flour cupcake. The flavor is spot on and the orange gives it that little extra freshness. One of my favs for sure! Thank you! Next up… the amaretti 🙂

          • Paola says:

            Lol that’s awesome YDestasio! So happy you loved them 🙂 Hope you enjoy the amaretti too, definitely one of my favorite cookies! xo!

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