Home » desserts » Suuuper Tender Carrot Cake (Cupcakes!) 🥕 gluten free, keto & paleo

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

Ridiculously tender, moist, and easy to whip up! Your go-to gluten free, paleo and 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 as 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.

Keto is a metabolic state after all, not a list of foods (and thaaank goodness for that!).

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 (I love Anthony’s the most!), psyllium husk (I like NOW) and golden 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 golden flaxseed meal in a dry blender or bullet. And it seems that, by regrinding your psyllium, you are lowering the odds of it turning your baked goods purple (hooray!).

The Sweetener

You’ve got good options here. Erythritol (Lakanto is awesome here), allulose 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 (i.e. paleo), 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*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 74mg25%
Sodium 289mg12%
Potassium 114mg3%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 3100IU62%
Vitamin C 1.2mg1%
Calcium 56mg6%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Share the yummy-ness! 📷💨

If you made this recipe (or got a question!), be sure to simply comment below!

And do share your photo with your favorite Facebook group or tag @gnomgnom.yum on Instagram (I love seeing them all!!)

124 comments

  1. Ann Marie says:

    I followed the recipe and made no substitutions. When they cam out of the oven they had risen, but after cooling the centers fell and the cake was dry.

  2. Ana Morales says:

    Hiii could we omit all the spices and carrot to just make regular cupcakes ? Was trying to make some healthy but tasty cupcakes for my daughters 4th birthday party. Thank you! 🙂

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Pssst Elizabeth! Keto is a metabolic state, not a lust of foods… so if pumpkin is keto in small quantities so are carrots 😉

      • Elizabeth Woods says:

        Can You Eat Carrots on The Keto Diet?
        In short, best not to. While carrots are certainly not the biggest offenders on a keto diet, it’s really best to avoid them. This is especially the case for recipes that call for more than one or two carrots such as carrot soup, carrot cake, carrot salad, etc.

        Instead of carrots, you can go for some of the following ingredients:

        Cucumbers
        Zucchini
        Celery stalks
        Capsicum
        Daikon radishes
        Pumpkin
        Most of these have fewer than 5g net carbs per 100g of fresh produce. Some can replace the texture of carrots in, say, salads and crudités. Pumpkin, in particular, can replace the flavor of carrots and it also has the same orange color.

  3. Steph Roberts says:

    I’ve made this recipe as a cake 3 times now. I’ve doubled the recipe and made it in an 8” spring form pan. I baked it for a total of 35 at 350 mins with foil at 18 mins. The first two times I made with flax seed meal but had run out so I made my own pecan meal which worked beautifully but made it quite a bit moister so should have baked another 5-7 minutes I think. Because I got good height I made it a layer cake. Friggin perfect. Would never know it’s keto.

  4. Kerri says:

    I just made these and they were amazinggggg!!!! My kids loved them and so did my husband! Only downfall is that I have to share with them, lol!!

  5. Julie says:

    I made these exactly as written and they were hands-down the best Keto cupcake/muffin I’ve made. I will up the amounts of the spices since I love a spicier carrot cake, but the texture and taste were spot on.

  6. Danielle Graton says:

    Hello Paola, I have an intolerance to flaxseed. Can they be replaced in your recipes? Thank you so much. I am new to Keto and flaxseed appears in many recipes.

  7. LISA says:

    This will be my GO TO treat from this day forward! Not icky almond flour taste with this baby!!! Tasted just like the real deal carrot cake 🧁 yummmmmmy…thank you for the best recipe for treats…

  8. Dinah says:

    Hi Paola, how are you doing? I need to use sucralose or stevia as in my country can´t find the mentionned ones. Can you suggest the correct grams or envelopes? Tks!

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      I’m good Dinah thanks for asking! Honestly I haven’t tried baking with those sweeteners, but if they’re 1-1 I’m assuming just a straight sub?

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Not if you want them to come out as intended Aline, I promise I don’t do ‘flour mixes’ to complicate things 😉

      • Aline says:

        Sorry, I know it must be annoying having people ask for substitutions on ingredients when I know it probably was a lot of work for you making it perfect. I just didn’t wanna miss on something that looks so delicious just because I can’t have one ingredient. Thanks though! Love your recipes!

        • Sam says:

          I’ve used an equal measure of psyllium husk in Paola’s Ultimate Chocolate Cake recipe instead of the flax meal, and it’s very, very good. I’ll be doing the same when I try this, so maybe that’s worth trying for you! It does bump the net carbs but it’s pretty negligible across the whole recipe.

  9. Kathleen Rainwater says:

    What can I use instead of psyllium powder as I am away from home and have everything but that. Thanks for all of you wonderful recipes. My hubby loves the cinnamon rolls

  10. Jennifer Oakley says:

    These were excellent! Did a bake off making small batches of several different carrot cake recipes to find out favorite. This was our winner! Wouldn’t have known it wasn’t a flour and sugar carrot cake- perfect taste and texture.

  11. Charli says:

    This is the 2nd time I have tried making these and both times they are very dense….. what am I missing??? And not rising at all.

  12. Rhiannon says:

    I’ve made these a couple of times now. I love these cupcakes! The only issue I’ve had was the tops of the cupcake sinking. I make sure that I’m cooking them all the way through (I check with a toothpick). Can you tell me what I’m doing wrong? Can overmixing lead to this? The taste and texture is the best though! Any advice on preventing the tops from sinking would be appreciated.

  13. Michelle says:

    Hi. I just made these and I’m sure I did something wrong. The cupcakes sank and aren’t rounded on top. Any advice on what I did wrong?

    • Mex says:

      Hi Laura, I’m interested in your recipe, could you kindly share? I can’t really have nuts so I usually try to reduce or replace the ingredients with nuts.
      Thank you

  14. Kelcey Reina says:

    I love this carrot cake; the only thing I did differently was to save the nuts for sprinkling on top of the cream cheese frosting instead of adding them to the actual cake batter. I love the crunch of the nuts on the frosting!

  15. Susan says:

    Hi Paola! I am soooo excited to make this for Christmas. I have made MANY of your recipes and they ALL are great! Is the recipe for the frosting enough for a two layer cake? Thanks! Merry Christmas!! xoxo

  16. Millie says:

    These are amazing! I have made them 3 times since you posted the recipe. The crumb is unbelievable and opens up so many possibilities!!! I just need more kitchen time!

  17. 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.

  18. Serena Puranen says:

    I’m not Keto. But I did want a low carb gf carrot cake. But I wanted one w pineapple- Keto cake add pineapple, still low carb.

    So I made a triple batch for a triple lawyer cake, strained most of the moisture out of a 398ml can of crushed pineapple and added 1.5tbsp of coconut flour.

    It was fantastic. And everyone loved it.

    • Valerie M Donegani says:

      I also wanted pineapple in my 3 layer cake so I was glad to see it had been successful. At what point did you add the coconut flour and why? I’m new to this keto baking thing. Thanks!

  19. 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!

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