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! These will surely become your go-to 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 tendermoist, and easy to whip up! These will surely become your go-to paleo and 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!!)

156 comments

  1. Catherine Denis says:

    Hi Paola! As a die hard carrot cake lover, I loved your recipe, and particularly the texture of this cake (made a 6-in)! I found that the taste of the flaxseed was a bit too strong for me, however. What could I substitute it with (or maybe just part of it) to try to soften that particular flavour, without compromising the lovely texture? For one, I will add more spice, which should help. I’ve also read about substituting ground flax seed with unsweetened apple sauce (on a Livestrong blog), but I’m suspicious of subbing in a liquid to replace a powder. Alternatively, I’m thinking ground chia seeds, but they’re sooo absorbent that I figure I’d have to add some kind of liquid. I’d love your thoughts as an experienced keto baker just to guide my experimentation 🙂 Thanks again for your wonderful recipes!

  2. Heather says:

    Had not had carrot cake in years! This was incredible, will definitely make again. Followed all of your recommendations, used 50% allulose and 50% erithrytol for sweetener. All the fam wanted more, but it’s hard not to hoard my keto treats!

  3. Jennifer Burl says:

    I purchased both of your cookbooks Paola and love them! I made these carrot cake cupcakes and they are very gummy ( I cooked them for 17 minutes). What did I do wrong? I’m pretty bummed. The frosting is amazing 🙂

  4. Britania says:

    Excited to try this out! Carrot cake is my favorite. I have a question about erythritol in this. Every time I’ve used it, I get a minty aftertaste. You said that it wouldn’t leave an aftertaste here so I’m wondering if the ingredients in this counteract it somehow? I have so much that I bought on sale and am looking for ways to use it up where the mintiness won’t be noticeable or would be helpful (excited to try the mint chip ice cream with it!). Thanks Paola!

    • Doug, Johnston says:

      That “cool, minty” flavour you get is indeed erythritol. You may recognise the flavour from some hard, sugar-free candies.

  5. Venus Childress says:

    These cupcakes were amazing Paola! I am so happy you share your recipes with us.

    I did taste them while still warm. They had a bit of a soapy flavor, maybe the psyllium? Anyway, the soapy flavor went away and they were absolutely perfect after cooled.

  6. Sharon says:

    I was looking for a way to sneak veggies into my kids, and it worked! All three (and even my husband) loved it! That hardly ever happens!

  7. Kimmi says:

    I used all the same ingredients and this carrot cake is a winner! I added walnuts and dried orange. The cake itself is not very sweet- if you’re planning to eat it without frosting (like I do) I’d add more than 1/3 cup erythritol! It also didn’t brown as quickly as I thought it would- ended up baking these cupcakes/muffins for about 30 min. Enjoy!! Thank you Paula!

  8. Erin says:

    Very impressed, they turned out soft and you can’t tell they are keto. They hit the sweet spot between “feels healthy” and “tastes awesome.” You could feel good eating them as a snack or for breakfast. I added more than what was listed, I included coconut and sunflower seeds, which worked great.

  9. Judy Morin says:

    Is this recipe (6 cupcake size) the same for 1 cake layer? So, for two layers, I should double the recipe and for three layers, I should triple it?

  10. Ros says:

    Paola, would you be so kind to give the deets on making a cake vs cupcake for this recipe?
    What is the size of the pan, how long to cook, is this for 1 layer only?
    The photo of the cake looks so good I want to make it just for the presentation, well, ok for the taste too…
    I recommend your site to all that care to listen.
    Finally I can make desserts and eat them!!!!

  11. Andrea says:

    Wow… amazing. I used golden Lakanto for the cupcakes and powdered xylitol for the frosting (powdered with food processor). Best keto dessert I’ve made. The cupcakes are so spongey and moist, and the frosting is so smooth! Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes.

  12. Linda says:

    My only regret is that I made only 6. Warm these were good but cold these are amazing. I made them exactly as written and the texture and flavour is just as good as regular carrot cake. I highly recommend the suggested cream cheese frosting.

  13. Terry says:

    Would you use 12 or 16 for a bundt pan. I want to make this for an upcoming birthday where family members have all sorts of dietary restrictions as well as diabetes etc.

  14. Sheryl says:

    I love these cupcakes! They are by far the best keto dessert item I have baked. I made them for my son’s birthday party. His were regular flour, but these were the cupcakes that everyone wanted. Thank you!

  15. Lily says:

    Hi Paola, how can I make this as a carrot cake instead of muffins?
    How long should I bake this? Is there any change with the ingredients?
    Thank you.

    • Lorraine Harvey says:

      They look amazing.If making it into a cake,would I use the same amount and what size of cake tin and for how long please.Just love your recipes Paolo.Thank you.Lorraine

  16. 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.

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