This wonderfully moist and flavorful keto carrot cake is made with almond flour. A truly easy recipe, it's a one-layer cake that you can quickly mix by hand.
It takes about 2 hours to make this cake, and the leftovers are excellent - just as good as the freshly baked cake.
I knew that this recipe was a keeper when my toughest tester, my teenage daughter, reluctantly tried it, finished it all, and said she was "pleasantly surprised."
I made this cake for the first time last year and have made it a few times since, but never got around to photographing it. Today I finally did. I'm so glad I can share this very tasty cake with you!
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this keto carrot cake. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Eggs: I use large eggs in most of my recipes, this one included.
Avocado oil: I love using this neutral-tasting oil. Sometimes I use macadamia nut oil instead.
Sweetener: I use stevia. You can use a granulated sweetener instead.
Almond flour: An excellent flour substitute that baked exceptionally well. I use blanched finely ground flour in this recipe and don't recommend using a coarse almond meal.
Cinnamon and allspice: Make sure they are fresh. A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Kosher salt: If using fine salt, you should use less of it.
Baking powder: Make sure it's fresh. And if needed, also verify it's gluten-free.
Fresh carrots: It's best to use finely grated carrots. 🥕
For the frosting: Cream cheese, sweetener, and vanilla.
I'm a very lazy cook, and almost always make simple, one-layer cakes such as this yogurt cake, this almond flour chocolate cake, or this keto pound cake. I only make layer cakes on birthdays. So this keto birthday cake is a rare occurrence in our household!
So I knew that I wanted this cake to be a simple one-layer cake, made in a square 8-inch pan.
I also knew that I wanted to frost this particular cake. It's excellent without frosting, and when you don't frost it you can serve it for breakfast. But there's something about carrot cake and cream cheese frosting - it's such a classic combination.
So I settled on a very simple and easy cake that you mix in one bowl and bake in a square 8-inch pan. The frosting is very simple too - it's just cream cheese, vanilla, and a sweetener.
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this keto carrot cake:
Mix the ingredients. Use a hand whisk to whisk the ingredients together in the order listed, starting with the liquid ingredients.
Add the carrots. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the carrots, then transfer the mixture to a well-greased pan.
Bake the cake for about 25 minutes in a 325°F oven. Cool it completely, then frost. You can mix the frosting by hand.
For the best texture, the carrots should be finely grated, so it's best to grate them by yourself rather than using pre-shredded bagged carrots.
Having said that, since we've already established that I'm lazy in the kitchen, I often use bagged pre-shredded carrots - you can see their coarse texture in the photos. The cake is still excellent!
Frequently asked questions
I like to use stevia glycerite. The link to the specific product I use is provided in the recipe card below. This formula minimizes the aftertaste typical of stevia products.
If you'd like to try another sweetener, any granulated sweetener should work - add a little water or milk if the batter becomes too thick.
Yes, with a caveat. Ideally, you would grate the carrots very finely by hand or in a food processor.
But as I said, I am lazy. So when I want to make this cake, I often buy pre-shredded carrots. I do give them a quick extra chop before using them since they tend to be shredded pretty coarsely.
Keep in mind that coarsely shredded carrots will affect the cake's texture - they cook "al-dente" inside the cake. I like this texture. But if you want a softer and more uniform texture, you should use finely grated carrots.
No, you can't. almond flour and coconut flour behave very differently when baked and are not interchangeable.
You can use soft or melted and slightly cooled unsalted butter instead of oil. Butter is very tasty, but I feel that the oil helps keep the cake extra moist. However, butter should work too.
You can also add a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to the batter. It won't make a huge difference, but it will add an extra layer of flavor.
Frosting the cake
I use the simplest frosting - cream cheese, vanilla, and stevia. Lacking butter or powdered sugar, the frosting is on the soft side, but it's very tasty and it's sturdy enough that you can certainly keep the frosted cake at room temperature for a couple of hours.
For a sturdier frosting and a milder flavor with less tang from the cream cheese, you can use half cream cheese (4 oz) and half unsalted butter (4 oz).
I usually prefer to cut the cake into squares and then frost each square. I feel that this makes it easier to remove the cake from the pan.
But you can line the pan with parchment paper with an overhang so that you can pull the cake from the pan when it's cool, place it on a platter or on a cutting board and frost it. Then you can cut the frosted cake into squares. It's really up to you.
Once completely cool, you can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 5 days. Remove them from the fridge 30 minutes before enjoying them.
Just like any other spice cake, this cake actually improves with time. It's moister and more flavorful the day after you bake it.
You can also freeze this cake provided it is not frosted. Once frosted, I don't recommend freezing it.
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Keto Carrot Cake
- ½ tablespoon butter for pan
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup avocado oil
- 1 ½ teaspoon stevia glycerite (equals ½ cup sugar)
- 1½ cup blanched finely ground almond flour (6 oz - it's best to measure by weight)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ¼ teaspoon of fine salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder gluten-free if needed
- 1 ½ cup finely grated carrots (loosely packed - 6 oz)
Cream cheese frosting:
- 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese cubed, softened
- 1 ½ teaspoon stevia glycerite (equals ½ cup powdered sugar)
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously butter a square 8-inch pan. Or line it with parchment with an overhang and grease the parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and stevia until combined.
- Mix in the almond flour, using a rubber spatula, and then a hand whisk. Whisk until completely smooth.
- Whisk in the cinnamon, allspice, kosher salt, and baking powder.
- Fold in the grated carrots.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smoothing it out with a rubber spatula. Bake the cake until puffed and fragrant and a toothpick inserted in its center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
- Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack until completely cool, about 1 hour.
- When the cake is completely cool, make the frosting: whisk the soft cream cheese, stevia, and vanilla with a hand whisk until smooth and fluffy.
- Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Cut the cake into nine squares. To remove each square from the pan, firmly slide a cake server underneath each slice and lift it out.
- Using a soup spoon, divide the frosting evenly between the cake slices. Use a small spatula to spread the frosting evenly on top of each slice (just like you would frost a cupcake).