This healthy carrot cake is a fluffy and moist cake made with wholesome ingredients! No eggs or refined sugar is needed, it makes a fabulous healthier dessert.
Who said desserts can’t be healthy?
When done correctly, they taste just as good as their traditional counterparts. Some of our favorite desserts we’ve given a healthy makeover include chocolate cake, brownies, and this glorious carrot cake.
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Because I feel it necessary to eat carrot cake every day, I wanted to come up with a healthier version of it, but without sacrificing taste. That is a common issue with ‘healthy’ cake recipes- They turn out dry and lack any sweetness.
This carrot cake is the exception. Don’t let the ‘healthy’ in front of it deter you.
- It uses simple ingredients. No hard-to-find flours, sugars, or baking agents are needed.
- Perfect with or without frosting. Let’s be honest, the best part of any cake is the frosting, but this one is different. It’s so delicious on its own.
- The best texture. It is just as fluffy and moist as any good carrot cake out there, loaded with shredded carrots and perfectly sweet.
How to make a healthy carrot cake
You won’t need any fancy mixers or kitchen gadgets to make them- Just one bowl. The hard part is waiting for the cake to cool!
- All Purpose Flour– I used white whole wheat flour, which is essentially wholewheat flour, but bleached white. It is higher in fiber than traditional white flour.
Following a gluten free diet? Swap out the flour for a cup-for-cup gluten free flour blend.
- Baking powder and baking soda– Leavens the cake, and gives it some rise and fluffiness.
- Cinnamon– A must for any good carrot cake!
- Sugar of choice– Choose coconut sugar to keep the cake refined sugar free or opt for something like allulose to cut the sugar completely. White or brown sugar also work.
- Milk of choice– Almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, etc.
- Coconut Oil– A fantastic substitute for butter. Use refined coconut oil to ensure there is no coconut flavor. If you can’t tolerate coconut oil, any other neutral-tasting oil will work (e.g. sunflower oil or vegetable oil).
- Grated Carrots– The carrots must be grated, not chopped. This ensures they mix into the batter well.
- Almonds and Walnuts– For some added texture to the cake! I used chopped almonds, but walnuts would be a great addition too.
- Raisins– Optional, but I believe every good carrot cake has some raisins in them!
In a mixing bowl, mix together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together your sweeteners, milk, and coconut oil, until combined and glossy.
Combine your wet and dry ingredients together, until just combined. Fold through your shredded carrots, nuts, and raisins.
Transfer the batter between two cake pans and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out just clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan completely.
- This makes a layer carrot cake. If you’d like this to be a single cake, simply halve the ingredients.
- Do not overmix the batter. We want the ingredients to be mixed, but just until they are combined. Overmixing can potentially lead to a less fluffy cake.
- Do not make any substitutions unless one of the ones recommended in the ingredient list. Using another flour or adding something else into the batter can affect the taste, texture, and cooking time.
To store: Leftover cake should be stored in the refrigerator, in a sealable container. It will keep well for up to 2 weeks.
To freeze: You can either freeze the cake as a whole cake or in individual portions. Keep the cake in a freezer friendly container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
More healthy desserts to try
Yes! This cake doesn’t have any eggs or dairy in it, making it suitable for those following a vegan diet.
While this batter can be used to make muffins, you may prefer making carrot muffins instead. The ingredients are quite similar but are designed to be made into muffins.
Not necessarily! People often assume that just because there are carrots in carrot cake that is the healthiest option. However, most cakes use butter, oil, and plenty of sugar in it! Let’s not forget the cream cheese frosting that comes with it.
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Healthy Carrot Cake
- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour Gluten free, if needed
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar * See notes
- 1 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups milk I used unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup coconut oil melted (can use any neutral tasting oil)
- 3 1/2 cups carrots grated
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
- 1/2 cup raisins Optional
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans and line them with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon, and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together your granulated sweeter, coconut sugar, milk of choice, and melted coconut oil, until glossy and smooth.
- Combine your wet and dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Fold through your shredded carrots, nuts, and raisins.
- Distribute your cake batter evenly amongst the two cake pans. Bake for around 40 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the pan completely. Once cooled, you can frost them, if desired.
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Very very tasty looking! And I love your recipe with the fact its got Greek yogurt in it. I’ll probably try it with 0% fat Greek yogurt myself (just cause I’m always looking of ways to reduce calories) that’s just personal choice, no offence! 🙂 Your photography is inspiring. 😀
No worries, to each their own 🙂 Thank you!
Nice recipe rework! Believe it or not, I have never had carrot cake. I usually crave the salty stuffs but I was craving chocolate these last few days.
haha you and me both. Salt for adrenals, right? Arman, slab some butter on this and I’m so there!
YES. SALTED BUTTER.
I crave salty with sweet stuff so I just add salt….oops. Ask my sister when I eat oatmeal…with the salt shaker next to me.
Sometimes I order fudge cake just to eat the fudge frosting and leave the cake over for someone else. Frosting, especially chocolate fudge or a ganache is just my favorite thing in the world lol.
LOL! Love it!
Don’t make me chose between frosting or cake?!?!!? i am ALWAYS craving frosting….and I mean it. I woke up about 20 mins ago, and honestly I could easily eat a cup full of frosting RIGHT NOW. My running career would take a nose dive if I did that though, once my sweet tooth awakens……it can’t be stopped, thats why I usually hold out till the evening haha!
I have done that so many times….forgotten the most important-cannot be substituted ingredient! So annoying! This turned out lovely though, carrot cake is the boss…..and now I want some!
Tina- that is genius. Save the sweets for night. I always find that with sweet foods too in the morning..hence a since of cheese 😉
This IS FABULOUS!!! and i just bought pumpkin cream cheese from Trader Joe’s along with my cinnamon cream cheese that I already have, so basically i need to smear the two together on top of this delicious bread.
I just made pumpkin chocolate bread this weekend, so now I’m gonna gobble that up AFAP (as fast as possible) so i can make this this weekend :):)
YES. AFAP. You have a fast metabolism so should happen soon 😉
Fail. Bloody. Whale. LOLOLOLOLOLOL
Is this spam?
Sam I am.
I would do this with a greek yogurt frosting. Then I would want both equally. Because right now, I needs this.
Confession- I ate a slice broken over Greek yogurt. 😉
This looks delicious! If I try it I think I might add some crushed pineapple and raisins! Love those two in carrots cake….and maybe then I can skip the coconut sugar since i don’t have any! Also, I am not a frosting fan so this cake is right up my alley. 🙂
Team Cream Cheese Frosting all the way over here! We make my dad a carrot cake for his birthday every single year… with a double batch of frosting because that’s how things roll in our house.
I have a bunch of shredded carrots in the fridge I was going to use for mug muffins this week, before our microwave broke, I may just have to make carrot bread instead. Though the cream cheese will not be optional 😉
I think that is an epic family tradition. Expect a cheeky carrot cake mug muffin coming up soon! 😉
Well I have one I love already… but I could always use a cheeky mug muffin!
Grocery store? Store? Frosting?!
I is American.
HI. I MISS YOU. I also have news for you.
YES! Team Cake all the way! I like cream cheese frosting well enough because of the tangy sweetness, but I’m not crazy about most buttercream frostings… I’d rather have something chocolatey and doughy. That being said, the cake has to be freaking AMAZING if I’m going the frosting-less route, because who likes dry, lifeless dough?
Buttercream frostings make me sick! Dry and lifeless cake is punishment.
I love carrot cake! This looks delicious, and I’m sure I wouldn’t miss the frosting at all! What a perfect breakfast option!
Thanks, Kelly. I ate it with Greek yogurt for breakfast this week. Because.. well. Healthy 😉
Cream cheese frosting is one of my favorite foods EVER!!! Especially when carrot cake or a cinnamon bun is the vehicle for it.
I’m so excited to make my new roomie make this for me. 🙂
How good is it.
LOL. The poor new room mate.
Carrot cake is my all-time absolute favorite and I love this healthier version! Sometimes I make a double batch of cream cheese frosting just so I can eat the extra. 🙂
Anne, that is pure genius and I am stealing that idea!
First of all, I haven’t seen the word “besotted” since I studied for my SATs over 10 years ago! You’re bringing me back! Second, totally going to find any context to use “Fail. Bloody. Whale.”
By any chance, is it the same whale that George saved?
I totally second that.
Yes. After his wife died from licking envelopes.
I am besotted by our interactions.