This healthy carrot cake is a fluffy and moist cake made with wholesome ingredients! An easy and delicious cake that is made without eggs or refined sugar, but you’d never tell.
It’s no secret when it comes to cake, carrot cake is my all time favorite. I mean, I have a vegan carrot cake, a keto carrot cake, carrot cake breakfast bars, and even no bake carrot cake. Oh and some unconventional ways to have carrot cake, like in a smoothie, as energy balls, and even in oatmeal.
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 on 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 is just as fluffy and moist as any good carrot cake out there, loaded with shredded carrots and perfectly sweet.
What I love about this carrot cake is that it is delicious 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. However, I HAVE included a frosting option, should you choose to frost it!
Ingredients for a healthy carrot cake
These are the ingredients you will need to make this healthy 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. You can use that if you’d prefer, or gluten free flour, to keep it gluten free.
- Baking powder and baking soda– Leavens the cake, and gives it some rise and fluffiness.
- Cinnamon– A must for any good carrot cake!
- Granulated Sweetener of choice– This replaces the need for any white sugar. Use either monk fruit sweetener or erythritol.
- Coconut Sugar– Replaces the need for brown sugar, but gives the cake a slight molasses flavor.
- 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 in 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!
How do you make a healthy carrot cake?
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.
Healthy Frosting Ideas
As mentioned earlier, this carrot cake is delicious without frosting, but here are some options-
- Sugar Free Frosting– You can either use the vanilla one or the cream cheese one.
- Greek Yogurt Frosting– 2 cups non fat Greek yogurt (including vegan yogurt) with 1 cup sugar free powdered sugar. Thicken with coconut flour, as needed.
- Icing sugar glaze– Whisk together some sugar free powedered sugar with water or milk, until a thin glaze remains. Drizzle over the cake.
Can I make these as muffins or cupcakes?
Yes, if you’d like to make healthy carrot cake cupcakes or muffins, make the following substitutions-
- Cut the recipe by half, to make 12 muffins or 20 mini muffins.
- Bake in a 12-count muffin pan for 20-22 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Tips to make the best healthy carrot cake
- 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.
Storing and Freezing Carrot Cake
- 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 cake recipes to try
- Blueberry Cake
- Fat Free Chocolate Cake
- 100 calorie Chocolate Mug Cake
- Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
- Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Healthy Carrot Cake
- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour Gluten free, if needed * See notes
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup granulated sweetener of choice ** See notes
- 1 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups milk of choice I used unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup coconut oil melted (can use any neutral tasting oil)
- 3 1/2 cups grated carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts I used walnuts and almonds
- 1/2 cup raisins Optional
- 1 cup keto vanilla frosting 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.