Healthy Carrot Cake

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5 from 171 votes
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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.

healthy carrot cake recipe.

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.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe highlights
  2. How to make a healthy carrot cake
  3. Tips to make the best recipe
  4. Storage instructions
  5. More healthy desserts to try
  6. Frequently asked questions
  7. Healthy Carrot Cake (Recipe Card)

Recipe highlights

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.
healthy carrot cake.

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!

Ingredients needed

  • 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.

Dietary swap

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!

The instructions

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. 

How to make healthy carrot cake.

Tips to make the best recipe

  • 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. 

Storage instructions

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. 

carrot cake healthy.

More healthy desserts to try

Frequently asked questions

Is this cake vegan?

Yes! This cake doesn’t have any eggs or dairy in it, making it suitable for those following a vegan diet.

Can I make these into muffins?

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.

Is carrot cake the healthiest cake?

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.

healthier carrot cake.

Healthy Carrot Cake

5 from 171 votes
This healthy carrot cake is super moist and fluffy, and uses wholesome ingredients! It makes a simple and delicious dessert.
Servings: 12 Slices
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 45 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

* I used white wholewheat flour, for added nutrition. You can use any white or all-purpose flour. 
** I used allulose, but white or brown sugar works. 
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. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1SliceCalories: 195kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 4gFat: 14gSodium: 332mgPotassium: 36mgFiber: 1gCalcium: 90mgIron: 2mgNET CARBS: 23g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Comments

  1. Just made this and it’s amazing. I used white whole wheat and oat flour, olive oil for the coconut oil (I was lazy to melt it lol) and 1/4 cup dark brown sugar for the sweetener. I found the walnuts made the cake over the top amazing. Thanks for the recipe. I hope to share it with friends and get some great feedback.

    1. Regina- It’s comments like this which absolutely MAKE my day! thank you so much for this. I’m going to share this on the Facebook page! Thank YOU for making it! (PS- I would have been lazy too :))

  2. Hey Arman, I’m very new to the whole baking concept and was just wondering, when you say 1T coconut oil, is that 1 teaspoon?

  3. AAAHHH…carrot cake is my most favorite, and you’ve just made it healthier? What’s not to love? ;-} Thanks a million for sharing your deliciousness with us at Weekend Potluck. Please come back again very soon. Pinning!

    1. Thank YOU for hosting such a fantastic link up- You’ve really inspired me to make more of an effort in the kitchen to participate each week!

  4. Never in my life have a had a carrot cake before. I guess you cannot call me a bunny. The Playboy mansion would not accept me. Wait, even before they knew this tid bit, they wouldn’t accept me because of something else, LOL!

  5. I cannot get my bread game together. It’s always just a giant fail. Your bread game, however, is on point… I have some carrots and random things I really need to start using up, I’m going to have to make this… well, anytime, since I have an open schedule.

  6. I used to love cream cheese frosting – I used to eat the frosting and leave the cake – but that was then – now lactose does not love me! So I will gladly take this carrot cake without frosting – love the lightened up version – but you wouldn’t think it from the looks of it!

  7. Definitely team cake! I don’t like frosting at all. I even removed the frosting from my wedding cake ;-P
    Carrot has always been my favorite. My mum used to make me carrot cake for my birthday. Best damn cake ever!
    Your mum should be proud of her talented son and give you access to all her recipes 😉

  8. I’m the biggest glutton when it comes to frosting. I want it all over my face. I need a 5 to 1 frosting to cake ratio at all times. OK, but really…I’m still obsessing over your photos lately. They have gotten SO GOOD.

  9. Carrot cake is in my top 3 for desserts! So so so yummy. And people think it’s healthy when it’s on a restaurant menu LAWLZ. Don’t hate me for saying this but this recipe looks so…..moist haha. And yeah you’re right who needs carrot cake to be an excuse for that frosting when you can just use a spoon

  10. I’m team 50% frosting, 50% cake 🙂 And now I’m craving some kind of breakfast bread – banana, zucchini…ahhh!