Keto Maple Carrot Cake (grain-free, gluten-free, primal)
This Keto Maple Carrot Cake with maple cream cheese frosting a grain-free, low-carb, primal dessert recipe. Put this healthy spring carrot cake on your must-make list for Easter or Mother’s Day. Just 5g net carbs per slice!
Want to know more about alternative sweeteners used for keto and low-carb desserts?
Download this FREE Guide To Alternative Sweeteners!
Spring is here!!!
After a long, dark, and cold Minnesota winter, I can hardly wait for all the spring things!
The chives and rhubarb will be poking their little green heads out of the ground soon. Maple syruping is in full swing. And, I’m finally able to use my camera before 10:00 a.m. and after 2:00 p.m.
I’m tellin’ ya, this past Minnesota winter truly tested the stuff I was made of. I am so, so thankful that Spring is here, the snow is melting, and it’s time to start thinking about healthy, sugar-free, grain-free spring recipes!
From the time I could sit up, my mom and Memaw had me sitting on the countertop, pinching pie crusts and stirring pudding filling.
Middle school introduced me to the snack bar line at school, and with that, a two-year Little Debbie Swiss Cake Roll phase.
Then, marriage gifted me a mother-in-law who makes a killer yellow cake with chocolate sauce and Puppy Chow at Christmastime that will make your eyes roll back into your head.
My entire life has been filled with sweets.
Yet, something my life that was sorely lacking???
You see, in all that sweet, sweet, sweet ALL THE TIME, I never learned to appreciate flavors — because they were either absent or masked by insane amounts of sugar.
Then, I changed how I made dessert — to include no sugar and MORE flavor!
Cutting sugar out of my life (including honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar 98% of the time) was the best health choice I’ve ever made! Once my palate became accustomed to tasting flavor, sweet things became too sweet.
I began craving flavors (and meat and vegetables 😉 ) more than sweets… and that’s how I know I’m no longer addicted to sugar!
Heck, I even LOVE and prefer the darkest stevia-sweetened chocolate WITH salt! I just adore the chocolate flavor, not the sweetness!
So, what does all this have to do with a recipe for Grain-Free and Low-Carb Maple Carrot Cake?
Keto Maple Carrot Cake
First and foremost, you’re going to taste all the flavors this healthy, low-carb cake has to offer: the flavors of carrot and maple, the nutmeg and cinnamon, and the tang of a homemade, cultured cream cheese frosting.
Nothing is hiding behind overpowering sweetness!
We’re not hiding vegetables in cake here, folks. (Well, actually, we are. Because it’s carrot cake. But, you get what I mean.)
Carrots have a beautiful, earthy sweetness of their own. When mixed with spices, a few raisins, and a probiotic cream cheese frosting, you get a perfect spring dessert — great for Easter or Mother’s Day or any Spring celebration.
Carrot Cake… Maple Flavor with or WITHOUT Maple Sugar
If you don’t want a keto maple carrot cake and prefer to stick with whole sweeteners, use maple sugar. You’ll get the beautiful flavor of maple in a granulated sweetener, which is best for the texture of this cake.
The one-half cup in the entire cake (not including frosting) is not enough to cause any sharp spikes in blood sugar. And you know that balanced blood sugar is where I like to keep it!
(I have not tried this recipe with maple syrup, so I cannot say how it will turn out!)
If you like, this grain-free maple carrot cake doesn’t have to have any sugar at all!
Yet, if you’re watching carbs or don’t want the blood sugar spike that often comes after eating sugar-laden desserts — even whole foods desserts — you’re going to swap out the maple sugar for your favorite keto/low-carb/THM sweetener, such as Dietz Sweet or Lakanto, plus some maple extract.
I use my DIY Sugar Alternative Blend (aka Dietz Sweet) for this cake and add a bit of maple extract to the cake and the maple cream cheese frosting. If you have never used alternative sweeteners before and you’re curious, get my FREE Guide To Alternative Sweeteners!
Magic! You get the flavor and sweetness of maple sugar without the carbs!
*Note: You may wish to omit the raisins to make this cake even lower in carbs.*
Let’s Talk About Cultured Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Not that you’re trying to add nutrition to a cake — I mean, this is CAKE after all — but a little probiotics with your cake never hurt anyone.
And that’s why I love using a probiotic-rich or cultured cream cheese. Nancy’s is the only brand I know of that makes a truly cultured cream cheese. You can find Nancy’s cream cheese in most health food stores or order it through Azure Standard (best price).
When whipped with a bit of sustainably sourced palm shortening and powdered maple sugar or low-carb sweetener + maple extract, you get a light and fluffy, gut-healthy cream cheese frosting that’s the perfect accompaniment to this lovely Keto Maple Carrot Cake.
To make my frosting extra pretty, I like to use a piping bag with a round tip to make little dollops of frosting all over the cake.
I won’t be winning any cake decorating awards any time soon and certainly won’t quit my day job to decorate cakes, but I like this simple (though slightly time-consuming) piping technique. It’s pretty difficult to mess up!
How To Make This Flavorful, Beautiful Keto Maple Carrot Cake
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Then, you need to decide how many layers you’d like your cake to have. You can use four 6″ cake tins or two 9″ cake tins — your choice! Grease the cake tins and line the bottoms with unbleached parchment paper.
Go ahead and measure out your wet ingredients, which includes your sweetener, so everything is ready to go. It’s also helpful to combine the dry ingredients (except raisins) and whisk them together in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Use the paddle attachment of your stand mixer to cream together the palm shortening and your sweetener of choice. Once smooth, add the remaining wet ingredients and continue mixing until combined.
While the mixer is running, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Allow the dry ingredients to fully incorporate. Lastly, fold in raisins (if using).
Evenly divide the cake batter among your pre-greased and lined cake tins and bake until the top springs back when touched and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Turn the cakes out on to a cooling rack and cool completely before assembling and frosting.
Wash your mixing bowl and place the whisk attachment on your stand mixer.
Whip together softened probiotic cream cheese and palm shortening until light and fluffy — about four minutes. It’s helpful, too, to use a blender to powder whatever sweetener you plan to use for your frosting.
Add the powdered sweetener in, a bit at a time to prevent an explosion of sweetener all over your kitchen! If you’re using a keto/low-carb/THM-friendly sweetener, you’ll also need to add the maple extract at this time.
Then, whisk for an additional minute or two.
As soon as your cakes are cooled, frost them however you like.
Store your cake in the fridge.
Here’s the full, printable recipe for this happy Keto Maple Carrot Cake with Cultured Maple Cream Cheese Frosting!
Keto Maple Carrot Cake with Cultured Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
This Keto Maple Carrot Cake with maple cream cheese frosting a grain-free, low-carb, primal dessert recipe. Put this healthy spring carrot cake on your must-make list for Easter or Mother's Day. Just 5g net carbs per slice!
- 1/2cuppalm shorteningsoftened
- 1/2cupDietz Sweetfor sugar-free or granulated sweetener of choice (such as coconut sugar)
- 1/4cupfull-fat coconut milk
- 4pastured eggs
- 1teaspoonorganic maple extract
- 2cupsshredded carrots
- 2-1/2cupssuperfine almond flour
- 1/4cupcollagenuse my coupon code TODAY10 to save 10%!
- 2tablespoonscoconut flour
- zest of 1 orange
- 1/2teaspoonground nutmeg
- 1teaspoonground ginger
- 1-1/2teaspoonbaking powder
- 1teaspoonbaking soda
- 3/4cupraisinsoptional, omit for very low-carb
Cultured Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
- 16ouncescultured cream cheesesuch as Nancy's brand, softened
- 4tablespoonspalm shortening
- 1/2teaspoonorganic maple extract
- 3/4cuppowdered granulated sweetenerI used Dietz Sweet, but coconut sugar or maple sugar will also work.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease 4 6-inch cake pans or 2 9-inch round cake pans.
- First, cream together the shortening and sweetener in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Then, add the remaining wet ingredients to the creamed shortening/sweetener and thoroughly mix.
- In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, except raisins (if using).
- With the mixer running, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
- Mix until combined.
- Fold in raisins, if using.
- Place on the middle rack in pre-heated oven.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes (depending on the size cake pans you're using).
- Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely on cooling racks before frosting.
Cultured Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
- Place the softened cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Add the palm shortening and whip until fluffy, about 4 minutes.
- Next, add the powdered sweetener and maple extract.
- Beat for an additional minute or two.
- Frost the cakes after they're completely cool.
Cake Pans: This recipe will fit in...
- 4 (6") round cake pans for a 4-layer cake or two 2-layer cakes
- 2 (9") round cake pans for one 2-layer cake
Nutrition info is calculated using raisins. Without raisins, the 1 slice of cake has 5 net carbs.
Want more sweets without sugar?
If you love the idea of flavorful desserts that aren’t so sweet they’ll make your teeth hurt…
And if you love the idea of enjoying nourishing desserts made with whole food ingredients — desserts that won’t spike your blood sugar or add to your waistline — then…
You need Sweet Without Sugar! This collection of nourishing, allergy-friendly, low-carb desserts has all your favorite desserts, just made with Real Food and no sugar!
More Keto/Low-Carb Spring Desserts You’ll Love…
- Keto Matcha-Moringa Baked Donuts
- 6-Ingredient Paleo & Keto Flourless Chocolate Torte
- Keto Swedish Cream (egg-free)
- Easy Keto MCT Oil Thai Iced Tea (dairy-free, stevia-sweetened)
- Paleo Instant Pot Strawberry-Rhubarb Custard
- Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars
- Probiotic & Low-Carb Black-Bottom Raspberry Cheesecake
Do you prefer flavorful desserts that aren’t overly sweet?
Recipe originally published on November 17, 2017. Updated with new photos and updated recipe on March 15, 2019.
[…] Photo from All the Nourishing Things […]
[…] Keto Maple Carrot Cake […]
Hi! This carrot cake looks so delicious, healthy and pretty at the same time(love the fluffy dotted icing🥰)!
I was wondering if I can use monkfruit sweeteners?!?
Hi Merry! You can use whatever keto sweetener you are most comfortable with.
What a delicious looking carrot cake! I love that the icing almost looks fluffy, making it even more perfect for Easter xo
It is super fluffy frosting!
I love carrot cake and your looks just like you– beautiful! I have got to figure out how to rustle up all your ingredients. Not much of a baker though. Or, better yet, you can just make me one when we get the chance…LOL
I love this cake and the idea of it in my belly. Thanks for sharing your talent!
This cake looks delicious! I’m a big fan of desserts that aren’t too sweet!
I don’t eat cakes and desserts because they are usually made WAY too sweet. When I see a recipe with low sweetener, it makes me so so happy! Foods just taste so good when there isn’t a load of sugar throw in them.
This sounds absolutely delicious! I’ve been wanting to try to bake with coconut flour, and I think I will start with this recipe. Thanks!
This cake is beautiful! Love how it looks plated!
This looks so amazing. I love how beautifully you frosted that cake!
Thank you, Jean!
Your cake looks amazing! I’ll have to share it with my dear friend who loves carrot cake so much that she had it at her wedding!
Wow, that is some dedication to carrot cake! 😉
This is so lovely! What a great addition to the Thanksgiving table!
What a beautiful cake! Perfect for the holidays.
I know! I think I’m taking this to our Thanksgiving potluck!
I had so much fun watching you frost this on IG stories! So beautiful and mesmerizing! I cannot wait to make this!!!
I had so much fun making that IG story!