This Low Carb Carrot Cake is full of texture and flavour with lots of spices, soft juicy carrots, crunchy walnuts and rich creamy lemon frosting. It’s also deliciously moist and light, high in protein, free from refined sugars, and low in fat.
Where Did Carrot Cake Come From?
I used to think carrots in a cake, or any vegetables in a cake for that matter (hello zucchini) were kind of weird, but Carrot Cake has been around for a very long time. My mother used to have it for sale in her shop when we were growing up 30 years ago. But as I recently discovered, it is actually many hundreds of years old.
After doing a bit of digging, I read that Carrot Cake might have originated from medieval times and could well be an offshoot of the Carrot Pudding. Apparently as sugar and sweeteners were hard to come by back in those days, carrots were often used to sweeten cakes, puddings and treats.
Well, I know carrots definitely have a crisp sweetness, but I think I would draw the line at eating carrots in desserts.
What is Low Carb Carrot Cake?
As this cake is low carb, it uses Almond Meal instead of flour which makes it slightly more dense, without it being heavy or gluggy. I often use almond meal in my recipes instead of regular flour. Not only does it have a higher nutritional value, leaving you fuller for longer, it is also a nice change from traditional flour based baked goods. It’s also a must if you’re looking for something low carb, or just want to introduce a few low carb things into your diet.
As a general rule of thumb, a low carb carrot cake would have less than 5 net carbs per slice. This cake serves 12, and has 3% net carbs per slice (10 grams of carbs per slice). Regular carrot cakes, could have upward of 20 % net carbs.
To make this recipe it is ideal if you have a food processor or a high speed blender and this really helps to bind all the ingredients together. If you don’t you could probably get away with an electric beater, but doing it by hand would be hard work!
Looking for other Low Carb, Sugar Free Treats? Try my Oat Flour Banana Bread, Sugar Free Ginger Biscuits, or these wickedly naughty Red Velvet Cupcakes or this Chilli Chocolate Cheesecake with double cream and fresh raspberries.
Tips for Making A Low Carb Carrot Cake
- Use a springform tin lined on the base and sides with baking paper. This will ensure nothing sticks and you get a perfectly turned out cake.
- Don’t skip separating the egg whites from the egg yolks. It makes all the difference and the fluffy egg whites help create a light cake, whilst the egg yolks create a rich moist texture.
- Take the time to chop the walnuts, or buy walnuts already chopped. Big whole walnuts are too much for this delicate cake.
- Let cake cool completely to room temperature before icing as it will probably slide off otherwise.
Carrot Cake Variations
- Add half a cup of drained, tinned pineapple along with the carrot
- Add half a cup of dried blueberries to the batter and stir in by hand
- Add ¼ cup peanut butter to the batter and mix in with the carrot
- Instead of the lemon cream cheese frosting, try swapping espresso for the lemon juice
I never tire of carrot cake and this is one I make time and time again as it’s such a classic cake. It’s light, textured, has the right amount of spice and it not sickly sweet like some traditional carrot cakes can be when they are made with refined flours and sugars.
Well, hubby and I are fresh back from the Barossa Valley after 8 days on South Australia’s gorgeous wine trails and top notch restaurants. One of the highlights was the Wine Blending Bench we did at D’Arenburg winery in the McLaren Vale region. We got to make our own personalized blend of Shiraz wine which was an experience I will never forget, and especially since it was held in the newly constructed D’Arenburg Cube. A truly awesome day!
The only problem is where to put the 5 dozen bottles of wine we just bought.
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Low Carb Carrot Cake
- Butter or oil to grease
- 4 large eggs separated
- ½ cup Granulated Stevia
- 1 cup Carrot finely grated
- 2 cups Almond meal
- ¼ cup Arrowroot
- 2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
- 1 teaspoon Bicarb soda
- 1 cup Walnuts chopped
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground Nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground Cloves
- 1 cup Light Cream Cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Granulated stevia
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C (fan oven) – non fan oven 180 degrees.
- Grease with butter, a 23 cm spring form pan and line the bottom with baking paper.
- Separate the Egg yolks from the egg whites. Place each in a separate mixing bowl.
- In the mixing bowl with the egg yolks, add the granulated stevia and lemon zest.
- Whisk the egg yolks, stevia and lemon zest together with an electric hand beater until it turns from a bright shiny yellow to a dull matt yellow (approx. 60 to 90 seconds)
- To the egg yolk mixture, add the grated carrot, almond meal and spices. Mix to combine.
- Next, add the arrowroot, cream of tartar and bicarb and mix to combine.
- With clean beaters, whisk the egg whites together until it turns white and peaks start to form.
- Gently mix the egg whites into the carrot mix. Don’t over mix or mix roughly as this will make the cake tough.
- Pour cake batter into prepared spring form tin. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes initially at 160 degrees c for a fan oven, 180 degrees for non fan oven.
- After 10 minutes, reduce oven heat to 130 degrees for fan forced oven (150 degrees for non fan oven) and bake for 1 hour
- Insert cake skewer to test that it comes out clean
- Set to cool in tin for 15 minutes, then take out and place onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Frosting: Mix together all ingredients with an electric beater or in a food processor until smooth. Using a spoon to spread over the frosting on top and sides.
- Store in an air tight container in the fridge for 4 days.
- Calories include frosting
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