Keto Carrot Cake: THM Fuel-Pull Low-Fat
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Now you can really have your cake and eat it, too! Keto Carrot Cake is rich and moist while also low-fat, low-carb, high-protein, and even THM Fuel-Pull!
Spring is almost here! And carrot cake is the official dessert of spring! 🥕🍰 At least in my book anyway! 😉 While carrot cake is rich in veggies (carrots, of course!), it’s usually high-fat, high-carb, high-calorie, and full of sugar. Even a lot of the Keto/low-carb/sugar-free versions tend to be high-fat and high-calorie. But this Keto Carrot Cake is different. While it’s still moist and rich and full of veggie-goodness, it’s both low-carb AND low-fat. (and technically the cake is FAT-FREE since there’s no added fat.) You could even have up to 2 servings in a THM Fuel-Pull meal (and that includes the frosting)! And this cake is PACKED with PROTEIN!!! Cake for breakfast anyone???
So how is it rich and moist without the fat and carbs, but also high-protein???
Nah! Well, sorta! It’s a special – and magical ✨ – combination of gluten-free ingredients such as:
Oat Fiber: Made from the fibrous hulls of oats and is pretty much pure fiber (and zero calorie and net carb). It’s NOT the same as oat bran or oat flour and usually has to be purchased online. I use Lifesource brand. The oat fiber in this recipe acts as a “flour”, giving the cake/cupcakes their structure and cake-like texture.
Collagen Peptides: The collagen in this recipe provides protein and structure (but is fat-free and zero carb) while keeping the cake/cupcakes soft and moist. Not to mention, collagen is quite the superfood and is dairy-free, too!
Oat Flour: While this is typically a THM-E ingredient and does contain some carbs, so little is used in this recipe that it does not significantly affect the macro numbers. The oat flour in this recipe compliments the oat fiber and collagen by providing structure while keeping the cake/cupcakes moist without added fat (the natural fat in oats does not count in THM).
Ground Psyllium Husks: Like oat fiber, psyllium is essentially pure fiber (without adding calories or carbs) and provides structure while helping keep the cake/cupcakes moist and also low-fat.
Egg Whites: Instead of whole eggs, egg whites are used in this recipe. They compliment the gluten-free “flours” mentioned above while also adding moisture and protein to the cake/cupcakes.
Greek Yogurt or Low-Fat Cottage Cheese: Either one works great in this recipe (and applesauce can be subbed for dairy-free). They give richness, moisture, and protein to the cake/cupcakes without the fat.
Carrot: And, of course, this recipe contains a whole 1.5 cups of fiber/nutrient-rich carrot, which makes this cake so moist and delicious! But, don’t worry, they don’t affect the carb numbers much and this recipe is safely in the THM Fuel-Pull range!
Dairy-free: Unsweetened applesauce can be substituted for the Greek yogurt/cottage cheese. Just use the same amount (1/2 cup) and you may want to reduce the sweetener a little since the applesauce gives some natural sweetness. It only slightly changes the macros: 62 calories, 3.4g net carbs, 0.2g fat, and 8.2g protein per serving*. And, since these are so low-fat, dairy-free “cream cheese” frosting recipes could likely be subbed for the frosting and still keep these Fuel-Pull! 🙌
Oat-free: I have tested these with 1 cup coconut flour in place of the oat fiber and oat flour and it works! You can even make these fully Paleo (using applesauce instead of dairy and glucomannan instead of xanthan gum)! The Paleo version is: 86 calories, 3.3g net carbs, 1.4g fat, and 9.1g protein per serving* so still FP!
Egg-free: This recipe uses a pretty good amount of egg whites (equivalent to about 3-4 eggs). It can be tricky to substitute for that much egg but these can even be made egg-free (even when combined with other substitutes like dairy-free and oat-free)! I used gelatin eggs and made them according to this. I tested mine on a quarter recipe and used 2.25 tsp gelatin powder mixed with total of 3 TBS water (this is equivalent to 3 gelatin eggs for a whole recipe). These are also still FP! Each serving (as Paleo and egg-free) is approximately 80 calories, 3.3g net carbs, 1.4g fat, and 8.2g protein*!
*Macro numbers above are cake/cupcake servings only and do not include frosting macros.
Additional notes about Substitutions:
If making Egg-free Paleo version: These are a bit delicate to remove from a muffin pan unless they are well-chilled first (so the gelatin can firm-up in them). I recommend using cupcake liners or putting the pan in the freezer for a while before trying to remove them from the pan (if not using liners). They can be enjoyed at room temperature, but may be a little more delicate than ones made with egg whites.
With all substitutions, I would first test a quarter recipe and see how you like it before making a full recipe. Of course, the substitutions will affect the texture and flavor some (compared to the original recipe) but are still really good!
Keto Carrot Cake can also be made with THM Baking Blend!
While this recipe was specially designed to be nut-free (and therefore essentially fat-free), THM Baking Blend can be substituted for the oat fiber in the recipe and works well! Just use the same amount. With THMBB, each serving is approximately: 79 calories, 3.1g net carbs, 1.3g fat, and 11.5g protein (does not include frosting macros).
Tips for Successful Gluten-free baking:
- Start with room temperature ingredients: Gluten-free baked goods are lighter and fluffier, with improved texture, when made with room temperature ingredients.
- Weigh ingredients: I have provided gram amounts for several of the ingredients so that they can be more accurately measured with a kitchen scale before adding to the recipe. But I have also provided measuring-cup amounts, too, for those who do not own a kitchen scale.
- Let batter rest for 5 minutes: Gluten-free flours need a few minutes to absorb and expand. After mixing the wet and dry ingredients together, allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes before baking.
- Allow to fully cool before slicing/eating: Gluten-free baked goods continue to cook after they are taken them out of the oven. They may have a slightly “gummy” texture until they are fully cooled.
Also note that gluten-free ingredient brands can vary a lot. Some are more absorbent than others. I have only tested this recipe with the brands I have linked in the recipe card. If using different brands, you may want to test a quarter recipe first to see if you need to make any adjustments before making a full recipe.
How to make Keto Carrot Cake:
Even though carrot cake looks elegant and fancy, it’s actually really easy to make!
First, preheat your oven to 350* and prep your cake pan(s) or muffin pan. I recommend using cupcake liners if making egg-free (or chill well before removing from pan). If making a cake, I recommend greasing the pan(s) and then dusting with oat fiber (or other “flour”) to prevent sticking.
Next, bring your wet ingredients to room temperature. I measure mine into a Pyrex measuring cup and submerge the cup in hot tap water while I gather my other ingredients.
In the meantime, measure and mix the dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl and set aside.
Shred carrot and set aside.
When the wet ingredients are room temperature, pour into dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Of course, if using cottage cheese, the wet ingredients will need to be pureed until smooth in the blender before adding to the dry ingredients. I wouldn’t recommend mixing the wet and dry ingredients together in the blender as the batter is very thick.
Now fold in the shredded carrot and let the batter rest for about 5 minutes (to allow the “flours” to expand and absorb). Then portion into prepared muffin pan or cake pan(s). If making cake, use wet hands (to keep batter from sticking) to evenly spread batter in cake pan(s).
While this cake recipe does rise some while baking, it is a little denser (due to its collagen content) than some other carrot cake recipes. Therefore, the cake or cake layers may not be as tall as with some other cakes. You may want to make a 1.5xrecipe if you need a thicker cake/cake layers.
Ready to bake!
Now put cupcakes/cake(s) on lower rack in preheated oven and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. Of course, times will vary depending on a lot of factors: size of pan, type of pan, cupcakes/cake, oven, substitutions, etc. Therefore, start checking around the 15 minute mark of baking. The cupcakes/cake is ready when a toothpick comes out clean in the center and the top(s) no longer look(s) “wet”. For me, the…
- layer cakes took about 20 minutes
- cupcakes took about 25 minutes
- 9″x13″ cake took about 27-28 minutes
Basically, the thicker the batter, the longer it may take to bake, and vice versa.
When cupcakes/cake(s) appear to be ready, remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Allow to fully cool before frosting/slicing/eating. Some variations of this recipe can be removed from the pan before fully cooled. Cake layers should be fully cooled before removing from pan. If making egg-free, I suggest putting in freezer for a bit so the gelatin eggs can firm the cake/cupcakes, especially if not using cupcake liners. But, I find that egg-free versions can still be enjoyed at room temperature, though are a little more delicate than those made with egg whites.
Making the Just Like Cream Cheese Frosting:
My recipe is based off of this one. And that recipe works fine, but I preferred something a little thicker (so added gelatin) for my carrot cake/cupcakes. And I also wanted it a bit richer (so mixed in some cottage cheese). Feel free to use the original recipe that I linked instead, or adjust amounts to your liking. My version is pretty thick so that it is pipeable.
To make my version, I first prepare my gelatin. I take 2 ramekins and put 1 TBS almond milk in one and 2 TBS in the other. Then I take a heaping teaspoon of gelatin powder and stir it into the ramekin with 1 TBS “milk”. I allow it to “bloom” for about 5 minutes.
In the meantime, I measure my other ingredients into the blender.
Now the gelatin should be ready. I take the ramekin with 2 TBS almond milk and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Then I pour the hot almond milk into the gelatin mixture and stir until the gelatin dissolves.
I then turn on my blender and pour the gelatin mixture into the blender with the other ingredients. I usually stop and scrape the sides a couple of times to make evenly smooth.
It will seem very thin at first but will thicken as it cools. Pour into a container and submerge container in an ice water bath. Stir every few minutes as it cools and thickens. When fully cool/thick, it can then be “whipped” by hand and spread/piped onto cooled cupcakes/cake.
Keto carrot cake can be enjoyed with THM-E and THM-S meals, too!
One of the best parts about this cake is that it’s THM Fuel-Pull! And that means it can also be enjoyed in THM-E and THM-S meals, as well! Feel free to add some raisins to make it THM-E or nuts to make it THM-S! It’s really the perfect dessert for any spring/Easter meals, or anytime really! And, it’s easy to adapt to food allergies so almost everyone can enjoy it! Since the cake is technically fat-free, feel free to use a dairy-free frosting of your choice. Just check the macro numbers, depending on the fat/carb limits of your meal setting. Enjoy!!! 😊
Tools for making Keto Carrot Cake:
Keto Carrot Cake: THM Fuel-Pull Low-FatCourse: Dessert, Cake, Cupcakes, Snack, THM Fuel-PullCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Now you can really have your cake and eat it, too! Keto Carrot Cake is rich and moist while also low-fat, low-carb, high-protein, and even THM Fuel-Pull!
- Wet Ingredients (room temperature):
3/4 cup (184g) egg whites (or 3 gelatin eggs for egg-free)*
1/2 cup (113g) nonfat Greek yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese (sub 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce for dairy-free/Paleo)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Dry Ingredients:
3/4 cup (84g) collagen peptides*
3/4 cup sweetener* (I use Lakanto Golden but any 1:1 sugar-free sugar substitute or equivalent should be fine, though a “brown sugar” substitute gives better flavor)
1/4 cup (30g) oat FLOUR (I make my own by grinding up rolled oats in a coffee/spice mill), or omit for oat-free/Paleo
1 TBS (10g) ground psyllium husks* (I use NOW Whole Psyllium Husks and grind into a fine powder in my coffee/spice mill BEFORE measuring)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon*
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg*
1/4 tsp ground ginger*
1/4 tsp ground cloves*
- Fold in:
1.5 cups shredded carrot
- Just Like Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese (I use 2% Daisy)
8 wedges Laughing Cow Light Cheese
1/2 cup powdered sweetener (I grind Lakanto Golden into fine powder in my coffee/spice mill BEFORE measuring, but any 1:1 powered sugar substitute should work fine)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350* and prepare either muffin pan, 2 – 8″ cake pans (for layer cake) or a 9″x13″ pan (for sheet cake). For cakes, grease pan first and then dust with oat fiber or THM Baking Blend to prevent sticking. I recommend using cupcake liners if making egg-free.
- Bring wet ingredients to room temperature. I quickly do this by measuring into my Pyrex measuring cup and submerging the cup in hot tap water (stir or give swirl every couple minutes) while I gather my other ingredients.
- Measure and mix dry ingredients in medium sized mixing bowl and set aside.
- Wet ingredients should be room temperature by now. If using cottage cheese, put wet ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. If using yogurt or applesauce, just mix wet ingredients by hand.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. (I find the batter is too thick to mix in blender)
- Fold in shredded carrot and let batter rest for about 5 minutes (to allow “flours” to absorb and expand).
- Divide batter into prepared muffin pan, 2 – 8″ cake pans, or a 9″x13″ pan. Batter will be thick. Spread batter evenly in cake pans with wet hands (to prevent sticking). Put in preheated oven for approximately 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean in center (and sides and edges are starting to brown slightly). Times will vary depending on pan(s), thickness of batter, cupcakes vs cake, substitutions, oven, etc, so start checking around 15 minute mark.
- While baking, make the frosting. First prepare the gelatin. I take 2 ramekins and put 1 TBS almond milk in one and 2 TBS in the other. Then I take a heaping teaspoon of gelatin powder and stir it into the ramekin with 1 TBS almond milk. Allow to “bloom” for about 5 mins. Then put the ramekin with 2 TBS almond milk in the microwave for about 30 seconds (or until nearly boiling). Pour hot almond milk into gelatin mixture to “melt” it. Stir until clumps are dissolved. Put other ingredients in blender and, with blender on, pour in gelatin mixture. Blend until smooth and adjust to taste. Frosting will be a little thin at first but will thicken as it cools. Pour/scoop into a container that can be submerged in ice water and stir every few minutes until thick. When thick, “whip” by hand before putting on cooled cake or cupcakes.
- Allow cake(s) or cupcakes to fully cool before frosting and/or assembling into a layer cake. Egg-free cake/cupcakes will be delicate when warm. Put in freezer or fridge for a bit to allow the gelatin to firm-up before removing from pan (if not using liners – but can be served room temperature). Store any leftovers in fridge. Should be ok to freeze, as well.
- If any ingredients appear to have a line through them, just click to side of ingredient (or on another ingredient) and the line should disappear. It’s a feature of the recipe plugin that allows people to cross off ingredients as they add them to a recipe. Also, the print feature of this plugin is a little wonky so always check over recipe print-outs to make sure all ingredients are included and correct. Another option is to copy and paste the recipe text and print through a different program.
- I experimented with an egg-free version using gelatin eggs. It worked but note that their texture is a little different but still really good. I was also testing it with coconut flour and applesauce (so egg-free Paleo) so I haven’t tested as just egg-free (while still using dairy and/or oat products).
- Whey Protein Isolate or other protein powders may work as substitute but I have not tested them. Since other protein powders are likely more absorbent than collagen, I would try 1/2 cup of other protein powders (instead of the 3/4 cup amount in recipe) and test on a quarter-recipe size and see how it turns out.
- If making dairy-free with applesauce, you may want to use less sweetener. I found it plenty sweet with about 10 TBS sweetener instead of 12 TBS (or 3/4 cup). For a sweetener conversion list, see this.
- Psyllium powder can be subbed for ground psyllium. If using whole psyllium husks/flakes, use about 3 times as much (so 3 TBS). For best results, weigh psyllium on a kitchen scale and use 10g amount. It may be possible to omit the psyllium but cake may be less moist/fluffy. Ground golden flaxseed meal may work as substitute (though I’m not sure of amount).
- Feel free to flavor your carrot cake to your liking. This is how I like mine, but everyone has different opinions on spices in their carrot cake so “own it” and use whatever spices/amounts that your prefer.😊
- Based on making 12 servings with oat fiber, Greek yogurt, and egg whites, each serving (without frosting) is: 57 calories, 2.6g net carbs, 0.2g fat, and 9.2g protein. The frosting (based on making 12 servings) is 35 calories, 1.3g net carbs, 1.2g fat, and 3.7g protein per serving. So cake and frosting together comes to 92 calories, 3.9g net carbs, 1.4g fat, and 12.9g protein per serving. Therefore, you could have up to 2 servings per Fuel-Pull meal.
12 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories57
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 7.1g 29%
- Protein 9.2g 19%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
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