Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

April 28, 2016

Easy + Delicious Refined Sugar-Free Carrot Cake Recipe

I have finally reached my 50 pound weight loss goal!  I've been really focused on my health since the end of September and getting to a healthy weight, while developing healthier eating habits, is just part of that goal.  I'm working on a post about my weight loss, but I'll admit that I'm a little apprehensive about sharing something so personal.

In the meantime, I've really enjoyed sharing some of my kitchen experiments as I try to tweak my favorite desserts to reduce their sugar content.  I have been working diligently to curb my sugar cravings and, ultimately, stave off the diabetes that runs in my family, but every now and then a sweet treat is nice, so I've been working to find a few healthier alternatives to have in my baking arsenal. 

Carrot cake is one of those desserts that I have easily convinced myself is healthy in the past (it has carrots!), but in reality the sugar, fat, and caloric content on a typical carrot muffin is staggering!  It's one of my favorite desserts, though, so recently I fiddled around with my carrot cake recipe, trying to make a healthy carrot cake.  Frankly, I'd still classify this carrot cake as an "indulgence," but it is sugar-free and grain-free - even the icing - so it's more in line with Sarah Wilson's I Quit Sugar program, which has helped me immensely.  This sugar-free carrot cake recipe is made with coconut flour, brown rice syrup, and stevia so, while it's still high in calories and fat, it doesn't have the high sugar content of a traditional carrot cake.  To lower the sugar content even more, you can skip or cut back on the pineapple. 

Refined sugar free carrot cake recipe

Refined Sugar Free Carrot Cake Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup fresh pineapple (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil (I used olive, melted coconut works too)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup

Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients:
  • One package full fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup stevia (I used Truvia, which has a milder after taste than other stevia brands)
  • Splash of milk (I had coconut milk on hand) 
  • Unsweetened, shredded coconut

Sugar-Free Carrot Cake:

When you bake with coconut flour, you need to add an alarming number of eggs so don't worry - that's not a typo!   Combine the eggs, oil, lemon juice, and brown rice syrup until mixed thoroughly.  Stir in the coconut flour, baking soda and spices until well mixed.  Add the shredded carrot and pineapple.

Pour in a well greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes (oven time may vary).  Allow to cool, then transfer to a wire rack where it should cool some more.  Half an hour later and my cake was still a touch too warm for icing, so I would wait an hour next time.

Delicious refined sugar-free carrot cake and cream cheese icing - baked with coconut flour, stevia and brown rice syrup // by @danslelakehouse

Sugar-Free Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Icing:

Use an electric mixer to combine the softened butter, cream cheese, and stevia.  Try with a little less stevia - maybe a 1/8 cup - and taste test.  Some people cannot handle the aftertaste of stevia, but I found the Truvia brand I used was milder than others, plus the delicious carrot cake and cream cheese overpowered the stevia and all I tasted was a mild sweetness.  If you find it sweet enough, skip the rest of the Stevia.  I added a splash of coconut milk to help make the icing a little easier to spread, but it's optional.

Cake decorated with fresh fruit
Cake recipes with stevia and brown recipe syrup

I topped my carrot cake with some unsweetened, shredded coconut, sliced dragon fruit (so pretty - and delicious, I'd never had one before!), pineapple sticks, and kiwi - simply because it looked pretty, but the fresh fruit does increase the overall sugar content.


  1. This looks so good! A question- why the full fat cream cheese? Congratulations on getting healthier! I have also changed my eating habits and said goodbye to sugar. It's been the best decision of my life. Down 33 lbs and feeling so much better.

    1. Congratulations!! That's amazing!!

      I chose full fat because the half fat/low fat version had lots of fillers and some had added sugar. It's something I learned from the I Quit Sugar book: Sarah Wilson advises in her book to just go with full fat dairy (yogurt, cheese, etc.) because with many low fat options, there is added sugar and chemicals. I spent years buying "low fat" as a dieter, so it's been difficult to unlearn this habit. But she contends that (good) fats don't make you fat, sugar does. Sometimes the advice on "health" is dizzying! Anyway, I picked a cream cheese that was just delicious cream cheese - no junk. If you can find a low fat version without weird additives, then go for that, for sure! Eating dairy is something I do in moderation, anyway.

  2. This looks amazing! I really want to try this. I have been off refined sugar for about two months now but I will admit my sweet tooth does miss it! I do feel better though. Thanks for this recipe!

    1. So happy to hear you've made it to the 2 month mark for quitting refined sugar. Congratulations! I've read that's how long it takes to quit, but for me it has been an ongoing process. I am at the point now where fruit tastes incredibly sweet and something like a doughnut sends me to the moon it's just too sweet, but, like you, I still do have a hankering for baked goods now and then. I think it just takes longer for some of us to adapt. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

  3. I normally stop reading at 'sugar-free' (my diabetic genes may be the reason!) but your pictures make everything look delicious!

    Also, hurray on getting your own domain name!

    1. So happy to hear my food photography is improving! I stopped sharing recipes years ago because my photos made my best tasting recipes look terrible, lol. I'm working on that. This was definitely tasty and I'm thrilled to hear it looks it!

      Yes! I did get my own domain, finally! I should write a quick post so everyone realizes because right now it automatically redirects. I have a new email at my own domain now too.


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