Enjoy carrot cake cupcakes, a classic, without the guilt! You can feel good knowing this…
These carrot cake cupcakes will delight and satisfy you without the incessant need to overeat.
You can enjoy moist, perfectly spiced cupcakes with decadent cream cheese frosting topped with crunchy, salty-sweet walnuts with hints of orange.
Go ahead and indulge, knowing you’re getting protein, fiber, less carbs and healthy fats with each and every bite.
how to stop overeating dessert
As weak as I can get around desserts, I’m a realist and know that desserts are a fun part of life that I don’t want to omit entirely.
My approach to desserts is the same as it is with eating in general—be mindful and incorporate nutrient-dense ingredients that don’t compromise the flavor or experience too much.
Often time traditional or processed desserts have high carbs and sugar, without fiber, protein or healthy fats. When you start eating those, it’s extremely hard to stop.
Those desserts are designed to have you over eat them and because the sugar spike impacts our hormones, we don’t get the message that we’re full and satisfied until long after we’ve eaten too much.
Foods, like these carrot cake cupcakes, that have fiber, protein and include healthy fats like nuts will satisfy hunger and can help control calorie consumption.
Many unhealthful foods are not satiating. Highly processed foods or those high in sugar often have lower satiety scores. Avoiding these foods in favor of those with high satiety scores will have health benefits and offset hunger better.
If you’re struggling to stop overeating desserts, consider taking a detox period to shift your habits and if you feel you’re ready to incorporate desserts, stick with desserts that are satisfying and delicious!
On to the carrot cake cupcakes!
key ingredients for carrot cake cupcakes
This recipe calls for butter but I’ve used both ghee or coconut oil (or even a blend) successfully.
I used Swerve brown (erythritol) for these cupcakes (low-carb alternative to brown sugar). Lakanto golden is another low-carb option. You could swap with coconut sugar for Paleo compliance or you could use brown sugar.
- Flour blend
This cake uses a blend of almond flour, coconut flour and tapioca flour. The coconut and tapioca flours help to lighten the cake because almond flour, by itself, could create a more dense cake.
how to make healthy carrot cake cupcakes
how to make the cupcakes
Cream the butter and sweetener with a mixer for 3 to 4 minutes until it is light and airy. This will help lighten the cake.
Next, add eggs, apple cider vinegar, vanilla and milk of choice. The batter may look “broken”, like it’s separated slightly but will come together once the dry ingredients are added.
Add the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix on low until combined. Finally, added the carrots and raisins (raisins are optional but so yummy!!).
how to make the cream cheese frosting
Place all ingredients in a mixer and blend until smooth.
If you want a dairy free option, try using a dairy-free cream cheese like Daiya, Miyokos or Kite hill. I’ve recently converted to using dairy-free in my cream cheese frosting and love it. I find people can’t taste the difference, especially if it’s made with other ingredients. I also used ghee instead of butter which worked well.
To make this cream cheese frosting paleo-friendly, use maple syrup instead of powdered erythritol (or sugar). Since that is liquid, it takes a little longer to get firm. It’s also a good idea to use coconut oil instead of butter or ghee to help firm up.
how to make the orange glazed walnuts
These orange glazed walnuts are optional but add a nice texture and hints of orange to the cupcakes. If you don’t have walnuts, pecans or almonds would work.
Start by adding olive oil to a skillet on low-medium heat. Add the walnuts and salt and cook for about 5 minutes (watch carefully and stir often so the walnuts don’t burn).
Once they’re toasted, add Swerve brown (or maple syrup), juice from an orange and orange zest. Simmer until the liquid thickens (a couple of minutes). Taste and add more salt if necessary.
Remove from the pan and spread the walnuts on parchment to cool. Chop them into small pieces before adding them to the cupcakes.
are carrot cake cupcakes keto-friendly?
In order to make this recipe keto-friendly, you need to make the following changes:
Sweetener: Make sure you use a low carb sweetener (as suggested in the recipe). Swerve Brown or Lakanto Golden are my go-tos!
Raisins: Omit these entirely. If you want to add more texture, you could substitute with chopped walnuts.
can I make cake instead of cupcakes?
Yes, the amount of batter will also fit an 9×13 baking dish or 2 8-inch rounds. You may need to 1.5 times the frosting for the rounds.
Cooking times will vary. For the 9×13, start checking the cake at 36 minutes. For the 8-inch rounds, check after 19 minutes.
The cake will be done when you can pull a toothpick out cleanly or push down (gently) in the center and batter bounces back up (if it stays indented, it’s not done).
can I store carrot cake cupcakes?
Carrot cake cupcakes can be store in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also freeze them in a tightly sealed container (except if you use dairy-free cream cheese – I haven’t had luck freezing that).
other gluten-free desserts you’ll love
- scrumptious low carb chocolate cake
- healthier fruit pizza
- dairy-free cheesecake with chocolate ganache
- keto lemon bars
- homemade twix bars (keto, GF)
- the most amazing caramel cups (keto)
Please a crowd with these moist, perfectly spiced cupcakes with decadent cream cheese frosting topped with crunchy, salty-sweet walnuts with hints of orange.
- 1/3 cup of butter (ghee or coconut oil)
- 1/2 cup brown erythritol (I used Swerve brown – see notes for subs)
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used cashew)
- 1 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/3 cup tapioca flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
- 3/4 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
- 1/4 butter or ghee, room temp
- 8 ounces cream cheese (sub below), room temp
- 1/4–1/2 cup powdered erythritol (sub below)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch of salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1 tablespoon Swerve brown (or maple syrup)
- juice from 1 orange
- zest from 1 orange (approx 1/2 TB)
- 1/4–1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
To make the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in a muffin pan.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine dry ingredients. Whisk to make sure there are no lumps. Put aside. (1 1/4 cup almond flour, 1/4 cup coconut flour, 1/3 cup tapioca flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt)
- Cream butter and sweetener with a mixer for 3 to 4 minutes until it’s light & airy. (1/3 cup of butter (ghee or coconut oil), 1/2 cup brown erythritol (I used Swerve brown – see notes for subs))
- Add the remaining wet ingredients. Batter may appear “broken” or separated but it will combine well once the dry ingredients are added. (4 eggs, 1 TB apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used cashew))
- Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and slowly combine on low speed.
- Fold in carrots and raisins (optional). (3/4 cup carrots, 1/2 cup raisins)
- Spoon batter into cupcake liners (filling about 3/4). I like to use an ice cream scoop for this step.
- Place the cupcake pan in the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes until the middle of the cupcakes are firm (and a toothpick comes out clean).
- Set aside to cool before frosting.
To make the frosting:
- Add the butter, cream cheese, sweetener, vanilla and salt to a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. (1/4 butter or ghee, 8 ounces cream cheese, 1/4-1/2 cup powdered erythritol*, 1 teaspoon vanilla)
- pinch of salt to taste
To make the orange-glazed walnuts:
- Place olive oil in a small skillet on medium heat. Add walnuts and salt. (1 tbs. oil, 1 cup walnuts, 1/4-1/2 salt)
- Toast the nuts in the skillet for about 5 minutes – watch closely and stir often to make sure they don’t burn.
- After they’re toasted, add the sweetener, orange juice and orange zest. (1 tablespoon Swerve brown (or maple syrup), juice from 1 orange, zest from 1 orange (approx 1/2 TB))
- Simmer until liquid has thickened. Add more salt if necessary.
- Take off the stove and place the nuts on parchment paper to cool.
- Prior to topping the cupcakes, cut into tiny pieces.
- *You can sub Lakanto golden or any other low-carb brown erythritol. For a paleo-friendly version, use coconut sugar. Or, you can use brown sugar.
- For a dairy free version of the frosting, use ghee instead of butter and a vegan cream cheese (I’ve put suggestions in the post).
- To make this paleo, you can sub the powdered erythritol with maple syrup and use coconut oil instead of butter. This version has more liquid so keep in the fridge longer before you frost so it has time to firm up.
- Nutrition facts are based on cupcake, frosting and glazed nuts, using a low-carb sweetener (Swerve) and including raisins.
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