close up of carrot cake cupcake

gluten-free carrot cake with orange cream cheese frosting & glazed walnuts

  • Author: Karen
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins + cooling/frosting time
  • Total Time: 2-3 hours (w/ cooling & frosting)
  • Yield: 12 1x


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
  • 1/41/2 cup powdered erythritol (sub below)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt to taste

Glazed walnuts

  • 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)
  • 1/41/2 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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