Healthy Carrot Cake Recipe

  • Servings : 18
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 30m
  • Ready In : 40m

If you’re looking for a sugar-free, butter-free and guilt-free, healthy carrot cake recipe that has less fat, more protein and fewer calories than normal, then you’ve come to the right place! I love carrot cake and honestly think that this is my favourite healthy dessert/snack on my blog so far!


One of the main ingredients that I use is Quark, which is a virtually fat-free cream cheese and makes this recipe lower in fat and higher in protein than regular carrot cake! You can find quark next to the cream cheese down the chiller aisle of supermarkets.


You can use sugar in this recipe if you want (and it works out at only 6g of sugar per slice or per bun) or you can swap it for Sukrin Gold (a calorie free sugar replacement) or Xylitol. Both of these sugar replacements actively promote healthy teeth and can be used in cooking exactly as sugar (weight for weight and volume for volume) and I regularly use them both in muffin and cake recipes (such as my healthy pumpkin muffins!).


I’ve also given you two options for how much oil to use – you can either use 125ml of oil or swap it for 100g of 100% apple puree (I use the fruit puree from the baby aisle and actually used apple and pear this time!) and just 1 tbsp (15ml) of oil. This dramatically reduces the calorie and fat content of the muffins.


The addition of the cinnamon was done after taste testing – my friends clearly love the stuff and so do I – cinnamon can help to balance blood sugar levels so it’s a win win on taste and health! You can omit this though if you don’t like it!


P.S. To put the calories of this recipe into perspective, a small piece of carrot cake from a coffee shop (mentioning no names..) could set you back a whopping 580Kcal.. you could eat almost FOUR of my muffins for that (!!).



  • 250g spelt* (or Wholemeal) flour
  • 250g quark
  • 125g Sukrin**, xylitol or muscovado sugar
  • 100g apple puree & 15ml veg oil (or just 125ml oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g-150g raisins/sultanas - optional
  • 3 medium grated carrots (~300g)
  • 50g desiccated coconut (unsweetened) - and extra for sprinkling!
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla & 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • Topping: 250g quark & 3 sachets (33g) low calorie white hot chocolate powder or sukrin icing sugar***

*You can buy spelt flour from most supermarkets or health food shops.

**The Sukrin range is available from OcadoWaitroseHolland & Barrett. 

***To make a more indulgent topping simply mix 300g icing sugar with 100g unsalted butter, 50g of quark and 1 tbsp of honey.


Healthy Carrot Cake

Healthy Carrot Cake

Healthy Carrot Cake



Step 1

Preheat your oven to 180C (160C fan) or gas mark 4

Step 2

Whisk together the sukrin/xylitol/sugar and oil (and apple puree if using), before adding the eggs and quark

Step 3

Then stir in the spelt flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, salt, vanilla and cinnamon

Step 4

Mix well before adding the raisins, carrots and desiccated coconut (this requires a bit of effort to stir in!)

Step 5

Divide between 18 muffin small cases* or 1 lined or silicone cake tray

Step 6

Bake in the oven on the middle shelf for 30-40 minutes until golden and a wooden skewer/tooth pick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake/muffins

Step 7

Whilst the muffins are baking/cooling prepare your topping - simple mix or whisk the ingredients/quark and hot chocolate or sukrin icing sugar together and spoon onto the muffins once cooled

Step 8

Sprinkle the muffins with desiccated coconut or cinnamon and serve!

*I use silicone muffin cases which means that the mixture never sticks – a must when using less fat/oil than usual, or when using oats.


And what’s the best thing about recipe developing?! .. The taste testing of course!! 🙂

Healthy Carrot Cake

Healthy Carrot Cake

Healthy Carrot Cake


P.S Yes these muffins can be frozen! I personally though would freeze them before adding the quark topping!


UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who sends me pictures of my recipes on Twitter & Facebook – here are a selection!!

photo 1

photo 2



healthy carrot cake

Carrot Cake

photo*Carrot cake topped with MyProtein Vanilla Whey and quark topping!

Healthy Carrot Cake


healthy carrot cake*With almonds & cinnamon on top too!

Healthy Carrot Cake

healthy carrot cake



*This blog post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer page for more information.

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Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.

  • Calories

  • Carbs

  • Protein

  • Fat


Recipe Comments

Comments (25)

  1. posted by Brett Johnson on August 11, 2013

    My wife loves carrot cake and since she recently started a Biggest Loser competition at work I think this would make a great surprise treat for her. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    • posted by Nics Nutrition on August 12, 2013

      Aw that sounds fab Brett! So glad to help 🙂 Happy baking! Nic x

  2. posted by Elizabeth McAdie on August 14, 2013

    I made these this afternoon & they’re awesome! However, next time (and there definitely be a next time!) I’ll either make it in a loaf tin, or buy some silicone cases because they have stuck to the muffin wrappers. Apart from that, they’re sooo good!! Xx

    • posted by Nics Nutrition on August 14, 2013

      Hello! So glad you like them 🙂 with low fat baking comes the tendency to stick – try spritzing your paper cases with 1 calorie spray oil before baking, or yes – check out Amazon for silicone cases! 🙂 x

  3. posted by Cara Howarth on August 15, 2013

    Absolutely love this carrot cake! Will never go back to any of the unhealthy versions now I can have this! Really enjoyed making it too, can’t wait to make another
    Thanks nic! Xx

    • posted by Nics Nutrition on August 15, 2013

      Hurray! No problem, thanks so much for your comment Cara! Enjoy 🙂 xx

  4. posted by Frances Gibbs on August 23, 2013

    Hello, was just wondering if there was anything I could use to replace the coconut? am not really a fan but notice it appears in quite a few recipes. Looking forward to trying these!

    • posted by Nics Nutrition on August 23, 2013

      Hello! You can’t really taste the coconut but I suppose you could swap it for some ground nuts or seeds?! Or more carrot?! Let me know how it goes! xx

  5. posted by Sarah on September 8, 2013

    Made this last night, it’s so nice. The cake stays lovely and moist, even using the apple puree rather than all oil. In a loaf time it took nearly an hour to bake

    • posted by Nics Nutrition on September 8, 2013

      Hi Sarah, oh thanks for the great info – I baked mine in a shallow pan which must speed up cooking time. So glad you liked it! Nic xx

  6. posted by Erica on October 22, 2013

    A friend of mine recommended your website. I have to cut as much sugar out of my diet as possible due to the enamel coming of my teeth but I really enjoy cakes! I read you used Xylitol I am slightly confused as to whether this can still cause damage to my teeth please could you advise me on this.

    • posted by Nics Nutrition on October 22, 2013

      Hello! No it’s kind to teeth.. you need to watch out for acid levels regarding enamel.. washing your mouth out/chewing gum after eating will help with this! Nic x

  7. posted by Nikita on January 22, 2014

    If I put he almonds in with half the salta as and used only veg oil how many calories would this make them? Also would it be ok with sweetener ?

    • posted by Nics Nutrition on January 23, 2014

      Hello! Myfitnesspal is a great free way of creating your own version of my recipes to work out calories 🙂 If you use sweetener use the baking blend e.g. trivia baking blend 🙂 x

  8. posted by Charlotte Marsh on February 17, 2014

    I LOVE this recipe!

    I’ve been making carrot & walnut muffins for years and have gradually reduced the sugar and fat content down, down, down but this recipe helped even further

    I used the same ingredients plus a few extra:
    I am a coeliac so have to stick to using gluten free flour, Doves Farm produce a great blend. I opted for S/R as that’s what I had in. GF recipes tend to need extra wet ingredients to work well and I like to add walnuts & zests for extra flavour, so…
    250g quark
    25g vege oil (might try coconut oil next time)
    100 apple purée (baby purée!)
    125 sugar (might sub some for agave nectar next time)
    3 lg eggs
    250 gf S/R flour
    1 tsp xanthum gum (available from supermkts, helps texture)
    1tsp baking soda
    1 tsp GF baking powder
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 pinch salt
    Zest from 1 untaxed lemon
    Zest from 1 orange
    3 med carrots finely grated in processor
    1 apple peeled and grated
    75g raisins
    75g walnuts (crushed in processor)

    MUST SPRAY cases, I didn’t, this was quite annoying!

    Amazingly, the whole family LOVED these, and tey remained moist enough to eat at least 5 days on

    They make a great breakfast-on-the-go or after school snack. My youngest toddler doesn’t eat many cakes at all & she couldn’t get enough of these!

    Thank you so much for posting 🙂

    • posted by Nics Nutrition on February 18, 2014

      Thank you SO much!!! I’ll be sure to share this fab GF version!! Thank you! Just bought some xanthum gum actually 🙂 x

  9. posted by Janet on August 13, 2014

    Hi Nic, I made these this evening and thought they were lovely. I really like the low fat topping. I do have a question- step 3 says to add cinnamon but this is not listed as an ingredient. How much should have been included?

    I decided I would add 1 tsp but wonder whether I should have added more as I could not detect the cinnamon taste in the cooked cakes.

    • posted by Nics Nutrition on August 14, 2014

      Thanks so much! Yes I think add 1 tsp – 1 tbsp depending on how much you like it 🙂 xx

      • posted by Janet on August 14, 2014

        Thanks Nic. I will try a bit more cinnamon next time as I do like it.

  10. posted by lene on September 7, 2014

    your ŕecipe is great, the muffins and the loaf are so fluffy and moist and yet so light! I prefer them without the frosting, though, it was to soft and they taste great without it. I left out the raisins and didn’t miss them a bit, I think next time I’ll also try to add more coconut.
    I just saw that Janet already asked about the cinnamon, maybe you could change the recipe itself and add that part? But anyways, it’s great!!

  11. posted by Em on December 10, 2014

    I can’t find quark here in Singapore..can you please suggest an alternative albeit it might not be as low fat?! I used to make this one back in the UK and my other half is missing it!
    thank you

  12. posted by Charlotte on May 19, 2015

    Hey Nic! Do you think I can use buckwheat flour instead? 🙂
    Thank youu! x


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