Healthy Carrot Cake Recipe

Healthy Carrot Cake Recipe

If you’re looking for a healthy carrot cake recipe that has more protein and fewer calories than regular carrot cake, 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 most 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 (a sweetener that’s often found in sugar-free chewing gum). 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 (!!).


Healthy Carrot Cake

Healthy Carrot Cake


Healthy Carrot Cake


  • 250g spelt or wholemeal flour
  • 250g quark
  • 125g Sukrin or Xylitol
  • 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*


  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (160C fan) or gas mark 4
  2. Whisk together the sukrin/xylitol and oil (and apple puree if using), before adding the eggs and quark
  3. Then stir in the spelt flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, salt, vanilla and cinnamon
  4. Mix well before adding the raisins, carrots and desiccated coconut (this requires a bit of effort to stir in!)
  5. Divide between 18 silicone muffin cases** or 1 lined or silicone cake tray
  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
  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
  8. Sprinkle the muffins with desiccated coconut or cinnamon and serve!


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

**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.

These muffins can be frozen! I personally though would freeze them before adding the quark topping!

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving

Calories 150

% Daily Value

Total Fat 4 g


Total Carbohydrates 25 g


Protein 7 g


* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


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

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  1. August 11, 2013 / 11:28 pm

    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 🙂

    • Nics Nutrition
      August 12, 2013 / 11:17 am

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

  2. Elizabeth McAdie
    August 14, 2013 / 5:38 pm

    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

    • Nics Nutrition
      August 14, 2013 / 6:07 pm

      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. Cara Howarth
    August 15, 2013 / 8:18 pm

    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

    • Nics Nutrition
      August 15, 2013 / 8:48 pm

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

  4. Frances Gibbs
    August 23, 2013 / 12:25 pm

    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!

    • August 23, 2013 / 5:47 pm

      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. Sarah
    September 8, 2013 / 9:13 am

    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

    • September 8, 2013 / 1:40 pm

      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. Erica
    October 22, 2013 / 8:51 pm

    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.

    • October 22, 2013 / 9:08 pm

      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. Nikita
    January 22, 2014 / 10:17 am

    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 ?

    • January 23, 2014 / 7:14 am

      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. February 17, 2014 / 10:40 pm

    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 🙂

    • February 18, 2014 / 7:23 pm

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

  9. Janet
    August 13, 2014 / 10:28 pm

    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.

    • August 14, 2014 / 8:31 pm

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

      • Janet
        August 14, 2014 / 9:32 pm

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

  10. lene
    September 7, 2014 / 5:42 pm

    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. Em
    December 10, 2014 / 7:59 am

    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. Charlotte
    May 19, 2015 / 9:14 pm

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

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