Monday, May 6, 2013

Protein Carrot Cake

Lately I've been on an experimental roll with protein treats. I'm not sure how I came up with such an urge to make protein carrot cake since it's one of the last things I'd choose if presented with a selection of desserts but the thought wouldn't go away... and so the following cake was born. And the even better news is that I nailed it in the first shot. This cake is moist, the sweetness level is to my liking, the spices are just right and it feels like a cake - not one of those hockey puck "protein cakes". Oh and these are low carb, grain free, refined sugar free, and can be dairy free (with vegan protein powder).

I should mention that these aren't "protein" cakes just from the added protein powder, they get a hearty dose of protein from the whole eggs, egg whites, almond flour, AND the powder. 
I've been a fan of whey protein powder for the past few years (since returning to an omnivorous diet). I'm not so much a fan of vegan brown rice based protein powders because I don't like the texture and my body doesn't respond well to it. That being said, if you're a person who does well on vegan protein powders you can give it a try in this recipe and any of the other ones I post (I've got a bunch coming up).

I have a few frosting options or you can omit it all together and just enjoy the cake as more of a muffin.

Protein Carrot Cakes
Low carb - Grain Free - Refined Sugar Free

This tasty cake is so healthy you can enjoy it for breakfast, a mid afernoon snack or dessert. You can turn the recipe into muffins, one layer of cake, or bake in ramekins for individual cakes. Frost it or not!

1/2 cup almond flour
4 tablespoons coconut flour
4 tablespoons protein powder
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon himalayan salt
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

Preheat oven to 325F. Stir together the dry ingredients (except pecans).
In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs/whites. Add them to the dry ingredients along with the coconut oil, carrots and pecans. Stir together until evenly mixed. Pour the batter into muffin cups (7-8), greased ramekins, or an 8x8" greased pan. I used silicone muffin cups with straight sides. Bake for 23-27 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Coconut Protein Frosting #1

This frosting is super delicious and silky smooth. It's thinner than the other frostings and also makes a great dip for fruit.

1/3 cup full fat coconut milk
4 tablespoons vanilla protein powder
1 tablespoon coconut nectar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon melted coconut butter

Blend the milk, powder, nectar and vanilla in a blender to combine.
Add the melted oil and butter. Blend again for a minute until thick and creamy.
Chill in the fridge.

Coconut Protein Frosting #2

This frosting is thick and will harden in the fridge - I like frost with this right before eating.

4 tablespoons melted coconut butter
2 tablespoons vanilla protein powder
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons warm water
6 drops vanilla medicine flower essence, or vanilla extract to taste

Stir all ingredients together in a bowl. Use immediately.

Coconut Cashew Frosting 

I've made this frosting many times.

1 cup full fat coconut milk
3/4 cup cashews
2 1/2 - 3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Blend all but the coconut oil until smooth and a high speed blender (important for the cashews to be completely broken down for proper thickening).
Add the oil and blend to incorporate.
Pour into a large shallow pan and chill in the fridge for 16 - 24 hours to thicken properly (if you want to speed up the firming, freeze for 1 hour and then put back into the fridge for at least 8 hours).

Coconut Whipped Cream

1 cup packed young coconut pulp
1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup cashews
3 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon lecithin, optional
1-2 drops stevia, if needed

Blend the coconut pulp, coconut water, cashews, maple, lemon, vanilla and salt until completely smooth and creamy.
Add the oil and lecithin (if using), and blend again to incorporate.
Taste and add a few drops of stevia if you like it a bit sweeter.
Spread into a large bowl and chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours until it firms up.

Be sure to check out my raw coconut fudge on Sweetly Raw if you haven't already!

Part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays


  1. It must be Carrot Cake, me, Gena, and Kathy (healthyhappylife) all posted carrot cake recipes today! :P Yours looks yum!

  2. No way! Im off to check out yours (and theirs)! Great minds think alike ;)

  3. Looks delicious!!!!

  4. Can you make this without eggs? Thanks!

    1. Not sure but you can try with flax eggs (1 tbs ground flax to 3 tbs water = 1 egg).

  5. Hello!

    My name is Kammie and I blog over at Sensual Appeal ( I wanted to drop you a quick note and say that I featured this recipe on my round up for the Best Mother's Day recipes from around the Web!

    Hope the roundup I created will get some traffic to your blog! I really enjoyed your photos and the recipe!

    Hope you have a wonderful rest of your day!

  6. Babe, of course you nailed it first go! Looks amazing. I'm currently staying somewhere with no access to these magical ingredients, but once I'm back in Canada... ;)

    1. Thanks my dearest :) Are you a carrot cake fan? Hope travels are going great! xo

  7. Sounds amazing hun! Carrot cake is something I love but rarely indulge in since there are so many other things I like just slightly more. I should probably show it some love soon!

    1. I'm the same way, but once I dug in I was like "why have I waited so long to make healthy carrot cake?!" LOL.

  8. Everything...fabulous! Love your frosting variations. Carrot cake is a favorite of mine. I bet that cashew based frosting tastes a lot of like a cream cheese frosting. I really can't wait to try these. I am always looking for frosting ideas. :-)


    1. Thanks Amber! I think the coconut milk/cashew frosting is my favorite out of the bunch!

  9. I'm been on the hunt for a perfect grain free carrot cake recipe and this one looks like a winner! Can't wait to try it!


    1. Thanks, I hope you like it :) It's very moist which I like!

  10. This looks delicious! Could you omit the protein powder in this? Would you have to up the flour to do so?

    1. Sorry I missed your message until now! Im not sure about omitting the protein powder, you'd have to experiment - or maybe you already did?! :)

  11. Hi have you ever tried a yellow pea based vegan protein vs. the brown rice? I find the texture to be great, I wonder if it might be easier on the digestion as well?

    1. No I haven't but maybe I should try it! Thanks :)

  12. I'm always looking for gray carrot cake recipe. Yours looks amazing. I will definitely have to make it.

    By the way, what is coconut nectar?
    Thanks for sharing. :)

    1. Coconut nectar is a liquid sweetener from the coconut palm. You can also use agave or maple syrup :)

  13. Love carrot cake,looks yummy, can you tell me how many carbs does this has ?

  14. I'm on a low carb diet how many carbs,l would like to make this.

  15. Thanks for sharing this too wonderful article. Everyone can learn to make this cake by this article. Again Thankyou sooo much!!!!
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