The Pros of Carrot Cake

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The weather has started to turn lately and it is now very obviously Autumn here.  We have even reverted back to non-daylight-savings time.  It gets darker earlier and the nights are cooler (mostly).  Today it started to rain.  A grey, dismal afternoon, with the promise of a week of more rain to come.

Good weather for baking, my mother used to say.  Well, she used to say it was good weather for making crostoli, but the sentiment is the same 🙂

I never look forward to the prospect of the cooler months but this year I find myself not minding it at all.  Perfect weather for making chocolates and protein bars.  Making chocolates has been keeping me fairly busy.  Too busy to bake or make any of my usual protein treats for myself.   So it feels fantastic to be baking again!   I so desperately wanted cake.

Carrot cake is perfect to adapt to a protein cake recipe.  Again, I find myself torn between a desire to fit a particular macro profile and keeping to my principles of retaining the integrity of the original in adapting the concept to something that might more easily fit into a healthy diet.   Integrity has a lot going for it 😉

What is carrot cake without some yummy fats?  Well, it wouldn’t be carrot cake.

So I have taken a different route.  I’ve boosted the protein (yay!) and I am giving you two options, both of which are low FODMAP (and therefore also gluten-free).

Version 1 is moist, but with a slightly more tender crumb, and much lower in carbs as it is sweetened with Natvia (a stevia blend granulated sweetener).  It lacks the caramel flavour of Version 2 but you can always substitute coconut or brown sugar for the sweetener in the recipe.

Version 2 is also moist, and sweetened with coconut sugar to give that lovely caramelised flavour that pairs so well with carrot cake and spices.  You can always substitute your favourite granulated sweetener for the coconut sugar, if you prefer a lower carb option (as in Version 1).

Both recipes are low FODMAP.  I have used 100% whey protein isolate for two reasons.  Many people only ever buy whey so it’s about time I baked a cake with it and carrot cake is perfect as the carrot provides the extra moisture in the batter to counteract the usual drying effects of the whey.  It is also over 99% lactose free and is therefore suitable for most people with a lactose intolerance.

For both versions, there are optional extras that are obviously fantastic for carrot cake – walnuts and sultanas (or raisins).  I added some walnuts to my rendition of Version 2.  I did not add any dried fruits to either as I cannot eat dried fruits, nor do I crave them.  But if you love them and they fit your macros, go for it.

There is also a recipe for a lighter cheese frosting with maple syrup.  The cakes are lovely on their own, or served with your favourite Greek yoghurt, ice cream (non-dairy if you are lactose intolerant) or other favourite topping.  If you love coconut with carrot cake, you could whip some coconut cream in place of the quark in the recipe below for a dairy free alternative.

I have provided macros for both cakes and the frosting, separately.  I have not included macros for optional walnuts or sultanas.  If you choose to add them, simply add the macros to the recipe total.

The photos are a little flat as it was quite grey and gloomy today but hey, you can still see the yumminess, yes?


These recipes are included in the Protein Baking Evolved cookbook.  Get your copy here!

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Carrot Cake Version 1 with coconut sugar and added walnuts
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This sugar free version (Version 2) is a much lighter cake. This is mostly due to the fact that there is no caramelisation of the sugar, as in Version 1.
The texture is also a little more sponge-like and soft.
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Carrot Cake Version 2 with Norbu sweetener

Macronutrient Profile

The following provide the macronutrient profiles for both cakes (without optional ingredients) using either coconut sugar or Norbu granulated sweetener.

I have also included the macro breakdown for the Quark Maple Frosting.

If you change the ingredients, I urge you to work out the macros as they may change significantly.

Carrot Protein Cake V1_natvia_macros
Version 1: Low Carb (with sweetener)
Carrot Protein Cake V2_sugar_macros
Version 2: High Carb (sweetened with coconut sugar)
Quark Maple Frosting_macros
Quark Maple Frosting!