Protein Carrot Cake with Sugar Free Cream Cheese Frosting

This high protein carrot cake recipe combines flour, spices, and protein powder with freshly grated carrots, eggs, and apple sauce to create a low fat cake that’s still unbelievably moist. Especially since the carrot cake is covered in a sugar free cream cheese frosting and chopped walnuts! 

Even if you don’t carrot all about calories or macros, you can rest easy knowing every slice of this layered carrot cake has 25 grams of protein. And it’s highly customizable so you can tweak things to make it fit your personal calorie needs. 

That’s enough talk, though. Let’s get to the root of it. 

This high protein carrot cake recipe combines flour, spices, and protein powder with freshly grated carrots, eggs, and apple sauce to create a low fat cake that's still unbelievably moist. Especially since the carrot cake is covered in a sugar free cream cheese frosting and chopped walnuts! 

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How to Make This Protein Carrot Cake

Don’t be intimidated by the longer-than-usual ingredient list. Maybe it’s because I made like six of these during recipe testing, but I think it’s a pretty darn simple recipe. 

Other than grating some carrots and actually frosting the cake, it’s as easy as mixing a bunch of stuff in a bowl together. I’ll touch on ingredient modifications below but first, I’ll just give a few tips on the actual prep. 

Grating the Carrots

During recipe testing, I found finely grated (the second smallest setting on a 4-side box grater) worked best. The larger settings worked okay but grating finely unlocked a bit more moisture. I wouldn’t recommend using pre-grated carrots for this reason. 

dry ingredients for carrot cake beside the grated carrots, eggs, and apple sauce

Layering the Carrot Cake

This carrot protein cake started out as a large single layer cake, but I found dividing the batter led to quicker and more even cooking. If you don’t have two cake pans, you can bake it all in one. Just be aware you’ll need to extend the bake time. 

Additionally, using two cake pans that are different sizes or shape could create more/less surface area and affect bake time. 

protein carrot cake batter in cake pans before baking beside two baked carrot cakes on a cooling rack

As always, be careful to not over bake. Baked goods with protein powder can be unforgiving when too much heat enters the equation. 

How to Make the Sugar Free Cream Cheese Frosting

Okay, technically this is cheating since the recipe calls for powdered erythritol, a sugar substitute. My go-to for this is a product called Swerve Confectioners. It substitutes 1:1 for sugar, and I’ve used it in everything from banana bread cake frosting and pumpkin protein muffin drizzles to dusting gingerbread protein balls and protein donut holes

Note: You can find Swerve and all my other recommended products on my Amazon storefront

cream cheese and powdered erythritol before and after mixing for frosting

If you don’t have this ingredient on hand, you could always use real powdered sugar. Though that will increase the carbs quite a bit. 

Another option might be mixing a bit of protein powder, corn or arrowroot starch, and a granulated sugar substitute and adding that to the cream cheese. Sugar free pudding mix may work at thickening the cream cheese frosting as well. 

More Ingredient Modification Notes

I’ll quickly run through commonly asked about ingredients. 

Protein Powder

The recipe calls for PEScience Select which is a blend of whey and casein protein. If you’re using a whey-only protein powder, you may need to add an extra half or full scoop to account for consistency differences. If your carrot cake batter seems very runny, add some more protein powder. 

Note: You can use the discount code mason for 15% off on PEScience products. This also helps support future recipes! 

Granulated Sugar Substitute

I used granulated erythritol (Swerve) but as long as you use a sugar substitute that substitutes 1:1 for sugar, you should be fine. A cake is a bit more forgiving of volume differences than a recipe like my Greek yogurt biscuits.  

Unsweetened Apple Sauce

I use apple sauce in my baked goods as a fat (oil, in this case) replacement. It’s a vital ingredient that you won’t want to skip. If you’re worried about apple flavor, I can assure you that you’ll never know it’s there. 

That said, I originally tested this carrot cake with crushed pineapple but found it was a bit too dense. I’m sure you could use half pineapple and half apple sauce or even another one of my favorite fat replacements—canned pumpkin. 

The spices in this protein carrot cake will overwhelm any milder flavors like these. So experiment as needed but pay attention to batter consistency and know that straying too far may result in a stodgy carrot cake. 

Final Protein Carrot Cake Recipe Notes

As you can see, I opted to put walnuts on the outside of the cake instead of inside the batter. While I didn’t test any walnuts or other add-ins like raisins inside my batter, I feel pretty confident they’d turn out fine in small amounts.

If you’d like to mix things up with your decoration, you could grind the walnuts and go for a dusted look or even ditch the walnuts altogether for crushed cookies or something sweeter like in my Oreo Protein Cake.

Similar to my apple sauce notes, however, going too far may make the batter too dense. That may not be a bad thing, but your carrot cake may be a little more blondie-like.

And I think that covers it. If you have a question about this protein carrot cake recipe I missed, leave a comment below or join my Facebook group with 13,000 other healthy home cooks that would love to help you out! 

carrot protein cake with cream cheese frosting on a white plate with a slice cut out

Protein Carrot Cake

Yield: 8 slices
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

A low fat spice cake with freshly grated carrots covered in a sugar free cream cheese frosting and chopped walnuts.


Carrot Cake Dry Ingredients

  • 2 C (240g) All Purpose Flour
  • 3 scoops (93g) Vanilla Protein Powder, I used PEScience Select*
  • 1/4 C (48g) Granulated Sugar Substitute, I used erythritol
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

Carrot Cake Wet Ingredients

  • 3 large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 C (360g) Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  • 2-3 (150g) Carrots, finely grated
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 oz Fat Free Cream Cheese, or 1/3 fat
  • 1 C (144g) Powdered Erythritol, I used Swerve
  • 1 C (120g) Chopped Walnuts, optional


  1. Preheat an oven to 350F and spray two 8" cake pans with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the eggs together before adding the apple sauce, grated carrots, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl before gradually stirring in the egg mixture. Be sure you don't have any dry patches of flour but don't over mix the batter.
  4. Transfer the batter to the two cake pans. Each pan should have roughly 530 grams in each unless you modified the recipe. Shake each cake pan to evenly distribute the batter and gently smack a flat surface with the bottom of the cake pan to remove any air bubbles.
  5. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until the cakes are cooked through in the center. (If you bake the cake in one large pan, you may need to bake for 30-40 minutes.)
  6. Remove the carrot cakes from the oven and after they've cooled for a few minutes, transfer them to a cooling rack. Set the cream cheese out to warm to room temp.
  7. Once the cakes have fully cooled, mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar substitute together. Frost the first cake before placing the second cake on top and frosting the top and sides. Gently pat the sides of the cake with walnuts in your hands to coat the sides.


  • Each slice of carrot cake with frosting and walnuts has 8 Smart Points. 
  • Macros with frosting but no walnuts (per slice): 270 calories, 23g protein, 36g carbs, 3g fat, and 5 Smart Points. 
  • Nutrition info does not include any carbs from the zero-calorie erythritol sweeteners used. 
  • For ingredient modification notes, see the post above. 

*You can save 15% off PEScience products with the discount code 'mason' on (affiliate code). 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Slices Serving Size: 1 Slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 370Total Fat: 13gCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 25g

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18 thoughts on “Protein Carrot Cake with Sugar Free Cream Cheese Frosting”

  • This came out really well. I plan to use it as a base recipe to make other types of cake. I am probably going to up the Swerve a bit in the cake as it’s really not sweet. The frosting is fantastic, I added a bit of lemon juice , which worked well. I’m happy to have discovered your blog, it’s the type of food I like to eat, but made healthier.

      • By far one of my favorite recipes. Carrot cake is my favorite dessert and for years I struggle with the fact the in general carrot cakes are all about carbs and fat and barely any protein so when I finally found this recipe was a game changer for me and my macros. Love it!!!

  • I sent my mom this recipe to make for my birthday cake. It has a really great flavor and I loved using the Swerve and PE Science protein. However it was really dense and more like a birthday flatbread than cake consistency. We are gonna try it again because I’m sure it was a user error. Also surprised the Swerve didn’t cause any stomach upset like I anticipated. Love your recipes!

  • Protein Carrot Cake w sugar free cream cheese frosting. DELICIOUS
    Substitutions: Used 1/2 white flour, 1/2 almond flour; 3/4 cup applesauce and 3/4cup pumpkin; swapped the cloves for pumpkin pie spice and no nuts.

  • Best carrot cake ever, healthy version or not! I use greek yogurt in lieu of the fat free and add walnuts when I eat it depending on how much fats I have left for the day. I’ve brought this to a friend’s for dessert and they were shocked that I brought an ‘unhealthy dessert’ HAHA they couldn’t tell it was a healthier version 🙂

  • Made this bad boy for my birthday and was 10000% satisfied! Only thing I left out were the cloves cause those babies are expensive and I was feelin thrifty. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly and was super impressed. It makes a ton of frosting so don’t be afraid to really load up on it between the layers!

  • Excellent alternative with real taste! I made it for my husband and carrot cake is his favorite–he loved it as well!

  • The only thing I change was that I used cakepop flavor PEScience beause it is what I have. Baked it this morning, let the finished cakes sit outside so I could get the frosting on and have a little taste because I couldn’t wait until dinner time. This cake is legit! I highly recommend silicone cake molds as they take all the worry out of getting the cakes out of the pan in one piece and no oils or sprays needed!

  • Honestly is there anything Mason can’t do?? This recipe is so good, no one will even know it’s a healthier version. Only sub I would make is to soften up your carrots a bit! Also I’ve never made a cake so fast. Thank you Mason!

  • I made this in an individual mini loaf pan, and cut the recipe in half. I made my own frosting with Fat free cream cheese mixed with trader joes Cinnamon Bun spread (sorry if you’re out or missed it I think its seasonal). Delish, curbed that carrot cake hankering for sure. I froze these and let them thaw in the fridge then reheated in the air fryer for 2-3 mins. perfect crispy outside, nice fluffy inside!

  • I made this for Easter and it was a HUGE hit! I didn’t have any swerve powdered sugar so I just took swerve sugar and put it in the food processor… and tada! powdered sugar! I also used Bowmar PFC because I needed to use it up and it still turned out delicious! Highly recommend!

  • This recipe is a keeper! I have made this many times in cake form, but my favorite has been creating muffins! For this I followed the exact recipient to make a dozen, but cut the icing in half to drizzle over top, and baked for about 20 minutes. Definitely recommend!

  • Love this recipe. I subbed half of the applesauce for canned pumpkin and added pumpkin spice also. Sooooo moist and family loved it.

  • 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
    Tried this recipe as a why not, and I’ve made it 3 times since. You get 2 huge cakes that are flavorful because of the spices, healthier because of the ingredients and your friends and family wouldn’t even tell it was “healthy” because of how good the frosting is

  • Good flavor
    Easy to decorate
    Good flavor
    I would probably put a little more sweetener in the cream cheese frosting
    I used vanilla isopure protein powder, definitely tell there is protein powder in it. PE probably has a little less protein flavor.

  • This carrot cake was delicious! For more of a signature carrot cake flavor I’d use a bit more cinnamon though. Around 1-2 tsp more?.. Mason is 100% right about using whey protein vs a Casein blend! Whey makes it more dense, which might’ve been a part of the problem with my cake and the ‘signature’ carrot cake flavor. Overall I would make this cake again!

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