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One-Bowl Carrot Cake (No Refined Sugar)

My mom’s carrot cake is the most requested birthday cake in our family, any time of year. It only made sense that I make this for my own birthday that just passed. I followed her recipe but made a few tweaks to ensure the cake and frosting were free of refined sugar.

The cake is super moist and so delicious you don’t even need the frosting. The frosting is not a traditional cream cheese frosting made with powdered sugar, instead it is sweetened with cinnamon powder, honey, and a little coconut sugar.

I made this cake in two 9-inch round pans and frosted the cake once it had cooled. I stored the remaining slices in an air tight container in the freezer.

If you’re looking for a traditional carrot cake without refined sugar, give this recipe a try. You will not be disappointed.

BAKING TIP: I use a convection oven so baking this cake at 160C for 20-25 minutes is suitable. I’ve made similar cakes in a regular oven and always baked them at 350F. I would recommend checking your bread around the 25 minute mark but note that baking this bread in a regular oven at 350F will likely take 30 minutes.

One-Bowl Carrot Cake (No Refined Sugar)

yield: 1 cake (2 layers)

prep time: 35 minutes        cook time: 20-25 minutes         total time: 55-60 minutes


  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 2 cups whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  • 16 ounces plain cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  1. Finely chop carrots using a grater or food processor.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F (or convection oven to 160C).
  3. Grease 2 9-inch round baking pans with coconut oil.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and coconut sugar. Add in unsweetened applesauce, oil, carrots, and cinnamon powder. Mix well with a spatula.
  5. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to batter and mix well with spatula.
  6. Pour the cake batter evenly into 2 round baking pans.
  7. Bake in convection oven for 20-25 minutes (regular oven may need 30 minutes). Remove from oven and transfer baking pans to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. While the cakes are cooling, add all frosting ingredients to food processor or bowl mixer. Pulse until ingredients are well combined and frosting is smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and let it cool in the refrigerator until the cake is ready to be frosted.
  9. Frost cakes as you desire and serve!
  10. Store in airtight container and freeze for up to a month.

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