Sugar-free carrot cake

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr - 1 hr, 10 mins


Cuts into 6-8 slices
This dairy-free and sugar-free carrot cake uses natural xylitol to sweeten it and is very simple to make

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal404
  • fat28.2g
  • saturates2.4g
  • carbs40g
  • sugars10.5g
  • fibre2.2g
  • protein4.8g
  • salt0.5g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 100g pecan
    Pecan nuts



    Related to the walnut, pecans are native to America, and grow enclosed in a glossy, browny-red…

  • 140g self-raising flour, sieved
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 140g xylitol (see tip below)


    Xylitol is an all-natural alternative to sugar. The substance derives from the fibres of plants…

  • 2 large egg (at room temperature)



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 140ml rapeseed oil
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

  • 175g grated carrot



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 100g sultana

To serve

  • drizzle of agave syrup (optional)
    Agave syrup

    Agave syrup

    Agave syrup (also known as agave nectar) is a naturally occurring sweetener similar in…


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/ Gas mark 4. Grease and line an 18cm round cake tin with baking parchment. Set aside 12 pecans and roughly chop the rest.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, xylitol and chopped pecans.

  3. In a separate bowl or jug, beat the eggs and rapeseed oil together. Pour into the flour mixture and stir until combined. Stir through the carrot and sultanas. Spoon into the lined tin, smooth the surface and press whole pecans to form a circle around the edge.

  4. Cook for 1 hour - 1 hour 10 mins until the top feels springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Check after 50 mins, if the cake is becoming too dark, cover loosely with foil. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out and allow to cool. Serve slightly warm or cold. This cake keeps for up to five days in a tin. Before serving, drizzle with agave syrup if you have a sweet tooth.

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

Comments (19)

Kiraz's picture

I really want to try this recipe. I wonder if I can use molasses instead of xylitol..and coconut oil instead of rapeseed...I know it won't be sugar free which is ok with me.

sallymmm's picture

Have just made this for my Christmas cake as I have type 2 diabetes. Substituted a half of flour with whole meal and added e spoonful of baking powder to compensate and it turned out well. Also poured some Cointreau over the top (it is Xmas!) instead of syrup and enjoyed with a big dollop of whipped cream. Will be my regular festive treat from now on.

steph_foster's picture

This a GREAT cake! Easy to make, and wouldn't guess it less sugar etc. I recommend this recipe

Meepie's picture

Just to say to all of you people thinking this cake is a heathy option for you because it is sugar free. This cake is not for all of you 'this cake is so heathy' people, who cares about how many calories it has, it is designed for diabetics and dairy intolerant people to have the chance to have a bit of cake. So please stop complaining about how unhealthy it is, why don't you just go eat some salad?
Overall a good recipe.

carol0170's picture

Cooking for my mom who has Type 2 Diabetes. This carrot cake is delicious, my mom absolutely loves it - thanks for sharing!

julese's picture

This recipe is NOT "Sugar-free" as stated, as sultanas are full of sugars (maybe natural sugars, but still sugars. Carrots are also full of sugars. Agave syrup also has 72% sugar content (clear honey has 77%, just for comparison).
If you add up all the macronutrients, this recipe has in excess of 11g of sugars per SMALL slice. That is simply NOT "Sugar-free".
To call this cake "Sugar Free" is not only misleading but is an entirely FALSE claim (if it was sold in a shop or café as "Sugar-Free" it would actually be illegal!).

Please, PLEASE, BBC GOOD FOOD (and all other Food sites/Books/Chefs) stop misleading the public with claims of "Sugar Free".
Sugar is Sugar, whether it's from Table sugar, fresh fruit, dried fruits, Agave, Honey or wherever... it STILL affects Blood Sugar levels and insulin and is NOT automatically healthy just because it's from a "natural" source.

Even worse, such false claims can be dangerous for Diabetics who might see this and think it is "Sugar Free" so OK for them to eat.

To put this into perspective, a single finger of a Twix chocolate bar has 12.2g of sugars, and a 2 finger Kit Kat chocolate bar has 10g of Sugars. Yet this recipe has over 11g sugars per SMALL slice, and is claiming to be "Sugar Free"..... It ISN'T.

carol0170's picture

I didn't use the agave syrup, (which makes a big difference). Also, sultanas are moderate on the NHS GI list, (as far as I know), so from this perspective it's not too bad. I think perhaps that the member who supplied this recipe meant that it was free of sugar, (or sucrose as in caster sugar) rather than fructose or other sugars. It certainly isn't sugar-free though when all sugar-types are considered.

It also contains rapeseed oil rather than bad saturated fat-loaded butter; ideal for those diabetics who also commonly suffer from high cholesterol.

gfinbow's picture

Not much use for diabetics this cake when it is FULL of sugar because of the sultanas. I thought it was a straightforward carrot cake, not carrot and sultanas. And 404 calories per slice? It's lethal and so unhealthy this cake!

For alanjns, Xylitol is readily available in Britain, America and the rest of Europe. I buy it from Dolphin Fitness, who did it in kilo bags, £2 cheaper if you buy 4 together, and free postage, the date for which you can choose!

sarahjane9's picture

I made this cake for the first time after reading all comments so I took everyones advice and put in a little less bicarbonate of soda
cook the cake in a slightly large tin 20cm for 45- 50 mins left the
baking parchment on the bottom of the cake over night also whisked the eggs and rapeseed oil together before starting anything else and the cake was fantastic I have now made 7 more cakes for family and friends great recipe

minnieshar's picture

Couldn't agree more, what's the point in cutting sugar and then using white flour. Cake is meant to be a treat, so use white flour pure creamery butter and real sugar in a cake, then just eat a small slice.

zelly111's picture

Diabetic concerns aside, what is the point of a sugar-free cake if it still has 404 cal and 28 g of fat per serving? Perhaps, it'd be better to use good old sugar and have half a serving instead.

wildwoodrose's picture

The drizzle of agave syrup made al the difference.

rosiehylda's picture

I have just made this with fructose, takes sweet enough, used a third , think it needs less bicarbonate as that is the aftertaste I am getting. I baked it in a loaf tin. Tried Victoria sponge with fruit sugar, didn't put enough in so need loads of jam.....ah well keep experimenting.

wildwoodrose's picture

Dryer than I expected. Perhaps better with Agave syrup which I didn't have. I will try it again.

crnica's picture

Xylitol is VERY poisonous to dogs so please don't let your pooch eat even a crumb of this cake

Sally35's picture

thank you so much for the above info ref poisonous to dogs.....had no idea of this.

alanjns's picture

This looks really nice and I want to bake it soon!

I can't get hold of xylitol, but can get Tate & Lyle Fruit sugar, but you are supposed to reduce the amount by a 3rd.

Can someone please advise as to how this will effect the cake bulk, or ways around it/other suggestions.


123mrfluffles's picture

i have not made this dish yet but it looks scrummy as well as being healthy!!!

Questions (0)

Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved…

Be the first to ask a question about this recipe…

Tips (0)

Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.

Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe…