Sugar-free carrot cake

Sugar-free carrot cake

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(12 ratings)

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


  • 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


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

  • 2 large eggs (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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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22nd Jun, 2018
Easy to make and tasty without being too sweet
1st Nov, 2017
It turned out very well but it only needed 40 mins in the oven.. and mine didn’t rise nearly as much as the one in the photo.
28th Oct, 2016
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.
24th Dec, 2015
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.
20th Apr, 2015
This a GREAT cake! Easy to make, and wouldn't guess it less sugar etc. I recommend this recipe
27th May, 2014
Hello, 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.
7th Mar, 2014
Cooking for my mom who has Type 2 Diabetes. This carrot cake is delicious, my mom absolutely loves it - thanks for sharing!
30th Jan, 2014
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.
7th Mar, 2014
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.
9th Sep, 2013
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!


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