CARROT CAKE PROTEIN SLICES
My all-time favorite cake is carrot cake, so I’m constantly perfecting my “healthified” version to taste as close as possible to the real thing. After making these Carrot Cake Protein Slices, I had some store-bought “all-the-oil” “all-the-sugar” carrot cake. The verdict? Well, the store-bought carrot cake had more raisins and coconut (which I loved), but otherwise, this is equally delicious and I actually liked my cream cheese frosting better! It’s a must-try if you love carrot cake as much as I do 😉 This recipe was even named one of the top 50 high protein desserts on FeastGood.com!
You might also like my Birthday Cake Protein Blondies.
Which type of whey is best for baking?
The protein powder I used in this recipe is Quest Protein Powder in Vanilla Milkshake. You can really use any brand of protein powder so long as it’s a whey concentrate or whey blend. I don’t recommend baking with whey isolate because it usually results in baked goods that are dry and crumbly or oddly “spongey.”
Collagen and vegan protein powders behave much differently compared to whey, so they cannot be substituted without multiple modifications (which I have not tested).
For perfect amount of sweetness, I added my favorite organic, calorie-free stevia blend that’s twice as sweet as sugar. If you need to substitute erythritol, monk fruit, baking stevia or another sweetener that measures 1-to-1 like sugar, use twice as much (half a cup).
You can also use a calorie-free brown sugar alternative for an even richer taste! My favorite is this monk fruit brown sugar alternative. Other options include Sukrin Gold, Lakanto Golden, or Swerve Brown Sugar. These all measure 1:1 like sugar so use double the amount (half a cup). You could also substitute one-quarter cup of Truvia or Splenda brown sugar blend, though this will add some calories and sugar (they’re not sugar-free)!
I used coconut flour to keep the carbs low, but feel free to substitute twice as much (one-quarter cup) of gluten-free baking flour, gluten-free oat flour, or cassava flour (Paleo). You could also try a quarter cup of all-purpose flour, brown rice flour, cake flour, sweet white sorghum flour, spelt flour, tiger nut flour or whole wheat pastry flour! If substituting almond flour, you will likely need 3-4 times as much, so start with six tablespoons but you may need up to half a cup.
To add moisture to these protein slices, I combined grated carrot, unsweetened applesauce, and almond butter. There is no real substitution for the first two, but you can totally swap the almond butter for cashew butter, or one-quarter cup of almond flour plus 1-2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil.
This recipe also calls for one egg white which can be swapped for one tablespoon of ground flaxseed plus two tablespoons of water for an egg-free version. The unsweetened almond milk can be substituted for unsweetened coconut milk or any milk you have!
Feel free to add some raisins, unsweetened shredded coconut, and chopped walnuts (or pecans) to these Carrot Cake Protein Slices too 😉
For the frosting I simply combined Greek cream cheese (found this at Walmart), confectioner’s erythritol (a sugar-free alternative to powdered sugar), a little Quest Protein Powder in Vanilla Milkshake, and vanilla extract. The frosting is so good! If you can’t find Greek cream cheese, neufchâtel cheese or reduced fat cream cheese would also work. You can even use dairy-free cream cheese!
If you don’t have confectioner’s erythritol, feel free to use powdered monk fruit blend, powdered sugar, granulated erythritol, monk fruit, baking stevia, or half as much of my favorite stevia blend.
Now, here’s the printable recipe for these Carrot Cake Protein Slices! Please do me a favor and rate this recipe and/or comment below if you try it 😉
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Carrot Cake Protein Slices
These Carrot Cake Protein Slices are gluten-free, high protein, low sugar, and low carb. Irresistible spiced carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
1/3 cup (40g) whey blend or whey concentrate protein powder* (I used Quest Protein in Vanilla Milkshake)
1/4 cup calorie-free sweetener* (I used one twice as sweet as sugar)
- 2 tbsp. coconut flour*
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
Dash salt (optional)
- 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 3/4 cup shredded carrot
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tbsp. almond butter*
- 2 tbsp. (1 large) egg whites*
2 tbsp. chopped walnuts (optional)
2 tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
2 tbsp. seedless raisins (optional)
6 oz. Greek cream cheese (or Neufchatel, whipped or reduced fat cream cheese)
1/2 cup powdered calorie-free sweetener* (I used one that measures like sugar)
25 g whey blend or whey concentrate protein powder* (I used Quest Protein in Vanilla Milkshake)
- 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
See blog post above for more substitutions.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Whisk together dry ingredients (through spice) in a medium mixing bowl.
Finely grate one medium carrot or enough to yield 3/4 cup.
Add grated carrot and remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Add 1-2 tbsp. almond milk or water if the batter is too thick to spread.
If desired, fold chopped walnuts, raisins, and/or unsweetened shredded coconut into the batter.
Scoop batter into a 7"x5" or 8"x6" baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray or lined with parchment (recommended).
Bake for 25-35 minutes until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
While cake cools, mix together frosting ingredients until smooth. Add 1-2 tbsp. almond milk or water if the frosting is too thick to spread.
Spread frosting over cake. If desired, sprinkle chopped walnuts, grated carrot, and shredded coconut over top cake.
Enjoy immediately or store up to one week in the fridge in an airtight container.
Calories (per slice, minus optionals): 152kcal, Fat: 6.9g, Sat fat: 2.5g, Carbs: 9g*, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Protein: 14g, Sodium: 225mg
Calories (per slice, including optionals): 186kcal, Fat: 9.4g, Sat fat: 3.5g, Carbs: 12g*, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Protein: 15g, Sodium: 274mg
*Does not include carbs from erythritol, which has 0.2 calories per gram (basically zero).
Hi, You said something about almond milk in the substitutes section but never listed it as an ingredient. Is it for the frosting? And how much would you use?
Hi Tiff, this recipe is meant for whey protein, so I can’t promise it will work with vegan pea protein. However, this one is specifically made and tested with pea protein: https://nutritionistmom.com/blogs/blog/protein-carrot-cake-bars-with-maple-frosting-vegan
Does it need to be a whey protein powder, or would a vegan pea protein powder work?
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March 09, 2023
Hi Megan, I looked back at my original recipe doc and it is optional for the frosting or batter if too thick. You can also use 1-2 tbsp. water! I have updated the recipe to be more clear as well :)