Sugar-Free Carrot Cupcakes

I’ve been searching for a good health-ier carrot cake recipe that I could turn into cupcakes. Most of the carrot cake recipes has too much oil and sugar which is fine for layer cakes or loaves as I have tried them; but to turn them into cupcakes.. not a good idea, at least in my experience.

So I searched for carrot cupcake recipes that doesn’t have too much oil or butter; most of the recipes are quite the same, I was getting frustrated. I thought maybe carrot cakes/cupcakes really has to have a good amount of fats/oil to make it moist.

Some people (like my husband) think that I shouldn’t be baking if I’m too concerned about calories and my health/weight. I’ve thought of that, but then again I’m more concerned about my happiness; cause you see, baking sweets makes me happy; a happy me=healthy me=productive me=happy me=happy family. Confused? Me too 🙂

Sweets/desserts make me happy, that and watching Bill and Sookie (Tru Blood) or The Tudors are great de-stressers for me.

I know, someone for sure has a healthier version of this, and I was right, in fact I found 2, completely different but both are healthier than my old recipe. Baked goods are quite hard to tweak, you cannot just decrease the amount of sugar or replace an ingredient or two and expect the same quality and taste, that’s why I was happy to find this recipe. It has about 1/2 cup of butter in it too but considering the other ingredients, and the absence of sugar in it, evens it out.


The cake itself isn’t as sweet, it’s more like a carrot bread than cake in taste, but the texture is definitely cake-like. The simple cream cheese frosting complements it. I’ll post the other recipe too, as soon as I’ve tried them, promise.

so, here goes…

sift dry ingredients in a bowl and stir in walnut pieces

add grated carrots, mashed bananas to dry ingredients

mix in eggs and yogurt

stir ..
…and pour into lined muffin pans and bake for 20-25 minutes


adapted from 101 Cookbooks/Heidi Swanson

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I used half pastry flour and oatmel)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
4 ounces unsalted butter, heated until just melted ( I used coconut oil)
1/2 cup dried dates, seeded and finely chopped into a paste
3 ripe bananas (1 1/4 cups), mashed well
1 1/2 cups grated carrots (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (2% or lowfat is ok)
2 eggs, lightly whisked

6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup (or to taste) ( I used honey)

Preheat oven to 350F. Put cupcake liners on muffin pans OR
Butter a 9x5x3 / 8-cup loaf pan (or 8×8 cake pan) and line it with parchment paper

Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the walnuts and set aside.

Stir the dates into the melted butter, breaking up the dates a bit.

In a separate bowl combine the bananas and carrots. Stir in the date-butter mixture, breaking up any date clumps as you go. Whisk in the yogurt and the eggs. Add the flour mixture and stir until everything just comes together. Spoon into the prepared pan.

Bake for about 50 – 60 minutes for loaf pans and 20-25 minutes for cupcakes or until a toothpick tests clean in the center of the cake – it’ll be less if you are using a standard cake pan. Remove from oven and let cool.

While the cake is baking whip together the cream cheese and agave nectar. Taste. If you like your frosting sweeter adjust to your liking. When the cake has completely cooled frost the top of the cake with an offset spatula.

Makes one carrot cake or 16-18 cupcakes

Happy Baking!


7 Responses to "Sugar-Free Carrot Cupcakes"

  1. Jeannie Tay   October 26, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Wow… looks great! Since wholemeal flour is kinda difficult to find here unless I drop by at the baking shop grocers. Maybe I could substitute with AP flour?
    I love cakes baked in cupcakes too… Safe the trouble of cutting them up!
    Great blog!

    • Olive   October 26, 2009 at 7:51 pm

      Hi, Jeannie 🙂

      Yes, you can use all-purpose flour but if you really want more fiber a better substitute would be oats (rolled, or quick-cooking will do too), grind it fine in a food processor and use that or in combination with the AP flour (half and half), that’s what I usually do when I ran out of whole wheat flour. I love cupcakes too, will post my favorite cupcake recipes in the future.. 🙂

  2. Simply Lydia   September 21, 2009 at 7:11 am


    These look wonderful! I would love to try them but I’m allergic to bananas. I wonder if I could substitute the banana with apple sauce or would that make them too wet?

    And I know how you feel. I love the taste of good food but sometimes reading what is in something just makes me feel guilty too. I’m dieting now and it’s killing me that I cannot eat what I really want to make. That’s why I make it, take a tiny taste and push it off on my family and friends – that way EVERYONE is happy.

    I’m also a True Blood watcher and very sad that Season 2 is over. 🙁

    • Olive   September 22, 2009 at 5:07 pm

      Thanks, Lydia 🙂

      Sorry to hear about your allergy. I’m not sure about the applesauce, the sweetness of these cupcakes come from the bananas…maybe you could use it, then add some honey. Hope that helps.

      >>I guess that’s the key, portion control. I’m working on it and I’m back on my regular exercise routine..will be baking more soon. .

      >> I’m still on season 2 but I hope they hurry up with the season 3 already


      Thank you too, Mary!

      It’s my first time too with bananas, it’s usually with coconut and pineapple. I’m really thankful to Ms. Heidi S. of 101 Cookbooks

  3. MaryMoh   September 21, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Sugar free? Olive, every health conscious and weight conscious people will love you for that. I have never tried with bananas. Sounds good. Your cupcake looks very tempting.

  4. Linda   September 20, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    These look very moist and YUM!
    I do a lot of sugar-free or less-sugar baking and have found a fabulous sweetener that is very good glycemicly. (Not sure if that’s a real word…but you know what I mean!) Check out

    If you need more ideas for dessert – and who doesn’t! – I might have some for ya’ on my blog!

    • Olive   September 20, 2009 at 4:14 pm

      Thanks, Linda 🙂

      I will check out your blog and that sweetener too!


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