A Chocolate Giveaway and Healthier Red Velvet Cake (Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free!)

There’s still too much chocolate hanging around here, so today I’m giving away a luxurious Godiva 85% cacao content chocolate bar. Leave a comment and win yourself a bar of fine chocolate!

Don’t forget to look at the past giveaways for erythritol and xylitol and the Lindt and Green & Black’s Chocolate packages!

Contest closes December 25th.


Red Velvet Cake! So glamorous. So decadent. So perfect for the holiday season!

This cake is all about being over the top. Even the healthful version seems excessive in a way, using 9 eggs, a whole pound of cream cheese, and half the bottle of red food coloring. Yes, food coloring is a shady ingredient. If, however, you are following a whole foods all natural diet 99% of the time, I doubt a little slice of sugar-free, gluten-free, low carb red velvet cake on special occasions is going to destroy all of your good efforts. A little artificial coloring does not come close to doing the damage done by the “real thing,” made with flour and sugar, packing over 60 grams of carbs per slice. Kick up your heels and have some nourishing cake!

Coconut flour makes the most rich, heavy and indulgent cake you have ever tasted. The nine eggs in this cake do not impart an eggy flavor at all since the coconut flour is defatted and high in fiber, therefore sucking up all of the moisture. I just picked up a bag of Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour at the local mom n’ pop health food store, but you can order it online, too. Coconut flour also does NOT taste like coconuts in this recipe, so fear not if you don’t favor that distinct tropical flavor.

I split one 9 inch round layer cake into two layers since I didn’t want to invest 18 eggs in a cake that may or may not have worked well. It turned out beautifully, with a heavy, moist texture and a hint of buttermilk flavor. Red velvet cake has never been a chocolate cake in my memory. Granted, I have only tasted one kind, coming from a local restaurant out by the beach. If you prefer a more chocolaty cake, try adding some more cocoa powder and a couple of tablespoons of water.

Healthy Red Velvet Cake

Healthy Red Velvet Cake

Serves 8-10


1/2 cup unsalted organic butter, softened
9 large eggs
1 cup erythritol
1/4 teaspoon good-tasting pure stevia extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon red food coloring
3/4 cup sifted coconut flour
3/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Set out butter and eggs to bring to room temperature. Alternatively, microwave butter for 8-10 seconds and dunk eggs in warm tap water for 15 minutes. Prep 9 inch cake pan by greasing with nonhydrogenated shortening and dusting with extra cocoa powder. Tap pan on all sides to distribute cocoa powder in an even layer. Whisk together eggs in a bowl until a bit foamy, and add vanilla extract to eggs. In another bowl, sift coconut flour and stir in sea salt and cocoa powder. Mix together yogurt and red food coloring in a third bowl. In the largest bowl, cream butter for about 30 seconds to make it fluffy. Add erythritol in a steady stream and cream together for 2-3 minutes, or until light, fluffy, and close to the color of cream cheese. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Slowly stream in beaten eggs, beating continuously. Don’t worry if the batter curdles. Once eggs are added, add dry and wet ingredients alternately until everything has been added but the baking powder. Mix in baking powder and scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes in the center of the middle oven rack, or until batter is completely set and springs back. Cover top with foil and bake for longer if center is not set. Remove cake from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

Invert pan onto a cookie sheet and let cake cool completely. Slice into two layers with a serrated knife, if desired. Transfer bottom cake layer to a serving dish lined with strips of wax paper hanging off the edges. Frost cake, laying over a thin crumb coat first. Then pile on the frosting spread outward from the center of the layer. Add top layer to cake and cover completely with frosting. Store and serve at room temperature. Refrigerate after 24 hours. Cake is best tasting after warming up if it has been kept in the refrigerator.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2-8 oz packages cream cheese or Neufatchel 1/3 less fat cheese
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup erythritol, powdered
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon pure stevia extract
1 stick organic unsalted butter

Bring cream cheese to room temperature. Beat until smooth and creamy, then add powdered erythritol and beat for about 2 minutes, or until erythritol is dissolved and the mixture does not feel gritty to the touch. Beat in butter just until smooth and incorporated.

~60g net carbs for the whole, frosted cake
~6g net carbs per 1/10th
~7.5g net carbs per 1/8th

Healthy Red Velvet Cake

  • Ariel

    Wow…. It looks like a yummy cheesecake…. too love Pixie cheesecake at Fannie May Candies, it’s one of my favorite.

  • ikkinlala

    I’m intrigued by the coconut flour – I’ll have to keep an eye out for that.

  • simplenaturalnourishing

    oh yum. My husband loves cream cheese frosting. I’ll have to make this. Thanks for posting it.

    On another note… I have been using tropical traditions coconut flour and do find that it tastes like coconut.

  • Pepperette

    I love cakes made with coconut flour! Even DS2 likes them. I guess I need to get some food coloring- got everything else! Might have Red Velvet cake tomorrow!

  • gharkness

    Wow, what a gorgeous cake – and I have all the ingredients! EEK, that’s dangerous! Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  • fit lil fiddle

    Yum yum yum! I’ve added to to my blogs I read list so I don’t miss a single delicious recipe!

  • Kimberly

    OMG!!! You are killing me with all these yummy looking desserts:) Red Velvet is my husbands favorite cake. He doesn’t eat low-carb, but I bet he would eat this!

  • Kimberly

    Me again! Can I really eat this and not feel guilty?:) I’m really pretty new to the low-carb world. Still trying to adjust my thinking about the fat!

  • Scott Moore

    This is the worst time of the year for me. Sweets everywhere. I've been strict low carb for 14 months now. I've lost 35 lbs of fat (and gained 15 lbs of muscle from weight lifting) and I don't need to lose any more. But all these temptations sitting around my house right now (for the rest of the family who aren't low carb): seven layer bars, fudge, banana chocolate pie, lemon squares, mints, M&Ms, etc. Oh my!

    I'm making one of my favorites tonight — your Low carb chocolate pots de creme. Yum Yum Yum!

    I’m always on the lookout for a cake-y kind of dessert that doesn’t have some different aftertaste. (Think almond flour.) I’ve never quite found anything satisfactory, but I’m not going to stop looking now! I’m going to give this quite yummy-looking dessert a shot after I get the coconut flour shipped to me.

    Thanks for all you do!

  • Cantering Cookies

    Thank you for posting this recipe!
    I love red velvet cake, I think it might be my favorite flavor! Every year my family has a red velvet cake for Easter, but since going gluten-free I thought I wouldn’t be able to have it again. Now I can have my cake and eat it to! Thanks!

  • Candy Jane

    Wow, I never thought this could be in any way “healthy”! It was the cake I made for our first Valentine day as a married couple (40 some yrs ago), and I didn’t really like it much. But I’m going to try this one – as soon as I get some coconut flour!

  • bethinNC

    This looks like a total crowd pleaser! Thanks for the great recipe! I can see this coming in handy for birthdays and holidays for sure, Lauren!

  • Reva Skie

    I love cram cheese frosting. Especially on brownies. Yuuuuum

  • Michelle

    Coconut flour? And I thought I’d been through all of Bob’s products! Sounds interesting and that cake looks like pure iced luxury.

  • gharkness

    Uh OH!! A typo?

    Please see your ingredients list: “3/4 tsp aluminum-free baking POWDER,” but your instructions say:

    “Mix in baking SODA and scrape batter into prepared pan.”

    You might want to edit your instructions? I used baking powder (yes I just put it in the oven!), thinking that was the more likely ingredient.

  • Sungoddess

    What a perfect Christmas cake!! SO pretty red. Again, love that it is gluten-free. Dang, I don’t have the red food color and a storm is on the way. Maybe if I dash out fast!!

  • Red

    I buy coconut flour at Indian markets. it is very reasonable fresh and ground perfectly. Sometimes it is called “coconut powder” not coconut milk powder

    anyway check out Caribbean and Indian markets

    I am going to try this recipe today

    thank you!


  • jennifer

    Lauren, I was so hoping one day you would tackle Red Velvet Cake. Being from the South, Red Velvet cake is always a must for pretty much every birthday in our family. Mine this past October was the first year of my life I didn’t get to have one. I hate to admit this but I did shed a tear or two. Can’t wait to give yours a try.

  • Rachel C

    YOU ARE MY HERO. Thank you! I LOVE RVC. And my husband misses it. yay we can have it again!!

  • Karin

    mmmmmm— looks good.

  • Lauren

    Ariel – It’s more like a yellow caket than a cheesecake! ;)

    Ikki – You should be able to find coconut flour at a health food store.

    Simple – Thanks for the pointer about TT coconut flour! I guess whether you can taste the coconut depends on the recipe.

    Pepp – Isn’t it amazing what a great cake coconut flour makes? Enjoy the recipe!

    Gharkness – How did the cake turn out? Thanks for pointing out the error.

    fit lil – Thank you for reading the blog!

    Kimberly – You can if you watch your portions, which is easier with cake that’s sugar-free and nutrient rich!

    Scott – Give coconut flour cake a try! Hope you weather the holiday season well. Glad you enjoyed the pots de creme!

    Cantering Cookies – Hope you enjoy the gluten-free cake! Red velvet is one of my favorite’s, too.

    Candy Jane – Good luck with the cake! Maybe you can make a new tradition. :)

    Beth – You’re welcome! Hope you had a wonderful LC holiday!

    Reva – Cream cheese frosting is good stuff!

    Michelle – Bob’s Red Mill IS a great line for us gf folks!

    Sungoddess – Hope you were able to beat the weather and make some cake!

    Red – Thank you for that tip about finding coconut flour at Indian markets. That is good to know!

    Jennifer – I hope you get the chance to have your treasured Red Velvet again. :) We all can get emotional over food memories!

    Rachel – Yay! Hope you make it and enjoy.

    Karin – It’s as good as it looks. ;)

  • Sophie

    Your cake looks so gorgeous and moist, definitely festive with that bright color too! I hope you had a fun Christmas :).

  • Elina

    Oh wow, this cake looks incredible!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

  • Julie F.

    Lauren, this cake is amazing! I made it today. I don’t have a lot to compare to as I’ve never had red velvet cake before but it’s a very interesting flavor and really gets better after it has sat for while. Really love your blog!

  • Lauren

    Sophie – Hope you had a great Christmas, too!

    Elina – Thank you!

    Julie – So glad you enjoyed the cake! Makes me so happy to hear that. Thank you for stopping by to tell me about your experience. :)

  • cbattle

    can you use honey or agave in this recipe?

  • Lauren

    Hi Cbattle, I don’t normally work with those sweeteners (just use small amounts of honey occasionally), but I guess you could just add it to the batter and taste it as you go along. If you do try it with honey or agave, let us know how it works out!

  • frenchgoddessss

    There are several excellent companies out there making natural food dye, such as seelect:


    (You’ll find much more if you google “natural food dyes”)….

    I’ve used beet powder over the years to get the colour: I also substitute some grated beets for the carrots to make a red carrot cake or muffins… The taste/glycemic index is quite similar, and what a spectacular color! I’ve also used a little “agua de jamaica” concentrate (made from hibiscus flowers) for a natural red tint in recipes. I buy mine in Mexico, but you can surely find it online, in latin markets, or even make your own with the dried flowers… I’ve also used unsweetened, concentrated juice of cherries, pomegranate and/or blueberries – antioxidants galore to boot! :-)

  • bluebelle

    I just made this for a halloween party, and I shaped it like a tombstone. I did tweak the icing a little, I think that it might not have been warm enough, so I added some cream to soften and smooth it out.

    Last night when i baked the cake I thought it was going to be dry, today, its awesome. I also doubled it and baked it in a dark non stick 9×13 pan. Next time I would take the temp down to 325 and cook it for the same amount of time, just to make it a little less dark on the outside and to work with the bigger pan.

    Thanks Lauren!

  • Anonymous

    this looks delicious!! do you think that less eggs (or a natural egg substitute like applesauce or an oil) could be used to reduce the fat content?

  • clark

    The frosting looks very smooth. How do you make it that smooth?

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  • Anonymous

    I am new to low-carb and sugar-free and I am not a baker normally. I attempted this and my cake came out really really dry. I used sour cream instead of yogurt since it gave that option in the directions. Other than that variation, I'm not sure what I did wrong. It certainly in no way looks as moist as yours does.

    Also, I definitely taste coconut but my husband does not.

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  • Wildner

    What adjustments might be prudent if one decided to make cupcakes instead of cake?
    I tried this, and the taste was good…but I am in no way, shape, or form coordinated when it comes to trying to manipulate cake pieces. I made a mess. A tasty mess, but nothing I could share.
    So, I'm thinking cupcakes might be more my style. Advice from the expert?

  • Megan

    I have been looking for a gluten free recipe for this cake, I am so excited to try this! coconut flour will be so good. Thanks!

  • gwyn

    i cannot make this again. i ate WAY too much and it was gone….quickly…

  • buy meltabs

    Red Velvet Cake is looking so delicious..I like it.Thanks for posting this recipe..Really very amazing..

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  • Anonymous

    I made this once and it was a HUGE success with no alterations. Now by request (borderline coercion) I'm have my second one in the oven for 4th of July. I'll be putting blue berries and strawberries on top in shape of a flag. Your recipes translate to yummy every time. Thank you so much for what you do!

  • Hope

    Yum! I love chocolate and red velvet cake. :)


  • Anonymous

    I make just the cake, without the frosting & the red food coloring, for a tira misu cake. It works very well as the mascarpone mixture helps with the denseness of the cake.

  • VeggieChick

    I have a question on the Erithytol in the cake mix. Do I powder 1 cup of this? My experience is that Erithytol doesn't melt like sugar.

    Also, have you ever tried coming up with the other icing recipe that calls for the milk/flour mixture that is mixed in with 1 cup of butter and 1 cup powdered sugar and vanilla? I was wondering if I could use coconut flour to make the milk/flour thickener?? Any thoughts??

  • finishfit

    Just made this cake for thanksgiving, I will let you know how it turns out. I did make some alterations to the recipe: I added, buttermilk instead of yogurt and a coconut butter spread (tastes like butter) instead of the actual butter.

  • Jenni

    This looks fabulous! Definitely want to give it a try… Just wondering if I can sub xylitol for the erythritol? Im living in France and erythritol has been impossible to come by so far… Thanks for all your beautiful recipes! My friends and I adored your pumpkin gooey butter cake for thanksgiving and I have made your bean cakes (vanilla and chocolate) numerous times!

  • Anonymous

    I don't have erythritol or stevia, but I do have Truvia which is a blend of the two. Could you please tell me how much Truvia I would use in the cake recipe to replace the erythritol and the stevia?

  • Breezy

    Wow, can't Pin? Really? That's how I keep track of my recipes. And I was so excited, too… :(

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02369850153796844205 frankweir

    Lauren…I'm a 62 year old T2 guy who never cooked or baked much….except for chili of course! YOU have really helped me continue to low carb and I've lost about 30 pounds over a year and a half. Jennifer Eloff, Peggy Buttoni, and Carolyn K. are also heroes of mine. I made the chocolate bean cake and frosting and it was wonderful. But mine did not rise much and it was more like brownies…taste was still wonderful. I used an 8×8 cereamic pan. Any idea how I can improve my technique to make it more like how yours looks? I already have the cannelini beans so I'm good to go on the vanilla version! Thanks for your efforts. You are VERY talented and I want to get you a few bucks for a donation…

  • Anonymous

    Hi Lauren, I made this recipe for a gal at work who loves red velvet cake and apparently only gets it 3x a year :) Since I'm LC, I wanted something LC too..Lauren to the rescue! Even though I thought I might have overbaked the cake part, b/c it was baked in a dark tin, and the cake “looked,” burnt, it was fine when I cut it in half and took a little taste. The frosting was lush, I put in the full measure of E+ and Stevia. I ended up putting chopped pecans around the sides of the cake. Cut a few pieces for home and brought the rest of the cake to work. Oh my, it was scarfed down, I was worried Karen would not be able to try it. Luckily, she was able to try it and proclaimed it just as good as her sister-in-laws (whose cake is made with standard ingredients). Thank you for a wonderful recipe, I can't wait to make it again! Rica.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12992918908739085132 Lauren

    Frankweir – I am glad you've found the recipes helpful! The cake I baked wasn't all that tall either. You could try stacking one layer on top of the other. Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature and dust some gluten-free flour up the sides of the pan. Hope that helps!

    Rica – Very glad you enjoyed the cake! It's nice to see you commenting. :) Happy your friend at work liked it too! I'm going to sprinkle pecans on the cake next time I make it. Great idea!

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  • Kathy

    Yay, I can have chocolate!

    • http://www.healthyindulgences.net/ Lauren B.


  • Shanda

    Hi Lauren,

    This recipe may be just what I was looking for! I was thinking of converting it into an ice cream cake, if that’s possible…can you tell me if this cake freezes well?

    Many thanks!

    • http://www.healthyindulgences.net/ Lauren B.

      Hi, Shanda! It does freeze well. :) I have definitely frozen it and warmed it up for a quick snack. An ice cream cake is a brilliant idea – yum! Do you have a favorite sugar-free ice cream recipe to use in it?

      • Shanda

        Hi Lauren,

        Thanks for the info on freezing the cake. I’m new to the low-carb scene, so (sadly) I do not have an ice cream recipe in mind as of yet, but I’ll let you know if I find one that works well.

        Meanwhile, I made your red velvet cake recipe, and it is DELISH! You are doing amazing work over here!

        Thanks again. :)

  • Crystal

    How do you figure there are so few carbs per serving. Erythritol has 4g of carbs per teaspoon. So by my figures there are 96g of carbs in the cream cheese frosting alone. If my figures are wrong please help me.

  • jen

    Omg. Amazing holiday dessert idea!

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  • Amanda Harris

    I LOVE red velvet!! I can’t wait to make a healthier version!!! Thank you!!

    • http://www.healthyindulgences.net/ Lauren Benning

      Hope you enjoy is as much as we have, Amanda! It’s a very festive holiday dessert. :)

  • Meredith

    Made this cake yesterday! Oh my goodness it’s divine!!!!! Thanks for sharing this recipe!!!!

    • http://www.healthyindulgences.net/ Lauren Benning

      So glad to hear that you enjoyed it, Meredith!

  • Misty

    Can I use Truvia in place of the erythritol and stevia extract? And if so how much would I use? Thanks

    • http://www.healthyindulgences.net/ Lauren Benning

      Misty, Truvia would definitely work! You would use 3/4 cup of Truvia in this recipe.

  • Lisa Crow

    How do you get down to 6 net carbs for 1/10th of the cake? The best I can get to using truvia as my sweetner is 26? And it isn’t any better with the erythitol. I am pretty new to low carb baking so I wonder if there’s something I’m missing. I looooove red velvet but don’t want to blow it for valentine’s day and would like to use this recipe if I can make it work :) Thanks!