Low-Carb Red Velvet Cake/Cupcakes

Mmmmmm, who doesn’t love a thick slice of red velvet cake piled high with frosting? We certainly do and can’t wait for you to try our keto, low-carb version, it’s one of our favorites!! In a hurry? Make cupcakes with the batter instead of a layer cake!

Low Carb Red Velvet Cake Lila Ruth Grain Free copy

Happy August, Friends!❤️One month closer to fall weather, woohoo!! At this point in the summer my enthusiasm for the heat has usually waned and been replaced by a countdown mentality with excuses to start posting pumpkin recipes early…

I haven’t quite reached that level of desperation yet, but be warned, it won’t be long!  The good news is, I have a simply scrumptious recipe for you today that I think you’re going to go nuts for! I know, I don’t like to sound overconfident, but this low-carb red velvet cake is the real deal!

Low-Carb Red Velvet Cake/Cupcakes

And you can use our Swerve Sprinkles to add flair to the top of your cake! That recipe can be found at the end of our Keto Devil’s food Cake Post. 

You can cut them into any shape you like and go crazy with the colors. We recommend topping the cake with your sprinkles right before serving. They add such a lovely touch-both visually and flavor/texture-wise.

Low Carb Red V

I have to talk about the taste for a moment–these layers are sweet fluffiness with just the perfect touch of chocolate–rich, dreamy and light all at once, like a blushed cloud. I got so excited after our first test, I knew we had a winner!! Our signature ratio of almond flour to Swerve to liquid is what makes it so crazy moist, everyone always comes back for an extra slice!

Low-Carb Red Velvet Cake/Cupcakes

Did we mention this recipe is also perfect for cupcakes? We used the crumbs of the 12th cupcake as topping for the other 11. If you need that last cupcake, you can instead add color to your frosting or use our Swerve Sprinkles to add a decorative touch.

Keto Red Velvet Cupcakes

Almost forgot, this keto cake/cupcakes makes such a great birthday treat!

Plate Setting Lila Ruth Grain Free

Happy Baking, Friends!! Enjoy the recipe! 🙂

Easy + Delicious Low-Carb Red Velvet Cake/Cupcake Recipeketo red velvet cupcake pin

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Low Carb Red Velvet Cake/Cupcakes

Low-Carb Red Velvet Cake/Cupcakes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.9 from 8 reviews

  • Author: Lila Ruth
  • Total Time: 45min to an hour
  • Yield: 1 cake or 12 cupcakes 1x


5.4 net carbs per serving

**See Keto Sprinkle Recipe Info Below


  • 1+ 3/4 cups almond flour
  • 2/3 cup   (No substitutes)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder  
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp whole milk   (or full fat coconut milk)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring (Watkins brand is a more natural alternative). Gel color is more concentrated, only use about 1-2 teaspoons .

  • **Double Frosting For Layer Cake


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Start with your wet ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together your milk, eggs, olive oil, vanilla extract, food coloring and apple cider vinegar. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Then sift the Swerve Confectioner, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder over top of the wet ingredients and incorporate into batter with whisk or electric hand mixer.
  5.   (
  6. Place layers into oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Carefully rotate the pans 180 degrees and lightly cover with foil at the halfway mark. At 20-25 minutes the layers will be ready to come out, they’ll still be a touch soft. Let them cool COMPLETELY and once they are cool, run a knife around the edges and carefully flip them over onto a cooling rack or plates and let them rest for another 5-10 minutes before frosting. While you’re waiting for your cake layers or cupcakes to cool, go ahead and blend together your frosting.
  7. With a hand mixer, blend together your softened cream cheese and butter.
  9. Pipe or spread frosting onto cupcakes, serve and enjoy!! For layer cake, it is easiest to first freeze the layers. Then frost and stack each layer, finally frost the top and sides. We used our Swerve sprinkles for the pink and red topping, you can find that recipe at the bottom of our Keto Devil’s Food Cake Post.
  10. Store any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate, enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 15-30min
  • Cook Time: 20-25 min

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  1. Oh! How wonderful that looks, and it does sound very doable!! Will be dessert in my house very soon—-LOVE your recipes!!

    1. Awww thank you so much Annie!! That makes me so happy to hear that, I hope this will be a favorite for you-it’s a new favorite for us!! 😀

  2. You don’t know how long I’ve been looking for a grain-free red velvet cake recipe!!! It’s my son’s favorite and after success with your paleo chocolate cake for his birthday, this one is going to get made next! 🙂 I do have a question: my son and I have a hard time with erythritol (makes our bellies hurt). Is there a paleo alternative that we could use with this cake?

    Thank you for your recipes!

    1. Oh thank you so much Amy, you are so kind!! 😀 I hope you guys will love this cake too!! I think for the cake itself, you can substitute with coconut sugar – I would just run it through the food processor to make it fine-it will darken the color a bit, but still be nice and red. And for the frosting, I think a variation of our SCD Cream cheese icing could work! If you can’t do dairy cream cheese, I would use 1 container of dairy-free Kite Hill cream cheese (room temp) with 6 tbsp softened butter, 2.5 tbsp honey and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Cream the butter and “cream cheese” together first, blend in honey and vanilla until smooth. Refrigerate until solidified and blend again-at this point the frosting will stay thick at room temp. Since I haven’t yet tested the cake with coconut sugar, I would recommend first making cupcakes, they always seem to handle subs beautifully!

    1. Oh thank you Noelle, that is so very kind of you to say!! 😀 Red velvet really is such a fun favorite, such a happy cake.

  3. Omigosh, these cupcakes were beyond AMAZING!! I actually don’t like frosting so I just added a thin layer and they came out awesome.

    1. Hi! I wouldn’t recommend a bundt pan for this particular cake as it does not tend to release well in that type of pan-it works beautifully for cupcakes, layers or a 9″ square pan. If you’d like to try it though, I would bake it for 45 minutes, tightly securing foil at the 20 minute mark-this would allow the cake to steam, cook through while staying nice and moist. Let the cake cool completely in the bundt pan before running the edges with a knife and flipping over onto a plate. Hope this helps and you enjoy the recipe!

  4. Let me first say that this is my first attempt of Keto Baking (especially using Almond Flour)…. I dont know what I did wrong. I did it as a 2 layer cake, so I did double the icing recipe. My layers were very thin, but I went with it. Then when tasting it….. It taste to much “sweetnery”, the cake it’s self tasted different but decent.I’m just not use to the Almond Flour texture. Maybe it all had to do with the sweetner I used (Stevia), because I dont like Swerve’s “cooling effect”. Everything else I followed to a T. I love to bake and cook and know my way around a kitchen but this just didnt work for me. Please tell me what went wrong. I feel like I failed you. Lol

    1. Oh you did not fail me at all!! I’m so thankful that you shared your experience (especially from a fellow baker!), it allows me to troubleshoot and it gives insight to others looking to the comments for guidance. I’m so very sorry it did not turn out great for you, I have a couple of recommendations I hope help should you decide to make it again. I agree that Swerve can have a cooling effect in some things, particularly frosting. But I find it works so beautifully in actual cakes and breads in the right amount. The stevia would be too sweet here in the amount that’s recommended for the Swerve, and it also changes the texture of the cake a touch and those things may have contributed to the result. I’ve also gone in and modified the instructions to ensure the fluffiest texture possible and recommending only Swerve for the cake itself. Thank you again so much for sharing and I truly hope it turns out beautifully for you if you try it again, I’d love to hear from you if you do!! 😀

    1. Hello, thanks so much for your comment! We have not tested this with xylitol, but xylitol is a good substitute for Swerve as it’s usually a 1:1 conversion. I so wish that I could tell you unequivocally offhand that it will work just as well as the Swerve, we would love to hear your experience with the xylitol if you try it. I think going forward we will test with both the Swerve and Xylitol to provide an alternative and retest these recipes already published as well with additional sweeteners to accommodate the variety in sweetening/sugarless options.

  5. This cake sounds like a masterpiece. I was making a gf version with all the heavy oil and substituting part of that with mixed fruit baby food dessert. The rice flours came through as gritty, but some bakers are finding that letting rice batter rest for 20 min will allow flouers to soak in moisture. I am anxious to see how almond flour will respond. If you have any other general observations we would love to hear your wisdom. Love always!

    1. Oh thank you so much for your kind words! 😀 Before I started baking only grain-free, I used rice flour and would find the very same issue you’re speaking of! I tended at that time to make blend of rice, sorghum and tapioca starch, it’s been so long, I can’t remember the ratios. But once I started baking with almond flour, I just loved the mild taste and texture. And when I’m not baking keto, I blend the almond flour with tapioca or potato starch for cakes, cookies and crusts. I hope this helps and you love your red velvet cake, happy baking!!

    1. Hello! So sorry for the delay in our response, unfortunately we do not currently have a tree nut-free version for this recipe. We will look into creating a coconut flour version in the future–I so wish we had that for you now!

    1. Hi Trish, thanks so much for your comment. I’m sorry to hear you’re not getting a true red color! Are you using gel color by chance? Gel will give you the deepest red, Americolor brand is great. The natural food coloring while imparting red, will not go as deep (adding a tbsp of beet powder would help if you are looking for additional natural coloring). One other ingredient that could interfere with color is using a darker cocoa powder like Droste. While I love Droste for most every recipe, I don’t recommend it here as the darker the cocoa, the less bright the red will be. If you did use the gel color, I would try adding an additional tsp next time. Hope this helps!

  6. These cupcakes came out quite well. My daughter and husband were impressed and they usually don’t care for low-carb desserts. Well done!

    1. H! Thanks for your comment, apple cider vinegar helps the batter rise which benefits texture- and the small amount does not affect the taste. We use it in our quick breads as well, such a great ingredient! Hope this helps. 🙂

    1. Hi and thanks so much for your question! Yes, refrigerate any leftover portion of the cake or cupcakes in an airtight container. Hope you enjoy the recipe! 😀

  7. I made this today and I used xylitol for the sweetener and it tasted absolutely delicious. Thanks so much for the recipe

    1. Oh thank you, I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the cake!! 😀 And thank you so much for sharing your experience with using xylitol in place of the Swerve!!

    1. Hi! It shouldn’t make too much of a difference, they can still take about 20-25 minutes, but I would check in on them on the early side (20 minutes in). I hope you enjoy the recipe! 😀

    1. Hi there! We have not tested it with almond milk, but I do think it should be fine. It won’t be quite as rich, but should still be tasty, hope this helps! 🙂

    1. Hi! thank you for your comment, we have not tested subbing in flax eggs so I can’t guarantee that would work and don’t want to lead you astray. If you do try it, we would love to know how it goes! 😀

  8. Would using almond flour with a small amount of coconut flour give the texture and moistness more like a flour cake? If so what should amount be please?
    Thank you,

    1. Hi and thank you for your comment! We would not recommend using coconut flour in this particular recipe, have you had a chance to try it as is? It is very moist.

      1. Thank you for such a quick response! I will just do as recommended in recipe. You say you can use the thin pans, I’m making this cake for a diabetic customers anniversary, so the layers and height is important. How long for these pans versus the regular size? And also , wheee do I purchase Kite cream cheese? Is it not real cream cheese? I’m a cottage food law bakery and can’t use real cream cheese for clients so I was going to use just emulsion instead. Any help appreciated!

        1. You’re so welcome! You can buy Kite Hill Cream Cheese at Target, I always check online ahead of time to make sure they’re in stock–it is dairy-free cream cheese–I really hope that works according to cottage food law. I have not tested it with Swerve with an emulsion. If you are using the Wilton thin layer pans, (link to those pans in the directions above) you will use the same directions as the two layer pans: make sure to line the bottoms of the three thin cake pans with parchment paper and grease the sides. Pour batter evenly in to the three pans. Smooth the surface of the batter with a wet spatula. They will seem thin, but will rise. Bake 20-25 minutes. Carefully rotate the pans 180 degrees and lightly cover with foil at the 12 minute mark. At 20-25 minutes the layers will be ready to come out, they’ll still be a touch soft–this grain-free cake will firm as it cools, so let them cool COMPLETELY (you can place them in the freezer 10 minutes) and once they are cool, run a knife around the edges and carefully flip them over onto a cooling rack or plates and let them rest for another 5-10 minutes before frosting. I hope you and your customers enjoy the cake! I think you will love the texture and taste. 😀

  9. I made these and my cupcakes sank in the middles pretty significantly. There’s also a slight taste I can’t quite put my finger on, and my batter was VERY wet, unlike most keto batters. Is it meant to be portable? Any ideas on the sinking? I think the taste may be related to the baking soda and ACV combo but I’m unsure. I meant pourable lol not portable. Besides the strange taste I can’t pin, it’s very good!

    1. Hi Lila,
      Your red velvet cake looks decadent! Look forward to trying it!!
      I’m afraid there’s no Swerve available where I live though! Do you think erythritol would work instead? If yes, would it be a 1:1 ratio? I have Xylitol & Allulose stocked too.
      Thanks very much!

      1. Hello and thank you so much! We’ve had some good feedback from folks using alternative sweeteners, so I think it should work well. I would recommend using a blend (half and half) of allulose and erythritol together and I think that will work 1:1 in place of the Swerve. Hope you enjoy the recipe! 😀

  10. I have not tried the recipe yet. Just wondering if I can use heavy cream instead of the full fat milk or half and half ?

    1. Hi, thanks for your comment! Although I have not tested this recipe without Swerve, I think an allulose/monkfruit blend could work well here. We’ve received good feedback with alternative sweeteners. Allulose tends to be a little less sweet on it’s own, but paired with the monkfruit, it should be fine. I would try it with the same measurement, 2/3 cup. Hope this helps and you enjoy the recipe!

  11. hi, hoping to try this recipe for the festive week. Do you think I could use freeze-dried raspberry powder to colour the cake? I have food colouring intolerance…

    1. Hi! We have used beet juice powder (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N32M7BR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1) in a more traditional grain-free cake and it worked well and gave a vibrant red to the cake. I haven’t tried raspberry powder, it sounds like it would be delicious and colorful! I have not tested this keto version with powder, it’s possible it may change the texture a bit, we would love to know your experience if you try it this way!

  12. Hi Catherine
    This cake was such a hit with friends and family! ❤ Thanks so much for the recipe!
    Whilst the texture was perfect at 20 minutes 350°F, I’m wondering if I should bake it at a reduced temperature next time round since mine is a fan assisted oven. Your thoughts?

    1. Thanks so much for your kind review, I’m so happy you and your family are loving the cake!! And that is a wonderful question- I have not tested it in a fan assisted oven, but you could try baking it at 330-335°F next time, it could make the layers a bit more tender and moist. We’d love to know how it goes if you try it this way!

      1. Catherine, this worked like a charm! I baked 6 layers on a conventional oven setting of 330°F in 6 inch pans for 23 minutes and made it a “Keto Rainbow Velvet Cake” resulting in a moist & gorgeous treat which was adored by him and friends alike! All thanks to you – wish I could share a picture!

        1. Hooray! That sounds absolutely beautiful, I love that you made rainbow layers! 😀 And I’m thrilled to hear it worked so well with that temperature in a convection oven. Also, your experience will be helpful to others here, thank you so much for taking the time to share!

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