A square of pecan filled preacher cake topped with cream cheese frosting rests atop a vintage cake plate with scalloped edges. Feature image

Preacher Cake Recipe Adapted for Low Carb

Old fashioned preacher cake is sweet with pineapple and pecans. The tender cake is traditionally topped with a rich cream cheese frosting that has chopped pecans stirred into it. In fact, it’s a lot like a single layer hummingbird. I’ve made some adaptions to create a preacher cake recipe that’s low carb and gluten free but just as good as the original.

For this recipe you’ll need:almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, Swerve or other sugar free sweetener, vanilla, egg, Torani Sugar Free Pineapple syrup – or your favorite, sugar free brown sugar cinnamon syrup, butter, cream cheese, and pecans.

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Preacher cake slice with a thick layer of cream cheese icing and pecans on top- title image

Preacher Cake is so named because it’s made from things that most homemakers kept in their pantries and could be thrown together quickly. If you look at the ingredients there’s no doubt that Preacher Cake is related to Hummingbird Cake – the only difference is that the Hummingbird Cake has bananas. At some point some harried southern homemaker realized that she was out of bananas and the preacher was coming to lunch so she threw together what she did have. At least that’s the way I think it happened.

I’ve heard people call it an Amish Preacher Cake but I’ve always known it as Southern Preacher Cake – so I don’t know. You’ll have to decide your ownself where you think it came from. Personally, I don’t care – I’m glad it exists! It took a few tries but I’ve adapted it to be low carb. It’s still sweet, with plenty of tropical flavor thanks to sugar free pineapple syrup – and it has that rich, cream cheese icing with chopped pecans folded in to it that I’ve always loved. What it doesn’t have is the 40 grams of carbs per serving that’s in the original.

My low carb version has just 2 net carbs per serving!

This recipe serves four people but you can cut the cake into servings and then freeze what you aren’t going to eat right away. In fact, I’d suggest that if you aren’t sharing you put the 3 slices that you aren’t eating in the freezer before you taste the piece that you planned on eating.
Trust me on this – it’s addictive.

Uncut preacher cake in a baking pan - top view

Preacher Cake Recipe Variations

This cake is awesome as is – and I suggest you make it exactly according to instructions the first time so you are familiar with it. After that you may want to try one of these variations –

  • Substitute macadamia nuts for pecans
  • Substitute walnuts for the pecans
  • Use sugar free coconut syrup in place of some of the pineapple syrup
  • Remove a tablespoon of almond flour and replace with coconut flour
  • Try vegetable oil instead of butter
  • Stir in some unsweetened coconut flakes into the frosting (be sure to rework the nutrition info)
  • Replace a teaspoon of the syrup with spiced rum
  • Replace the vanilla in the frosting with rum

This is truly a versatile recipe that you can play around with until you get exactly what you’re looking for.

A slice of preacher cake with a thick cream cheese and pecan frosting. A pecan is on top -top view

Low Carb Preacher Cake Recipe

When you need something sweet to snack on along with your sugar free caramel breve or espresso in the? afternoon this low carb cake recipe is just right. Give it a try and if you love it please give it a 5 star rating!

Piece of preacher cake on a plate - recipe template image
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Low Carb Preacher Cake

Easy Preacher Cake recipe adapted to be low carb and gluten free! Sweet cake with tropical flavor is topped with a rich cream cheese and pecan frosting. 2 net carbs! 
Course Dessert
Cuisine low carb, Southern
Keyword cake
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 224kcal
Author Katherine Peters



  • 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/3 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup swerve
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Sugar Free Pineapple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon Brown Sugar Cinnamon Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon butter , melted
  • 1/3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans , divided use


  • 1.5 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • 1 tablespoon butter , softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cups swerve



  • Preheat the oven to 325F.
  • Grease a 6×6-inch square baking pan.
  • Blend the almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and sweetener in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • In a larger bowl blend together the egg yolk, syrups, butter, and vanilla until well mixed.
  • Stir in the dry ingredients gently.
  • Fold in half the pecans – about 2 tablespoons.
  • Spoon cake into baking pan and smooth top.
  • Bake at 325F for 20 to 30 minutes –  or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it.
  • Let cool before adding the frosting.


  • Blend all the ingredients except the pecans until smooth.
  • Fold in the remaining pecans.
  • Spread gently on completely cooled cake.
  • Refrigerate if you’re not eating it within a few hours. Freeze for longer storage.


Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 177mg | Potassium: 40mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 385IU | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 0.8mg

If you liked this Preacher Cake recipe you may also like…

Coca Cola Cake, Tres Leches Cake, Celebration Cake (all low carb)
Low Carb Coca Cola Cake?Low Carb Tres Leches Cake?Low Carb Layer Cake

Still Looking? Here are a couple more recipes from some of my favorite blogs…

Coconut Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon Ricotta Cake

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