“What do you want for dessert Sunday?”
Since the family is all at home on Sundays we usually have a special dessert–a deviation from our usual quick weeknight cookie or chocolate fix. This week my husband requested carrot cake. Really, something with fruits and vegetables in it? I was pretty shocked. I made sure to ask him at least seventeen times if he was serious.
Carrot cake is a pretty easy thing to make healthier without compromising the taste too much. It’s forgiving with different flours, easy to keep moist even after removing fattening oils, and you can easily reduce the sugar a little bit and increase the spices without loosing too much of the flavor.
I promise that you won’t notice the modifications too much because you’ll be too busy enjoying the moist, cinnamon infused carrot cake and the rich delicious frosting. Grab your fork–it’s time to eat!
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup milk or almond milk
3 egg whites or 3 flax eggs (Mix 3 tbsp flax meal + 4 1/2 tbsp water in a small bowl. Allow to sit for five minutes to become gel like)
2 tbsp oil or applesauce
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups finely grated carrots
1 can (8 oz) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
3 oz reduced fat cream cheese (do not use fat free)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, place pineapple and finely grated carrots. Pulse several times until carrots and pineapple become very finely blended. Set aside for later use. In another bowl, mix together the baking soda, spices, flour and salt until just combined. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl combine sugar and milk. Mix until the sugar and milk become slightly fluffy. Add in eggs and extract, scrape bowl as necessary. Add one half the flour mixture, allow to mix until all the flour is incorporated. Add half the pineapple and carrot mixture. Add the remaining flour mixture, allow it to fully incorporate then add the remaining pineapple and carrot mixture. Continue to mix for approximately one minute more, scraping the bowl as necessary.
Pour mixture into a lightly greased 9×13 inch pan. Cook at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
After cake has cooled, in a mixing bowl beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla and continue blending until smooth. If desiring more of a glaze, you can now drizzle it over the cake. If you would like more of a frosting, continue adding powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. (I had to add 1 more cup of powdered sugar for a total of 2 cups to reach the consistency seen in the picture). Frost cake. Serve.
Makes approximately 16 servings.
*HINT* If you like the larger grated carrots and pineapple, you can omit putting it into the blender. My husband (although he likes carrot cake) does not like it with large pineapple and carrot chunks, so I have to blend it before hand.
Carbs per serving: 56, 260 calories, 3 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat