Healthy-ish Carrot Cake
By: Easy Peasy Mommy
My husband’s favorite dessert is carrot cake but didn’t like all the oil and general unhealthiness that came with traditional carrot cake so I began my quest to find the most flavorful and healthy carrot cake I could. I first tried the modified recipe below from Cooking Light 6 years ago and the flavor was so amazing that it didn’t taste like a lightened up version. I made a few modifications to increase its moistness and to add some additional goodness to it (like pineapple), but mostly kept the recipe in tact. Top with cream cheese frosting and it is a healthier option that is amazing.
Prep: 20 Cook: 25
$10 – $15
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups grated carrot
- 1 1/2 cups canned crushed pineapple, drained
- Cooking spray
- 2 jars baby carrot food (pureed)
Easier Peasier Recipe Tips:
- I like to grate baby carrots in a food processor. I don’t have to peel, and it cuts down on time. Just be sure that you chop finely, but not puree. If the chunks are too big, they won’t soften when you bake the cake
- If you don’t like coconut or pecans you can simply remove without making any modifications to the rest of the recipe. Same with adding in other nuts or even raisins.
- If you don’t like pineapple and you want to remove, you will need to modify the cake slight. Pineapple adds more than moistness, the acidic enzymes found in pineapple also acts as a tenderizer. So, go ahead and remove, but you will need to increase the oil need in the cake by 1/4 cup (so you will use 3/4 cup oil in total). Same with the sugar, you will need to increase your granulate sugar from 1 1/3 cup to 1 2/3 cup.
- This recipe should be mixed with a spoon not mixer
- This cake should fill either one 9x13 cake pan, or two round 9-inch cake pans
Step by Step Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. You will want to make sure your give your oven a good 20 minutes to heat up so that all the heat is distributed equally.
Spray your cooking pan(s) with cooking spray set aside.
Combine all the dry ingredients. Flour, coconut, pecans, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix well with a whisk.
Combine all your wet ingredients. Oil, baby carrot food, eggs, vanilla extract, sugar (granulate and brown). Remember- sugar is considered a wet ingredient when baking.
Mix together the dry and wet ingredients also adding in your grated carrots and pineapple. Stir well until all the ingredients are incorporated
Spoon batter in your cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes- or until your toothpick comes out clean. NOTE: Depending on your oven, you may want to start checking at the 30 minute mark.
Remove and completely cool on a wire rack before adding the cream cheese frosting.