Healthy Carrot Cake? So, they say that cake is not good for you. Here we have a tastier, heart-healthy, veggie-loaded, fruit-filled , dairy-rich, organic “health food” carrot cake. No guilt here, all of the required major food groups are included in this delightful piece of heaven. Loaded with whole-grains, carrots, pineapple, and coconut. It just doesn’t get any better than this. You could almost live on this rich, scrumptious carrot cake, seriously! Crunchy toasted walnuts and my creamy, lite cream cheese frosting. Trust me honey, this is NOT your Grandma’s carrot cake…..
PS. We bake these often for the perfect dessert, birthday, holiday or wedding cake. If you need a healthy carrot cake send me an e-mail and for $39.00 it can be yours!
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- 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple
- 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, (see Ingredient note)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (or sweetener)
- 3/4 cup non-fat buttermilk, (see Tip)
- 1/2 cup canola or light olive oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raisins and/or
- 1/2 cup wild Maine blueberries (optional)
- zest from 1 lemon or orange (optional)
- 2 cups grated carrots, (4-6 medium)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see Tip)
- 12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchâtel), softened
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons toasted flaked coconut (optional garnish)
- 2 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts (optional garnish)
My favorite Healthy Carrot Cake
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9″X 13″ baking pan or cupcake tins with cooking spray
- Drain the pineapple in a colander or sieve set over a bowl, pressing out the juice. Reserve the drained pineapple and 1/4 cup of the juice.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and the 1/4 cup pineapple juice in a large bowl until blended. Stir in pineapple, (raisins and/or blueberries) carrots, 1/4 cup coconut and zest. Add the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until blended. Stir in the nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.
- Bake the cake until the top springs back when touched lightly and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cupcakes take 20 minutes or so. Let it cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
- To prepare frosting: Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light, smooth and creamy. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake or cupcakes. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and/or toasted walnuts for a lovely presentation.
TIPS & NOTES
- Ingredient Notes: Whole-wheat pastry flour (finely ground), lower in protein than regular whole-wheat flour, has less gluten-forming potential, making it a better choice for tender baked goods. You can find it in the natural-foods section of large super markets and natural-foods stores. You can store it in the freezer.
- Tips: No buttermilk? Make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk. You may use lite sour cream or Greek yogurt.
- To toast chopped walnuts and coconut chips, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 5 minutes, watching carefully.
Per serving: 342 calories; 17 g fat (5 g sat, 7 g mono); 56 mg cholesterol; 43 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 3 g fiber; 349 mg sodium; 150 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (40% daily value), Fiber (12% dv).