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The Ultimate Healthy Carrot Cake

Tender carrot cake full of cozy spices & topped with sweet cream cheese frosting. It’s protein-packed & has less than half the calories of a traditional recipe!

The Ultimate Healthy Carrot Cake


It’s full of cozy spices and plenty of carrots, and the protein-packed cream cheese frosting is divine. The cake will last for at least 4 days if stored in the refrigerator, and to keep it as tender as possible without the exposed cut edges drying out, store it in an airtight container. (I use something almost exactly the same as this cake case!)

Yields: 1 cake, 12 slices

For the cake 

  • 2 ¼ cups (270g) whole wheat or gluten-free* flour (measured like this) 
  • 2 ¼ tsp baking powder 
  • ¾ tsp baking soda 
  • 2 ½ tsp ground cinnamon 
  • ¾ tsp ground nutmeg 
  • ½ tsp salt 
  • 2 tbsp (28g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly 
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature 
  • 1 tbsp (15mL) vanilla extract 
  • ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt 
  • ¼ cup (60mL) pure maple syrup 
  • 1 ¼ tsp vanilla crème stevia 
  • ¾ cup (180mL) nonfat milk 
  • 2 ½ cups (265g) freshly grated carrots (about 4-5 medium, peeled first!) 

For the frosting 

  • 1 cup (240g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt 
  • 1 (8oz) block Greek yogurt cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 ¼ tsp vanilla crème stevia 


Instructions:

  • To prepare the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut two 9”-round circles out of wax paper to fit inside two 9”-round cake pans. Lightly coat the two 9”-round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Gently press one wax paper circle into the bottom of each cake pan, and lightly coat the wax paper with nonstick cooking spray. 
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg whites, and vanilla. Stir in the Greek yogurt, mixing until no large lumps remain. Mix in the maple syrup and stevia. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and stirring just until incorporated. (For best results, add the flour mixture in 4 equal parts.) Gently fold in the carrots. 
  • Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake at 350°F for 24-28 minutes, or until the center feels firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before inverting, peeling off the wax paper, and transferring to wire racks to cool completely. 
  • To prepare the frosting, add the Greek yogurt, Greek yogurt cream cheese, and stevia to a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. 
  • To assemble the cake, spread a generous dollop of frosting on top of one of the cake layers. Place the second layer on top. Frost the tops and sides. 


Notes:

  • For the gluten-free flour, I recommend the following: 1 cup (120g) millet flour, ¾ cup (90g) tapioca flour, ½ cup (60g) brown rice flour, and 1 ¾ teaspoons xanthan gum. Most store-bought gluten-free flour blends will work as well, if measured like this.
  • White whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or all-purpose flour may be substituted for the whole wheat flour.
  • Honey or agave may be substituted in place of the pure maple syrup.
  • If you prefer to omit the vanilla crème stevia from the carrot cake batter, you may replace it with an additional ½ cup of pure maple syrup and reduce the milk to 6 tablespoons. However, I do not recommend substituting anything for the vanilla crème stevia in the frosting. Other sweeteners will make the frosting too liquidy, and it won’t stay put once spread onto the cake.
  • Any milk may be substituted for the nonfat milk.
  • Do not substitute store-bought pre-shredded carrots. They are too thick and dry, and they won’t soften while the cake bakes.
  • You may add raisins, chopped walnuts, or shredded coconut to the cake if you prefer. However, I do not recommend adding diced or crushed pineapple. The extra liquid in the fruit and juices will cause the cake to collapse while cooling and make it extremely dense.
  • Neufchâtel (⅓-less fat) cream cheese may be substituted for the Greek yogurt cream cheese.
  • For sweeter frosting, add an additional ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon of vanilla crème stevia.
  • For frosting that does not require vanilla crème stevia, use this cream cheese frosting recipe of mine instead.
The Ultimate Healthy Carrot Cake

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Cake Magazine: The Ultimate Healthy Carrot Cake
The Ultimate Healthy Carrot Cake
Tender carrot cake full of cozy spices & topped with sweet cream cheese frosting. It’s protein-packed & has less than half the calories of a traditional recipe!
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