healthy carrot cake

Every time my mom comes to town she makes Jack a carrot cake (although I think this was the third carrot cake she made for him (us) that week). It’s his favorite and I never make it. I find it messy to grind up the carrots and I opt for pumpkin baked goods because I think they taste so similar. It’s way easier to dump pumpkin out of a can than get messy with carrots. That being said, I did my part in helping inhale 3 carrot cakes within 6 days.*

This is a really healthy cake with not-as-healthy frosting. She uses next to no sugar in the cake since the frosting provides plenty. It’s made with whole spelt flour, agave syrup, and applesauce instead of their refined counterparts. It’s more like a bread or muffin until you slather it with frosting.

*We baked this mini cake (pictured) along side a regular batch because we thought the dish was cute. (“we” being my mom and I… Jack doesn’t call things cute and/or care what dishes look like.)

CARROT CAKE:
2 eggs
1/2 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1 lb. carrots (chopped or mini carrots)
2 cups wheat (or spelt) flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon cinnamon

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
(this makes some extra)

4 oz. cream cheese (or tofutti cream cheese for non-dairy version)
4 T. butter (or earth balance)
3 C. powdered sugar
1-2 T. milk (or non-dairy milk), as needed
1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In food processor, combine eggs, sugar, oil, applesauce and yogurt. Pulse for 10-20 seconds. Using the shredder disk, shred carrots into egg mixture.

Transfer carrot mixture to a mixing bowl. Add dry ingredients and mix with a hand mixer until all ingredients are combined – about one minute.

Spread in greased 8 x 11″ cake pan and bake 20-25 minutes. Check center of cake for doneness at 20 minutes. Cake will be very dense and should pull away from sides of pan when done.

Cool and frost.

25 comments

  1. Buy Treadmills from toptreadmillsforhome.com on said:

    Glad to visit this blog, keep it going.

  2. This sounds and looks so good and moist!

  3. Emma Galloway from mydarlinglemonthyme.com on said:

    Yum, I love your addition of the apple sauce and yoghurt :-) Happy New Years!

  4. Denise from tlt-thelittlethings.com on said:

    It sounds (and looks) delicious, wishing you a wonderful NYE!

  5. kat on said:

    Looks great. Question – bake at what degrees? And where’s the agave in the recipe? thanks.

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Thanks for pointing these out… I just fixed those 2 items in the recipe. Temp is 350 degrees, and I meant to type agave syrup instead of sugar.

  6. Aimee on said:

    I made this yesterday, and the frosting was delicious! My whole family loved it, and the cake was gone in a day. :)

  7. I have invented a kind of healthy version of topping: http://gewoonlekkergewoon.blogspot.com/2011/11/heeft-u-ook-worteltjestaart.html

  8. Pingback: Carrot cake jars { vegan } | Love and Lemons

  9. Christina from delacasa.wordpress.com on said:

    Just moved house (and country and hemisphere!) with my dearly beloved and we are in the process of replenishing the new pantry, with nutritious, unrefined baking goods. Have bookmarked a lot of your recipes, such as this (!) and plan to direct my baking (and thus my blog) towards such beautiful, healthful delights. Your site is gorgeous, keep up the incredible photos and recipes.

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      thank you Christina!

  10. Annalee from tomarkttomarkt.com on said:

    Another yummy loaf. Did you use blue agave or light agave syrup?

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hi Annalee,

      Light agave, I usually buy the Whole Foods brand. Granulated sugar also works, I just happened to not have any that day :)

  11. Christy on said:

    Thanks for the great recipe! I didn’t have apple sauce so I blended up a ripe peach and used 1 cup whole wheat and 1 cup white flour. I was a little concerned with using all whole wheat but will try it next time. I also made muffins and think I’m going to make another batch with all whole wheat flour. Think some of my co-workers will like these since they aren’t sweet. Thanks so much! Glad I found your site.

  12. Sarah on said:

    I love carrot cake and was happy to see this healthier version. I just attempted this receipt and if I make it again I will definitely put more cinnamon in, maybe some other spices as well. I also opted out of the frosting and just put some greek yogurt on the slice I ate–I recommend it!

  13. Stephanie from figsinmybelly.com on said:

    This looks great! The mini cake you made, is that about the size of a loaf pan? Did you just halve the recipe you posted for it to fit?

  14. Pingback: Healthy Carrot Breakfast Bread | Figsinmybelly

  15. Rhi on said:

    I made this for a lazy Sunday afternoon, afternoon tea and it was enjoyed by all. Thank you. Great recipe!

  16. joanne on said:

    I just made this cake and the bake time was almost double what you posted. Took at least 40 minutes. Sure you didn’t post the time for the mini-cake????

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      What size pan did you bake it in? We bake ours in an 8×11 rectangle glass pan, so the cake (not the mini ones) is still only a few inches tall. If you used a deeper pan, I’m sure the timing would vary. And/or maybe my oven is hotter?

  17. Pingback: Sundays are better with cake | The Happy Camper Project

  18. Pingback: Annual Guide to Schools » vegan carrot cake (& frosting)

  19. cindy on said:

    hello!

    so i was planning on making this carrot cake without the frosting, and i was wondering whether it would be too try to eat it or too “healthy” because i’m not quite sure how sweet this cake is. would you suggest using more agave, or just try eating it by itself? would it be alright?

    haha thanks!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hi Cindy – this one isn’t that great without the frosting because the cake itself is really not very sweet.

      I like this (more recent) version better – it’s a little sweeter and more moist. I make it all the time without frosting: http://www.loveandlemons.com/2014/04/28/vegan-carrot-cake-macadamia-frosting/

  20. Pingback: vegan carrot cake (& frosting) | Love and Lemons

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