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.)

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

(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.

If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. Buy Treadmills from on said:

    Glad to visit this blog, keep it going.

  2. This sounds and looks so good and moist!

  3. Emma Galloway from on said:

    Yum, I love your addition of the apple sauce and yoghurt πŸ™‚ Happy New Years!

  4. Denise from 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 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. πŸ™‚

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  8. Christina from 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 on said:

      thank you Christina!

  9. Annalee from on said:

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

    • jeanine from 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 πŸ™‚

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. Stephanie from 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?

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  14. Rhi on said:

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

  15. 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 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?

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  18. cindy on said:


    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!

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

  20. Bree on said:


    what can I use instead of agrave syrup and the canola oil?

  21. Maria on said:

    Can I make this gluten free?)

  22. Kari McMullin on said:

    How do you make the frosting? Just combine everything?

    • Sorry! mix with a hand mixer or a standing kitchen mixer.

      • Kari McMullin on said:

        No worries – thanks for the quick reply. I’m going to make a vegan version tomorrow for Easter! Also baking your Vegan Carrot Cake. I’ll let you know how it turns out. πŸ˜€

    • more specifically – mix the butter and cream cheese until creamy, then sift in the powdered sugar so that it’s not clumpy and continue mixing.

      • Kari McMullin on said:

        Perfect, thanks!

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