Carrot cake; notorious for being high in sugar and fat. Not this cake though. Spicy, tender and flavourful, this healthy cake could fool anyone. Topped with a creamy orange frosting, this cake is delicious!
This is the 2nd recipe in your month of healthy recipes, perfect for the new year resolutioners. Our first recipe was a super quick and invigorating smoothie, great for any time, but now I wanted to bake something, something healthy and still full of flavor. Who says healthy is boring?
This cake is so easy to make and really quick too, it just takes time to bake. It took me 5 minutes to mix up the batter but this cake does take 1 hour to bake. But…during the baking time, you can just get on with your everyday life. When a cake takes 15-20 minutes to bake, I always seem to hover around the oven for that length of time but when a cake takes 45+ minutes, I get on with other jobs and duties.
What makes carrot cake not so healthy is normally the amount of sugar and oil it contains. Looking at the average carrot cake, it contains 330ml oil and a whopping 400g sugar! But hold on, that is just the cake! The frosting is usually a cream cheese frosting, containing butter, cream cheese (full fat) and icing sugar. 330g of cream cheese, as well as 225g butter, really does make this cake not health food, even though vegetables are involved.
Okay, I would like you to prepare for this…
This carrot and pineapple cake contain….
Wait for it…
1,470 calories PER slice!!!
and 90g of fat…
and 120g sugar…
This cake, however, only contains 3 tbsp (45ml) of oil and a tiny 85g brown sugar. Instead of sweetening the cake entirely with sugar, I decided to go a bit more natural and use organic honey. Normally, I am not the keenest on the taste of honey but I used it in this cake as there are so many more flavors; cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, carrots etc, to disguise the floral taste.
Surprisingly I did not notice or miss the normal amount of oil called for in a cake like this; oil adds moisture and tenderness but sometimes, a carrot cake can be a bit on the “greasy” side. As carrots are moisture-giving ingredients in baking, could I just up the number of carrots and decrease of oil?
I decreased the oil dramatically and up the carrots but I was missing the structure and body of the cake. It was too weak and flat.
Back to the drawing board!
Flour adds structure and gluten; if the gluten is worked for a long period of time, it begins to toughen the mixture and becomes elastic. Eggs are perfect for adding a more substantial texture so I added an extra egg, more flour as well as a dollop of strained Greek yogurt to the cake.
I was so happy with the results!
Moist yet light, this carrot cake is perfect. It gets even better with a healthy frosting.
Ready for the topping? O% greek yogurt and icing sugar are the base ingredients and I was so happy that it actually tasted good! I used Fage total yogurt as it is extremely thick and holds its shape well; no runny frosting here. Flavored with orange and vanilla, it pairs so nicely to the spiced cake and is a light, fresh contrast.
If you make my Cranberry Orange Muffins Recipe, be sure to take a photo and tag me @onlinefoodblog on Instagram or Twitter. I would love nothing more than to see your creations!
3 eggs, free-range and at room temperature For the frosting 140g 0% Greek yogurt, I used Fage total yogurt This cake should be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.
How do you make Carrot Cake
75g light brown sugar
40g honey, organic
3 tbsp. oil, like a mild olive oil or rapeseed
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
250g carrots, topped, tailed and peeled
50g 0% greek yogurt
125g plain wholewheat flour
50g plain flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
30g icing sugar
zest of 1/2 orange
Try out our Healthy Carrot Cake recipe and post your results below in the comments…
3 eggs, free-range and at room temperature
For the frosting
140g 0% Greek yogurt, I used Fage total yogurt
This cake should be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.