This healthier carrot cake is a classic carrot cake recipe that’s lower in fat than the original and reduced in sugar too.
Apparently National Carrot Cake Day is in February but I think of carrot cake as a spring dessert, the kind of no-fail recipe you make around Easter. Dressed up with luscious cream cheese frosting it feels a little festive, although it really is a humble cake that is simple to make.
Healthier Carrot Cake is a moist cake, made with less oil than most carrot cakes so isn’t greasy. Plus it doesn’t have pineapple in it so the crumb never feels wet. And it has just the right amount of cream cheese icing.
It’s an old Crosby’s recipe that I adapted slightly — reducing the sugar a bit and baking it in a 9”x13” pan instead of as a layer cake. And I cut the frosting recipe in half, which gives just the right amount to spread a swirling layer over the top of the cake.
This is the perfect cake for an Easter crowd. It stays moist so you can make it a few days ahead and frost it on the day you plan to serve it. (You can make the frosting ahead too and leave it in the fridge until you’re ready.) Even better, a 9”x 13” cake is easy to serve and the cake can be cut into as many as 20 pieces.
Healthier Carrot Cake for a Crowd
- 2 cups flour (can use half whole wheat)
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 3 cups packed grated carrots (about 4 large carrots)
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 2- 2 ½ cups icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Line a 9”x13” pan with parchment paper
- In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- In a large bowl whisk the oil with the molasses and sugar. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then vanilla.
- Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture.
- Fold in carrots and walnut and mix until combined.
- Scrape into prepared pan and spread evenly.
- Bake 50-55 minutes until a tester comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached.
- Let cool completely before icing.
- Beat together cream cheese and butter. Beat in the sugar until you reach desired stiffness. Mix in vanilla.
- Spread on cool cake.
Calorie count based on the cake being cut into 18 pieces. Nutritional count includes frosting.
Nutritional info: Per slice. Calories: 341, Fat: 17.6 g, Saturated Fat: 4.2g, Cholesterol: 56.8 mg, Carbs: 42.8 g, Sugar: 30.8 g, Sodium: 240.4 mg, Fibre: 1.5 g, Protein: 4.3 g, Potassium: 184 mg, Calcium: 35.6 g
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