Healthier Carrot Cake Recipe for a Crowd

Servings: 15-20 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hours 10 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

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Healthier Carrot Cake for a Crowd is a classic carrot cake recipe that’s lower in fat than the original with less in sugar. Made in a 9"x13" pan. Extra easy.

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 recipe
    This healthier carrot cake is a classic carrot cake recipe that’s lower in fat than the original and reduced in sugar too.

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.


If you want to go even lower in fat try our recipe for Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Icing. Or, make our Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies.

Healthier Carrot Cake for a Crowd Recipe

Serves 15-20


  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Line a 9”x13” pan with parchment paper
  3. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  4. In a large bowl whisk the oil with the molasses and sugar. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then vanilla.
  5. Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture.
  6. Fold in carrots and walnut and mix until combined.
  7. Scrape into prepared pan and spread evenly.
  8. Bake 50-55 minutes until a tester comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached.
  9. Let cool completely before icing.


  1. Beat together cream cheese and butter. Beat in the sugar until you reach desired stiffness. Mix in vanilla.
  2. 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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16 thoughts on “Healthier Carrot Cake Recipe for a Crowd

  1. Kay says:

    At what point do you add the 1 1/4 cups of sugar into the cake mixture?

    1. Hi Kay, You can add the sugar when you add the molasses. Apologies, and thank you for letting me know that I had missed that in the instructions. All fixed now.

  2. L. Morrow says:

    Because of nut allergies, could you substitute plumped raisins for the walnuts?

    1. Hi there,
      Yes, you could substitute all sorts of things for the walnuts. Raisins would be a great variation.

  3. sidrah mubashir says:

    Can I use plain black strap molasses robust flavour in this recipe instead of the fancy one and if the quantity remains the same.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Sidrah, Yes, if you enjoy the flavour of blackstrap molasses then you could use it in this recipe. (Keep in mind that the cake will be darker and less sweet with blackstrap.)

  4. Cathy Fancy says:

    I believe this recipe is missing 2 tsp baking powder from the list of ingredients…I made it and it did not turn out well.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Cathy, The 2 tsp. of baking soda and four eggs should give it enough lift. Were you thinking that it should have baking powder in addition to the baking soda? (I’d like to figure out why the recipe didn’t work for you.)

  5. Judy baker says:

    4can you half this recipe?

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Judy, Yes, you can half the recipe. I’d use a deep 8″x 8″ pan. I’d keep it at the same temperature and start checking for doneness at about 40 minutes. Enjoy.

  6. Elayne Mott says:

    Hi there: Just wondering, since there’s just my husband & I at home now a days, if I cut the recipe in half, what size pan would you recommend & at what temperature and for how long would I bake it. Thanks.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Elayne, I’d use a deep 8×8 pan for a half recipe. I’d keep it at the same temperature and start checking for doneness at about 40 minutes. Enjoy.

  7. Bonita says:

    My Husbands 70th Birthday is on Saturday & all he wants is a carrot cake…so thanks for the recipe…Bonita

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Bonita, Happy Birthday to your husband. Hope he enjoyed the cake.

  8. Sharon Whitaker says:

    Thanks for the great recipes, and proving great replies as well, every single thing that i have cooked or baked has been amazing, didnt know that molasses was such a big hit

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Thanks Sharon!

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