Healthy Carrot Cake with Maple Cinnamon Frosting
When it comes to liking Carrot Cake, nobody is really “on the fence” if you know what I mean. You either love it or you hate it.
To tell you the truth, I’ve always hated it. The carrots always tasted raw to me, they were crunchy and its flavor was much too potent. Whenever I came across a slice of carrot cake, I would simply scrape off the icing and eat that spoonful by spoonful, leaving the orange scraps on the plate. And even though I currently hate carrots (yes, still), I absolutely loved this healthy carrot cake!
To be honest, the carrot flavor was not strong at all. I don’t even remember tasting it! I was a little too focused on the smooth, sweet frosting 😉
The cake itself is unbelievably moist, the raisins were plump, and the frosting in between the cake layers make your individual slice even more exciting!
The amount of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves is perfect. This healthy carrot cake is not bland in any way, but not too spicy either. It is just as sweet, just as rich and just as decadent as any bakery’s carrot cake. The frosting adds both flavor and presentation too, but it’s not your typical, pastel white cream cheese frosting.
This frosting has a little secret! Can you guess?
It’s tofu! I originally wanted to make a cream cheese frosting but the selection at Whole Foods was particularly small, so I settled for blended tofu.
Don’t worry, you don’t taste it at all! My mother hates tofu and when I told her the frosting’s secret ingredient she was shocked. Trust me too, though, I hate tofu as well.
I’m really excited to share this recipe — the cake is so tender and moist it’s unbelievable, and the frosting just completes the dish. I’m growing somewhat fond of that bright orange color… Could this be it? Are vegetables really making me this happy?
- 240g (2 cups) Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- 48g (¼ cup) Pure Cane Sugar
- 32g (¼ cup) Arrowroot Starch
- 30g (1 scoop) Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
- 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp Ground Cloves
- 1½ tsp Double-Acting Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Baking Soda
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 170g (⅖ package) Organic Extra Firm Tofu (drained and rinsed)
- 123g (½ cup) Unsweetened Applesauce
- 112g (½ cup) Plain, Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- ½ cup 100% Orange Juice
- 28g (2 tbs) Grapeseed Oil
- 42g (2 tbs) Molasses
- 2 tsp Liquid Stevia Extract
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1¼ tsp Natural Butter Flavor
- ½ tsp Lemon Flavor
- 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1½ cups Grated Carrots
- ½ cup Raisins
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and spray two 9" cake pans with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, sugar, starch, protein powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a blender, add the tofu, applesauce, yogurt, orange juice, oil, molasses, stevia, vanilla, butter flavor, and lemon flavor. Puree until smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients and fold together until MOSTLY mixed through.
Add in the vinegar, carrots, and raisins, and fold together until mixed through, being careful not to overmix.
Pour batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for ~33 minutes, or until the surface springs back when tapped. Flip cakes onto a wire cooling rack and let cool completely.
In a blender, add the tofu, sugar, maple flavor, and stevia. Puree until smooth.
While blending, add the coconut oil, then the protein powder, then the cinnamon.
Frost the cake. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
The Desserts with Benefit’s nutrition label is on the left (includes frosting), the other cake’s nutrition label is on the right (includes frosting but not pecans). Prepare to be shocked:
In case you didn’t see, the label for my cake is for 1/8th of the recipe while the label for the other cake is for 1/16th of the recipe. So, um, it goes without saying that my healthy carrot cake has less than HALF the calories as the other cake and for double the quantity! My cake also contains less fat, sugar and cholesterol, while containing more fiber, protein, calcium and iron.
I was so surprised about the large discrepancy that I doubled-checked my nutrition label and triple-checked the other. They are correct. I think I’ll take two slices of my cake, please! Yes, that is one quarter of the entire cake, but, it’s always nice having some more sugary goodness cake, right? Yes. It is.
So enjoy this healthy, flavorful, veggie-packed dessert without having to bring out the stretchy pants!
With love and good eats,
Be sure to follow @DessertsWithBenefits on Instagram! If you try this recipe, make sure to snap a picture of it, tag me @DessertsWithBenefits, and hashtag #DessertsWithBenefits. I’d love to see it and feature you on #FanFaveFridays!