Healthy Carrot Cake Recipe | low calorie, low fat, sugar free, whole grain

Healthy Carrot Cake with Maple Cinnamon Frosting

This Carrot Cake is unbelievably fluffy, moist, and filled with sweet raisins and the perfect blend of spices.  And to take it to the next level?  A Maple Cinnamon Frosting spread on top and in between the cake layers!

As if things couldn’t get any better, this cake also happens to be GOOD FOR YOU!  That’s right.  This cake is whole grain, sugar free, and low in fat and calories.

Each bite is an exciting experience that will change the way you think about Carrot Cake!

Healthy Whole Wheat Carrot Cake

Healthy Whole Wheat Carrot Cake

When it comes to liking Carrot Cake, I feel like 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 Carrot Cake.  Until today.

The carrots always tasted raw to me — they were crunchy and its flavor was far too potent.  Growing up, if I was ever served a slice of carrot cake, I would simply scrape off the icing and eat the icing all by itself, leaving the orange cake scraps on the plate.  And even though I currently hate carrots (yes, still), I absolutely loved baking and eating this Carrot Cake.

The carrot flavor isn’t strong and overpowering, like all of the Carrot Cakes I’ve eaten before.  Although, it’ll be hard to focus on tasting carrots with this dang delicious, smooth, and sweet Maple Cinnamon Frosting  😉

This Carrot Cake is unbelievably fluffy, moist, and filled with sweet raisins and the perfect blend of spices.

The Maple Cinnamon Frosting spread on top and in between the cake layers make your individual slice even more exciting!

I find the amount of cinnamon and nutmeg to be perfect in pumpkin pie spice, which is why I used that in the recipe.  But feel free to use the individual spices to your taste.  If you hate nutmeg or simply don’t want ginger or cloves, just use more cinnamon!  Can’t go wrong with cinnamon  🙂

This healthy Carrot Cake is not bland in any way, and it’s not too spicy either.  It’s just as sweet, just as rich, and just as decadent as any bakery-bought Carrot Cake.

This frosting isn’t your typical pastel-white cream cheese frosting.  The Maple Cinnamon Frosting adds both flavor and presentation points too!  And it has a little secret ingredient…  can you guess what it is?  😉

Healthy Whole Wheat Carrot Cake

It’s 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 but I LOVED this frosting.

I’m super duper excited to share this recipe — this Carrot Cake is so tender and moist, it really doesn’t taste healthy and whole grain at all.  And the frosting is unique, flavorful, and brings everything together in perfect flavor harmony.

And…  I’m growing somewhat fond of the cake’s bright orange color…  could this be it??

Are vegetables really making me this happy??

*GASP*

😉

Healthy Whole Wheat Carrot Cake

Healthy Whole Wheat Carrot Cake
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Healthy Carrot Cake with Maple Cinnamon Frosting

Servings: 2 8" cake layers
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
This Carrot Cake is unbelievably fluffy, moist, and filled with sweet raisins and the perfect blend of spices. And to take it to the next level? A Maple Cinnamon Frosting spread on top and in between the cake layers!

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 240g (2 cups) Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 96g (½ cup) Granulated Erythritol
  • 48g (½ cup) Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
  • tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • tsp Double-Acting Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 170g (⅖ package) Extra Firm Tofu (drained and rinsed)
  • 123g (½ cup) Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 112g (½ cup) Plain, Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • ½ cup 100% Orange Juice
  • 63g (3 tbs) Molasses
  • 28g (2 tbs) Avocado Oil
  • 2 tsp Liquid Stevia Extract
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp Lemon Zest
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • cups Grated Carrots
  • ½ cup Raisins

Frosting:

Instructions

For the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and spray two 8” cake pans with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, erythritol, protein powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a blender, add the tofu, applesauce, yogurt, orange juice, molasses, oil, stevia extract, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Puree until smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients and fold together until MOSTLY mixed through.
  • Add in the vinegar, carrots, and raisins.  Fold together until mixed through, being careful not to overmix.
  • Pour the 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.

For the Frosting:

  • In a blender, add the tofu, applesauce, erythritol, maple flavor, and butter flavor. Puree until smooth.
  • Add the protein powder and cinnamon. Puree until completely smooth.
  • Add the coconut oil and puree one last time. Place the mixture in the fridge until firm enough to frost.
  • Frost the cake. Slice, serve, and enjoy!  Store the cake in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Nutrition Facts
Healthy Carrot Cake with Maple Cinnamon Frosting
Amount Per Serving (1 serving = 1/10th of cake (does not include frosting)
Calories 215 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 0.5g3%
Cholesterol 15mg5%
Sodium 200mg9%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 2700IU54%
Vitamin C 11.6mg14%
Calcium 150mg15%
Iron 2.4mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake & Cupcakes
Keyword: Eggless, Low Fat, Refined Sugar Free

If you’d prefer Cream Cheese Frosting, I have a great recipe here!

For a tiny sliver of bakery-bought Carrot Cake (that’s a 1/16th slice of a 2-layer 8″ cake) has a whopping 750 calories, 41g fat, 91g carbs, and 74g sugar.  That’s over 6 tablespoons of sugar in a single slice!

I think we can all agree that my recipe is better  😉

Enjoy!

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With love and good eats,

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– Jess

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24 comments on “Healthy Carrot Cake with Maple Cinnamon Frosting”

  1. Oh my gosh this is incredible. You have no idea how much I’ve been craving carrot cake lately, so I’m totally gonna have to try to make this.

  2. Just what we need! It’s always nice to find low calorie cake ! 🙂

  3. I’ve always been shocked by the calorie and fat content of carrot cake, especially because so many people think it’s a ‘healthy option’ because of the carrots! Yours looks lovely though, and I particularly like your photos – simple and really stylish.

  4. Is there anything you can use to replace the whey and the tofu but keep it relatively low calorie still?

    • Thanks!! Will try it soon 🙂

    • Jessica | Desserts With Benefits

      I’m not sure if the whey can be replaced, but you can try using 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (not pastry flour) or 1/4 cup brown rice flour instead.
      To replace the tofu, you can try using 1) a whole egg and an egg white, or 2) two flax eggs.

      Just note that I have not tried these, but I’m crossing my fingers that they work!

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  7. Hi Jessica,

    I have just stumbled upon your blog, and my first impression is that I finally found what I’ve been looking for for many months.

    I follow a diet based on the glycemic index and wholesome ingredients (Montignac diet).
    I’ve always tried to prepare low-fat cakes (generally vegan) using whole wheat flour, but they have always come out as bricks… they were not fluffly or airy.

    Do you think I could replace arrowroot starch? I don’t know if it low-glycemic or not… Maybe soy flour, chickpea flour, guar gum, gluten?
    Also, I wonder what is the purpose of tofu in the recipe… does it act like a fat replacer? I really like the idea of increasing the protein contents in dessert recipes and I love tofu.

    Thanks for your help and time!

    Javi

    • I’m so glad you found my blog! Arrowroot starch is not considered low carb or low glycemic, but a very small amount is used in the recipe. The glycemic index of this cake is on the lower side because of the healthy fats, fiber and protein, which all slow digestion and absorption. The arrowroot starch helps provide a lighter and fluffier cake, so if you were to replace it the texture might be a little bit harder, which is undesirable in a cake. I wouldn’t recommend soy flour or chickpea flour because those ingredients absorb quite a bit of liquid.
      I would recommend replacing the arrowroot starch with more whole wheat pastry flour and adding another 2 tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce to the recipe. Also, if you are concerned about the glycemic index of the cake, I would also recommend replacing the pure cane sugar with coconut sugar (low glycemic) or maple sugar (also low glycemic).
      The tofu in this recipe acts as an egg-/butter-replacer and binder 🙂
      Hope you like the cake!
      -Jess

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  9. I enjoy your site but could you also add a gluten free option? 

  10. I would never know its healthy! Yum!

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  19. Looks yummy. Thanks for lovely recipe5 stars

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