This wholesome carrot cake recipe is a dessert makeover success story. It’s lower in fat and sugar than most carrot cake recipes and is made with whole grain flour. Made in a 9″x 13″ pan, wholesome carrot cake feeds a crowd.
I have a history of trying to make my baked goods healthier, with varying success.
I regularly reduce the sugar called for in a recipe by up to 1/3 and more often than not I substitute stone ground whole wheat flour (or some other whole grain flour like spelt) for half of the flour called for in a recipe.
In baked goods this formula usually works well. However, there have been times when fiddling with a recipe was a disaster.
There was the time we decided that strawberry jam had too much sugar so we cut the amount in half and had a whole batch blow up in our basement.
There was the time I replaced all-purpose flour in a cake recipe with whole wheat pastry flour. The flavour was lovely but the texture was so light that each slice crumbled to bits.
And I once substituted coconut flour for half of the flour in a granola bar recipe and ended up with an inedible slab of bars the texture of sandstone.
I come by this experimentation honestly. I recall my mom’s short-lived experiment with carob chips which are nothing like chocolate, no matter how much you want your kids to believe otherwise.
This is one of the recipe makeovers that worked out well. It is lower in fat than many carrot cake recipes and has less sugar too. It includes whole grain flour and a whopping three cups of grated carrots. I give it a light skim of cream cheese frosting on the top only so you get a bit of creamy sweet flavour in each bite. The recipe is made in a 9” x 13” pan so feeds a crowd.
Wholesome Carrot Cake Recipe
- 2 cups flour (half whole wheat or spelt)
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¾ cup grape seed or canola oil
- ¼ cup honey or molasses
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 3 cups packed grated carrots (about 4 large carrots)
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened (can use lite)
- 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 walnuts 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 cooled cake.
Almost all of the cake recipes on my blog are made with stone ground flour and many are reduced in sugar too. Take a look! May be you’ll find a new favourite.