When most people think of carrot cake, they think it’s a health food, but usually it is very high in fat and calories. However, I found a recipe from EatingWell that has about 40% less calories and 50% less fat than most carrot cake recipes. There is no butter in the frosting and the buttermilk and crushed pineapple ensures a rich moist cake. I wanted desperately to substitute an unrefined sugar, but since I was making this for all the workers at our home, I wanted to play it safe! By the way, I am hoping to transfer my Sweet Basil Kitchen to our new home by mid-summer!
I always like to gather my ingredients together before I begin, making sure I have everything I need…
Drain one 20oz. can of crushed pineapple in a sieve over a bowl, pressing on the fruit to drain as much as possible.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Grate 4-6 medium carrots. (mine were small so I used more) My Cuisinart made easy work of this and I didn’t end up with any grated knuckles.
Whisk eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and 1/4 c. pineapple juice in large bowl until blended. Stir in pineapple, carrots and 1/4 c. coconut. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Stir in nuts.
Scrape batter into oiled pan, spreading evenly.
Bake in 350 oven for 40-45 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool completely before frosting.
Mix 12oz. softened reduced-fat cream cheese, 1/2 c. powdered sugar and 2t. vanilla until smooth and creamy. Spread over cooled caked. Top with 1/2 c. chopped walnuts.
I did not have the time to wait until the cake was completely cool before I frosted it…but the workers did not seem to mind warm cake! (nor did I)
I am cooking forward to a bigger kitchen sink in my new kitchen…
It has been years since I made carrot cake, but this tasted like the real deal. I think I could even reduce the sugar by 1/4 c. cup. The pineapple and carrots add plenty of natural sweetness.
1 20oz. can crushed pineapple (reserve 1/4 c. pineapple juice)
2 c. whole-wheat pastry flour
2 t. soda
1/2 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
3 large eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. canola oil
1 t. vanilla
2 c. grated carrots
1/4 c. unsweetened flaked coconut
1 c. chopped walnuts
12 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Drain pineapple in a sieve, reserving juice. Whisk flour, soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and 1/4 c. pineapple juice in large bowl until well blended. Stir in pineapple, carrots and coconut. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan spreading evenly. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top springs back when touched lightly. Let cool completely before frosting. Prepare frosting my mixing cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Spread over cake and top with chopped walnuts.