So my Godmother, Auntie Lorna, is like the Worlds Best Baker. Well she’s waaay up there for me. I remember her making this GORGEOUS Carrot Cake for my 16th birthday and it’s been 4 years but I still can’t think of any carrot cake that has lived up to it. So of course when my roommates boyfriend at the time (now fiance!!!!) asked me to make her a carrot cake for her birthday, I thought of that glorious cake from my 16th birthday and I called her up. When it was time to make it I knew I was going to have to switch out at least SOME of the ingredients. I didn’t go full force because Marsha (that’s my roomie) isn’t as much of a “healthy-dessert nut” as I am, and since this was my first time making carrot cake, I figured that her birthday was probably not the best time to experiment lol. But still, I switched out half of the granulated white sugar for Stevia, replaced ALL of the margarine with some pumpkin, applesauce and a touch of coconut oil, and used whole wheat flour instead of white.
I was shocked. It was SO moist, I would have thought that there was NO way this couldn’t have a ton of butter. And I didn’t say it at the time but I was soo encouraged when her boyfriend, Patrick came and took a huge piece home! 🙂
So with that I was definitely interested in how it would taste with no added sugar, and even with no oil.
2 cups stevia (half stevia-half turbinado [brown] sugar OR all turbinado sugar)
½ cup and ¼ cup applesauce & ½ cup and ¼ cup pumpkin (you can add a bit of Coconut Oil-like 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour (I’ve also tried 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup spelt flour: this works also)
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups finely shredded carrots
1 tsp orange zest
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped pecans, divided (optional)
In a bowl, beat sugar, pumpkin-applesauce mixture, and vanilla. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; add to the sugar mixture alternately with eggs. Mix well. Stir in carrots, orange zest, pineapple and optional 1/2 cup pecans and raisins to taste (I definitely prefer this with raisins <3 uhhh). Pour into a greased and floured 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
You can also do cupcakes or muffins (which I did this time). Just bake them for about 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Sometimes ovens vary, so keep an eye on them.
Ideally I would “Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Garnish with remaining nuts.” but I didn’t have the ingredients to try out a healthy cream cheese frosting, and I couldn’t undo all the steps in the direction of healthiness by covering it in just anything. So I left them as is. I’ve gotta say though, they are pretty darn good with some Peanut Butter on top! But, I will be back with a recipe for frosting!
Nutrition Info (without oil, raisins or nuts) for a muffin in a batch of 18 muffins:
Total Fat 1g
Total Carbohydrate 15g
Dietary Fiber 6g
I truly LOVE carrot cake!!! If I have a wedding…it will definitely be there (My healthified version of course-i wonder if i’d make my own wedding cake *raises eyebrow*) among the cornucopia of Desserts that make the coveted list!
What are some meaningful memories that you have with Carrot Cake? (And are you #teamraisins or #teamnoraisins?)