(Much) Better-For-You Carrot Cake

I have been craving something sweet since I left Kentucky.  You see, Sam and I do not keep sweet stuff in the house for our own protection.  We eat fruits and, for very special occasions maybe craisins or spoonfuls of peanut butter, for dessert.  Sometimes I may sneak a bowl of (yard mulch) cereal in the middle of the night. Other than those few things and the container of sugar I have in my pantry, no sweets in this house! So I decided to take my favorite dessert (carrot cake) and find a recipe that used better-for-you ingredients.  Lemme tell you that there were tons of “healthy” carrot cake recipes, and I spend a whole day searching for the perfect one.  The recipe that I found only used 3/4 cups of sugar while most used the same amount, so I don’t know how they could call their recipes “healthy”. This recipe uses grated apples and raisins to add some sweetness, and holy cow, it is so good.

You will need:

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup of vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 cups of whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups grated carrots

1 1/2 cups grated, peeled apples

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup walnuts

The apples and raisins provide most of the sweetness in this cake. I read that you could also use pineapple instead of apples.

1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease pan of your choosing. I used to 9 inch round pans, but you could use a bunt pan, cupcake pan, whatever…

2. Mix sugar, eggs, and vegetable oil together until mixture has thickened slightly (about 2 or 3 minutes of medium speed).

3. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add flour mixture to egg mixture a little at a time using a low speed setting.

4. Add carrots, apples, raisins and walnuts to the mixture. Just kind of fold them in until everything looks evenly mixed.

The mixture will be pretty thick. Just spread it evenly in the pan with at spoonula or scraper. Try not to eat any yet, it has raw eggs in it!

5. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until done (insert toothpick in center and see if it comes out clean!)

I had to cook one cake at a time. My Japanese oven only fits one 9 inch pan. =(

Now, you can’t have carrot cake without cream cheese icing, right? So I had to give in and get the regular Philadelphia cream cheese (whipped). However, I did not used 4 or 5 cups of powdered sugar for the icing. Instead I used honey.

Icing:

8oz whipped cream cheese

about 1/4-1/2 cup honey. You can taste after adding 1/4 cup and if it’s not sweet enough, add more.

1 teaspoon vanilla.

Mix together and chill until ready to ice the cake.

I added more walnuts..what can I say, I love nuts. (eh, Sarah?)

This cake turned out to be so yummy! I loved all of the fruits and carrots throughout the cake. It made for a really nice texture. The Honey-cream cheese icing went perfect, couldn’t even tell it wasn’t the normal cream cheese icing.

Well, I need to start dinner soon. Sam and I are having chicken enchiladas, cilantro-lime rice, and margaritas.  After dinner,  we are playing guitar hero and watching Dinner for Schmucks. It’s going to be a lovely night!