Healthy Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This Healthy Carrot Cake has the perfect balance of sweetness and spice, a decadently moist texture, and a smooth and creamy cream cheese frosting. And it’s only 170 calories per slice! Easy to make and made with simple ingredients, this dessert is a win for all and will be loved by your whole family.

Carrot cake is one of my favorite types of cake! Maybe it’s the perfect balance of sweetness and spice. Or maybe it’s the decadently moist texture. Or the creamy, smooth cream cheese frosting. When I first learned carrot cake wasn’t as healthy as I hoped it to be, it was a dark, dark day… 😂

This Healthy Carrot Cake is lightened up but doesn’t sacrifice amazing flavor and texture! The grated carrots create incredible moisture that makes the cake melt in your mouth and the cream cheese frosting packs all of the nostalgia and sweetness of a traditional carrot cake.

And at just 170 calories per slice, you can feel good about eating it, too!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS HEALTHY CARROT CAKE

  • It’s dense, moist, and perfectly sweet with a hint of spice!
  • Lightened up from your traditional carrot cake recipe.
  • Just 170 calories per slice with frosting!
  • Easy to make with simple ingredients.
  • Husband, boyfriend, fiancé, children, and picky-eater approved!

HEALTHY CARROT CAKE INGREDIENTS

  • All-purpose flour
  • Grated carrots
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Eggs
  • Brown sugar – I used Truvia Brown Sugar Blend.
  • Granulated sweetener – I used Stevia In The Raw Granulated Sweetener.
  • Spices – Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger!
  • Light butter – I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light.
  • Greek cream cheese – I get mine from Publix, but you can easily use 1/3 reduced fat, fat-free cream cheese, or a non-dairy cream cheese, too.
  • Milk of choice – I used almond milk, but fat-free milk, 1% milk, cashew milk, or any other milk would work!

HOW TO STORE

Because this carrot cake uses cream cheese in the frosting, it should be refrigerated.

For an uncut cake:

If the cake has yet to be cut, you can store in a Cake Keeper. A keeper not only transports a cake with style and ease, but will keep the cake fresher longer. The cover will also protect the cake from dust, pet hair, etc. A large overturned bowl also works well in a pinch. Don’t use plastic wrap. That would only mess up the frosting, which also acts as a barrier and protects the cake from air and moisture.

For a cut cake:

As soon as you cut a cake, whether frosted or unfrosted, moisture begins to escape and the cake begins to grow stale. To prevent this, cover the sliced edges with more frosting to protect the cake from moisture loss. Or, firmly press a piece of plastic wrap directly on to the exposed sides.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use another flour for this Healthy Carrot Cake?

I haven’t tried this, but I don’t see why whole wheat flour, 1-to-1 gluten-free flour, or almond flour wouldn’t work. Coconut flour would not be a good substitute because it doesn’t bake like other flours.

Can I use shredded carrots instead of grated carrots?

I wouldn’t recommend using shredded carrots. They are larger and won’t create a moist texture like grated carrots do.

Can I replace the applesauce with something else?

This is another ingredient I wouldn’t recommend subbing if you can help it! I haven’t tried, but canned pumpkin would likely be your best option. Greek yogurt may work, but I am not sure it would bring as much moisture to the cake as the applesauce does.

Can I use a different sweetener?

For the brown sugar blend, you can replace with light brown sugar or coconut sugar.

For the granulated sweetener, you can replace with normal white sugar, Splenda, erythritol, honey, or any other sweetener you choose. Different sweeteners have different amounts of sweetness, so be sure to make the appropriate conversion if necessary.

Can I use a pan other than bundt cake pan for this recipe?

Yes. You can use a 9″ cake pan if you choose. If you wanted to make a a double layer cake, you would need to double this recipe to fill the two cake pans.

WANT MORE CAKE?

Check out these other delicious cake recipes:

CINNAMON SUGAR CAKE

PROTEIN MOLTEN LAVA MUG CAKE

HEALTHY COFFEE CAKE IN A MUG

WANT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE?

If you try this healthy carrot cake and love it, please rate this recipe!

You can also tag me on Instagram, @LaurenFitFoodie. It makes my day seeing your yummy recreations!

Yield: 12

Healthy Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Healthy Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This Healthy Carrot Cake has the perfect balance of sweetness and spice, a decadently moist texture, and a smooth and creamy cream cheese frosting. And it's only 170 calories per slice! Easy to make and made with simple ingredients, this dessert is a win for all and will be loved by your whole family.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

Carrot Cake

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.25 cups unsweetened applesauce (305g)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (50g)
  • ½ cup granulated stevia - or other sweetener of choice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (240g)
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups carrots, grated (180g)
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted (14g)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz. Greek cream cheese, room temperature (226g)
  • 2 Tbsp almond milk (30g)
  • ¼ cup granulated sweetener
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp butter (14g)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F degrees. Spray a 9-inch bundt pan or 9-inch regular cake pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, vanilla, unsweetened applesauce, brown sugar blend and sweetener. Whisk until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Add dry ingredients into the wet slowly as you stir. Before the two are fully incorporated add in melted butter. Stir just until barely combined. Fold in grated carrots. DO NOT OVER MIX. (The number one tip is to not over mix or the texture of the cake will be off).
  5. Pour batter into prepared cake pan.
  6. Cook for 30-35 minutes or until cake comes out clean with a toothpick (Be careful not to over-bake which can make the cake more dry).
  7. While cake is cooking, combine all ingredients for the frosting using a hand held mixer.
  8. Allow cake to cool for 10-20 minutes before drizzling the icing over the top.

Notes

MFP entry: LFF Healthy Carrot Cake

STORAGE TIPS

For an uncut cake: If the cake has yet to be cut, you can store in a Cake Keeper. A large overturned bowl also works well in a pinch.

For a cut cake: cover the sliced edges with more frosting to protect the cake from moisture loss. Or, firmly press a piece of plastic wrap directly on to the exposed sides.

-

If you want to use fat-free cream cheese instead: Macros would be 152 calories 27.1C | 2.5F | 6.4P for same size slice.

Cake with frosting total = 1130g

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Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1/12 of cake (94g)

Amount Per Serving Calories 172Total Fat 4.8gSaturated Fat 1.7gCarbohydrates 26.4gFiber 1.5gSugar 7.2gProtein 6.4g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram and tag me @LaurenFitFoodie! 

2 Comments

  1. Question on the cake- what is the major macro difference and taste/ quality difference b/t Greek cream cheese and fat free cream cheese? Can’t always find Greek, so I tend to use FF, but fl haven’t tried it in baked/sweet goods.

    • Hey Ashley!

      If you used fat free cream cheese instead, macros would be 152 calories 27.1C / 2.5F / 6.4P for the same size slice! Hope that helps, I’ll add in the recipe notes too 😊

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