Light and Luscious Carrot Cake

January 17, 2009

Carrot Cake with Toasted Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting from Cooking Light

Since I have bombarded you with main-dishes and soups this week, I thought I would start the weekend with a dessert. I love carrot cake, and one day I will share one of my ultimate favorite which is a full-fat and calorie recipe. But since it’s January, and I’m trying to be good (and helpful to all of you), I thought I would offer up this recipe that is under 300 calories and 9 grams of fat per serving. If you don’t like raisins, you can omit them, and if you want to add nuts, add 1/3 cup chopped pecans. The touch of maple syrup in the icing makes it extra special. Enough said-it’s awesome!


Carrot Cake

Prep: 12 servings

Cook: 40 minutes

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 piece)



3/4  cup  all-purpose flour (about 3 1/3 ounces)

1/4  cup  quick-cooking oats

1 1/2  teaspoons  ground cinnamon

1  teaspoon  baking powder

1/2  teaspoon  baking soda

1/4  teaspoon  salt

1  cup  granulated sugar

1/4  cup  canola oil

1  (2 1/2-ounce) jar carrot baby food

2  large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/4  cups  finely grated carrot (about 4 ounces)

1/2  cup  golden raisins (optional)

Cooking spray


1/3  cup  (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat or fat-free cream cheese, softened

1  tablespoon butter, softened

1 1/4  cups  powdered sugar, sifted

1  teaspoon  vanilla extract

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1/4  cup  flaked sweetened coconut, toasted


1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a food processor; pulse 6 times or until well blended. Place flour mixture in a large bowl. Combine granulated sugar, canola oil, baby food, and eggs; stir with a whisk. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Stir in grated carrot and raisins. Spoon batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray.

3. Bake at 325° for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

To prepare frosting, combine cheese and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, vanilla and maple syrup, beating at low speed until smooth (do not overbeat). Spread over cake; sprinkle with coconut. Cover and chill.

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