Lightened Carrot Cake with Honey Cream Cheese Glaze

HAPPY 75th to my DAD!

Last week was my Dad’s 75th birthday, it truly was a milestone event.  My family celebrated by getting together at his favorite Thai restaurant in Jersey.carrot cake 076


Over the past 20 years my Dad’s had all sort of heart related issues, and although he isn’t suppose to eat fatty foods, he will indulge in something when no one is watching, especially my mom.  She always has her eyes on him.carrot cake 003

You see, food is my dad’s biggest weakness, and the older I get I have come to the revelation that my love for food stems from the fact that my dad is a food lover himself.  carrot cake 008


I suppose I should be grateful to him for my fat foodie genes, or else I would never have started a food blog in the first place.  carrot cake 025


In the past 4 years I’ve baked more than ever thanks to Honey, What’s Cooking, and every now and then I’ll bake something super indulgent for my family to enjoy.  And each time my mom will give my dad a “small slice” of my baked goods while the rest of my family will pig out.  carrot cake 034


Of course, on his birthday I wanted to bake him something that he could actually enjoy, something that was partially indulgent and partially healthy, that’s the least I could do.  carrot cake 045


And so I pondered over all the different types of cakes that incorporated fruits and/or veggies, and that’s how I came up with the most obvious choice - Carrot Cake.  Duh!  Veggies.  Raisins.  Nuts.  And you know how every Indian parent loves nuts.carrot cake 071


Instead of creating a cake with two layers of cream cheese frosting, I decided to make a Honey Cream Cheese Glaze to top off this delicious Carrot Cake.  This really helped in toning down the saturated fats in this cake.carrot cake 087


Happy Birthday to my Dad, or as I call him Papa.  Here is to another 25 years of HEALTH, fun, food, family, and life!  Love, honey!



NUTRITION: Whole Wheat Pastry Flour is a good source of Protein and Fiber. Carrots are LOADED with Vitamin A (eyes).  Also, it is a very good source of Fiber, Vitamins C and K.  Walnuts are an excellent source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and contain more antioxidants than any other nut.  Raisins are known to be an antioxidant rich fruit. 


APPROXIMATE NUTRITION PER SERVING (yields 20 slices @ 350 degrees):
  • Calories: 205 cals
  • Fat: 11.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.2 g
  • Carbs: 30 g
  • Protein: 3.1 g
  • Fiber: 1.4 g

INGREDIENTS:
for the cake:
  • Dark Brown Sugar – 1 cup  (packed)
  • Organic Eggs – 2
  • Organic Canola Oil – 1/2 cup
  • Plum Organics Baby Food Apple & Carrot – 4 ounces  (or just use Carrot Baby Food, no biggie)
  • Pure Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
  • Whole Wheat Pastry Flour – 1 cup
  • All Purpose White Flour – 1/2 cup + 2 tsp  (2 tsp to dust the raisins and walnuts)
  • Baking Powder – 3/4 tsp
  • Baking Soda – 3/4 tsp
  • Salt – 1/3 tsp
  • Ground Cinnamon – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Carrots – 1 1/2 cups  (about 6 to 7 carrots, peeled & shredded)
  • Sun Maid Raisins – 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp
  • Walnuts – 1/2 cup  (chopped)
for the Honey Cream Cheese Glaze (makes a little more than you need, so you can drizzle or spread it all over):
  • Cream Cheese Frosting – 4 ounces  (room temperature, you can also use 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese)
  • Organic Milk 2% Reduced Fat – 5 to 6 tbsp
  • Pure Honey – 2 tbsp
  • Powdered Sugar – 1 tbsp 
  • Pure Vanilla – 1/2 tsp

DIRECTIONS:
for the cake:
1. Start by grating the carrots, or you can just use a food processor.carrot cake 149carrot cake 152

2. Chop the walnuts.  Toss the walnuts and raisins in 2 teaspoons of all purpose white flour.  Mix and set aside.carrot cake 153

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.preheat

4. Grease a round pan with butter.  carrot cake 147

5. In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients… oil, brown sugar, eggs, baby food, and vanilla extract.carrot cake 156

6. Blend until all the ingredients are well incorporated.carrot cake 159

7. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients… whole wheat pastry flour, white flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Mix.carrot cake 164

8. Now add the dry ingredients to the wet.carrot cake 166

9. Mix until well combined.  DO NOT OVERMIX!carrot cake 168

10. Add the raisins and walnuts.  Mix, do not overmix.carrot cake 172

11. Add the carrots and gently fold the carrots into the batter.
carrot cake 174carrot cake 176

12. Pour the batter into the baking pan.  carrot cake 178
13. Into the oven for 30 to 35 minutes.  Start checking around 25 minutes.carrot cake 179
14. Done.carrot cake 185

for the glaze: 
15. Blend the cream cheese and milk until somewhat smooth.carrot cake 180
16. Add honey.carrot cake 186
17. Add vanilla and 1 tbsp of powdered sugar.carrot cake 188
18. Your glaze is ready.  The glaze should be thick, yet runny.  If it’s too thick, add a little more milk, if it’s too thin, add a little more cream cheese.  carrot cake 191
19. Once the cake is slightly cool, top it with the glaze and serve. carrot cake 095


VERDICT: 4.5 / 5
Everyone loved this cake, it was perfectly sweet, it was full of flavor, a little more moisture wouldn't hurt though.  Using dark brown sugar added that molasses flavor to the cake.  And as much as I love cream cheese frosting, I didn't miss it too much.


TELL ME: What’s your favorite cake that is made with fruits and/or veggies?  Mine is Hummingbird Cake (banana and pineapple combo).


30 comments:

  1. Firstly Happy birthday to your Papa- wishing him all the best! And secondly- YUM! Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is one of my favorite cakes...although honey cream cheese glaze sounds even more fabulous! Quick question- can I substitute the whole wheat pastry flour for any other kind? I won't even know where to begin looking for it in Mumbai haha...although the city has advanced with healthy options, I think I'd be pushing my luck with whole wheat pastry flour ;)!

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    1. Khushboo - If you can't find WWPFlour, just use white flour, I know it isn't the healthiest, but pastry flour results in a lighter cake than using whole wheat flour. Whole Wheat Flour will make the cake a little tough. Go for white! :)

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  2. Comvey my wishes to ur Papa... He would have enjoyed ur cake definitely and hope ur mom have given some more piece atleast for his bday... Really yummy cake...

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    1. Akila - Yes, he enjoyed the cake, and my mom did allow a slice of cake on his birthday. Haha!

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  3. Happy Birthday to your Dad! Did you give your dad a normal slice of cake on his birthday? I could eat carrot cake all day and putting that carrot and apple baby food very clever- would have never thought about it! I have never seen that go in a recipe before.

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    1. Sejal - Yup, she let him have a normal slice of cake. :) I love carrot cake, the baby food definitely added the extra moisture without the fat. You can also use applesauce. Thank you!

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  4. Happy Birthday to your dad! I love that in the first line you wrote "my his favorite restaurant." Made me laugh - your love for food really does come from him! Love it!

    And you're absolutely right, Indian parents love nuts. My mom and dad would go crazy over this cake. And the honey glazed cream cheese on top - mmmm!!!

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    1. Parita - Yes, at his favorite Thai restaurant. Isn't that true? All desi parents love nuts. Growing up I used to hate it when my mom put nuts in Kheer, in Halwa, in every Indian dessert there would be cashews or pistachios, so annoying. Now I like it without overdoing it. Glad I'm not the only one who thinks so.

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  5. Hooray, happy birthday to your dear Dad! I've also used baby food in carrot cake before and it makes it so moist! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

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    1. Georgia - Thanks... I'm glad that worked for you and it's not my imagination. Baby food adds so much moisture. :)

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  6. many many happy returns to your dad :) very thoughtful of you to make cake, I love the idea of honey glazed cream cheese. i havent had carrot cake in so long, can I have a slice please.

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    1. Dixya - Of course. It'd be so cool if you can order food via the internet and it could literally come out of the screen. Someday that will be invented. The Honey Glaze was awesome, I hope you try it, and glad the "Nutritionist" approves! :) Thank you!

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  7. Look at that glaze!! The dripping has me drooling!

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    1. Steph - Thanks.. it's so yummy, and not overly sweet.

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  8. Happy Happy Birthday to your pops!! I vote for you to bake something instead of our cupcake visit next week. hehe jk ;)

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    1. Thanks. haha.. I'll definitely try, but it is so hard for me to bake on a weekday after work. Plus, the cupcake place bakes way better than my stuff. :)

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  9. Ah! What a great post! I love this light and healthy carrot cake recipe, and happy happy birthday to your dad! Thank you for sharing with us!

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    1. THanks Monet! Hope you try it. Love light recipes too.

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  10. I am loving that glaze! And the carrot cake looks amazing. Thanks for sharing your lovely recipe.

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    1. Anne - Thank you. Appreciate it.

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  11. Love this carrot cake and that it makes one single layer. That's perfect and the honey cream cheese topping..I want on everything

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    1. Averie - Thanks.. means so much coming from you. I had to lighten it up, hence I did a single layer. Cream Cheese Glaze with Honey is so good!!!

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  12. Yay, I love homemade cakes (so much more special than hit-or-miss store bought cakes). I also like that you lightened this up so your papa could have more than one piece :) Hope he had a fantastic birthday!

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    1. Yes, I prefer homemade anyday, unless it's from an awesome bakery, but then fat becomes an issue. Yes, I it's light so my Papa could enjoy it, he only had 1 slice. Thanks!!!

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  13. Happy Birthday to your Dad :)

    Love the use of baby food here. Genius :)

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    Replies
    1. Kiran - Thanks! Baby food works! :)

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  14. Happy Birthday to your dad! carrot cake looks so good.

    I recently baked vegan carrot cake, by following the recipe from vaishali's blog Holy cow. The vegan carrot cake was so tasty, and it's very healthy because it contains no diary and eggs...

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    Replies
    1. Kumudha - I'll have to check out Vaishali's blog. I love Carrot Cake, but I've never made a vegan version. Thank you.

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  15. I love the healthy approach to your carrot cake. You get all the great flavor without the guilt!

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    Replies
    1. Lisa - Thanks... hope you give this a try.

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