Healthy Carrot Cake Recipe
Hi-hi, guys. This healthy carrot cake is a living proof that I still use my oven. Not everything gets cooked in the Instant Pot. Although I can see how that can be your impression.
Just to prove you that you are staring at the best healthy carrot cake recipe, let me just say this – I was willing to make Instant Pot yogurt 3 weeks in a row for the sole purpose of carrot cake recipe testing. 2 liters of yogurt, 6 cups of flour, 4 cups of applesauce, a jug of maple syrup and a whole lot of carrots that had to be peeled and grated.
Are you convinced I have low sugar and calorie cake for your Easter yet?! I am. Here, come on, let’s go over it and you will see what I mean.
Ingredients and Tools
First of all, easy healthy carrot cake recipe starts with baking, frosting and serving it all in the same pan. Cake is so moist, you don’t need the frosting between the layers.
And simple ingredients you can find in any grocery store:
- Whole wheat flour (spelt flour)
- Greek yogurt
- Maple syrup or honey
- Nuts, coconut flakes, spices.
My mission is to make healthy eating possible even for the most remote small towns in America. Because you can!
What Makes Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Moist?
It’s the Greek yogurt that replaces majority of oil that traditional unhealthy recipes call for. I tried to make whole wheat carrot cake with applesauce but each time it turned out gummy with distinct aftertaste. So, I ditched the applesauce completely and went with yogurt all the way.
Then, it’s finely grated carrots. 2 cups is perfect, 3 cups was too much.
And toasted walnuts and coconut flakes. I tried adding pineapple and raw pecans, and not adding coconut flakes but my absolute favourite is a combo of toasted walnuts and coconut flakes. I have one child who isn’t a fan of coconut flakes and he didn’t notice them, however they added texture and moisture to the cake.
What Consistency Should Batter Be?
I remember as less experienced baker, I used to have this question all the time and would look for any info or pictures of the batter. Many times to no avail. So, I will spare you the mystery.
Perfect carrot cake batter should be more runny than muffins but thicker than pancakes. You should be able to pour it (slowly) and not scoop into the baking dish. And then flatten with a spatula just a bit. Got it?
What Is Healthy Frosting Made With?
Greek Yogurt – Very well strained and thick Greek yogurt. I recommend to buy yogurt between 2% – 10%. 10% doesn’t need to be strained, it’s almost like cream cheese. The most ideal would be whole milk (3.5%) yogurt, 2% will do well too. Strain it in a colander lined with paper towel or coffee filters to get rid of extra whey in order to have that traditional thicker icing (but healthier).
Powdered Sugar – To make powdered (icing sugar) I blended organic cane sugar in my Blendtec and used only 1/2 cup to make healthy frosting (unlike traditional recipes that call for 2 or even 3 cups of icing sugar, whoa).
You can make icing with maple syrup, it just will be runnier and slightly different taste. But I did it many-many times.
Yes. Perfect carrot cake stands tall, is moist and has texture. Its icing is thick and you can taste the creaminess with every bite. People ask you if they can have your recipe. That’s this healthy carrot cake!
Make it, come back and tell me how it went. I would love to hear from you!
More Healthy Sweet Carrot Recipes to Try:
Is carrot cake healthy? Yup. If you use one of these recipes to satisfy your carrot cake craving.
- Baked oatmeal breakfast bars with carrots – you will be blown away with your weeklong breakfasts.
- Carrot cake truffles – “shut the front door” easy and good!
- Carrot oatmeal muffins for easy after school or lunch box snacks.
Healthy Carrot Cake
Baked, frosted and served in one pan. Moist Healthy Carrot Cake with whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt, toasted coconut and walnuts.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 16 slices 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: North American
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (2% and higher fat)
- 1/3 cup avocado oil
- 2/3 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 cup milk (I used almond)
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 3 tsp baking powder, aluminum free
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- 2 cups carrots, finely grated
- Cooking spray (I use Misto)
Greek Yogurt Icing:
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (2% and higher fat)*
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar**
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Long coconut flakes or chips, for garnish (toasted)
- In one large bowl, whisk the eggs for 10 seconds. Add yogurt, oil, maple syrup, milk and vanilla extract; whisk well and set aside.
- In another large bowl, add flour, cinnamon, baking powder + soda, and salt; whisk well breaking any baking soda or powder lumps. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, spray large 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat large skillet on low heat, add walnuts and toast for a few minutes (until fragrant), stirring occasionally. Add coconut flakes and toast another minute, stirring frequently. Turn off the heat. Grate carrots.
- Add dry ingredients to a bowl with wet, stir gently until combined (do not over mix).
- Add carrots, walnuts and coconut flakes; stir gently just enough to combine.
- Pour into previously prepared baking dish and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool off completely (about 4-5 hours).
- While cake is cooling down, line small colander with a coffee filter or paper towel and place on top of a small bowl. Add yogurt and let it strain in a fridge for a few hours.
- When ready to assemble your healthy carrot cake, discard the whey and add strained yogurt into a medium bowl along with icing sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk well, transfer on top of cake, spread with spatula, garnish with toasted coconut flakes (chips) and cut into 16 slices.
*If your Greek yogurt is 10%, you don’t have to strain it further. **To make powdered sugar at home, blend cane sugar in a high speed blender. Works like a charm for health freaks like me, who just need a bit and don’t want to pay $8 for a bag.
Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.