A Healthy Carrot Cake? Not Impossible!

I remember a carrot cake recipe my mom had from the 1970s. It called for baby food carrots and a cup of oil. One whole cup! Even though I opt for a low-carbohydrate regimen, even I can’t fathom putting that much oil in a recipe! It reminds me of another cake that was popular around that time, the Watergate Cake, so named for the hotel that created it, rather than the scandal. It called for what I think of as a bunch of 1970s ingredients, the era during which every recipe started with some processed ingredient, like canned soup, Velveeta cheese, or (maybe ‘and’ in this case?) crushed saltines. The Watergate Cake included pistachio pudding packets, a cake mix, and 7-Up, along with a cup of oil. I guess that was the standard in those days…

A much more healthful version of the classic cake…

Fast forward to the 2017 when  I found myself wanting something different for dessert. Some voice in my head said ‘carrot cake’ and stuck there until I figured out how to make one. As usual, what would result in thousands of hits for a ‘normal’ person, finding a single recipe from the gazillion bits of information that make up the Internet didn’t yield a match for my admittedly unique combination of dietary choices. So off the kitchen I went with to figure out something to suit my low-carbohydrate, minimally processed, vegan needs.

…and it’s even got a maple-flavored frosting

As usual, I tried it out first on Michael. I was surprised that he really liked it because I didn’t think he liked carrot cake, but he’s always a good sport about trying everything I make. Since I had a freshly baked cake, I decided to share some with my dear friend Nancy. She sent me an email raving about how much she and her family just loved it, so I was convinced that this was a winning recipe. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as we have.

Frosted Carrot Cake Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8” x 8” baking dish.

In small bowl, mix dry ingredients:

  • 1 ½ c. (168 gr.) Almond meal flour, like Bob’s Red Mill
  • ¼ c. (28 gr.) Oat flour, like Bob’s Red Mill
  • ½ t. Baking power
  • ¼ Baking soda
  • ½ t. Salt
  • ½ T. Cinnamon
  • ¾ t. Ginger powder
  • ¼ t. Cardamom

In medium bowl, mix wet ingredients:

  • 2 ½ T. Ground flaxseed in 8 ½ T. water
  • ¼ c. Water
  • 1 T. Date sugar
  • ¾ t. Stevia
  • ¼ c. Vegetable oil
  • 4 oz. Carrots, grated (typical grate size, not finely shredded)
  • 2 oz. Walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 T. Fresh Ginger, finely minced

Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Level batter in baking pan and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake completely before frosting.

Meanwhile, make the frosting:

  • 8 oz. dairy-free Cream Cheese, such as Tofutti
  • 1 T. Date sugar
  • ¾ t. Stevia
  • 2 t. Vanilla extract
  • ½ t. Cinnamon
  • ½ t. Cardamom
  • 2 pinches Salt

I just use a whisk and it comes out smooth. Refrigerate the frosting and ice the cake only after it’s completely cooled. Store the cake in the fridge.

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