Carrot Cake
Recipe from EatingWell

Carrots give carrot cake a health-halo effect--people think it's health food, but it's usually very high in fat and calories. But our version has about 40 percent less calories and 50 percent less fat than most. First, we use less oil in our batter. Then we skip the butter in the frosting (don't worry, it's still light and smooth). To ensure the cake is moist, we add nonfat buttermilk and crushed pineapple.

Carrot Cake

by 14  people

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  • 1  20  ounce can 
    crushed pineapple
  • 2   cups 
    whole-wheat pastry flour, (see Ingredient Note)
  • 2   teaspoons 
    baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon 
  • 2   teaspoons 
    ground cinnamon
  • 3   
    large eggs
  • 1 1/2  cups 
    granulated sugar
  • 3/4  cup 
    nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)
  • 1/2  cup 
    canola oil
  • 1   teaspoon 
    vanilla extract
  • 2   cups 
    grated carrots, (4-6 medium)
  • 1/4  cup 
    unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2  cup 
    chopped walnuts, toasted (see Tip)
  • 12   ounces 
    reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchatel), softened
  • 1/2  cup 
    confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons 
    vanilla extract
  • 2   tablespoons 
    coconut chips, (see Ingredient Note) or flaked coconut, toasted
To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Drain pineapple in a sieve set over a bowl, pressing on the solids. Reserve the drained pineapple and 1/4 cup of the juice.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and the 1/4 cup pineapple juice in a large bowl until blended. Stir in pineapple, carrots and 1/4 cup coconut. Add the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until blended. Stir in the nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.
Bake the cake until the top springs back when touched lightly and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
To prepare frosting & finish cake: Beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
Ingredient Notes:

Whole-wheat pastry flour, lower in protein than regular whole-wheat flour, has less gluten-forming potential, making it a better choice for tender baked goods. You can find it in the natural-foods section of large super markets and natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer.
Large thin flakes of dried coconut called coconut chips make attractive garnishes. Find them in the produce section of large supermarkets or at

No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make "sour milk": mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.
To toast chopped walnuts and coconut chips, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 5 minutes.
Nutrition information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 342, Fat, total (g) 17, chol. (mg) 56, sat. fat (g) 5, carb. (g) 43, Monosaturated fat (g) 7, fiber (g) 3, pro. (g) 6, vit. A (IU) 1943.61, sodium (mg) 349, Potassium (mg) 150, Vegetables () 0.5, Other Carb () 2.5, Fat () 3, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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