I have been thinking about trying this Carrot Cake for a while now. Although I am not the biggest fan of cake in general, I do enjoy a good Carrot cake and who doesn’t like a good cream cheese icing.
Although Carrot Cake sounds deceptively healthy with a good heaping of carrots, most recipes are laden with refined sugar and unhealthy fats! I use a recipe I originally got from a Jenny Morris cookbook, a great recipe which never flops (even for baking novices like me). Over the years I have been making the cake, I managed to reduce to oil and sugar by quite a bit, but never eliminated them completely. But in the time since I last made it, I discovered the apple sauce!! It is the perfect substitute for butter or oil and adds an extra fruit to the cake. I also never added any refined sugar – the apple sauce adds its own natural sweetness and (thanks to Deliciously Ella) I used a bit of organic (REAL) maple syrup for sweetness.
I was so happy with the end result: a moist, delicious, not overly sweet carrot cake with the classic cream cheese icing. Although I am trying to make a “heathy” cake, I don’t want it to taste horrible, like many healthy versions of unhealthy foods often taste, and I think I definitely hit the mark! I am not the biggest supporter of calorie counting, my carrot cake has about 7000 less calories than a usual carrot cake recipe.
Adapted from Jenny Morris
- 2 cups brown bread flour
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups apple sauce
- 2 heaped cups grated carrots (3 large or 4 medium carrots)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (make sure it is proper maple syrup – I used the organic one from Woolworths)
- 3/4 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup poppy seeds
- 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
- 1 can crushed pineapple, drained, retain 1/4 of the syrup
- 250g cream cheese
- 4 Tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tap vanilla essence
- Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease a 24-26 cm cake tin
- Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon and combine
- Add the eggs, apple sauce and maple syrup to the flour and mix well
- Add the walnuts, poppy seeds, coconut, pineapple and carrot to the mixture and combine
- Add to the cake tin and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean
- While the cake is cooling, combine the icing ingredients
- Remove the cake from the tin and when cooled, top with the icing and enjoy!