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Week 11: Low-Cal Carrot Cake

March 22, 2012 by Nina Spezzaferro

Don’t make this cake. I know it looks good. I’ll explain. I love carrot cake. It’s one of the only non-chocolate cakes that really gets me jazzed. But carrot cake, despite it’s name, is not very healthy. Great carrot cake is loaded with calories, mostly due to the rich cream cheese frosting it’s typically served with. I was hoping to create a lightened up version. I found a recipe on Skinny Taste, which is a fantastic skinny recipe site. I highly recommend her healthy baked chicken nuggets. I once ate a pound in one sitting.

Anyway, I looked at Gina’s recipe and thought, “I could make this even skinnier!” I cut out the nuts and coconut in the cake. Well, I actually forgot to buy the flaked coconut, if you want to know the truth. And for the frosting, my grocery store didn’t have 1/3 fat cream cheese, so I bought fat free. Here’s the breakdown of events.

Here’s my mise en place.

See the grated carrots? I bought them shredded because shredding my own carrots seemed too tedious. I measure 2 cups out of the bag and left it at that.

The first step was to sift the dry ingredients together.

In a small bowl I mixed together the eggs and oil.

Then I added the pineapple and carrot.

Next I mixed the wet ingredients into the dry.

I poured the mixed batter into a prepared 8×3″ pan.

It baked in about 40 minutes. Naturally, I rotated my pans halfway through.

Voila! I was a little concerned about the visible chunks of pineapple and carrot.

After letting the cake cool for about 10 minutes, I flipped it out of the pan.

It was time to make the frosting. It was simple – 1 brick of fat free cream cheese plus 1 cup confectioners sugar and a dash of vanilla extract. Once the cake was cooled completely, I frosted the top and sprinkled chopped pecans on top.

I tasted a piece and was pretty disappointed. The chunks of carrot were unappetizing. Some had turned green in the baking process. I’m not sure why. But green chunks are the last thing you want to find in your cake. This cake was meant to be a low-calorie alternative to carrot cake and boy did it taste like it! I’m definitely trashing this recipe along with the rest of this cake. And I’m back to believing full fat carrot cake is the only way to eat it.

Here are the remains next to a pair of old sneakers in the trash. Sorry, cake. =/


  1. I love the juxtaposition of the trashed carrot cake along with the baby blue Chucks.

  2. Amy says:

    Here’s a link to a cooking light carrot cake “makeover”. Haven’t tried this yet, but in my stack of recipes I want to make.

  3. Thank you, Amy! That looks like a good one, especially since it calls for buttermilk.

  4. Bonny says:

    You should have sold those chucks on ebay… easy $10 in your pocket!

  5. Pedro says:

    I want to buy that chucks! :/

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