Carrot Cake Recipe (Healthier)

I like to drag out birthdays….I mean one day is just not going to cut it around here 😉

My birthday was amazing, but the star might have been the carrot cake. SO good.

hello carrot cake

My husband knows I love carrot cake so he sought out help in the form of my sister when we were dating. Unbeknownst to me he had emailed back and forth with my sisters and they gave him the perfect carrot cake recipe. I almost died when he surprised me with this beautiful cake when we were newly dating! What a gem.

{Fun fact a fabulous roommate -and best friend-did the same thing the year before and grated baby carrots by hand because that is all she had–I have awesome people in my life, I know.}

this same carrot cake recipe my roomie/best friend made for me in 2008

This carrot cake is moist, full of whole grains (whole wheat flour baby!), is sweet enough but not overly sweet, lower in fat (uses applesauce + oil), and obviously boasts high levels of Vitamin A, fiber, and antioxidants <—from the carrots.

Carrot Cake Recipe (Healthier) 

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrots

For cream cheese frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, apple sauce, white and brown sugars and 3 teaspoons vanilla.
  3. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Pour into prepared pan.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes

To Make Frosting:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  2. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  3. Stir in chopped pecans.
  4. Frost the cooled cake.

my family/husband surprised me right after I got home from teaching Zumba--excuse the sweat/hair/outfit

This carrot cake recipe is so good for you it could almost be considered a side dish of veggies…..

HAH. Okay that is sort of a lie.

The carrot cake is MOST definitely a dessert, but this is a dessert that is not overly sweet but satisfies in a nice way. You leave the table thankful for a good dose of sweets but not feeling sick to your stomach. Score.

So….the moral of the story is, if you want to impress some people at a Thanksgiving dessert table, this carrot cake recipe is YOUR arsenal.

oh this cake is good. Especially with some caramel ice cream

With all this talk of birthday sweets I want my birthday to come again soon :) Hah.

I am off to PUMP some iron. Woot.

Do YOU love carrot cake–why or why not?? Any recipe swaps in cakes YOU’ve tried before with success?? Anyone have a birthday soon?!!

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  1. I’m definitely going to try this! It sounds/looks so good and looks pretty managable to make!! I always use whole wheat flour.. I don’t even buy the white stuff!

  2. I love carrot cake – I have a pretty healthy recipe I use too, but the icing just can’t be touched! :)

  3. I love carrot cake if it is GOOD carrot cake. In other words, I’m pretty picky about it. It has to be moist, sweet but not too sweet, and most importantly, have amazingly delicious cream cheese frosting. The frosting is KEY! 😉 I’m normally not a huge cake lover, but if it has good frosting, I’m sold on it.

  4. This is the same recipe I use!! small world! I can atest to its delicious-ness! =)

  5. ohhhh girl, you know the key to my heart <3 carrot cake is my absolute FAVE! i am absolutely going to try this recipe out i'm so excited now!!

    i think the cream cheese frosting is probably my favorite part. i actually had carrot cake as my birthday cake for the past two years as well :)

    i made pumpkin pancakes for the first time on sunday and substituted whole wheat flour and they turned out great! sometimes i'm scared to deviate from recipes but I think some slight variations can definitely help make it healthier for you and then its worth it.

  6. Mmmm, that looks wonderful! I <3 carrot cakes. it looks even better on the pumpkin plate 😉

  7. I LOVE carrot cake, although I’ve never made it myself before! I might try this, although I’d have to substitute GF flour, hopefully it would turn out similar!



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