Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Almost Guiltless Carrot Cake

The piece de resistance of our Mother's Day meal was an almost guiltless carrot cake. My mom loves carrot cake, and let's be honest, so do I, but after the rich meal we had (read more about it here and here), it didn't make sense to make an equally heavy dessert.

So I called upon a oldie but a goodie, a Shape magazine recipe for carrot cake that I hadn't made since before our wedding. It substitutes applesauce and buttermilk for more traditional fats without sacrificing the moistness, and the egg whites bind it all together just as whole eggs would.

Disclaimer: I was in full cooking/baking mode, trying to get dinner ready for the moms, so I was negligent in my picture taking. Sorry for not photographing each step; I'm such a bad blogger. If it makes you feel better, it's not a particularly pretty cake until it's frosted!

  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1-3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. nutmeg
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 c. applesauce (I use the natural kind with no sugar added)
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 6 egg whites
  • 3 c. shredded carrots (or 1 pre-shredded package)
  • 2/3 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2/3 c. shredded or flaked coconut (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two round cake pans with parchment paper and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat together applesauce, buttermilk, egg whites. Add sugar and spices until well combined. Add flours and remaining dry ingredients one quarter at a time until just combined. Stir in carrots, walnuts, and coconut, if using.

Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake 20-30 minutes, or until fork inserted near the center comes out clean. Allow to cool fully before frosting.

Let's talk frosting...I have to be honest, I had some leftover cream cheese frosting from a batch of red velvet cupcakes I had made. My recipe is already lower in fat than the original because I substituted neufchatel cheese for cream cheese, which has 1/3 less fat, and then I reduced the amount of powdered sugar by two cups. But I went a step further by using the frosting sparingly, frosting only between the two layers and the top of the cake, not along the edge. (Yes, this is the same teaser picture from above.)

Basically, I am okay with substituting applesauce for oil or butter in the cake itself, but there is something really wrong in my opinion about using light butter to make a frosting. I know, I know, there's not a lot a logic there, so if you totally disagree with me and want Shape's recipe for light cream cheese frosting, let me know and I will send it to you.

Do you have any low fat recipes that taste like the real thing? If so, please do share!

1 comment:

  1. That looks and sounds amazing! I love carrot cake but E not so much :(