This delicious healthier carrot cake is jam-packed full of grated carrot and raisins. It's so full of good stuff and is great for an afternoon snack, dessert or even breakfast. It's so good you won't even miss the icing!
I first made this cake almost six years ago when I was pregnant with Little Miss Spice. I was so hungry all the time. A couple or at most three hours after eating, I needed to eat again. Fruit alone just didn't work. Fresh fruit or dried fruit just made me even more hungry. So that's where this carrot cake came in. You see I found that cake did work, as long as it wasn't too sweet and didn't have lots of icing on it.
Does carrot cake need icing?
Yes, I could have made a lovely cream cheese icing to go on this but after trying the first piece it was so lovely and moist that I felt it really didn't need icing. Also, I'm the type of person who often leaves half the icing on the plate anyway or gives it to someone else. Some people will have a piece of cake because of the icing, but I will have a piece of cake because of the cake. Surely that must be the right way around.
I know that you're either agreeing with me completely or now thinking that I am a little bit odd. So let's go on to the cake. It's adapted from a recipe by Angela Nilsen. It's described as the 'ultimate makeover' carrot cake and is healthier than most carrot cakes. It certainly has lots of carrot in it, which is why I wanted to make a carrot cake recipe in the first place. I had far too many carrots in the fridge and needed to find ways of using them up.
Can you adapt this cake?
What I love about this cake is that it is so moist and slightly sticky. There's nothing I would change about it next time. However, I realise that you may want to adapt it just a little. Feel free to use mixed spice instead of cinnamon. You could also play around with the dried fruit. I have sometimes substituted some of the raisins for chopped apricot.
I do also have a recipe for a vegan carrot cake which is also absolutely delicious.
Healthier Carrot Cake
- 1 orange juice and zest
- 140 g raisins
- 115 g whole wheat flour
- 115 g plain self-raising flour
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 140 g soft brown sugar
- 125 ml vegetable oil
- 280 g carrot finely grated (approx 370g before being peeled)
- Pinch baking powder
- Pre-heat oven to 160C.
- Mix the orange juice and zest into the raisins and leave for a while.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
- Separate one of the eggs. Put the white to the side for now. Break the other egg into the yolk. Whisk for a few seconds then add the sugar and continue to mix for a couple of minutes. Then slowly pour in the oil as you are whisking.
- Add half the flour and fold in. Then add the rest of the flour.
- Then fold in the raisins and carrots. The mixture will be very stiff and if it is too stiff add an extra teaspoon of water or juice.
- Add the extra pinch of baking powder to the egg white and whisk till it forms soft peaks. Fold this into the rest of the cake mixture.
- Grease and line a square 20cm cake tin. Pour the cake mixture in. Bake in the oven at 160C for an hour. When ready, let it cool for a few minutes then take out of the tin, peel the paper off and leave to cool on a wire cake rack.
More Healthier Cake Recipes
Not all my cake recipes are healthy but sometimes I like to experiment with less sugar or even no refined sugar at all. Let me know if you try any of these bakes?
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Places I'm sharing this healthier carrot cake
Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by me, Corina, here at Searching for Spice
Kate - gluten free alchemist
Some cakes just don't need icing and this looks like one of them. Sounds like a perfect cake for afternoon tea (or breakfast..... or lunch.... or.....)...... pregnant or not! x
Exactly! I did eat this all day too! x
Kat (The Baking Explorer)
I'm the same - I much prefer cake over icing! Your carrot cake looks sooo good!
Thanks Kat! It's really moist and totally yummy!
Karen @ Lavender and Lovage
That looks SO moist and delicious Corina, I LOVE a good carrot cake!
Thanks Corina that looks lovely and moist.
Daily Dose of Fresh
I love carrot cake!