Friday, September 23, 2011

Healthy Carrot Cake

As you can see, this carrot cake goes as quickly as you make it. It tastes like it is full of calories but it is the low-fat version of the real thing. It is loaded with carrots, crushed pineapple in its own juice and to ensure the cake is moist, nonfat buttermilk is used in this recipe. Also, there is no butter in the frosting, I used reduced-fat cream cheese and it is still light, smooth and tasty.

Ingredients for cake:

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple in its own juice
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk, (no buttermilk? mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup nonfat milk)
1/2 cup organic canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots, (4-6 medium)
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, lightly brown until fragrant, 2-5 minutes)

Directions for cake:

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Coat 2 (9-inch) cake pans with cooking spray.
Drain pineapple in a sieve set over a bowl, pressing on the solids. Reserve the drained pineapple and 1/4 cup of the juice.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and the 1/4 cup pineapple juice in a large bowl until blended. Stir in pineapple, carrots and coconut. Add the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until blended. Stir in nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, spreading evenly.
Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on a wire rack and then invert cakes and remove from pans. Finish cooling on a wire rack.

Ingredients for frosting:

12 oz reduced- fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions for frosting:

Beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.

To finish cake, on a pedestal cake dish put the first layer of cake and icing top and sides. Next put the second layer on top of the first and finish icing the top and sides of cake. Enjoy!

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