Healthy Carrot Cake

A healthy carrot cake, naturally sweetened with applesauce and maple syrup, loaded with freshly grated carrots, warming spices, topped with a honey cream cheese frosting and crunchy walnuts.

A healthier carrot cake, naturally sweetened with applesauce and maple syrup, loaded with freshly grated carrots, warming spices, topped with a honey cream cheese frosting and crunchy walnuts.

Nothing says Spring and Easter like carrot cake! Believe it or not, in the past I wasn’t a fan of carrot cake. Maybe because I only ever had the store bought versions which were full of processed sugar and oil, and no carrots in sight. But as per usual, I knew there had to be a way to healthify this all-time favourite dessert. A couple of years ago I made a carrot cake muffin recipe that was a hit! Ever since then I have fallen in love with carrot cake. So I took inspiration from my own recipe and created a carrot cake with a delicious real cream cheese frosting! I hope that you enjoy this with your family and loved ones for this Easter holiday!

I’m not exactly sure why we all seem to associate carrot cake with easter, but take a look around and you’ll see all kinds of carrot cake inspired recipes popping up everywhere. Whether it’s muffins, cookies, oatmeal and even waffles, carrot cake seems to the trend. Maybe because we all have visions of cute bunnies munching on carrots during the Easter holidays…haha!

A healthy carrot cake, naturally sweetened with applesauce and maple syrup, loaded with freshly grated carrots, warming spices, topped with a honey cream cheese frosting and crunchy walnuts.

Healthy But Delicious!

Now don’t let the word healthier scare you off! This cake is full of cinnamon goodness, freshly grated carrots, wholesome ingredients! Smothered in a honey cream cheese frosting. Are you drooling yet?!

Some may argue that cream cheese is not “healthy” but I wanted to make this recipe close to the authentic version. I decided to cut the cream cheese frosting down with Skyr yogurt so you don’t have to feel as guilty when enjoying a slice of this heaven.

Dairy-Free Option

If you want to make this recipe dairy-free, then feel free to sub with vegan cream cheese and yogurt. Or better yet – a cashew based frosting. If you also want to make this recipe gluten-free, all you have to do is sub the spelt flour with my HealthNut GF flour blend.

A healthier carrot cake, naturally sweetened with applesauce and maple syrup, loaded with freshly grated carrots, warming spices, topped with a honey cream cheese frosting and crunchy walnuts.
A healthy carrot cake, naturally sweetened with applesauce and maple syrup, loaded with freshly grated carrots, warming spices, topped with a honey cream cheese frosting and crunchy walnuts.

Once your cake is baked, make sure you let it cool completely before adding your frosting. You can even bake the cake the night before and make the frosting just before you serve it. Then top it with some chopped walnuts or pecans, slice and enjoy! Happy Easter everyone!

A healthy carrot cake, naturally sweetened with applesauce and maple syrup, loaded with freshly grated carrots, warming spices, topped with a honey cream cheese frosting and crunchy walnuts.

If you love sneaking veggies into your baked goods, then check out my Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread and Triple Chocolate Zucchini Brownies.

A healthy carrot cake, naturally sweetened with applesauce and maple syrup, loaded with freshly grated carrots, warming spices, topped with a honey cream cheese frosting and crunchy walnuts.

If you make this healthy carrot cake, be sure to share a photo on social media and tag me @healthnutnutrition and #healthnuteats so that I can see your creations! 

Recipe

Healthy Carrot Cake

A healthy carrot cake, naturally sweetened with applesauce and maple syrup, loaded with freshly grated carrots, warming spices, topped with a honey cream cheese frosting and crunchy walnuts.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup avocado oil
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups spelt flour or sub for HealthNut GF Flour Blend
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups grated carrots

Frosting

  • ¾ cup cream cheese
  • ¼ cup greek or skyr yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping

  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
category:
Course Dessert
serves:
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Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line a 9 X 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the almond milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside for about 10 minutes, to thicken up to “buttermilk” consistency.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, apple sauce, coconut sugar, avocado oil, maple syrup, vanilla adding the “buttermilk” last.
  • Sift in the spelt flour, almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Stir until well combined. Fold in the shredded carrots.
  • Pour into baking pan, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool on wire rack completely before adding frosting.
  • Once the cake is completely cooled, prepare the frosting: In a medium bowl, add the cream cheese, yogurt, honey and vanilla. Using a handheld mixer, beat until smooth.
  • Spread the frosting on top and sprinkle with walnuts or pecans. Cut into 9 squares or 12 smaller squares. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
A healthy carrot cake, naturally sweetened with applesauce and maple syrup, loaded with freshly grated carrots, warming spices, topped with a honey cream cheese frosting and crunchy walnuts.

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    12 comments
  1. Hey! I tried the recipe, it worked so well!
    Since I have not had Spelt flour in my kitchen, I deiced to use oat flour (homemade ground rolled oat). It works and still taste amazing.
    Also, I used sour cream instead of buttermilk, yummy..
    Last but not least, for those who are not a sweet tooth like me, I reduced sugar to 1/4 cup (both sugar and honey).

    Thanks so much for sharing this amazing recipe!

  2. Hi Nikole
    I made this amazing carrot cake yesterday, it s super light and not too sweet.I love the frosting too which is usually not my thing.
    thanks a lot

  3. Hello! Thanks for sharing the recipe, it looks delicious! If I can’t find spelt flour near me, could I use regular flour in this recipe?

  4. Nicole, I love your recipes and internet content! I’ve already made the Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins and am excited to try this with the cream cheese! Is there a way to print the recipes only and not the whole page content? Thank you! Helen

    • Hi Helen! So glad to hear, thank you! We are currently working on some updates to the website that will allow you to print just the recipe. Unfortunately, the only way around it right now is if you copy and paste the recipe into a document on your computer and print. Sorry for the inconvenience!