Carrot Cake Variation

Carrot cake. Delicious not just because of the generous portions of cream cheese icing (it really can’t be called carrot cake with any other type of icing)–but also due to the high oil content. Unlike most cakes that use butter, carrot cake just says “screw it, I’m not going to pretend” and uses oil. I read somewhere that it was because oil was much easier to come by during wartime, when the recipe was created. It also helps keep everything moist much better than butter.

However, I tend to balk at putting in 1 1/4 cups of vegetable oil. Instead, I turn to my good friend applesauce. I found this recipe over at years ago, read tons of the comments, and added the best modifications to it. Then I changed it some more. What’s left is a slightly less unhealthy, but still very delicious cake.


Carrot Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.

Beat together in large bowl:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 + 1/8 c vegetable oil
  • 1/2 + 1/8 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 c white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix in smaller bowl:

  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Combine dry and wet ingredients, then add:

  • 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple (drained)
  • 3 c grated carrots
  • 1 c unsweetened coconut (optional)

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely (unless you’re using a glass baking dish, in which case you can leave it in there).


Beat until creamy in a medium bowl:

  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 c icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c unsweetened coconut (optional)

Wait to ice the cake until it has cooled completely!

Even halving the oil, the cake was still very moist, thanks to the pineapple and applesauce. In order to compensate for all that extra acid introduced by these oil alternatives, I cut down the baking powder–the previous time I made it, there was a slightly odd taste to it, like it hadn’t all reacted. This seemed to do it because there was no funny taste this time.

Only using 1 1/2 cups of sugar did make a noticeable difference in sweetness. This was definitely compensated for by the icing, but if one was using a less sweet icing (or heaven forbid, none!), it might be worth adding a bit more.

The end result was sampled by at least a dozen different people and everyone loved it. Hope other people love it too 🙂



One thought on “Carrot Cake Variation

  1. […] many experiments health-ifying baking with […]

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