Lighter Carrot Sheet Cake

Carrot cake is my absolute favorite cake.  OK, I’ll go so far as to say it’s my favorite dessert (next to a good NY cheesecake).  There is something about the delicate carrot flavor, hint of cinnamon, crunch of the walnuts and that delectable cream cheese frosting..ahh I digress.  So I made this lightened up version as I have to be cautious of my sugar intake (yes dietitians also can have sugar issues but I promise you this one is hereditary), and I also didn’t want anything too sweet for my little ones or family on Christmas day.  Thankfully everyone else enjoyed it as much as I did making it.  This carrot cake is kinda AHHHHmazing.  I’m not a fan or raisins or crushed pineapple in carrot cake so didn’t include them in this recipe.  I did replace most of the oil with unsweetened applesauce and cut the sugar.  It was just the right amount of sweetness and balance with the frosting.  The cake itself was ever so moist and delicious.  The only timely process was shredding those carrots which I suggest doing by hand vs a blender-but try it your way 🙂  Give this a try and I promise you will not want to go back to super sweet carrot cake again!

Ingredients:

3 cups raw finely shredded carrots, not packed and drained well of excess water

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 whole eggs, whisked

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup canola oil

Cream cheese frosting

3 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter softened

8 oz light cream cheese

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, sugar and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. 
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix to combine.
  5. Fold in carrots.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 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.
  7. To Make Frosting: In a blender whisk butter, then add in cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat from low to high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy. 
  8. Frost the cooled cake and sprinkle with walnuts.

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