Guilt-Free Carrot Cake Recipe

Holidays are always a time for over-indulging on food. But you don't have to ruin your diet to take part in a classic Easter dessert! Try our Layered Carrot Cake with less fat than a traditional carrot cake. For this healthier version of carrot cake, we reduced the fat in the batter by using less vegetable oil and sugar, yet it is still as moist as traditional cakes. We also reduced the butter and used reduced-fat cream cheese for the frosting, without losing the flavor!

Photo: Jennifer DavickPhoto: Jennifer Davick

More from Southern Living
Delightful Easter Desserts
Guilt-Free Desserts
Classic Easter Dishes

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups grated carrots
Vegetable cooking spray
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 (8-oz.) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons fat-free milk (optional)

Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350°. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Whisk together pineapple and next 4 ingredients; add pineapple mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in carrots. Pour batter into 2 (8-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350° for 22 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans to a wire rack; cool completely (about 1 hour).

Prepare Frosting: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar to butter mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. (Do not overbeat.) Beat in up to 2 tsp. milk for desired consistency. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 2/3 cup frosting, and top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.

More from Southern Living
Hot Cross Buns for Easter Weekend
Egg-cellent Easter Decorations
Easter Sunday Lunch Menus
Subscribe Now! Get 2 Free Preview Issues