wholesome carrot cake

A good carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts (or breakfasts, if I’m feeling rebellious). 🙂  I recently came across Pioneer Woman’s recipe for carrot cake…she always has amazing recipes, but since I’m not interested in weighing 500 pounds (have you seen how much fat and sugar she uses??) I came up with a more nutritious version.  It’s not exactly a health food, but my version doesn’t make me feel like a total nutritional failure when I eat it.  And it’s still DELICIOUS!

Wholesome Carrot Cake (adapted from Pioneer Woman)

1/4 c. butter, melted (you can also use 2 T. butter + 1/4 c. ground flaxseed if you’d like to increase the nutritional value even more)

2/3 c. oil (coconut oil is best!)

1/2 c. honey

1/2 c. sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 c. flour (I used white whole wheat)

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

3 c. finely grated carrots


1/3 c. butter, softened

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 c. powdered sugar

1 T. vanilla extract

1/4 c. chopped pecans, optional

1/4 c. unsweetened shredded coconut, optional

{If you’re baking at high altitude, decrease both the sugar and oil by 3 tablespoons…increase flour by 1/4 cup…and use half the baking soda.}

Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a large bowl, mix together butter, oil, honey, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract.  In separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and spices.  Stir into the wet ingredients until well mixed.  Add grated carrots and mix well.

Pour into a greased and floured 9×13″ pan; bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Cool completely.

For icing, cream butter and cream cheese in a large bowl.  Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time (you may need slightly more or less than 2 cups depending on the desired result); stir in vanilla.  Spread over cooled cake.  If desired, sprinkle pecans and coconut over the top of the icing.  Some of us like pecans and coconut and some of us don’t, so I compromised…

Store in the refrigerator (after you send most of it with your husband to work so you won’t eat it all!) 🙂


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3 Responses to wholesome carrot cake

  1. Looks amazing. I love using honey in baking.

  2. Katya Voss says:

    I love homemade carrot cake…it’s a tradition in our family to make a carrot cake for the new mom whenever she has a baby, because it has so many good nutritious ingredients (carrot,nuts, cream cheese, and pineapple, in our recipe). After Elora was born my sister made me an awesome gluten-free version! It’s totally worth having a baby just to eat it! 😉

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