Healthy Carrot Cake with Chocolate Frosting

ingredients for the carrot cake laid out on a marble surface
carrot cake without frosting on a green towel next to raw, whole apples and carrots
frosted carrot cake on a green towel next to raw, whole apples and carrots, with a slice on a pink plate
carrot cake with frosting on parchment paper with two slices in the background

A Healthy(ish) Cake!

Say hello to your snack for the week, my friends: easy & healthy carrot cake with chocolate frosting. The cake is loaded with carrots & apple sauce, and it contains zero butter or dairy. The optional chocolate cream cheese frosting is definitely not “healthy”, but it is insanely delicious on this cake. The cream cheese gives it a slight tangy taste while the chocolate does what chocolate does best – nurtures the deepest parts of your soul.

Pro Tip: grate the carrots on a micro plane or using the finest holes on your grater. Squeeze the water out of the grated carrots between your hands. Then measure out one cup of all that biotin, Vitamin A, potassium and Vitamin K! Don’t use shredded carrots from the store, as they’ll be too chunky in your smooth carrot cake.

Ahh, doesn’t it taste great to be healthy? 😉

overhead shot of a chocolate frosting on a carrot cake next to raw apples and carrots
side shot of a chocolate frosting on a carrot cake next to raw apples and carrots
6-step collage of mixing the batter for the carrot cake

The Perfect Snacking Cake

First of all, a snacking cake is a perfectly sweet and scrumptious treat you keep on your counter and nibble at throughout the week. It’s that cake where it barely stays covered under the lid or plastic wrap because you’re constantly slicing bites and slivers off to munch on, because it’s that good. It’s not your three layer birthday cake or your complicated anniversary cake. Snacking cakes are simple cakes that come together in one bowl. They bake quickly, require simple ingredients you probably have on hand, are optionally frosted, and taste addictively delicious.

This carrot cake is the perfect snacking cake because the grated carrot and applesauce help keep the cake moist. I made mine on Saturday and I’m still snacking on it four days later. And it’s still just as fresh and moist as the day this baby came out of the oven! Store your snacking cake in an airtight container or under plastic wrap for quick access at any time of the day or night.

overhead shot of a chocolate frosting on a carrot cake next to raw apples and carrots, with a slice of cake cut out
overhead shot of a chocolate frosting on carrot cake on a pink surface next to flowers
side shot of a chocolate frosting on a carrot cake next to raw apples and carrots with slices cut out in the background

Easy & Healthy Carrot Cake with Chocolate Frosting

strawberryandcream
Say hello to your snack for the week: easy & healthy carrot cake with chocolate frosting. The cake is loaded with carrots, apple sauce, and zero butter or dairy. The chocolate cream cheese frosting gives it a slight tangy taste that goes perfectly with this sweet, moist and fresh cake. Serve it to the crowd or snack on it throughout the week!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12 people

Ingredients
  

Carrot Cake

  • 2 eggs
  • cup granulated sugar
  • cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1 cup grated carrot, with the water squeezed out (about three large carrots)

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ¼ cup butter, at room temperature (½ stick)
  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • cups powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder

Instructions
 

Carrot Cake

  • Preheat the oven 350°F.
    Grate the carrots on a micro plane or the smallest holes on a grater. Squeeze out the water from the grated carrots in your hands and measure one cup of the drained grated carrots.
  • Whisk the eggs, granulated sugar and brown sugar together until it is smooth and pale. (About four minutes with a hand mixer.)
  • Whisk in the vegetable oil, applesauce and vanilla extract.
  • Sift in the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. Fold in the sifted dry ingredients until there's no more dry flour visible.
  • Fold in the drained, grated carrots until it's evenly mixed.
  • Pour the batter (it will be very thick) into an 8-inch x 8-inch baking dish. 
    Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick of knife comes out of the center clean (not gooey.) Let cool to come to room temperature before frosting.
    Once the cake comes out of the oven, that is a good time to set out the cream cheese to come to room temperature for the frosting.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk the room temperature butter and cream cheese until it is a smooth, light and fluffy mixture. (About three to five minutes with a hand mixer.)
  • Add the vanilla extract and salt and whisk to combine.
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar, about ½ cup at a time, whisking the mixture until it's smooth and creamy after every addition.
  • Add the cocoa powder and whisk until it's smooth and creamy frosting. Frost the carrot cake to add a little chocolate love to your healthy cake!
Keyword applesauce, cake ideas, carrot, carrot cake, chocolate cream cheese frosting, chocolate frosting, dairy free, dairy free recipes, healthy cake, healthy sweet snacks, homemade cream cheese frosting, november, snacking cake

18 Replies to “Healthy Carrot Cake with Chocolate Frosting”

  1. Yum-number1

    I had the privilege of being hand delivered a sample of this cake from her. And I’m not kidding, this has to be one of the best snacking cakes EVER. I really want more whenever you make it again, please!! 😃

    • strawberryandcream

      Thank you!! I really wanted chocolate with this cake, and I was considering putting chocolate chips in the carrot cake. But this chocolate cream cheese frosting is the right amount of sweet + tang + indulgence for this healthier cake I think 😉

what do you think? :)

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