Great Tasting Carrot Cake With Half the Calories
When I was learning how to bake, I’ll admit that I did not have a strong desire to make carrot cake. The idea of putting a vegetable in my dessert was not at all appealing and to be honest; I thought it was a bit odd. For years, I avoided this recipe and decided to learn how to make classic recipes like chocolate chip cookies and apple pie before I baked a vegetable into my cake. Carrots belong in a salad, not in a cake, right?
The ironic thing is, over time, I mastered most of the classic recipes and got curious about carrot cake. So one day, I decided to give it a try. I was at a local restaurant for a dinner meeting and ordered a piece of carrot cake for dessert. To my surprise, I really enjoyed it. The problem is, the dietitian in me started to think about how many calories were in this one piece of cake. The answer, way too many!
After doing my research, I found that the caloric content for just one slice of carrot cake can be as high as 600 calories. I knew that if I looked at a few recipes and worked with the proportions of ingredients and substitutes that I could do better than this.
The fun thing about baking is becoming familiar with ingredients, their functions, and then experimenting with substitutes. For example, in a cake, sugar imparts sweetness whereas butter provides great flavor due to the fat it contains.
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Since traditional carrot cake recipes contain a lot of sugar and plenty of butter, I thought about substituting crushed pineapple and coconut to cut down on the sugar and some canola oil to reduce the amount of butter in the recipe. I also added some pecans to provide a crunchy texture which also helps balance the sweetness in the cake.
Now for the fun part, let’s talk frosting. Carrot cake is delightful when topped with some good old-fashioned cream cheese frosting. It is easy to make, and you can save on calories by using reduced-fat or fat-free cream cheese vs. regular cream cheese.
Following this path, I was able to develop a great recipe for carrot cake. The cake turned out moist and flavorful. Do you want to know the best part? It has half the calories compared to traditional carrot cake (about 300 calories per slice vs. 600 calories per slice).
I am not saying we should eat carrot cake every day, but every now and then we all deserve a nice treat. Why not make something that will fulfill your sweet tooth without ruining your waistline?