Nostalgic and Decadent Carrot Cake Made a Whole Lot Skinnier

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Carrot cake has been the perennial favorite of both young and old alike for years.  Although it’s actually been around since the 1940s, it began popping up on restaurant menus and bakeries across the country in the 1960s.  It was considered a very earthy, natural cake but in those days no one really focused on how fattening it really was.  Hey, its’ got carrots in it!  The hard cold facts are, 1 slice of this dreamy cake from a place such as Cheesecake Factory has a whopping 1549 calories and 24 grams of fat!  This skinnier remake is still higher in calories than most of the cakes I share, but much lower than a regular slice.  Each slice has 352 calories, 9 grams of fat and 10 Weight Watchers POINTS. It’s really very yummy!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Bake Time: 60-65 minutes

Ingredients for Cake:

1 cup applesauce, unsweetened

⅓ cup canola oil

2 eggs, I like Egg-Lands Best eggs

3 egg whites

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar, packed

2¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1½ teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoons salt

1 (16 oz) can crushed unsweetened pineapple, not drained

2 cups carrots, shredded

⅓ cup walnuts, chopped

¼ cup coconut, shredded

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting:

6 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (¾ of an 8 ounce pkg.)

2¼ cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons reduced-fat milk or 1 tablespoon more, if desired

1 teaspoon vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Coat a Bundt pan with cooking spray.

3. Using an electric mixer or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, add applesauce, oil, eggs, vanilla and both sugars.  Mix until blended.

4. Mix in flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

5. Add pineapple, carrots, walnuts, and coconut. Blend until thoroughly mix.

6. Pour cake batter into coated pan.  Place in oven and bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

7. Let cake cool for about 10 minutes.  Carefully remove from pan.  Cool completely before frosting.

8. To make the frosting: using a mixer, whip the cream cheese until smooth.  Add powder sugar, milk , vanilla and mix until smooth.  It should be quite thick.

7. Frost the cake.  Run a fork over the frosting to make decorative lines.

8. Store in refrigerator.

Serves 16 (each serving 1 slice, 1/16 of recipe)

Food Fact

The inspiration for carrot cake seems to date back to Medieval Europe.  Puddings featuring carrots were a common dish.   Many food historians believe that they were the predecessors of the mouthwatering cake we enjoy today.

Healthy Benefits

Carrots are one of the best sources of vitamin A.

Pineapple is low in fat, calories and sodium.  It contains vitamins C, folate, and iron.

Walnuts are a nice source of fiber, magnesium, and a bit of vitamin B6.  Although high in fat, it’s mostly polyunsaturated which helps lower total cholesterol.

Prep Tip

To save time, buy a bag of shredded carrots.

Weight Watchers
(old points) 7
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS

Skinny Facts: for 1 slice
352 calories, 9g fat, 5g protein, 64g carbs, 2g fiber, 322mg sodium, 43g sugar
FAT FACTS: for 1 slice of Cheesecake Factory’s carrot cake
1549 calories, 24g fat, 183g carbs-These are the only numbers we could find published.

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8 Responses to “Nostalgic and Decadent Carrot Cake Made a Whole Lot Skinnier”

  1. Robin Says:

    Love carrot cake..wondering if we can make it a little more skinnier buy substituting the sugars? domino light in both white and brown sugar? Don’t know how it will affect the taste? Just hit ww lifetime this past evening..and would love to have my cake and eat it toooo!! and maybe lower the points!!
    thanks for the recipe..and the info on cheesecake factory carrot cake..omg…that is a killer!

  2. admin Says:

    Robin, I haven’t tried it that way but if these light sugars have worked for you with other baked good, their most likely going to work out fine. I’m just starting to experiment with cutting the sugar in many of my desserts. I usually first start by cutting the regular sugars in 1/2 and use 1/2 Truvia (stevia). If it still taste good, I cut the sugar by 1/4 more and use 1/4 more Truvia. It’s a true experiment!

    BTW, I’m working on a Pumpkin Trifle that uses less sugar. I hope I work it out before the holidays so i can share it!!!

    If you decide to give it a try, I’d love to hear how you liked. Good luck and have a wonderful Thanksgiving Robin!

  3. Robin Says:

    I might give it a whirl this weekend…the domino light sugar suggests to half the light sugar..1 cup reg sugar= 1/2 cup light sugar…I will let you know how it turns out…
    oh and cant wait for the pumpkin trifle…sounds delicious…anything with pumpkin…will get back to you on the carrot cake…might be an experiment tonight!!!

  4. admin Says:

    Sounds great Robin. I can’t wait to hear how it turned out!

  5. Robin Says:

    well here I am checking in..the lighter version- with the lite sugars…and egg beaters…is simply delicious!!! wow..maybe even too I am making a note to cut back a little more on the sugar!! but delicious…and the apples that I added make it simply yummy!! thanks for the recipe!! this is a keeper!!!

  6. admin Says:

    Wow Robin…That’s really exciting to hear! I’m thrilled your changes worked. Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know!

  7. Robin Says:

    right back at you..Thanks for all your recipes!!
    Happy Thanksgiving:-)
    looking forward to slicing recipes! love experimenting too!

  8. Skinny Dessert Recipes - Love From The Oven Says:

    […]  Nostalgic And Decadent Carrot Cake Made Skinnier From Skinny Kitchen […]

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