Wednesday, August 26, 2009

carrot cake with toasted coconut cream cheese frosting

My family loves loves loves carrot cake. My eldest son requested it as his birthday cake for years, and my youngest son spent three days last week asking me for it. I’m always on the lookout for tasty, low-fat versions and I found one on the “Cooking Light” website that looked worth a try. And the appearance of a jar of carrot baby food was intriguing!

This was super-quick to whip up, and the addition of carrot baby food made the batter a interesting, bright orange colour… but the batter looked promising and of course I had to do some quality assurance testing and the batter tasted great! (but remember to turn the beaters off prior to licking them).

The cream cheese frosting seemed to have too much icing sugar, so I actually decreased my amount to under 1 cup and upped the cream cheese to four ounces (half a block of low-fat Philly). I admit, I burnt the coconut the first go around. There was a really good movie on at the time and when I remembered there was coconut “toasting” in the oven, it was too late… fortunately I caught it before it got the smoke detector blaring, but just barely!

My second effort turned out much better, but I did one cake with some coconut added, and some without.

The cake itself was moist and delicious. My youngest son just informed me that he snuck some for breakfast. Considering the ingredients, that’s not such a bad thing!

Carrot Cake with Toasted Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

(from "Cooking Light")


3/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 1/3 ounces)

1/4 cup quick-cooking oats

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

1 (2 1/2-ounce) jar carrot baby food

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/4 cups finely grated carrot (about 4 ounces)

1/2 cup golden raisins

Cooking spray


1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup flaked sweetened coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 325°.

To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a food processor; pulse 6 times or until well blended. Place flour mixture in a large bowl. Combine granulated sugar, canola oil, baby food, and eggs; stir with a whisk. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Stir in grated carrot and raisins. Spoon batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

To prepare frosting, combine cheese and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating at low speed until smooth (do not overbeat). Spread over cake; sprinkle with coconut. Cover and chill.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 piece)

CALORIES 262 (30% from fat); FAT 8.8g (sat 2.7g,mono 3.6g,poly 1.6g); IRON 0.9mg; CHOLESTEROL 44mg; CALCIUM 47mg; CARBOHYDRATE 44.1g; SODIUM 201mg; PROTEIN 3.2g; FIBER 1.2g

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