This carrot cake is lighter in calories, but sacrifices nothing in flavor!
- 4 medium carrots (about 2 cups, grated)
- 6 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar (150g per 3/4 cup, packed)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g per 1/2 cup)
- 3 eggs
- 1 can crushed pineapple (8 oz., well-drained)
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (divided)
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or a blend of cinnamon, ginger powder, nutmeg, allspice and ground cloves)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (scant)
- 12 ounces reduced fat cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
- 3/4 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Spray two 8-9-inch cake pans liberally with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Grate the carrots.
- Place the canola oil, applesauce, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, crushed pineapple, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Whisk vigorously until smooth and combined.
- Add the flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the bowl. Continue whisking until the mixture is just combined. Do not over-mix.
- Pro tip: Don't have pumpkin pie spice? Blend your own with a mixture of 9 parts cinnamon, 2 parts ginger powder, 2 parts nutmeg, 1 part allspice and 1 part ground cloves.
- Fold in the grated carrots.
- Pour the batter evenly between the two cake pans.
- Bake the cakes for 28-33 minutes on the middle rack of oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Check to see that cakes are done. Remove from oven or add time as needed.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 15-20 minutes.
- To release the cake, run a butter knife between the edge of the cake and the pan. Turn each cake onto a cooling rack. Allow the cake to cool for 1-2 hours before frosting and serving, and make the frosting in the meantime.
- Place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the Greek yogurt, powdered sugar, and 2 tsp. vanilla extract to the bowl. Continue beating on medium speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Pro tip: Adjust quantity of powdered sugar as needed to achieve desired consistency and sweetness of the frosting.
- Cover the bowl of frosting with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Frost cakes as desired, and serve. Refrigerate leftovers in a container for up to 1 week.
- Pro tip: Place a bit of parchment paper underneath the sides of the cake while frosting, then remove after frosting to keep the cake stand clean.