With Easter quickly approaching, I searched my recipes for a lighter dessert option and found this carrot cake which is one of my favorites! Easter dessert is solved. This whole grain carrot cake is deliciously moist, just the right sweetness, and is topped with a lucious, creamy, light cream cheese frosting! The whole wheat flour, piles of beta carotene-rich carrots, chewy raisins, naturally sweet pineapple make this cake a healthy addition to your spring holiday table.
Whole Grain Carrot Cake with a Light Cream Cheese Filling
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 large whole eggs
3/4 cup crushed pineapple
4 cups grated carrots (3 large)
2/3 cup raisins
2 large egg whites
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/2 cups Neufchatel, softened (12 ounces)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9 inch cake pans or one 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat the oil, sugar and 2 whole eggs until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and blend well. Stir in carrots, pineapple, and raisins. Beat the egg whites with a mixer to medium peaks and fold into the batter. Pour batter into the pans and bake until skewer poked into middle of cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
For the Frosting
Mix Neufchatel cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract with a mixer until smooth. Spread frosting on top of one of the cooled cake rounds. Place the other cake round on top and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Store cake in refrigerator.
Nutrition Note: Neufchatel is a creamy white cheese that is a lighter version of cream cheese. It should not contain any thickeners or other additives.
Recipe is adapted from Healthy Cooking at Home with the Culinary Institute of America. I first made this cake while attending a healthy cooking class at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.
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