No Sugar Added Carrot Cake
While I love April and Easter, I really don’t love finding carrots all over my house. My girls tell me they have to hide carrots in different places for the Easter Bunny because he’s getting to smart. Little do they know I, the Easter Bunny, don’t enjoy the scavenger hunt of chopped up carrots! But what I do enjoy is some sugar free, carrot cake!
Whether it’s chopped, sliced, flakes or grated carrots I love them. I also love cake, so it isn’t a surprise that I absolutely love them both together. I am always trying to add more flavor to my carrot cake recipes because there are so many things you can do with it. You can add spices, nuts, raisins, and you can change up the way you put the carrots into the cake. Creating this cake never gets old! I love being able to make one small change in a recipe and then see how different the flavors come out. Although, never forget that no matter what ingredients you take away or add, never take away the Lite and Sweet! I keep this recipe healthy and sugar free by not using white sugar. Lite and Sweet is the one ingredient that will always bring the sweetness to a dish without the calories. And when I eat an entire cake by myself, I fell somewhat better knowing that the sugar substitute we used only has a fourth of the calories compared to normal sugar.
I love carrot cake, my girls love carrot cake, my husband loves carrot cake and I’m telling you right now the Easter Bunny loves carrot cake! Take this recipe and turn it into a fun activity for you and your kids and bake the perfect carrot cake before the Easter Bunny gets here. My girls and I will also be setting up the perfect little dining table for the Easter Bunny. To them, it’s to show him what good hosts they are, but to me, it’s so I don’t find carrot cake stuffed between my couches!
1 1/3 cups flour
1 1/3 tsp baking powder
1 1/3 tsp baking soda
1 1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups grated carrots
2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup raisins or cranberries
1 1/3 cups Lite&Sweet
2/3 cup oil
3 large eggs
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered Lite&Sweet
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut, optional
For the cake: position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch round, 2-inch deep cake pans, flour the insides and tap out the excess.
Whisk together the flour cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, set aside. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut and raisins.
Working in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a whisk, beat the Lite&Sweet and oil together until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. If you are working in a mixer, reduce the speed to low, if you’re working by hand switch to a large rubber spatula, and gently stir in the flour mixture- mix only until the dry ingredients disappear. Just as gently, stir in the chunky ingredients.
Divide the batter among the baking pans and slide the pans in the oven. Bake the cakes for 45-55 minutes. The cakes are properly baked when a knife inserted into the centers of the cakes comes out clean; the cakes will just start to come away from the edges. Transfer the pans to cooling racks to cool to room temperature. (At this point, the cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months; thaw before frosting.)
For the frosting: working in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the powdered Lite&Sweet and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice.
If you’d like to have coconut in the filling, scoop out about ½ of the frosting and stir the coconut into this portion.
To frost the cake, place one layer of the cake, right-side up, on a cardboard round or a cake plate. If you’ve added coconut to the frosting, use all of coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer. Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake top-side down. Use the plain frosting to cover the top- and the sides, if you want- of the cake. Finish the top layer with frosting. Slid the cake into the refrigerator for 15 minutes, just to set the frosting.
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