Friday, June 1, 2012

SOUTHERN LIVING’S HEALTHIER CARROT CAKE

SL healthier carrot cake (2)


Southern Living has got religion.  Their reduced-fat “healthier” take on traditional carrot cake uses only 1/4 cup of oil, proving that austerity works.  The frosting, though, was uber sweet for me, so I did halve the sugar.  And I sprinkled chopped toasted walnuts on top, adding some fat back in.  (Walnuts are “good” fats versus unhealthy over-processed vegetable and canola oils which convert to trans-fats when heated.)

I was surprised at how good this cake was, and my hat is off yet again to Southern Living for its wonderful recipes. 

However, my two favorite carrot cakes remain Pillsbury’s Carrot Cake with Creamy Supreme Frosting and  Cook’s Illustrated’s 2003 Simple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese FrostingBoth are light, moist and full of flavor, and both are reduced-fat versions. 

Layered Carrot Cake
Adapted from Southern Living, April 2011 

Rating:  8.5 out of 10
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CARROT CAKE BATTER:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup sugar + 1 Tbsp. NuNaturals Stevia) 2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. Diamond kosher salt
1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice, drained (I had fresh, so I used it.) 1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 egg whites
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract (I used my homemade vanilla.) 3 cups grated carrots
Vegetable cooking spray

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
6 oz.  (3/4 of an 8 oz. pkg.) Neufchatel (1/3 less fat) cheese
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla powder or vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

PREPARE BATTER:  Heat oven to 350F.  Combine flour, sugar, soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl;  make a well in center of mixture.  Whisk (don’t beat) together pineapple, oil, eggs, egg whites and vanilla; add pineapple mixture to flour mixture, stirring just till dry ingredients are moistened.  Fold in carrots.  Spoon batter into two (8-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray.

Bake 22-25 minutes or till a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes.  Remove from pans to a wire rack; cool completely (about 1 hour).

PREPARE FROSTING:  In medium bowl, beat Neufchatel, butter and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.  Gradually add powdered sugar to butter mixture; beat at low speed just till blended.  Do not overbeat.  Beat in lemon juice. 

ASSEMBLE:  Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 2/3 cup frosting and top with remaining cake layer.  Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. 
Yield:  10-12 servings
SL healthier carrot cake (3)

5 comments:

Rita said...

Carrot cake is my favourite thing; I ended up saving Pillsbury’s Carrot Cake with Creamy Supreme Frosting. the one I have been looking for.
Rita

glutenfreehappytummy.com said...

yum that looks outrageous ! i love carrot cake! thanks for sharing!

Biz said...

Carrot cake is my step-sons favorite cake - that look gorgeous Judy!

teresa said...

mmm, i never thought i was a big fan of carrot cake, but lately i've really been craving it! this looks wonderful!

Angie's Recipes said...

What a spectacular carrot cake!