by Kelley Herring
Carrot cake… and cheesecake.
It is a match made in heaven… and a taste sensation that has taken the culinary world by storm.
And while indulging in this new favorite is often justified by dessert lovers (after all, carrots are vegetables… and there is calcium in cheese!), the truth is that most versions of this two-in-one dessert are a dietary disaster.
Take the Cheesecake Factory’s version of carrot cake cheesecake. One serving has 1,500 calories and 129 grams of sugar. That’s almost an entire day’s worth of calories… and more sugar than you should consume in a week!
And making your own version of this dessert with a traditional boxed carrot cake mix, like one from Duncan Hines, is not much better. In addition to over 500 calories and 50 grams of sugar, you’ll also get a laundry list of processed ingredients and chemical additives that do not do a body good.
Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake + Rich, Creamy Cheesecake = Y-U-M!
But let’s face it. The old-fashioned flavors of this newfangled dessert are just so hard to resist. Who doesn’t love a moist slice of sweet and spicy carrot cake, combined with rich and creamy cheesecake? I certainly do!
So a few weeks ago, after having lunch at Cheesecake Factory (and passing up a slice of their “diet disaster” version) I decided to try my hand at creating a tempting, healthy twist on this yummy dessert using Wellness Bakeries’ Carrot Cake Mix.
Instead of creating a traditional layer cake, I opted for easy-eating, bite-sized mini-cupcakes (no plate required!) and the perfect ratio of cheesecake to carrot cake.
I’m happy to report that my sweet little Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bites were a hit!
I’m sure they will satisfy your deepest cravings for dessert too.
Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bites: A Two-Bite Dessert… with Benefits
And that’s not the only good news. These delicious treats are much lower in calories and sugar (only 116 little calories and just ONE gram of sugar per mini-cupcake). They are also gluten free (of course!) and provide a delicious source of vitamin A and high quality protein.
And thanks to the high ratio of almonds we use in our cake mix, these bite-sized treats also are rich in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) – a star nutrient in the Mediterranean diet that promotes a healthy heart, flexible joints and a trim tummy.
Best of all, these treats are easy to make and impressive enough to serve at a party or other gathering.
To begin, gather up all of your ingredients. As you can see, you don’t need a lot of stuff to make these decadent cupcake bites.
First, prepare the Wellness Bakeries’ Carrot Cake according to the package directions. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 24-cup mini muffin tin with liners and spoon the batter in the cups (about two-thirds full). Use the end of a wooden spoon and make a well in the center of each cupcake.
Next, make the creamy cheesecake filling. Take 6 ounces softened cream cheese and 1 tablespoons heavy whipping cream and beat it in a mixer until smooth.
Add about a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and 2 packages of our Frosting Starter Mix. Put this mixture in a pastry bag or a large zip-top bag and cut the corner off. Pipe a dollop of the cream cheese mixture into the well you made in each cupcake.
Bake the cupcakes for about 9-11 minutes until the edges are browned and the cheesecake filling has set.
If you can resist, allow them to cool completely before serving!
- Preheat oven to 350F and line 24 mini-muffin cups with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, prepare the Carrot Cake according to package directions
- Spoon batter into mini-muffin cups, filling two-thirds full.
- For the filling, add the cream cheese and heavy cream to a medium bowl and beat until smooth. Beat in Frosting Starter, vanilla and cream until fully combined. Place the mixture in a pastry bag with a large round tip, or in a zip-top bag with the corner cut off.
- Using the end of a wooden spoon, make a well in the center of each mini-cupcake, squeezing the batter up against sides of prepared muffin cups.
- Using your pastry bag, squeeze several teaspoons of filling into the well of each cupcake.
- Bake 9 to 11 minutes, or until edges are lightly brown and firm to the touch and filling is set.
- Remove and let cool.
116 calories, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 4 g carbohydrate, 1 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein, 39 mg cholesterol, 126 mg sodium
Are You a Newcomer to Wellness Bakeries?
We’re glad you stopped by! Please check out our Letter to Dessert Lovers to learn what makes our gluten free carrot cake SO special!
And if you’re a carrot cake lover, we’d love to hear your thoughts on our rendition, so please leave your comments below.