For centuries, carrots have been used in baking for their natural sweetness and moisture. And while the first cakes made with shredded carrots likely originated in France, it wasn’t until restaurateurs in the United States began marketing it as a healthier option in the 1960s that “carrot cake” really took off.
What started out as a novelty in the United States soon became a staple on dessert menus everywhere. Women looking to watch their figures thought they could have a tall slice of carrot cake as opposed to the more “sinful” chocolate variety.
Carrot cake is certainly delicious. But is it really a healthier option than chocolate cake?
Not really. The addition of carrots may add nutrients (primarily beta-carotene and fiber), but it doesn’t make the typical carrot cake “good for you.”
In fact, most carrot cake – such as the Mrs. Smith’s variety seen below – is really just a box of refined sugar and bleached flour. And while this cake actually does have a few carrots in it (many carrot cakes don’t!), any potential benefit is negated by the trans fats, artificial flavors, corn syrup, preservatives and other “non-food” additives.
Take a look at the ingredients list for the Mrs. Smiths cake. Does this sound “healthy” to you?
Mrs. Smith’s Carrot Cake Ingredients
Sugar, Carrots, Enriched Bleached Flour (Bleached Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Margarine (Liquid and Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Water, Salt, Vegetable Mono and Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Preservatives [Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid], Artificially Flavored, Colored with Beta Carotene, Vitamin A Palmitate Added), Walnuts, Eggs, Crushed Pineapple, Soybean Oil, Cream Cheese (Pasteurized Milk and Cream, Cheese Culture, Salt, Xanthan Gum, and/or Carob Bean Gum, and/or Guar Gum), Nonfat Milk, Contains 2% or less of each of the Following: Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening (Soybean and Cottonseed Oil), Unsweetened Pineapple Juice, Corn Syrup, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Cornstarch, Food Starch-Modified, Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate Monohydrate), Salt, Soy Flour, Spice, Ascorbic Acid, Cellulose Gum, Mono- and Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Monostearate, Polysorbate 80, Glycerine, Caramel Color, Lactic Acid, Sodium Propionate (to Propionate (to Preserve Freshness).
Contains wheat, soybeans, walnuts, eggs, and milk.
Not a chance!
But thanks to Wellness Bakeries, you can eat carrot cake that really is good for your body. Not only is our Carrot Cake Mix downright delectable, it’s also free of processed sugar, gluten, dairy, trans fats, additives and preservatives. And it’s a rich source of protein and antioxidants.
Now you can truly enjoy a sweet and spicy carrot-filled cake, topped with a velvety cream cheese icing… without the slightest hint of guilt. And it’s as easy as mixing a few ingredients together, spreading it in a pan and baking.
In addition to our carrot cake mix and frosting mix (one package is just enough, but two gives you a thick rich cream cheese layer), you’ll need a few more ingredients to make your cake.
The first step is baking the cake itself. After you pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F, you’ll need a mixing bowl and a hand mixer. Put 3 eggs, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of water in a bowl and beat on medium speed until well combined. Once mixed, add the carrot cake mix and orange zest and beat some more.
Once that’s combined, fold in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and about 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots with a spatula. Your batter should be nice and thick.
Spread that in an 8×8 cake pan (or an 8″ round cake pan) that has been lined with unbleached parchment paper, then bake for about 30-35 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the top springs back lightly to the touch and when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Now comes the hard part — allowing the cake to cool completely before icing it.
You should allow the cake to cool for 15-20 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack. While you wait, you can make the frosting (this may be the easiest, most delicious frosting you’ll ever make).
Take 2 small packets of Classic Frosting Starter Mix, 4 tablespoons of softened butter, and 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese and put it in a bowl with 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract. Beat until thick and creamy.
If you want to make the cake dairy free, you can substitute coconut cream for the cream cheese. You’ll find this recipe in our Fantastic Frostings & Tasty Toppings – an eBook that comes with your order.
Once the cake has cooled, spread the frosting on top, slice and serve. Garnish the slices with slivers of orange zest.
NOTE: To make a beautiful double layer cake, you will need to double the recipe below.
- For Cake
- 1 pack Carrot Cake Mix
- 1.5 cups fresh grated carrots
- 3 large organic eggs
- 2 Tbsp. organic virgin coconut oil, melted
- 2 Tbsp. water
- ½ cup organic walnuts, chopped
- Zest of 1 orange (1 tablespoon)
- For Frosting
- 8 oz. organic cream cheese
- 4 Tbsp. pastured butter
- 2 tsp. organic vanilla
- 2 small packets Classic Frosting Starter Mix
- Orange zest for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8 x 8 pan with unbleached parchment paper and spray with coconut oil spray.
- In a medium bowl, add eggs, oil and water. Using an electric mixer, beat on high until fully combined.
- Add in Carrot Cake Mix, and orange zest, blending on medium speed to incorporate.
- Fold in the carrots and walnuts. The batter will be thick.
- Spread the batter evenly into the parchment-lined pan.
- Transfer to oven and bake until the tops spring back when pressed lightly, about 30-35 minutes. Let cool in the pan 15 minutes, and then gently transfer to a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, prepare the frosting.
- In a medium bowl, add the butter, cream cheese and Classic Frosting Starter Mix.
- Using an electric mixer, blend on high until fluffy, gradually adding the vanilla.
- When cake is fully cooled, spread on the frosting. Before serving, top each square with orange peel.
233 calories, 21 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 8 g carbohydrate, 2 g sugar, 4 g fiber, 7.5 g protein, 78 mg cholesterol, 252 mg sodium