Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

40 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, April/May 2005

Carrots give carrot cake a health-halo effect—people think it's health food, but it's usually very high in fat and calories. But our version has about 40 percent less calories and 50 percent less fat than most. First, we use less oil in our batter. Then we skip the butter in the frosting (don't worry, it's still light and smooth). To ensure the cake is moist, we add nonfat buttermilk and crushed pineapple.

Ingredients 16 servings

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Original recipe yields 16 servings
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  • Cake
  • 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple
  • 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, (see Ingredient Note)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated carrots, (4-6 medium)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see Tip)
  • Frosting
  • 12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchâtel), softened
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons coconut chips, (see Ingredient Note) or flaked coconut, toasted


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Drain pineapple in a sieve set over a bowl, pressing on the solids. Reserve the drained pineapple and ¼ cup of the juice.
  3. Whisk flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and the ¼ cup pineapple juice in a large bowl until blended. Stir in pineapple, carrots and ¼ cup coconut. Add the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until blended. Stir in the nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.
  4. Bake the cake until the top springs back when touched lightly and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. To prepare frosting and finish cake: Beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
  • Ingredient Notes: Whole-wheat pastry flour, lower in protein than regular whole-wheat flour, has less gluten-forming potential, making it a better choice for tender baked goods. You can find it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets and natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer.
  • Large thin flakes of dried coconut called coconut chips make attractive garnishes. Find them in the produce section of large supermarkets or at
  • Tips: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.
  • To toast chopped walnuts and coconut chips, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 5 minutes.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 piece
  • Per serving: 341 calories; 17 g fat(5 g sat); 3 g fiber; 43 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 15 mcg folate; 51 mg cholesterol; 30 g sugars; 2,546 IU vitamin A; 4 mg vitamin C; 50 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 336 mg sodium; 162 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (51% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3
  • Exchanges: 2½ other carbohydrate, ½ vegetable, 3 fat

Reviews 40

November 28, 2017
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By: foodfiend
Very good. I made a bundt cake (greased and floured the pan very well) and added extra milk to the frosting to make a glaze. For the cake, I used 1-1/2 cups of cake flour and 3/4 cup of white whole wheat flour. I decreased the sugar to 1 cup (and half of that was Stevia). You have to lay the CRUSHED pineapple on a triple layer of paper towels to drain it well (otherwise the cake will get gummy). And I used light olive oil instead of canola. All in all, it was a really good cake and I will make it again.
October 04, 2017
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By: Odette
Followed the recipe as stated above and the cake ended up being waaaay under cooked in the middle. I noticed other reviews said the cake would be rather moist, but this was definitely not even close to cooked. Even after an additional 20 minutes in the oven we eventually only ate the edges (like a tulband cake). Wouldn't recommend this recipe to anyone.
August 14, 2017
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By: Jo mariemaaarie
The only change I would make is less sugar. 30 grams in one serving slice is a lot of sugar.
June 27, 2017
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By: Tasha
it is a lovely moist cake i would like to know if you can freeze it as it is a lot of mixture and made 2 cakes
May 24, 2017
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Yes!!! Very nice design, thank you so much for fabulous design, I love it very much.
October 30, 2016
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By: Rebecca Grenier
I made the cake and frosting just as in the recipe and loved the flavor of both. The cake was moist, but I like it that way. The one thing I did wrong was I didn't grease the pan enough and the cake stuck coming out, breaking into different pieces. That was sad, but I pushed the pieces together and frosted them anyway and it was all delicious. I am definitely making this one again. A delicious cake, great for breakfast and it feels healthy because it has the pineapple and carrot in it.
February 23, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
I don't understand why you use white refined sugar in it while there is so much healthier choices, and yet you call it healthy , well it's definitely not that healthy with 2 c of refined sugar.
January 03, 2015
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By: Lim
Too moist My cake was too moist, maybe it was because of the pineapple, should've cut it into smaller pieces. Substituted half of the oil with plain yogurt and it turned out well!
May 28, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Soo yummm Hubby doesn't want any gift so i baked him this easy moist delicious carrot cake though i call it, carrot and pineapple cake.. Gÿ¦n+Å He loves it.. Yey! Thanks for the recipe.
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