Spice up carrot cake with chai. This diabetic-friendly dessert packs a nutritious punch with whole wheat flour, flaxseed and shredded carrots. Top it off with omega-3 rich walnuts to get the most out of this classic cake.
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
Chai Carrot Cake
2 spiced chai tea bags
1½ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup whole-wheat pastry flour or whole-wheat flour
3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2½ cups finely shredded carrots (about 5 medium)
1 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 4 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup granulated sugar (see Tip)
½ cup packed brown sugar (see Tip)
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
⅓ cup canola oil
Spicy Cream Cheese Frosting
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
¼ cup honey
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
½ cup light sour cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅓ cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans; line bottoms of the pans with waxed paper. Grease waxed paper; lightly flour pans.
To prepare Chai Carrot Cake: Cut tea bags open and pour tea mixture into a spice grinder or mortar and pestle; grind to a fine powder. In a bowl stir together ground tea mixture, all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl combine shredded carrots, eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, unsweetened applesauce and canola oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir until combined. Divide batter between prepared pans, spreading evenly. Bake 25 to 30 minutes for 8-inch pans, 20 to 25 minutes for 9-inch pans, or until a toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool layers in pans 10 minutes. Remove layers from pans; cool on wire racks.
To prepare Spicy Cream Cheese Frosting: In a small saucepan sprinkle 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin over 2 tablespoons cold water. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir over medium-low heat until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat; stir in ¼ cup honey. Transfer to a bowl. Beat with a mixer on high for 5 to 7 minutes or until mixture lightens and expands to about 1¼ cups. In another bowl beat the cream cheese with the mixer on medium for 30 seconds. Gradually beat in sour cream until smooth. Beat in the remaining ingredients. Fold in about one-fourth of the honey mixture to lighten. Fold in remaining honey mixture. Set aside.
Place one cooled cake layer on a serving plate. Top with half of the frosting. Place the second cake layer on another plate; spread with remaining frosting. Chill layers 1 hour. Place second layer on top of layer on the serving plate. Sprinkle with walnuts.
Tip: If using a sugar substitute, use Splenda® Sugar Blend for Baking in place of granulated sugar. Choose Splenda® Brown Sugar Blend for Baking in place of brown sugar. Follow package directions to use product amount that's equivalent to ½ cup granulated and brown sugars. Nutrition Per Serving with Substitute: Same as below, except 206 cal., 26 g carbohydrate. (12 g sugars), 207 mg sodium.
To make ahead: Prepare cake through step 4. Wait to prepare frosting until you are ready to frost the cake.