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Half-the-Fat Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield 20 servings (serving size: 1 slice)
Traditional carrot cakes have as much as 1 1/2 cups of oil; this one has far less fat—only 1/2 cup of butter. But you'll be amazed at how moist and tender the cake is. Draining the carrots in a colander helps maintain the cake's texture while keeping it from becoming too heavy.


  • Cake:
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 5 cups shredded carrot (about 1 pound)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • Cooking spray
  • Frosting:
  • 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, chilled
  • 1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, chilled

Nutrition Information

  • calories 322
  • caloriesfromfat 23 %
  • fat 8.1 g
  • satfat 4.8 g
  • monofat 2.3 g
  • polyfat 0.5 g
  • protein 5.6 g
  • carbohydrate 57.7 g
  • fiber 1.7 g
  • cholesterol 45 mg
  • iron 1.2 mg
  • sodium 327 mg
  • calcium 91 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.

  2. To prepare the cake, spoon the applesauce into a fine sieve over a bowl; let stand 15 minutes. Discard liquid. Scrape drained applesauce into a bowl; cover and refrigerate.

  3. Combine carrot and granulated sugar in a colander. Drain 20 minutes.

  4. Beat the brown sugar and butter with a mixer at medium speed until well-blended (about 2 minutes). Add applesauce, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and coconut extract; beat until well-blended (about 2 minutes). Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (batter will have a slightly curdled look).

  5. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through salt); stir well with a whisk. Add brown sugar mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in carrot mixture and raisins (batter will be very thick). Spoon batter into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray.

  6. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

  7. To prepare the frosting, beat the powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and cheeses with a mixer at low speed just until well-blended (do not overbeat). Spread the frosting over the cake; cover and chill 1 hour.