Our healthy carrot cake recipe is ultra moist and made with whole ingredients such as white whole wheat flour, maple syrup, warm spices, and applesauce.
We know you guys love carrot cake recipes because some of our most popular recipes on FFF are our Chocolate Chip Carrot Cake Loaf and Oatmeal Carrot Cake Cookies!
This recipe was modified on April 7, 2020. It has now been tested multiple times to ensure it works and tastes delicious!
Healthy Carrot Cake = Cake for All Seasons
So I’m trying to figure out what season carrot cake belongs in. Is it a winter cake? A summer cake? An Easter cake? The world may never know.
I’m dubbing it a year-round cake because carrots are pretty much always in season. How do you feel about that?
This healthy carrot cake recipe is probably the easiest carrot cake you’ll ever make and it is so good! Here’s why you should make it:
Why Make This Healthy Carrot Cake Recipe?
- Whole Grains: in this healthy carrot cake recipe, we’re using half white whole wheat flour and half all-purpose to make sure it’s light and airy.
- Lower in Sugar: this recipe uses a combination of brown sugar and maple syrup. It’s not overly sweet, but still so yummy.
- Lower in Fat: we subbed out some oil for applesauce, to make sure this healthy carrot cake still comes out moist, but not packed with fat.
Is carrot cake healthy?
For the most part, carrot cake is made with butter, sugar, and flour, making it a decadent dessert especially when served with classic cream cheese frosting!
This carrot cake recipe, however, is made healthier with real-food ingredient swaps such as white whole wheat flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, and applesauce.
Healthy Carrot Cake Ingredients
You likely already have everything you need for this carrot cake in your kitchen because it’s made from pantry staples.
One thing we try and do here at Fit Foodie Finds is bake with similar ingredients in all of our recipes so you aren’t scrambling to find weird/hard-to-find ingredients! Here’s the basis of what you need:
- white whole wheat flour
- all-purpose flour
- brown sugar
- carrot cake spices
- maple syrup
- almond milk
- coconut oil
best cream cheese frosting
This recipe uses a variation of our Greek yogurt cream cheese frosting. It’s simple, not too sweet, and something you definitely don’t want to skip.
- cream cheese
- Greek yogurt
- maple syrup
Whether you’re making this carrot cake recipe for Easter, a family birthday, or just because. It’s rather simple to put together.
- Grate Carrots: first, peel and grate 2-cups of carrots. We suggest doing a fine to medium grate.
- Wet Ingredients: Combine all wet ingredients minus the coconut oil in a large bowl. Make sure to add the coconut oil last so that it doesn’t coagulate.
- Dry Ingredients: Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Mix: Add wet ingredients to dry and mix to combine. Finally, add in melted coconut oil and mix again.
- Bake: Transfer the carrot cake batter into a greased 9×9-inch pan and bake at 350ºF for 25-30 minutes.
- Frost: Let carrot cake cool completely and then frost with Greek yogurt cream cheese frosting.
Can I make this cake vegan?
While we haven’t tested this recipe with flax eggs, we are confident that it will work. Follow our How to Make a Flax Egg recipe! In addition to a flax egg, you can replace the Greek yogurt with a non-dairy yogurt or even more mashed banana.
Can I sub a different flour such as almond flour or coconut four?
The short answer to this is NO. Coconut flour and almond flour can NOT be swapped 1:1 with white whole wheat flour. You’ll need to find a grain-free specific carrot cake recipe if you want to go that route.
Cover carrot cake with a piece of plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
Healthy Carrot Cake Recipe
- 3-4 large carrots peeled and grated (2-cups packed)
- 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup fat-free cream cheese
- 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or more to taste
Healthy Carrot Cake
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and spray a 9x9-inch pan with coconut oil cooking spray. Set aside.
- Next, peel and grate 2 to 3 large carrots. Place grated carrot on 2 pieces of paper towel and squeeze out as much of the moisture as possible. Save the juice and drink it! It's good for you 🙂
- Measure out 2 cups of grated carrots and then place into a large bowl along with the rest of the dry ingredients and mix.
- In a medium bowl, mix together wet ingredients minus the coconut oil.
- Add wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix. Finally, add in melted coconut oil and mix again.
- Transfer batter into a 9x9-inch pan and into the oven. Bake at 350ºF for 25-30 minutes.
- Let carrot cake cool for at least an hour before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- While the carrot cake is cooling, make healthy cream cheese frosting. Place all ingredients into a medium bowl and mix until smooth.
- Once the carrot cake is cool enough, frost, top with optional ground cinnamon and chopped pecans, slice, and enjoy!
Tips & Notes
- This recipe was updated on April 7, 2020, as many people had problems with the cake being too dense. For the original recipe click HERE.
- Nutrition information does not include optional toppings.
This recipe exceeded my expectations. The clear instructions and helpful substitutions made it easy to customize the dish to my liking. The end result was a restaurant-quality meal that I made in my own kitchen.
The cake was dense, but was it good? Yes! Since I was pressed for time I decided to use Philadelphia whipped cream cheese frosting. Was it good, Yes! Disappointed I did not replace my brown sugar for coconut sugar, next time! I did replace the pecans for unsweetened coconut flakes. Would I make this again, yes! Was the perfect end to an Easter dinner, everyone loved it.
I really don’t love this recipe. It came out way too dense. Also, who adds oil at the end of baking?? Oil should be added in the beginning when you are baking to help with consistency. Won’t be remaking this recipe!
Truly a success!!!! Best carrot cake ive ever tasted! Tasted wholesome too. Is there anyway to use just maple syrup and no sugar though?
Truly a success!!!! Best carrot cake ive ever tasted! Tasted wholesome too
This looks delish! I’m wondering if it would screw things up to use only whole wheat flour instead of half and half?
Hi Haley, We haven’t tested it with whole wheat, but it will definitely yield a more dense carrot cake. Let us know how it goes if you try it!
Love this recipe! It was easy to make and I’m so happy with how it turned out! THANK YOU xx
Yay! So glad you loved this carrot cake, Jen 😀
I am not usually a huge fan of carrot cake, but this recipe is making me rethink everything!! It tastes amazing, not too rich or sweet, and is topped with the perfect light frosting, cinnamon and chopped pecans. Yum!!! 🤤🤤
Yay! So glad you enjoyed this carrot cake as much as we do, Bethany 😀
Waste of quality ingredients! Do not make this recipe! Why is it still here when the reviews of so bad??
Hi Sarah, We’re so sorry to hear this! Wondering if you made any modifications? Or what issues you had? Would love to get to the bottom of this for you 🙂
Hi, can I swap out the whole wheat and all purpose flour for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Flour?
We haven’t tested this, but it should work as long as you’re using Bob’s GF 1:1 flour! Let us know how it goes 🙂
DON’T MAKE THIS RECIPE. This recipe should be taken down if it is not correct. It turned out so dense and dry even though I used the second recipe. The Icing is a joke. It was so liquidy. I wasted a whole bunch of ingredients hoping to make a birthday cake.
how do you recommend storing?
in fridge or leave out in a sealed container ?
We recommend storing in the fridge!
I really don’t like cinnamon What else could I use ? Or would it be ok to leave it out ?
Just omit it!
Super Easy to follow and the best part was that in the result! Cake was to die forrrrrrrr.
Thank you so much.
P.S. – I tried it with flaxseeds instead of eggs.
(2 tbs of Flaxseeds + 6 tbs of Water = Mix and leave it in the fridge for 10 mins)
Thanks so much for letting us know flax eggs work!
I made the cake, turned out very dense .. is there any chance you can make your measures in grams rather than cups?
if all i have is self raising flour on hand how much of the all purpose flour do i substitute for self raising and do i now not put any baking powder?
Hello! Unfortunately, we have not tested this recipe with self-rising flour! So sorry I’m not much help.
Mine came out really dense and heavy. I did not have whole wheat flour and used all purpose. I’m not sure what i did. i may have added a bit too much carrots. My batter seem carrot heavy. 🙁
Can you make this in a Bundt cake pan?
Can I use spelt flour as my whole wheat flour for this recipe? Also, if I leave the raisins out will it make a big difference?
You can leave the raisins out! I haven’t tried this with spelt flour, so I can’t say!
I substituted coconut sugar for light brown and used all Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour. Delicious cake for Easter!
Glad you loved it!!