This post contains affiliated links (SEE DISCLOSURE POLICY)
“Say goodnight to Auntie Monique.” I say, as I’m getting my son, a toddler at the time, ready to go to bed.
“Goodnight cake” he responds, looking right past her, actually right through her, to what’s left of the carrot cake sitting on the counter.
It was the first carrot cake he ever had and I guess he was smitten. I can’t blame him – that’s exactly how I feel about about this healthy carrot cake too. And with Easter just around the corner, I have carrot cake on the brain.
My bestie was over for her annual birthday dinner that night, and I had made her this delicious healthy and light carrot cake as her birthday cake. He was pretty crazy about Auntie Monique and didn’t like going to bed when she was over, but that night he only had eyes for the cake. So, if you’re wondering if this carrot cake is kid-friendly, along with being low-fat and healthy, I think it’s pretty obvious.
Weight Watchers friendly carrot cake:
You know it’s going to be a rough week when more than your entire day’s worth of Weight Watchers smart points is used up on ONE piece of carrot cake. If this sounds at all familiar then you need this carrot cake!
Given that a typical piece of restaurant carrot cake has 29 Weight Watchers Smart Points and I’m only allotted 23 for an entire day, but I really want, no…. actually NEED carrot cake, what’s a girl to do? Well, she makes this cake at only 11 Weight Watchers Freestyle smart points per slice!
Is Carrot Cake Healthy?
The answer is yes and no. Not all carrot cake is created equal, nor are they all healthy.
There are lots of carrot cakes out that there are healthy and many that aren’t. A lot of carrot cakes are laden with fat and sugar. I have reduced both of those elements in this cake. It has prunes in it (in puree form) to moisten it and provide natural sugar and if prunes aren’t healthy, then I don’t know what is! Much of the sugar comes from the applesauce, carrots and pineapple as well (see nutritional analysis at the end of the recipe).
If you consider only having carrots in a cake healthy, then I guess almost any carrot cake could be considered healthy. But if you’re eating your entire recommended daily smart points+++ in one piece of cake, then it’s not feeling too healthy to me. But remember, it’s still CAKE and cake is cake. It’s not salad.
And you have to be careful, especially if you are on the new Weight Watchers freestyle program. You will find recipes on Pinterest that claim to be 4 points per slice, but that is calculated on the old Weight Watchers Points plus program, not the current Weight Watchers Freestyle program.
Will Carrot cake dry out in the fridge?
The answer is yes if you keep it in the fridge too long (2+ days), especially once it’s been cut. But because this cake has perishable filling/icing, you have no choice but to refrigerate it. This is not the cake I would recommend making very far in advance; the day before you plan to serve it is ideal. And once you cut it, press saran wrap over the cut section, to retain moisture. But if you are really pressed for time, you can freeze it, just don’t frost it before you freeze it. Although, I’ve frozen leftovers and they are fine (the texture of the cream cheese frosting changes a little but it’s still good!)
And ensure that you keep it in a sealed cake container in the fridge- I use this one:
My son is now 12 and I hadn’t made carrot cake in many years. So when I did, he just couldn’t get enough of it and was surprised to find out how healthy it was. I actually had to make the kids their own carrot cake because they couldn’t wait for me to photograph this one!
And as he was heading up to bed that night, I could have sworn I heard him whisper ‘goodnight’ to the cake 🙂
And if you still have carrots on the brain, then give my other carrot recipes a try:
Terri’s Amazon Picks:
Healthy & Light Carrot Cake
This Healthy & Light Carrot Cake is low-fat and full of wholesome ingredients like shredded carrots, prunes, pineapple and applesauce. It's Weight Watchers friendly at only 11 smart points and the low-fat cream cheese makes for a lighter icing. But it's so delicious you'll never know healthy or light!
- 1/4 cup walnuts chopped
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 large eggs
- 18 ounce can crushed pinepple thoroughly drained
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup prune puree (see below)
- 2 cups grated carrots
To Make Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the inside of 3- 8 inch layer pans with cake release (see NOTES) Or use non-stick cooking spray.
Spread walnuts in a pie plate and bake for 8 -10 minutes, until fragrant. Cool.
In a medium sized bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
Make Prune puree:
In a food processor, combine 1 cup of pitted prunes with 6 tbsps hot water, process until smooth.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and egg whites. Add sugar, prune puree and apple sauce and whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, pineapple and toasted walnuts.
Divide the batter among the pans and bake for 30- 35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before gently removing from pan.
To Make Frosting:
In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla; beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy
Before you start to decorate, take a pastry brush and dust off any crumbs on the cake.
Place the first cake on an 8 inch cardboard cake circle (for easy transport) if you plan to move it or place it on the surface you plan to serve it on.
Then add some cream cheese icing/frosting as filling (see photo). You don't want to use very much, as it's rich and you need to keep most of it to frost the cake. Then add the second cake and repeat. Add the third cake.
Crumb coat the cake and freeze for 10 minutes: Add a very thin layer of frosting (as shown) to the cake and smooth. Do NOT leave in the freezer any longer than 10 minutes.
*** You don't have to do this, but I do find it makes it easier to frost, especially if you want to avoid getting crumbs mixed in the icing!
Frost/Ice the Cake: Spread the remainder of the icing evenly on the cake (SEE VIDEO IN NOTES)
Cut pineapple rings in half and place on cake (as shown in photos)
Add a slice of carrot to each side of the pineapple (as shown in photos)
Press walnuts against sides of cake and sprinkle some on top, adding a little extra to the centre of the cake, as shown.
Note: I use Wilton Cake release because it my cakes come out perfect every time. I really recommend it:
VIDEO: Icing the cake (CLICK ON BUTTON)
*Garnish not included in points, as it's optional