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Carrot Cake

This recipe is based on Awesome Carrot Cake from AllRecipes.com. I really enjoyed that recipe, but I found it awefully greasy. I figured that with all those carrots, it had to be pretty healthy, but boy was I wrong.

The original recipe had a lot of oil so I removed more than a cup of it and replaced it with pineapple and the cake is still rich enough. I also cut out some of the sugar since the pineapple provides some. Lastly, I increased the amount of carrot a little so that you have a larger but (slightly) healthier serving.

The frosting is enough for a 2-3 layer cake. If you want to go lighter, you can half the recipe and put a single layer of frosting on top.
   
Ingredients

Makes 24 2"x2" servings Cals Fat (g)
The Cake
4 cups grated carrots (about 16 oz) 186 1.1
2-1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour 910 2.5
2 Cups Sugar 1548 0.0
1 Tbsp Baking Soda 0 0.0
3/4 Tsp Salt 0 0.0
1 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon 9 0.1
4 Large Eggs 294 19.9
1 20oz Can Crushed Pineapple, drained 280 0.0
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil 955 108.0
1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract 18 0.0
1 Cup Chopped Pecans 950 100.0
Frosting
8 oz Neufchatel or Low Fat Cream Cheese* 560 48.0
4 Cups Confectioner's or Powdered Sugar** 1440 0.0
8 Tbsp Butter, softened 814 92.2
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract 12 0.0
1 Tsp Rum 12 0.0
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans 475 50.0

Total 8463 421.8
Per Serving 352 17.6
* For a richer frosting you can use regular cream cheese. Do not use fat-free, it is too moist and soft.
** Don't use regular sugar. It doesn't work, your frosting will be gritty.
 
Instructions

    click for a larger image
Line a 9" x 13" baking pan with parchment paper or grease and flour it. You can also do 2 or 3 round cake pans if you'd like to make a layer cake.

Take the cream cheese and butter for the frosting out to come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
 

Drain the pineapple. For best results, empty the can into a sieve and let drip into a cup or bowl for at least 15 minutes. You can use the juice for whatever you want (e.g. drink it, make a cocktail).

Give your carrots a good scrubbing. The skin has a lot of nutrients so just clean them thoroughly instead of peeling them. Remove the tops.
 

Grate the carrots with a food processor (or by hand). Put the grated carrots into a large mixing bowl.  

Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon to the carrots and mix slowly to distribute the ingredients.  

While mixing on slow, add the oil, eggs, vanilla and pineapple.

The batter will be a little runny but that's normal.
 

Once everything is mixed, scrape the bowl then add in the nuts and mix until distributed.
 

Pour the batter into the lined baking pan(s)

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes
 

When the cake is done baking, check for done-ness with a toothpick. It's a very moist cake so make sure it comes out completely clean when you remove it and check a couple spots near the center. If not, continue cooking until it is done.

Remove the cake and allow it to cool at least an hour.
 

Meanwhile you can begin making the frosting.

Starting at low speed, cream the butter and cream cheese. Then add the sugar and vanilla. If you wish to add a kick, you can add a teaspoon of rum or other liqueur, or replace the vanilla as well.

Mix at medium speed until the frosting is smooth.
 

Once the cake is cool, spread over the cake or build a layer cake if desired.

Again, the recipe makes enough frosting for a layer cake, but if you'd like to be lighter, you can cut the frosing in half and only frost the top.

Sprinkle the remaining pecans on top.
 

Here's a close up of a slice so you can see the texture.
 



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