People often think carrot cake is healthier than other desserts, but beware of recipes that sound healthy! Most carrot cakes are full of oil, butter, eggs and regular sour cream. This version greatly reduces the fat by using pineapple, extra carrots, low-fat yogurt and ripe banana to create the moist texture typical of carrot cake. You can replace the raisins with chopped, pitted dates, apricots or prunes. If you use a food processor to mix the batter, take care not to overprocess it. A garnish of shredded carrots or orange zest is a nice touch.
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large ripe banana, mashed
2 cups grated carrots (about 6 oz.)
2/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup low-fat yogurt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup light cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp low-fat milk or water
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Step 2: Spray a 9" Bundt pan with cooking oil.
Step 3: For the cake, beat the oil and granulated sugar in a large bowl until smooth.
Step 4: Add the eggs and vanilla, beating the mixture well (it may look curdled). Add the banana, carrots, raisins, pineapple and yogurt. Stir until everything is well combined.
Step 5: Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a separate bowl, mixing well. Add to the carrot mixture and stir just until everything is combined.
Step 6: Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Place the pan in the centre of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack.
Step 7: When it's no longer hot, invert the cake onto a serving plate.
Step 8: For the icing, beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and milk in a bowl or food processor until smooth. Drizzle over the top of the cake. Keep cake for up to 3 days, well wrapped, or freeze for up to 2 weeks.
Reprinted with permission from Rose Reisman's The Complete Light Kitchen (2007 Whitecap Books).