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If I had to choose, this would be one of my favorite recipes on the blog. I have a serious weakness for carrot cake but it’s traditionally made with a LOT of sugar. This Clean Eating Carrot Cake is lower in refined sugars and made with 100% wholegrain flour and oats.
OH MY GOODNESS! Carrot Cake is one of those treats that rock my World.
Admittedly, it’s a very small World, but nonetheless – AMAZING!
But only half my family agree with me. Apparently (and I only recently discovered this little fact) carrot cake is one of those things that you either love or hate. The World seems to be a bit divided. It’s a bit like Vegemite.
The problem has something to do with the sultanas. Or so I’m told. Which is fine. Means more for us carrot Cake Loving types :)
So, if you are a carrot cake fan – then you are going to flip with joy when you taste this Clean Eating Version. It’s flippin’ gorgeous! I’ve supplemented half the flour with oat bran (which is simply finely ground oats) so it’s a lot lighter than most Clean Eating Recipes out there.
My Take on Sugar
Now, if you’ve been here before you may have noticed that I do use sugar (honey, raw sugar or maple syrup) in some of my recipes. I’m a big believer in moderation and you can read more on my sugar philosophy here.
If you don’t feel like reading the whole ‘Why we didn’t quit sugar’ post, I’ll sum it up here for you: The biggest reason for me choosing to keep sugar in our diet is that I believe my kids should be able to recognize that eating food containing sugar is a treat.
And it’s OK to have treats in moderation without feeling guilty or depriving yourself of them entirely.
Part of being an adult involves learning to be in control of our eating habits and being responsible for the food we eat and this INCLUDES being able to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to treats.
Clean Eating Carrot Cake
- Wet Ingredients
- 1 Egg lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup runny honey warm it up a bit if you need to
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Cup milk or almond milk
- Dry Ingredients
- 1 Cup 100% Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 cup fine ground oat bran
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Fruit / Vegetables
- 1 Cup Sultanas
- 1 cup grated carrot 2 med - large carrots
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Cream Cheese Icing
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons Raw Sugar
- 1/4 cup cream cheese softened
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon test for decoration
- Preheat oven to 350'F / 160'C fan bake oven
- Prepare a cake tin (25cm round or loaf tray)
- Mix dry ingredients together (see list above
- In a separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients. Make sure your butter and honey is not too warm as it will start to cook the eggs.
- Add the wet mix to dry mix. And mix with a hand mixer or whisk. It makes a runny batter at this point.
- Gently stir in carrots, sultanas and lemon zest. Stir until just just combined. Don't over mix.
- Bake for 30 - 40 minutes. Touch the top to feel if spongy. It won't be as spongy as a normal sponge cake as it dense with the fruit.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool before adding icing.
- To make the Icing: Mix all icing ingredients (except zest) together until smooth. Spread over cake and sprinkle zest to decorate.
- One of the things I use all the time is a lemon zester. Don't waste time using your grater. These are awesome to have in the kitchen drawer.
- Carrot cake doesn't rise as much as a sponge cake. It is a dense, heavy cake. So if you are looking to make this cake for a party, then I suggest making two so that you can stack one on top of the other. Fill the middle with the cream cheese icing for a super delux layered carrot cake.