If you love carrot cake but lean towards less sweet carrot cake, here’s one I recommend. Baked in a 9 inch pan, it’s a smaller cake; and proportionately, it has a bit less sugar than some of the most popular recipes.
This cake also has a lot of add-ins including coconut, nuts and pineapple which enhance the sweetness and texture. For this cake, I’m not sure I’d leave any of those things out since the cake itself is not that sweet to begin with. The nuts add a lot of flavor, too. Speaking of which, my new favorite thing to add flavor to carrot cake is this LorAnn butter emulsion.
I bought this at Michael’s, but I’ve also seen it at Hobby Lobby and on LorAnn’s website. It doesn’t taste or smell anything like artificial butter extract, and you can’t really discern what it will taste like just by smelling it because it doesn’t have a strong aroma. To really get the full effect, you have to bake it into something. And sure, you could just swap out some of the oil for butter. But a little butter emulsion lets you stick with oil, which is traditional in carrot cake.
Here’s the recipe. It’s not a low sugar cake, just a little less sweet than some others. I thought I’d put it out there because I’ve read reviews from people who think the traditional version is too sweet.
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar or evaporated cane juice crystals
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon butter flavored emulsion (optional)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups (6.8 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 8 oz can of chopped pineapple, drained and dried
- 1/2 cup toasted and finely chopped pecans
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoons vanilla, best quality
- 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 inch square metal cake pan. If using glass, use 325 F.
- In a mixing bowl, stir or gently whisk together the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla, butter flavor, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the flour, then add the carrots, coconut, pineapple and pecans. Pour the batter in the pan and bake for about 40 minutes to 45 minutes or until the top is nice and brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan and then frost
- To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in the vanilla, then beat in the sugar. Spread over the cake. Serve the cake straight out of the pan.