Healthy Classic Carrot Cake
Yields: 1 cake, 9 squares
This moist cake is full of soft carrots and warm spices. You won’t miss any of the fat and calories from traditional oil-laden recipes! Be sure to frost the cake 1-2 hours before serving to ensure a smoother frosting consistency. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
  • for the cake
  • 1 ½ cups (180g) whole wheat or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp (14g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (120mL) pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup (60g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup (60mL) nonfat milk
  • 2 cups (180g) freshly grated carrots (about 3 medium, peeled first!)
  • for the frosting
  • 8 oz (227g) nonfat ricotta cheese
  • 3 tbsp (45g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp (30mL) agave
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat a 9”-square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. To prepare the cake, whisk together the flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the maple syrup and Greek yogurt, thoroughly mixing until no large clumps remain. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk, stirring just until incorporated, beginning and ending with the flour. (For best results, add the flour mixture in 3 equal parts and the milk in 2 equal parts.) Fold in the carrots.
  3. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, and bake at 350°F for 28-31 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Cool completely to room temperature before frosting.
  4. To prepare the frosting, stir together the ricotta cheese, Greek yogurt, agave, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Spread on top of the cooled cake. Let the frosting set for 1-2 hours before slicing and serving.
Notes: For the gluten-free option, I recommend the following: ¾ cup (90g) millet flour, ½ cup (30g) tapioca flour, ¼ cup (30g) brown rice flour, and ½ teaspoon xanthan gum. Many store-bought gluten-free flour blends (like this one!) will also work, if measured like this.

White whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or all-purpose flour may be substituted for the regular whole wheat flour.

Honey or agave may be substituted for the pure maple syrup in the cake batter.

Pure maple syrup or honey may be substituted for the agave in the frosting.

As written, the frosting tastes more like vanilla than cheese, so adjust the amount of vanilla to suit your tastes.

{gluten-free, clean eating, low fat}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at