Carrot Cake with Maple-Cream Frosting | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Carrot Cake with Maple-Cream Frosting


I made this carrot cake on Sunday, and at first I wasn't sure if it was blog worthy.  It is a WW online recipe and you can find the original recipe HERE.   As I enjoyed a small piece each day,  I realized it was a pretty darn good carrot cake for the points value!  If you make MY version without walnuts, it is 6 points+ WITH frosting and if you add 1/4 cup of walnuts, it will cost you 7 points+.  Not bad. 

One thing it moist!  The pineapple and the carrots play a role in that as it  has very little oil added, only 2 TBS.   The frosting is just what you would expect....a nice creamy cream cheese taste, and although it has maple syrup in it, and a title suggesting that maple would be a predominant flavor, you don't really taste it at all, or at least I didn't.  Maybe it adds to the texture of the frosting, not sure.  I increased the amount of powdered sugar in the original recipe to 1 cup, because I felt with only a 1/4 cup, the texture was too much like spreading plain cream cheese on top of the cake.  By doing this, it did increase the point+ value by one...but I think a frosting should be fluffy.  If you choose to only use 1/4 cup of powdered sugar in the frosting, then you can decrease the point+ value by one. 

I did a few swaps, because of ingredients I had on hand.  First off, I did not use cake flour as indicated to do in the original recipe.  I used all purpose unbleached flour and it seemed just fine.  I felt the texture of the cake was moist and "carrot cake like" without the use of a special flour, but if you have cake flour, do use it.  I might do so next time just to see if there is a big difference.  Cake flour has less protein in it, and will traditionally produce a more tender cake...but carrot cake to me is not meant to be I was fine with the AP flour as a substitute. For the spice swaps, I didn't use allspice, but subbed ginger and nutmeg.   I also did not have any raisins, so currants stood in for them in this recipe.  If I made it again, I would put some golden raisins in...that would be my first choice over dark raisins or currants.  

Rather than shredding the carrots, I chopped them up finely with my mini food processor and I really liked the very small pieces of carrot throughout the cake.  I would do this again instead of shredding them which can leave you with long strands of carrot that stick out when you cut the cake into pieces.  Plus, it is so much easier to do it this way.  

I did add walnuts to my cake, increasing the pp value to 7 p+ per serving.  I really like walnuts in carrot cake and even with the walnuts added, I feel 7p+ is still a pretty good point+ value for a traditionally very high fat and calorie cake.  

I really think this cake would be perfect for Easter this Sunday, and I am pretty sure I am going to be baking up another one later this week!  

Carrot Cake with Maple-Cream Frosting
adapted from WW online

Servings - 12   Serving size - 1/12 of recipe   Points Plus per serving - 6 points+ WITHOUT walnuts, 7 points+ WITH walnuts
( without walnuts) Calories - 230.4   Total Fat - 5.2g,   Carb. - 43.4g,   Protein - 3.7g,   Fiber - 1g
( with walnuts) Calories - 247.1,   Total Fat - 6.9g,   Carb. - 43.7g,   Protein - 4.1g,   Fiber - 1.1g

1 1/2 cups all purpose, unbleached flour ( or cake flour )
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 egg white
2 TBS. canola oil
8 oz. crushed pineapple packed in 100% juice, drained but reserving 1/4 cup of juice
1 cup of shredded fresh carrots ( or chopped finely in food processor)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts ( optional) 
4 oz. light cream cheese ( Neufchatel ), at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 TBS. pure maple syrup

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray an 8 inch square baking dish or pan with cooking spray.  

2.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda and salt with a whisk. 

3.  In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar, egg, egg white and oil and whisk to blend.  Add the flour mixture and stir until just blended.  Stir in pineapple and reserved juice, carrots and raisins.  ( add chopped walnuts if using)  Scrape into prepared pan. 

4.  Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Cool cake completely before frosting.  

For Frosting:  Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and maple syrup until smooth.  Spread on top of cooled cake.  Cut cake into 12 equal pieces.

Like I had mentioned, I wasn't sure if I really liked this cake at first.  I did find that the longer it sat in the fridge, the better tasting it seemed to get.  My boys both enjoyed it.  I do really like carrot's one of those top desserts on my list of decadent's nice to have a decent lower calorie and fat version to enjoy.  Carrots definitely make me think of Easter and Easter definitely makes me think of spring!  Even if spring STILL won't get here!!!!  arrrrrrggggg.....( that's frustration in my typing voice!  lol)  

I did see a very, very cute "spring" thing yesterday, and luckily had my camera handy.  There have been a duck couple that have hung out in my yard and my neighbor's yards now for several springs in a row.  My development backs up to city park property where there is a lake.  I hadn't seen the female duck in several days, but yesterday, she came parading across the front yard with her new babies! cute is this????  


  1. I'm a big fan of carrot cake, but never thought to put maple frosting on it. That sounds delicious!

  2. awwwww! Those babies are so freaking cute. Love it. And carrot cake is tasty. And TOTALLY reminds me of easter (in fact, I'm making some mini carrot cupcakes for easter). I prefer them without the walnuts, so I'm making a mix of some with and some without. Great recipe! I hope it warms up for you!!

  3. This looks and sounds delicious. I reminds me of a fall cake for some reason. Too many Points for me, though. :X

    The pic is too cute!

  4. I want this in my stomach... NOW! I really need to bake something soon. I bought two large containers of no-sugar added applesauce ready to change up some recipes :)

    This looks delicious. My sweet tooth needs something sweet now haha

  5. Your ducks are very cute and I might have to try this carrot cake. I make my mil's recipe so I might have problems if I try to lighten that though.

  6. Your cake sounds fantastic and you mama duck and ducklings has started my day with a smile. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  7. Hi Renee,
    I just love the Mom and her babies, cute photo. Your carrot cake looks very moist and the texture looks good. I really wish I had that piece of cake right now. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week! Have a wonderful week end!

  8. Mmm, that maple flavor would blend so well with the cake. Fantastic idea. I have a sweet treat linky party on my blog every weekend and I'd like to invite you to stop by then and link your cake up.

  9. That cake looks THAT good and it's "healthier"?? SOLD! Great job!
    Glad I found your blog on Miz Helen's-I'm on the weight loss 'journey' myself:)


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