A Healthier Carrot Applesauce Spice Cake with a Tofu Cream Cheese Frosting

Many of you know that I am a Star Trek fan with Mr. Spock being at the top of the list. I was saddened to hear of Leonard Nimoy’s passing on Friday. On The Testers Edge I wrote a posting discussing the impact of Star Trek and Mr. Spock on my life. You can read my tribute Mr. Spock and Star Trek’s Influence on my Life and as a Software Testing Manager.

Mr Spock
Picture courtesy of the BBC News Entertainment & Arts.

For today’s recipe I am sharing a healthier version of a carrot cake. Nothing is better than a slice of carrot cake! It has always been a favorite dessert of both my father and me. But unfortunately a lot of recipes are made with a lot of oil plus butter and can be as high as 1,000 calories a slice! I do not know about you, but that is far too many calories for me! To celebrate my father and my birthday, I made this healthy carrot cake recipe and had fun decorating with nuts, pumpkin seeds, and carrots.

Healthier Carrot Applesauce Spice Cake with shredded carrots full cake

I love this recipe because it is loaded with a ton of great spices and instead of olive oil I used applesauce – it is a great substitute plus makes a moist cake. For the frosting I made a blend of tofu, light cream cheese, powdered sugar and light buttermilk. Since buttermilk is part of the cake ingredients it seemed like a good idea to add it to the frosting. It was really good even with eliminating the butter.

Healthier Carrot Applesauce Spice Cake with shredded carrots

The measurements are approximate for the frosting – best to take your taste tests to determine the ratios. My preference is a thinner icing as the two inch cream cheese frosting is not appealing to me. Typically it is scraped off the cake! Another option is to eliminate the frosting and lightly dust the cake with powdered sugar.

Healthier Carrot Applesauce Spice Cake with pistachios

Cake Dry Ingredients
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 1/2 cups Packed Dark Brown Sugar or ¾ cup Splenda Brown Sugar
1 ½ tsp Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
½ tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp Cloves
1/2 tsp Salt
½ cup Pecans, Chopped (optional)

Cake Wet Ingredients
2 cups Grated Carrot
1 tbsp Freshly Grated Orange Zest
3 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla, prefer homemade
3/4 cup Buttermilk, low-fat
1 ½ cups Applesauce Unsweetened

Frosting Ingredients
½ to ¾ cup Light Cream Cheese
⅓ cup Powdered Sugar
½ cup Firm Tofu
6 tbsp Buttermilk, low-fat

Optional Toppings Ingredients
Toasted nuts such as pecans, walnuts (whole or chopped)
Shredded Carrots or Coconut
Raw Pumpkin Seeds

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine dry ingredients except for the pecans. Mix together the wet ingredients except for the carrots and orange zest. Slowly add and blend the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Fold in the pecans, carrots, and orange zest.

Prepare either a 13×9 inch baking pan or two round baking pans. Spray and flour pans or consider using baking parchment paper. Spread batter into pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake completely on a wire rack.

To prepare the frosting, place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Then have fun decorating your carrot cake!

Healthier Carrot Applesauce Spice Cake out of the oven
Healthier Carrot Applesauce Spice Cake before icing
Healthier Carrot Applesauce Spice Cake two layers with tofu icing
Healthier Carrot Applesauce Spice Cake with pecans