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

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


  1. You and I must have similar tastes in food we prepare. Every recipe you post is something I would just love. I always like a healthier version too.

    1. This is a really good cake – I did not calculate the calories but I made it as healthy as I could. Removing the icing would of course reduce the calories or just use less of it. I put on more for purpose of the pictures but typically I do not care for a lot of icing.

  2. I like the thought of the applesauce adding flavor and moisture. And this icing looks good – not so thick and icky as it is most of the time and like you, I scrape off. I like how you decorated it too. Happy Birthday! and may you live long and prosper….we truly lost a dear member of our family, didn’t we?

    1. The applesauce worked out really well! Yes… we lost an important member of our family! On The Testers Edge I wrote more about Mr. Spock and Star Trek on my life and career. I am very saddened by this… I know he lived a long and full life… but it was still too soon to lose him!

  3. Waw, Bernice! This is the bast special cake you made! It all looks very inviting, fabulous & superb even! I love that drizzled yummy topping too! Waw!!!

    1. The tofu was really nice! Overall it is a really great cake whether you use icing or not. I love the applesauce in it – a healthier version and moist!

  4. I grew up not being a fan of most vegetables so the thought of making a CAKE out of carrots has never appealed. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a carrot cake in my life. But I keep seeing posts and cooking shows which praise the wonderfulness of carrot cake. One day, I may even try it myself.

    PS: I’m a ST:OS fan as well, and Spock was always my favourite character. I’ve attended conventions, read and written fanfiction. Well, I could go on and on but I think I’ll stick with that on my first visit to your blog. Here’s a post I made a while ago on my LJ re: my enjoyment of ST.


    1. Carrot cakes are good – maybe a bit hard to describe. It is not like eating a carrot! I enjoyed reading your post about your convention experience! I bet it had to be a lot of fun to go to them!

      1. I get that it doesn’t TASTE like eating a carrot but I’ve just never gotten motivated enough to make one.

        Going to conventions is great fun … especially if you go with a friend. Between the art show and the dealers’ room, you can spent a lot of money. Especially now that all the conventions charge for autographs … which wasn’t the case when I first started going. The costume show was a hoot as well.

      2. ha ha ha…. basically I meant it is called carrot cake but it doesn’t really have a carrot taste. You might just want to try a slice at a good dessert deli. Just in case.

        I could imagine you could spend a lot of money at a convention – I am sure I would! And everything cost money doesn’t it!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: