Carrot Cake

When I was younger I hated raisins.  I pulled them out of everything I could.  I didn’t get sweets very often, so you would have thought when I finally got my hands on some, I would have eaten just about anything – but that wasn’t the case.  Raisins were not acceptable – in fact, I felt that way about pretty much any type of dried fruit.

Now that I am grown up, you think I am going to tell you that things have changed.  Well, they haven’t – but only when it comes to raisins.  I love all sorts of dried fruit, but I still just can’t get myself to eat raisins.  Sometimes when I am in an all-day meeting, and they serve those boxed lunches – I chose the wrong one, and the cookie happens to be oatmeal raisin.  I can’t believe I am admitting this, but I discretely take the raisins out while I am eating the cookie.  Shhhh…don’t tell anyone.  I know, I am ashamed.  Put some cranberries or dried cherries in my cookies, I will gobble them up, but raisins…sorry.

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light – and I was so excited that it was missing that dreaded ingredient – I couldn’t believe it, because that is one of the main reasons why I tend to stay away from carrot cake.  I love it – but it ends up being a lot of work to eat.  I usually just make a good carrot cake sans the raisins, but here was a recipe that did it for me.  The cake turned out beautifully – so nice and moist, and the frosting – well, cream cheese frosting, need I say more?  I did omit the pecans that were supposed to be toasted and sprinkled on top, but that is another story for another day…



  • 10 1/10 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • Cooking spray


  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ounce fromage blanc
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cake, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add 2 cups grated carrot, tossing to combine.

Place granulated sugar, brown sugar, and 6 tablespoons butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spread batter into a 13 x 9-inch metal baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake completely on a wire rack.

To prepare frosting, place softened cream cheese and next 4 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon salt) in a medium bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at medium speed until combined (don’t overbeat). Spread frosting evenly over top of cake. Sprinkle evenly with toasted pecans if desired.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Carrot Cake

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