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Healthy Carrot Cake

4.89 from 60 votes

Irresistibly moist and secretly healthy carrot cake… This recipe is so good, you’re going to want to eat it again for breakfast the next morning!

Super Moist Classic Carrot Cake - With a secretly healthy cream cheese icing... This is hands-down my favorite carrot cake recipe, & it's even good for breakfast! @choccoveredkt... https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/
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I am the girl who eats carrot cake all year.

If you haven’t tried my recipe yet for Healthy Carrot Cake Cupcakes, that post continues to be one of the most popular recipes on my blog…

So I guess I’m not the only one who eats carrot cake year-round!

Since the carrot cake cupcakes have been so popular, I knew I wanted to get an actual healthy carrot cake recipe up on the blog this year.

With Easter less than a week away, today seems like the perfect time to share this moist and incredibly delicious healthy carrot cake, loaded with sweet cinnamon and carrots.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!

healthy carrot cake recipe

The carrot cake above is topped with my Cream Cheese Greek Yogurt Frosting – which I even successfully made vegan!

It also tastes amazing topped with melted coconut butter (one of my favorite ways to eat carrot cake), or the cake is so perfectly spiced and flavorful that you might want to simply eat it unfrosted.

Above – watch me make the healthy carrot cake

Super Moist Classic Carrot Cake - With a secretly healthy cream cheese icing... This is hands-down my favorite carrot cake recipe, & it's even good for breakfast! @choccoveredkt... https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/
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The recipe was adapted from my Vegan Carrot Cake.

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Healthy Carrot Cake

 This healthy carrot cake recipe is so good, you’re going to want to eat it again for breakfast the next morning!
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 8 – 12 servings
4.9 from 60 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 packed cup shredded carrot (200g)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (120g)
  • 1/3 cup oil, or sub applesauce only if you don’t mind a gummy texture (60g)
  • 2 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups spelt, white, or Bob’s gf flour (180g)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup sugar, xylitol, or evaporated cane juice (65g)
  • 1/16 tsp uncut stevia OR 2 additional tbsp sugar
  • optional shredded coconut or chopped walnuts
  • optional 1/2 cup raisins

Instructions

  • *For a double layer cake, simply double all ingredients and bake in two pans.
    Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and line an 8-inch square or round pan with parchment. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients and let sit at least 10 minutes or fridge overnight. In a separate bowl, stir together all remaining ingredients. Pour wet into dry, then stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Pour into the prepared pan, and smooth down evenly. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. The carrot cake tastes much sweeter and better-textured the day after it’s made, and leftovers can be refrigerated for 3-4 days or even sliced and frozen. I frosted the cake with about 1/2 cup of the frosting recipe linked under the second photo in this post – If using a preservative-free frosting like the one I used, it’s best to frost directly before serving.
    View Nutrition Facts

Notes

For a flourless version, try this Keto Carrot Cake.
 

Have you made this recipe?

Tag @chocolatecoveredkatie on Instagram

More Easter Recipes:

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Carrot Cake Banana Bread

Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs

Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs

The Best Vegan Sugar Cookies

Vegan Sugar Cookies

Cheesecake Vegan Easter Recipe

Vegan Cheesecake Recipe

 4.96/5 (49)

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Published on March 21, 2016

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

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149 Comments

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  1. Lisa says

    Thanks Katie – I make a cake most days and carrot has been on my list for a while, so I’ll enjoy this. Just wondering… when you say : “[t]he carrot cake above is topped with my Cream Cheese Greek Yogurt Frosting – which I even successfully made vegan!” does this mean you are no longer vegan?

  2. Jenny says

    5 stars
    This looks so unbelievable delicious, would love to try it right now!!
    I love carrot cake <3
    Happy Easter to you!
    Jenny

     5/5
     5/5
  3. Shelly says

    Thank you so so so much for this recipe! I have made your cupcakes before but really wanted a more “fancy” recipe for Easter Sunday dessert. I looked at a few other carrot cake recipes online but didn’t know the authors too well and didn’t know how they’d turn out. I am always afraid to try something out from a random blogger online, which is why I keep coming back to your recipes again and again. 🙂

  4. Kristin says

    Carrot cake is my favorite dessert. So excited to try this–what amount of coconut and/or walnuts would you recommend adding? Thanks!

  5. Samara B says

    Hi Katie! Thanks for the recipe – I am a huge sucker for carrot-anything! Just a quick question. Would it be possible to use honey as the sweetener? I’m not sure if this would change the texture of the cake, since it would be added liquid! Please let me know. Thanks! xo

        • Megan says

          4 stars
          I used agave, would have used maple but I was out. I didn’t have to change any part of the recipe. Used same amount of sweetener as recommended and it came out great, nice and moist.I would probably double cinnamon next time but thats just me. Thanks for the recipe!

           4/5
           4/5
          • Alaina says

            yay thank you for reporting back on agave!! making this recipe now with agave and spelt flour, wish me luck!

      • Jen says

        5 stars
        This was wonderful! I used all whole wheat flour, oil as called for in the recipe. I also added an egg to the batter and substituted the sugar with maple syrup in the same amount as called for. Everyone loved it!

  6. Emilia says

    This recipe is litterally what i’ve been waiting for, defenitly gonna try this for easter but I eat carrot cake all year round anyway as well 🙂

  7. Jen says

    Hi! I would love to try this for Easter. But I’ve never made carrot cake before and have always wondered how fine I need to grate the carrot. I only have one size on my food processor and I’m worried that’s too coarse. Could I chop it fine with the spinning blade, or would that throw the texture off too?

  8. Charles B says

    5 stars
    Made it after dinner, and just had the first pieces. Very good! I added 1/4 cup shredded coconut, which seemed about right.

     5/5
     5/5
  9. Serena says

    So I’m looking at the cupcake recipe you reference, and I notice that the ingredients are exactly the same. Why does the cake recipe have us let the wet ingredients rest together before mixing with dry? Why not do that with the cupcakes? Thanks.

  10. carrota says

    Thanks for this recipe!
    Though never had a carrot cake before, I took a leap of faith and made this recipe – and its very good!
    Didn’t even use sweetener of any kind because the carrots are sweet anough for me.

  11. Darlene says

    Any idea how much white wheat to use? Don’t have any spelt as none of us are GF and the spelt/GF flours are too expensive for someone on a fixed income.

    • Unofficial CCK Helper says

      The recipe says you can use regular old white flour. Katie is not personally a fan of whole wheat flour because it yields a dense result in cakes that is also somewhat gummy. But you are free to experiment if you don’t mind the risk, and you would use the same amount.

  12. Jessica says

    Could you give me any suggestions for replacing the applesauce in this recipe? I can’t have apples. 🙁
    I considered replacing it with mashed banana, but I don’t want it to give the cake a banana flavor.

  13. tereza crump aka mytreasuredcreations says

    5 stars
    I made this tonight for supper. 😉 I used gluten free flour and coconut oil. My 4 kids and husband loved it!! I’m hoping to have some left over to try it tomorrow. This was delicious. I’ve tried other recipes from your site and so far all of them turned out amazing! Thank you, Katie!! 😀

     5/5
     5/5
  14. Kate says

    I made this for an Easter party and it was a hit! I think I overcooked it a tad, but the frosting was delicious and masked that well. I had never put Greek yogurt in frosting, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

    I added walnuts, coconut, and raisins, and they all tasted great!

  15. anna says

    hi! I just have one question.. what do you use vinegar for? I noticed it is present in many recipes. in Italy it is not really used in desserts so I was wondering what it is for. Could I omit it?
    by the way I love your blog!

  16. Gina says

    Hi Katie,
    I noticed there is a new pop-up advertisement asking people to sign up for emails. I already get emails and I am hoping there is a way to stop that pop-up from coming up for people that already get emails since it is a bit bothersome. It comes up about every 5 minutes, and I’m usually on your site for much longer than that, so it comes up several times while I’m browsing. Thanks!

  17. Ali says

    I tried this recipe and my cake turned out really uhh gummy? Like it’s not like a cake at all more like a chewy texture and there isn’t the crumbs normally seen in cakes it’s just paste-y in the middle can anyone tell me what I did wrong? T.T

    • Chocolate Covered Katie says

      Unfortunately because I wasn’t there to see, it’s really impossible to know what might have happened. What flour did you use, what oil what sugar? Did you make any changes to the recipe at all? Any specifics might also help. Thanks 🙂

  18. Geeta says

    Thanks Katie.Loved the cake.Fantastic recipe & easy to make too. Baked for my daughter’s Birthday & got a fabulous response from everyone who tasted it. Made one change though…used a pinch of Allspice powder instead of Cinnamon as she is allergic. Thanks again.

  19. Amelia says

    I’ve made this three times now and it always turns out perfectly! I love adding the coconut and walnuts it really makes the cake delicious. Thank you for the recipe!

  20. Solenn says

    OMG ! Your carrot cake … It’s so soft, gummy, I love it. I tried to taste the cake to my family, nobody wanted. I’m so happy to eat it for myself alone hahah. More it’s healthy. Maybe a banana cake in the same way would be not a bad idea

  21. Joris says

    Hi, can you also all together replace the sugar by Stevia? And if so, how much Stevia would I need if I would like to leave the sugar out of the recipe?

  22. Liz says

    This is the BEST carrot cake I’ve ever made/had. Plus the Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese Frosting! Not sickly sweet like bakery versions. Served for dinner guests last night – All loved it! Cake is easy to make, used Nutribullet for frosting as I did not have powdered sugar & was too lazy to make my own. Sent all the leftovers home with friends & am making another cake for us today. 5 STARS!!

  23. Kyra says

    I’m going to try your recipe for my son’s first birthday this weekend. I was just wondering if you grate the carrots finely or with a regular cheese grater? Thanks!

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  25. Venetia says

    Hi Katie, I love your recipes. I’m actually munching on a black bean brownie as I write this.

    I have two questions about applesauce and cannot find the answer anywhere on your site. Is it store-bought or home made? And is it sweetened? Can you give us a recipe?

    Second question – sometimes you say that the applesauce can be exchanged for a banana. Is this the case wherever you use the applesauce or only for some of the recipes?

    Thank you so much!

  26. Maeve says

    Hey everyone, just wanted to mention that I just made this and substituted grated carrot for grated sweet potato and it is delicious!

  27. Ji Sun says

    I made this recipe twice. The first time I followed it and it was really dry. The second time I added two eggs and 1/4 c of water and it was really delicious. If you’re not vegan I recommend doing that.

  28. Kitty says

    I was limited in my ingredients so I made a few adjustments. This was my hubby’s birthday cake and he said, “This may be the best carrot cake I ever had”. He is a huge fan of carrot cake. I added 1/4 to 1/2 cup more carrot (by accident); used whole wheat pastry flour, used almost a cup of canned pumpkin instead of apple sauce and oil, and added coconut and walnuts (and used raw organic sugar). I was really surprised by how good it was. It was luxuriously good.

    • Kitty says

      I did add a little liquid. I see some people said it was too dry. I probably added 1/4 cup of pineapple juice. I can’t believe the person who said how bad it was. What????

  29. Marie says

    I’ve done this recipe twice, the first time I didn’t have baking soda or vanilla, so it didn’t turn out like a cake, it was just regular to my tastes, but my diabetic aunt loved it and convince me to do it again. Best decision! Everyone loved it, I made a lot because I was having guests and they all ate twice, and my family members as well. There’s barely any more and I don’t want to inform my auntie that it’s gone and tomorrow she can’t come for more.

    I just wish mine would look more orange like yours, but I guess is because my sugar is Brown and I use whole wheat instead of the one you mention. I used less sugar and a bit of raisins and even the picky eaters loved it.

    Thank you!

  30. david bell says

    I tried making this yesterday.. I used melted coconut oil inplace of “oil” and i used greek yogurt in place of the applesauce since i didnt have any handy and didnt wanna use a ton of oil.. and i ended up with an EXTREMELY dry cake.. it was crumbly when i put it in the pan.. and it came out like a biscuit or something…

    if you try this recipe.. do not substitute the applesauce for yogurt.. im guessing thats where this recipe went wrong for me… (no water, no milk, no eggs added to this recipe that i saw.. which threw me off.. but i gave it a shot.. and failed horribly.. the frosting is tasty though!

    unfortunately i wasnt able to post a picture as i received an error and was blocked from doing so.

  31. Susan says

    What is Bob’s gf? I’ve been using the almond, coconut, tapicoca flours. No white flours. Bummer for this recipe.

  32. Fran says

    Hi there, How can you replace applesauce? We don’t use it and find it in my country. Just plain yogurt would work? Any other suggestions?
    Thanks
    Fran

  33. Saima Bhaidani says

    Hello Katie, can I make this with coconut flour? Should I change anything else if I swap to coconut flour? Thank you so much.

  34. Shelly Niemeyer says

    Just made this and turned it into cake balls! Mixed 2/3 cup of frosting with the crumbled cake mix rolled into balls and freeze. Coat with melted white chocolate (mixed with a little coconut oil).
    Mmm, mmm, mmm!

  35. Shelby says

    I was wanting to try the cupcake version of this for my little girl’s birthday tomorrow. I searched all the comment sections to see if I could find the answer… Can I use king Arthur’s unbleached all purpose whole wheat flour? I don’t have spelt flour or any of the ones listed above. Also, can I use coconut palm sugar in place of sugar & stevia?

  36. Beth H. says

    I simply can’t thank you enough for this recipe! I was recently diagnosed with Pancreatitis and I thought I’d never be able to have something like this again. To suit my diet, I used whole wheat flour, coconut sugar and extra applesauce instead of fat. It was the most moist and delicious carrot cake I have ever had. Thank you again, this recipe definitely showed me a bright side!

  37. Shelly says

    Hi Katie, what would be the time required if I double the recipe? I made one but it’s not enough for everyone around. It also comes out a bit dense. Not sure if it’s because I added some pecans to the batter.

  38. Carolyn Goluza says

    I used whole grain, whole wheat flour and yes, the cake was dense but incredibly delicious! I also made frosting using coconut oil, vanilla and icing sugar and it tastes incredible. Every recipe I try from your site turns out–every one! Thank-you so much.

  39. Jason says

    Was googling a vegan carrot cake recipe and stumbled upon your website. I want to try to make this with pineapple chunks though. Do you think it will bake well? If so, how much do you think I should add? Thank you in advance!

  40. Linn says

    Tried with yogurt and had a really good result. Forget to add in sugar but its til taste good to me as I don’t really like it too sweet. Thanks for the recipe!

    • cosima says

      Hi there! So wrote you forgot the sugar! How did it turn out? I like to make this for my little son and would leave the sugar out, but I was unsure about the results?

  41. cosima says

    Hi there,
    I made your banana and carrot bread the other day and liked it very much so I wanted to give this one here a go.
    I am just wondering if I could leave the sugar out? We are mainly sugar free at home, especially with my little son and I don’t really like substitutes like stevia.
    I would just add one or two tablespoons honey, but do you have an idea if the texture will change? Will I need to add something to fill up the dough? Like almond flour or something?

    Thanks!

  42. Jenny says

    Made this tonight with my 2-year old who has been requesting carrot cake after reading about it in a children’s book. He was very pleased with his first carrot cake! And so was I! And my husband too! Thank you for such a healthy and yummy recipe. 🙂

  43. Roshni says

    Hi. This looks like a fantastic recipe. May I ask if I can substiture the applesauce with something else? Thanks…

  44. Meena Narayanan says

    Incredible cake. Delicious esp the next day. Cake is very soft and moist. My husband who claims he doesn’t eat sweet and desserts couldn’t say ‘No’ to this cake. I used an apple instead of unsweetened applesauce I did t have walnuts so I substituted with pecan. And it was simply heavenly even without the topping. This is definitely in my dessert list for my next luncheon. Thanks Katie, for an excellent recipe.

    • Jason Sanford says

      Katie can only vouch for the ones listed in the recipe because it’s all she’s tried. But feel free to experiment with any other flour as long as you are ok taking a risk. Be sure to report back if you do experiment!

  45. Vanessa says

    This was the first carrot cake I have ever made and holey moley was it good. My fiancé went back for seconds! It was perfectly moist and packed with flavour.

    The only modifications I made was that I added some milk to make the mixture smoother and I only cooked it for 20 minutes in a round cake tin. I also added a cream cheese frosting of cream cheese, vanilla, milk and honey, and sprinkled some ground cinnamon and ginger, and chopped walnuts on top.

    Thank you so much, Katie. I love your recipes!

  46. Myriam says

    Hi Katie, thanks a lot for this wonderful recipe!

    I have a doubt: being intolerant to sorbitol, I shouldn’t eat apples…
    Could I use a soy yogurt instead of the apple sauce (same amount)?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Jason Sanford says

      Sounds like it would work just fine. Usually that can be a sub in recipes, as they perform the same function here. Be sure to report back if you try!

  47. Myriam says

    Hi! I tried the recipe changing the applesauce by soy yogurt, and I had to leave it in the oven for 50 minutes because it looked too raw after 25 minutes… and now it’s horribly gummy! The taste is good though, but it looks so flat and the texture is terrible. Do you know how I could solve this? I also used whole spelt, not white… Maybe if I just leave it 30 minutes and 10 more without opening the oven, it would turn out good? Or adding milk, for example… or flax egg?

    Any tips would be much appreciated <3 Thanks a lot!

  48. Aga says

    Great carrot cake! Have been using this recipe for quite some time and love it each time. I double the recipe and make a layer cake. I whip whipping cream with some vanilla extract and a bit of sugar and add to cream cheese and spread in between layers and also around entire cake. I add chopped walnuts around the cake. I also add 1/2 tsp all spice, a pinch of ginger, nutmeg and cloves and add one more tsp cinnamon. The flavours are incredible.

  49. Suzanne Holt says

    I have always been a sucker for a good slice of carrot cake… and your recipe was my solution! I do not feel guilty eating this cake, everything in moderation… am I right? Thank you for sharing this recipe with the world!

  50. Julie says

    Do you need to get dry the carrot after you shred it? It wasn’t listed in the steps so I didn’t and mine came out very soggy. Wondering if that’s why

  51. Gayle Williams says

    I’ve tweaked your recipe the tiniest bit and it is now my favorite! It will be posted to my blog on Monday (National Carrot Cake Day) with a link referencing that yours was the basis.

  52. Lisa says

    Thank you Katie for this lovely recipe. I just fell in love with this cake and my boyfriend can’t stop talking about it ? looking forward to try another amazing recipe from you!

  53. BCattalani says

    Delicious! I made this for Mother’s Day, using crushed pineapple instead of applesauce. I added the coconut, pecans and raisins as suggested and let it sit overnight. It was tender and so tasty- loved every bite! Next time I’ll make a cream cheese frosting (instead of store bought) because this cake is worth the extra effort. Thanks for the recipe!

  54. Magy says

    Hey, Katie, love your recipes!! Do you think that I could sub Monk Fruit for the sugar? I am refined sugar free but have heard some great things supercalifragilisticexpialidocious this cake! Thanks and love it!

  55. CookieDoughLover says

    I just made this yesterday and it was so delicious! Thank you Katie! For anyone making this, be sure to use the optional oil and it tastes great with cream cheese icing. 😋

  56. Shana Covel says

    Hi. I can’t seem to get this cake to “cook.” I baked for 50 minutes and still totally raw. I used almond flour. Can’t figure out what I did wrong. Flavor is good!

    • CCK Media Team says

      Almond flour is not listed as an option for this cake. It’s important to use one of the flours listed in any recipe, because different flours will act very differently in recipes (especially flours like almond or coconut) and you can’t always substitute something that isn’t listed as an option. However, Katie does have a different carrot cake recipe that uses almond flour: https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/keto-carrot-cake/

  57. Shawn says

    I’m so excied to make your recipe especially after the rave reviews! Question, would you suggest using a plant based cream cheese alternative? I’m looking at all options. Thanks!

  58. maggie says

    I made this yesterday for easter and it was delicious! Even my non-vegan friends enjoyed it for dessert and ate two slices 🙂 I baked two layers in a square 8×8 pan and used Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Cream Cheese frosting as I was in a time crunch, and it also happens to be vegan! For the optional mix-ins, I used crushed walnuts, shredded coconut, and a handful of raisins as well. I will definitely be keeping this recipe on hand the next time I need a carrot cake! Thanks, Katie!

  59. Rachel says

    Thanks for all the amazing recipes!! Is crushed pineapple a sub for the apple sauce in this recipe? I know there was an option for either in your other carrot cake recipe. Thanks!

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