Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Skinny Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


Mid-April through to the end of May is a time of constant birthdays and celebrations in my family.  My husband, grandfather, dad, mom, grandpa, and brother all have a birthday. That's no even counting many of my cousins, aunts, and uncles who also have celebrations during this time.  It is normally the hardest month and a half stretch for me to stay on a diet.  I really struggle to eat healthy when there are so many delicious treats every other day.  My willpower eventually wears down and I cave. I decided that I wasn't going to do that this year.  I made a plan that included volunteering to make everyone's birthday cake.  I didn't tell any of them that I was going to make a healthy cake and instead just let them eat it.  The best part was that no one even suspected or, more importantly, cared that it was healthy!

Ginger carrot cake happens to be one of my husband's favorite kinds of cake.  I made this cake for his birthday.  This cake has tons of flavor and really tastes just like a super moist and delicious traditional carrot cake.  The beat egg whites help to keep it fluffy and light without adding a ton of calories.  You will want to make the cream cheese frosting ahead of time to give it a bit of extra time to set in the refrigerator. Due to the cream cheese, you will want to keep the cake refrigerated at all times. It would be a perfect cake for Father's Day, a birthday, anniversary, or any other celebration.  I often like to make a cake because I just want cake.  That's okay too!  This cake is really light and so healthy that I even let my boys eat a piece for breakfast - don't judge! 

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Skinny Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: 12 ★ Size: 1/12 Cake ★ Smart Points: 6 ★ Points Plus: 6 ★ Calories: 208 ★ Total Fat: 2 g ★ Saturated Fat: 0 g ★ Protein: 8 g ★ Carbohydrates: 42 g ★ Fiber: 4 g ★ Sugars: 21 g ★ Sodium: 553 mg ★ Cholesterol: 3 mg

Ingredients:
· 3 egg whites, beaten 
· 3/4 cup brown sugar
· 1 1/4 cup applesauce
· 4 medium bananas
· 3 cups carrots, grated
· 2 cups whole wheat flour
· 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
· 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
· 3 teaspoons cinnamon
· 2 teaspoons ginger
· 8 ounces fat-free cream cheese
· 1/2 cup powdered sugar
· 1 teaspoon vanilla or 1 vanilla bean pod
· 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions:

Cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C). Prepare two 8" or 9" circular cake pans with non-stick spray and dusted with flour.  Beat the 3 egg whites to a stiff peak.  Set the egg whites to the side.
2. In the mixer add the brown sugar, applesauce, and bananas.  Mix until all the ingredients are well blended. Stir in the carrots.  
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture. 
4. Divide the mixture between the two cake tins.  Bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Set the cakes aside to cool completely before frosting.
5. Top the cake with the set frosting and, if using, sprinkle with the walnuts or pecans.

Frosting:
1. Mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Using an electric mixer or standup mixer with a paddle attachment to beat the frosting for 10-15 minutes until it is fluffy. Refrigerate the frosting for at least an hour to allow it to set.  Refrigerate the cake after frosting.


Healthy dinner ready in 30 minutes and goes great with a weight watchers meal plan.

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