Friday, March 19, 2010

Low Fat Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

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My GI doctor has requested that I eat more sugary foods to try to gain some weight, so I have been eating a lot of desserts. It’s killing me; one can only take so many brownies or chocolate cake with ice cream and whipped cream. Don’t get me wrong, I do like sweet things, but usually a square of bittersweet chocolate does the trick. When I eat a lot of desserts I get a ‘too sweet’ feeling, and my teeth ache. I decided I needed to make a ‘healthier’ dessert. Immediately this recipe came to mind.

I haven’t made this cake since I made cupcakes years ago for a friend’s birthday. After one bite I could have kicked myself. Why did I wait so long to make this? Dense, delicious and divine, that’s how I describe this cake. I have tried other carrot cake reicpes (including this version) but I always come back to this recipe as my ultimate favorite. My mom cut it out of a magazine years ago, I think it was actually from a Ford advertisement of some kind; weird I know. But who cares where the recipe comes from with cake that tastes this good. Mr.Surly, who hates cream cheese, actually said that this frosting was amazing. Of course I didn’t let him know it was cream cheese based, I need him to help me eat these things. In college I would make this recipe in cupcake form and they were always a huge hit. I only have one cupcake pan and still had left over batter after filling it. I didn’t feel like baking in batches so I divided the rest of the batter into two 4 ½“ springform pans.

Here are the cupcakes:

The frosting is green for two reasons. First, St. Patrick’s Day was this week, and second, my alma mater, Ohio University, is playing in the NCAA basketball tournament this year, and green is our school color. OU is known more for it’s Halloween Bash and bar riots than for its sports, so anytime they even make it to a tournament I get excited. They actually upset Georgetown last night, go Bobcats!

The cupcakes took about 20 minutes, the cakes went a little longer. The recipe yielded 12 cupcakes and a mini 4 1/2" cake. If I were to make this again I would double the frosting; I had enough to cover everything but I wasn’t able to add a nice, thick layer of frosting. Make these today and your friends and family will thank you.

Low fat frosted carrot cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
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for the cake:
1 ½ c all purpose flour
2/3 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 c firmly packed brown sugar
2 c grated carrots (I buy matchstick carrots from the grocery store because I’m lazy)
1/3 c golden raisins
1 whole egg
1 egg white
¾ c nonfat buttermilk
1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple in juice, drained
3 Tbls applesauce
2 tsp vanilla
Vegetable cooking spray for greasing pan

Combine first 8 ingredients (the dry ingredients: flour thru raisins); set aside. Combine the wet ingredients (buttermilk, pineapple, applesauce, and vanilla) in large bowl. (I mix by hand with a wooden spoon, no need to get the mixer out for such a small job). Gradually add dry ingredients, stirring til well blended. Pour into 13x9 inch pan coated with cooking spray (or into a cupcake pan, or smaller cake pans, greased with cooking spray). Bake at 350 for 30-35minutes (or til wooden pick inserted comes out clean). Cool completely on wire rack. Spread with orange cream cheese frosting. Cover and chill. Keep refrigerated.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz light cream cheese, softened
1 c powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla (for fun I used my bourbon vanilla)
1 tsp grated orange zest (usually zest from a whole small orange)

Beat cream cheese til creamy. Gradually add in powdered sugar, beating til blended. Stir in vanilla and orange zest.

Note: If you like a lot of frosting, and/or are making a layer cake, I would recommend doubling the frosting so you have enough.

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