Carrot Cake--a little healthier!

Hubby's favorite cake is carrot cake. I have a recipe that is amazing, but it has 1 1/2 cups of oil and  a lot of sugar (not to mention the cream cheese icing!). Today I decided to try to make it a tad healthier and, I must say, it was a rousing success! The cake is not quite as sweet and a little more dense, but the icing makes up for that so it has a nice balance. I'll still make the original carrot cake for special occasions, but the is the one I'll use for us from now on. Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 C coconut oil, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 C grated carrots
  • 12 oz Neufatchel cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 C coconut oil
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz flaked coconut
  • 1/2 C chopped pecans

Mix all the dry ingredients. Add the apple sauce and melted oil and mix well. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the grated carrots and mix. Divide batter equally into 3 layer pans. Bake at 350 degrees 20-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 

While the cake is cooling, mix the Neufatchel cheese and coconut oil (not melted) until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until all the ingredients are well combined. Add the coconut and mix. Turn out one layer of the cake onto a cake stand and spread about 1/3 of the icing on top. Turn out second layer and spread another 1/3 of the icing. Turn out the third layer and spread the rest of the icing on top. Sprinkle with the pecans.

You can make this cake a 2 layer cake and ice the sides if you want, I just like the more rustic look of it without icing on the sides.