Carrots, oat flour, and spices baked together and topped with a lightly sweetened cream cheese frosting. These Good For You Mini Carrot Cakes are the perfect non-guilty way to end your Easter dinner, or are a great dessert or snack any day of the week.
I can’t believe Easter is only two weeks away! There is something so festive about carrot cake on Easter. I mean, bunnies, carrots, cake, it’s a winner! So, I figured I would take a crack at trying to create a recipe for a carrot cake that was actually healthy, and that could pass as the “real thing”. I am happy to report: mission accomplished! I mean, it’s about time that the one dessert that actually sounds healthy, finally lives up to its name.
The boys and I created these little mini delights the other day when the weather was terrible, and instead of rushing out of the house, I declared it “cooking lesson” time! Both boys grabbed their kitchen stools and their little whisks and spatulas, and stood eagerly at the counter. We added our ingredients and stirred everything together, then baked our first test cake. Once it was done, and cool enough to bite into, we quickly cut into it, and tested away. We tasted it, and decided to add a touch more syrup and a tiny bit more cinnamon, and by the second test batch, it was unanimous. They were perfect! We baked the rest of the little cakes, and could hardly wait until they were done. We each devoured more than our share, and thankfully managed to save a few for Andrew when he got home. Andrew immediately gave these his stamp of approval, and we all agreed that these little carrot cakes would be on the menu for our Easter dessert!
This weekend Andrew was playing around with our little home photo studio and decided to snap a few pictures of the boys. Even though they’re still in their jammies, this has to be one of our new favorite pictures (ever) of these two!
In the meantime, get a jump start on your Easter menu with these Good For You Mini Carrot Cakes. Packed with a delightful little dose of fruits and veggies, sweetness and spice, and finished off with a little bit of sweet cream cheese icing. These will definitely make a happy ending to any meal 🙂
- 2 cups oat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 10 medjool dates, pitted
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 8 large egg whites (1 cup whites)
- 1 cup natural applesauce
- 3/4 cup plain, fat-free Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups grated carrots (medium grate)
- 1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
- 8 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese (softened)
- 2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 26 pecan halves
- 1/4 cup grated carrot
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl, stir together oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg, and set aside.
- In a blender or food processor, puree dates with 1/4 cup warm water. Add to blender: egg whites, apple sauce, yogurt, syrup, oil, and vanilla, and blend until smooth. Pour blended ingredients into a large bowl, and whisk in dry ingredients. Then fold in the carrots and toasted pecans.
- Spoon batter into a mini-cake pan or regular sized muffin pan coated with non-stick cooking spray. Fill each one about 2/3 of the way full, and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While cakes are cooling, prepare frosting: in a small bowl, whisk the cream cheese, syrup and vanilla together until smooth. (Makes enough frosting for about 20 mini-cakes)
- Once cool, slice each cake in half, (so you have a top and bottom), and place a small amount of frosting in the middle of each cake, and then replace the top pieces. Using another small amount of frosting, lightly frost the top of each cake. Garnish cakes with one pecan half and tiny amount of freshly grated carrot. Serve and enjoy!