Original and Practical Recipes. Inexpensive, Quick and Healthy.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Reduced Fat Carrot Cake Cupcakes

My friend Katie requested that I come up with a carrot cake recipe that is healthy enough for her to eat it everyday without feeling guilty.  I did my best, and this is what I have come up with.  I combined a couple recipes and made some substitutions to reduce the amount of oil used.  One thing that has a major impact on the nutritional value of this recipe is walnuts.  Nuts have a lot of fat, and including 1/2 cup of walnuts in this recipe will increase the amount of fat by 2 grams a serving.

It is important to note that you do really need to use freshly grated carrots.  Buying a bag of grated carrots at the grocery store is tempting, but they do not have the moisture that freshly grated carrots have.  It is a pain, but you need to buy carrots and grate them.

Nutritional information (per serving):
Cupcakes with walnuts and frosting: 8g fat; 187 calories
Cupcakes with frosting, without walnuts: 6g fat; 167 calories
As a muffin, without frosting and walnuts: 4.3g fat; 101 calories

Prep time:
Baking time:
Makes: 20 cupcakes

You will need:
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups freshly grated carrots
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
Optional: 1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup 1/3 less fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk

Step 1:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Then combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Step 2:
In another bowl beat the sugar, applesauce, oil and vanilla together.  Then add the eggs one at a time.

Step 3:
Using a mixer on a low speed, add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Step 4:
Add the carrots (and walnuts if you are adding them) to the remaining flour mixture.

Step 5:
Add the carrot/flour mixture to the wet ingredients and fold together until just combined.

Step 6:
Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.  Fill each cup until 3/4 full.  Bake the cupcakes at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 35 minutes longer.

Step 7:
While the cupcakes bake, make the frosting.  Combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and powdered sugar.  Stir until smooth.  Add 1 tablespoon of milk if you wish to have a thinner consistency.

Step 8:
Remove the cupcakes from the oven.  Test them by placing a toothpick into the center of a cupcake, it will come out clean if they are fully baked.  Let the cupcakes cook on a cooling rack before frosting.


  1. Kit - Thanks for the recipe and the shout out! Made my day! I am so excited to try it!

  2. Reduced fat is always a plus for me. You'd never know it just by looking at it cause those look great. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog till Monday night and I'd love it if you'd come by and link your cupcakes up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2012/01/sweets-for-saturday-51.html