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Healthier Carrot Cake (Naturally Sweetened + Whole Grain)

A healthier version of carrot cake - naturally sweetened with honey, applesauce, and pineapple, made with 100% whole grains, and topped with honey cream cheese frosting.

Course: Dessert

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Servings: 12

Calories: 286kcal


Carrot cake:

  • 1 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted and cooled slightly (measure when solid)

  • 2/3 cup honey

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 3/4 cups finely grated carrots

  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple drained

Honey cream cheese frosting:

  • scant 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream

  • 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature (I used organic)

  • 3-4 tablespoons honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts for topping (optional)



  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x9 square pan with foil and grease the foil.

  • In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

  • In a separate bowl combine coconut oil, honey, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk vigorously to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until the mixture is combined, being careful not to over mix. Add carrots, walnuts, and pineapple and stir until combined, again being careful not to over mix (that could lead to the cake being tough).

  • Pour the batter in the prepared pan. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, until the top springs back when you touch it, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese, honey and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. Add whipped cream to cream cheese and briefly beat on high until combined and slightly thickened (don't beat it too long or the cream could thicken too much). Spread over cooled cake. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. I cover the cake and refrigerate it to allow the frosting to firm up.


I like to store this cake in the fridge since the frosting is quite soft. It is best served at room temperature but it can be served chilled as well.

Recipe and images from:

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