Carrot Cake with Light Cream Cheese Icing

    1 hour 10 minutes

    Go ahead, take another bite. This cake is delicious, and really good for you! Each bite provides beta carotene, which helps protect your heart. And you don't need to be a pastry chef in a four-star restaurant to make it.

    1 person made this

    Serves: 16 

    • 3 3/4 cups self-raising flour
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons mixed spice
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
    • 2 cups buttermilk
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
    • 3 cups finely grated carrot, about 8 medium carrots
    • Light cream cheese icing
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
    • 250 g reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 1 tablespoon buttermilk
    • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted

    Preparation:20min  ›  Cook:50min  ›  Ready in:1hour10min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Coat a 25 cm fluted ring tin with nonstick cooking spray. Dust the tin with a little flour, tapping out any excess.
    2. Place the flour, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl and stir together. Make a well in the centre. Place the buttermilk, oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla essence in a bowl and whisk until blended and frothy. Pour into the well in the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Fold in the carrots.
    3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Lightly tap the tin to break up any large air bubbles. Bake until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
    4. To make the icing, place the vanilla essence, cream cheese and buttermilk in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until softened. Gradually add the icing sugar and blend just until the icing is smooth. Place the cake on a serving plate and cover with the icing, letting some drip down the sides. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.


    This heart-smart cake recipe uses about one-third the oil of the traditional recipe, only 3 eggs instead of 5, and buttermilk for extra moistness.


    Cooking carrots, as in this recipe, breaks down the cellular walls that hold the heart-healthy beta carotene, thus increasing the availability of this vital nutrient to the body.

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