Spiced Ginger Carrot Cake with Greek Yogurt Frosting

When I was a child, I was repelled by carrot cake. Quite frankly, I got offended anytime I was offered, what I deemed, that imposter of a cake. How can it be cake? It has carrots in it! Vegetables! Bleh! However, I was later turned because of my deep love for cream cheese frosting. I love anything with cream cheese, especially cream cheese frosting. I love that it’s less sweet than most frostings, and you also get that tangy zip. Today, I adore carrot cake! I’ve come to appreciate desserts that aren’t overly sweet and rely on natural sweetness. In my version of carrot cake, I lightened things up and made a healthier version of the traditional one. For instance, I replace my beloved cream cheese frosting with Greek yogurt frosting. Before you gasp in horror, don’t worry! Greek yogurt frosting is even better than cream cheese frosting because it has a lighter and fluffier texture. Plus, you save tons of calories and sugar in this version. I also use a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour, and I take out a lot of sugar from most traditional recipes, relying on the sweetness of the carrots and the spice of the ginger and pumpkin pie spice to draw flavor. Pumpkin pie spice is a mix of cinnamon, cloves, all-spice, and ginger. To me, this version of carrot cake has the perfect amount of light sweetness and lets the flavor of the carrots leave a lasting impression.

Is carrot cake British or American?

Carrot cake is believed to have originated in England during World War II. English housewives cleverly used sweet ingredients like carrots to naturally sweeten their baked goods due to sugar rationing at the time. In 1943, the Ministry of Food in England even published a brief recipe for carrot cake. While it may have originated in England, carrot cake has since gained popularity in both British and American cuisines. Today, it is enjoyed and appreciated in various parts of the world, transcending its specific country of origin.

Why is carrot cake so high in calories?

Carrot cake tends to be high in calories primarily due to its ingredients and preparation. One contributing factor is the frosting, which is commonly made with cream cheese, adding richness and flavor. Cream cheese frosting often contains more saturated fat compared to the toppings typically found on fruit cakes. This higher fat content contributes to the cake’s increased calorie count. The main ingredients of carrot cake, such as carrots, eggs, and oil, also contribute to its calorie density. Carrots, although a healthy vegetable, still contain natural sugars and starches, which contribute to the overall calorie content of the cake. Eggs and oil, commonly used to provide moisture and richness to the cake, also add calories.

Does carrot cake taste like carrot?

Carrot cake, despite its name and inclusion of carrots as an ingredient, does not typically have a pronounced carrot flavor. The taste of carrots in carrot cake tends to be subtle and can be easily overpowered by other ingredients.

The flavors that dominate in carrot cake are the rich caramel notes from brown sugar, the warmth of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. These ingredients work together to create a flavorful and aromatic profile that defines carrot cake. The natural sweetness of the carrots helps to enhance the overall sweetness of the cake but does not necessarily contribute a distinct carrot taste.

Spiced Ginger Carrot Cake with Greek Yogurt Frosting

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Ingredients
  

For cake:

  • 1 ½ cup carrots grated
  • ¼ cup of ginger grated
  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup vegetable or coconut oil

For Frosting:

  • 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup Confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lightly grease a loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper
  • Put the grated carrots and ginger in a mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together until well combined. Add the flour mixture to the carrots and mix well.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, combine both sugars, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Whisk everything together and slowly drizzle in the vegetable or coconut oil. Keep whisking until smooth.
  • Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture 1/3 at a time and gently stir everything until it is combined. Pour into your prepared cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Lower the heat to 325 degrees, and bake for 20-30 more minutes until a toothpick comes cleanly out of the center.
  • To make the frosting, whisk together Greek yogurt, Confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth. Taste and adjust the sugar level to your liking. Let it set in the refrigerator while the cake bakes.
  • When your cake is done baking, take it out of the oven and let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely before you frost it.
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