Heart-Healthy Carrot Cake Recipe

Carrot cake is one of the best cakes out there. But generally, when you talk about creamy and sweet desserts, there aren't many options that include a vegetable and still taste amazing. This carrot cake still maintains its sweet flavor while offering a few servings of veggies. And it's more fun to eat your veggies in a cake, isn't it? Recipe developer Catherine Brookes of Blue Sky Eating came up with this wonderful recipe with many health benefits, thanks to the carrots. "[Carrots] are high in beta carotene, which is important for eye and skin health, as well as vitamin C, which helps the immune system," Brookes explains. 

There are plenty of great things about this recipe, but Brookes describes her favorite part perfectly. "This carrot cake is super tender and fluffy! I love the twist on the frosting, and the chopped walnuts add a nice crunch," she raves. We would have to agree on all accounts! 

Keep reading to find out how to make this yummy cake.

Gather the ingredients for this heart-healthy carrot cake

When you're ready to begin, you'll need to gather all of the ingredients. First, pick up some low-fat Greek yogurt and powdered sugar. Then, be sure to get some xanthan gum. While you're at the store, head to the baking aisle and pick up all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour. You'll also need baking soda, cinnamon, sugar, and light brown sugar.

Be sure to pick up some vegetable or canola oil, as well as vanilla extract, and eggs. And last but not least, carrot cake wouldn't be complete without carrots and chopped walnuts. You'll need about 10.5 ounces of grated carrots, which you might be able to pick up pre-grated in the produce section, but if you want to grate them yourself, 2-3 medium carrots should do the trick. 

Make the Greek yogurt frosting

Usually when you make a cake, you start by mixing the cake batter, but in this case, you'll need to make the frosting first. Grab a mixing bowl and toss in the Greek yogurt, powdered sugar, and xanthan gum. "Xanthan gum helps to thicken the frosting a little, since Greek yogurt is much more runny than traditional buttercream or cream cheese frosting," Brookes shares. 

Beat the ingredients together with an electric hand whisk until they're well-combined. Then, stick the frosting in the fridge to chill.

Prep the pans and whisk the dry ingredients

Once you finish the frosting, it's time to move on to the cake. Grab two 8-inch cake pans and line them with parchment paper, which helps prevent the cake from sticking to the pan. Then, preheat the oven to 350 F. That way, it can get nice and hot while you tend to the rest of the prep work.

Take out a large mixing bowl and add in the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger. Whisk the ingredients together until well combined.

Combine the remaining ingredients

Take out another bowl and toss in both sugars, the vanilla extract, and oil. Whisk everything together to combine, just as you did in the previous step. Then, sift the flour mixture into the bowl with the wet ingredients. "Place the sieve over the bowl and tip the flour mixture into the sieve," Brookes shares. "Then shake the sieve until everything has passed through. If there are a few bigger pieces left from the whole wheat flour just tip these in at the end." Fold everything together until just combined.

Add the carrots and walnuts and bake

The last two things you'll need to add to the batter are carrots and walnuts. As a reminder, the carrots should be grated, and the walnuts should be chopped. The smaller carrots will mix better with the batter while the chopped walnuts provide the perfect crunch. 

Simply fold the two ingredients in so they're well-combined. Congrats, you have completed the batter! 

Now, distribute the mixture evenly between the two prepared cake pans and pop them in the oven for 30-40 minutes. You can check doneness by inserting a skewer into the center and making sure it comes out clean.

Let the cake cool and add frosting

Once you take the cakes out of the oven, leave them in the cake pans for at least 15 minutes. Then, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. This should take about 2 hours.

Grab the frosting from the fridge and spoon half the mixture on the bottom cake layer. Place the second layer on top of the first, and spoon the rest of the frosting on top before decorating with walnut halves, if you wish. 

Serve and enjoy

The last step in any recipe is the best because that means you finally get to taste the finished product. This cake would be great by itself, but Brookes also provides a few serving suggestions. "[Enjoy it] with a cup of tea or coffee, or with some vanilla ice cream," she shares. How good does that sound? 

"Store the cake covered in the fridge. You can take out individual slices and let them come to room [temperature] before eating, if desired," Brookes notes. Leftovers are good for 4 days. 

We hope you love this yummy, heart-healthy carrot cake as much as we do. 

Heart-Healthy Carrot Cake Recipe
5 from 38 ratings
With a few quick ingredient substitutes, you can make a heart-health carrot cake in less than an hour. Try this recipe the next time you need a sweet treat.
Prep Time
Cook Time
healthy carrot cake on stand
Total time: 55 minutes
  • 1 ½ cups low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 ⅓ cups vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 10.5 ounces grated carrots
  • ⅔ cup chopped walnuts
Optional Ingredients
  • Extra walnut halves to decorate the top of the cake
  1. Mix the frosting first so it can chill while you make the cake. Add the Greek yogurt, powdered sugar, and xanthan gum to a mixing bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk until well-combined. Put this in the fridge for later.
  2. Grease and line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 F.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugars, vanilla extract, and oil.
  5. Sift the flour mixture into the bowl with the wet ingredients (tip in any bigger pieces from the whole wheat flour that won't go through the sieve). Fold everything together until just combined.
  6. Add the carrots and chopped walnuts and fold them through.
  7. Distribute the mixture evenly between the two prepared cake pans and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer poked into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Leave the cakes in the pans for about 15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool. Ensure they have cooled completely before adding the frosting (approximately 2 hours).
  9. Spoon about half of the Greek yogurt frosting on top of one of the cake layers, then place the second layer on top. Spoon the rest of the frosting on top. Decorate with some walnut halves, if desired.
Calories per Serving 525
Total Fat 31.9 g
Saturated Fat 3.2 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 63.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 52.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.9 g
Total Sugars 34.0 g
Sodium 218.1 mg
Protein 9.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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