This rich, moist cake has all the flavor, without all the fat and calories. Because it is so full of carrots, pineapple, and nuts it is similar to a fruit bread. For the best flavor, bake the cake one day ahead.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
45 mins
additional:
9 hrs
total:
10 hrs 5 mins
Servings:
16
Yield:
16 servings
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Ingredients

16
Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
Cake:
Frosting:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

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  • Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a bowl. Lightly beat eggs in a bowl; add white sugar, buttermilk, applesauce, oil, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and mix well. Stir buttermilk mixture, carrots, pecans, and drained pineapple into flour mixture just until mixed; pour into prepared dish.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in baking dish on a wire rack, about 1 hour. Cover dish tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate 8 hours to overnight.

  • Beat Neufchatel cheese and 1 tablespoon reserved pineapple juice together in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth; add confectioners' sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 pinch salt and beat until frosting is smooth. Spread frosting on cake.

Cook's Note:

Substitute 1/4 cup silken tofu for eggs if desired.

Two 8- or 9-inch baking pans can be used instead of 9x13-inch if desired. The next day, gently remove cakes from the pans and prepare to frost them.

Walnuts can be used in place of pecans.

Nutrition Facts

398 calories; protein 5.4g 11% DV; carbohydrates 66.6g 22% DV; fat 13.3g 21% DV; cholesterol 34.3mg 11% DV; sodium 329.3mg 13% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (27)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/20/2014
Delicious! Made this in 2-9" round pans (cooled completely before removing from pans). I also made extra frosting so I could use it to pipe borders (I did omit the salt from the frosting). Everyone raved over dessert tonight...this cake is a definite keeper YUM! Thanks for sharing.:) Read More
(36)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
05/01/2017
First I was not please with the cake flavor. It was quite bland. Second was operator error. I bought the tiny carrot sticks from the store so I didn't have to grate them. They don't cook in the time allotted for the cake. Due to the error this cake was gross and it hit the woods for the critters for enjoy. Back to being afraid of carrot cake. Read More
(2)
33 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 24
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
04/20/2014
Delicious! Made this in 2-9" round pans (cooled completely before removing from pans). I also made extra frosting so I could use it to pipe borders (I did omit the salt from the frosting). Everyone raved over dessert tonight...this cake is a definite keeper YUM! Thanks for sharing.:) Read More
(36)
Rating: 5 stars
03/15/2018
This cake gets a definite 5. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it! The applesauce took away any need for more oil the pineapple is always a hit. I added dried cranberries and golden raisins this time in place of nuts; it was indeed a lot like a fruitcake but much better! The frosting was a perfect complement. Don't be put off with how wet the batter is I followed the cooling directions which yielded an amazing cake. Kudos to its creator! Read More
(9)
Rating: 4 stars
04/03/2018
My only caveat when making this is to watch the baking time. I used a 9 x 13 inch pan and my cake was done in 40 minutes. Other than skipping the salt in the frosting as Christina recommended I followed all other directions to the letter. If you happen to forget to add that tablespoon of reserved pineapple juice to the frosting don't stress. I really didn't find the flavor much different than a standard cream cheese frosting. This is a dense moist carrot cake that's absolutely full of flavor. Read More
(6)
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Rating: 5 stars
05/16/2016
Made this cake for a friends 60th Birthday. Everyone LOVED it. Thanks for a great low fat version. Will share with others and make it again. Read More
(5)
Rating: 4 stars
12/30/2018
First time making it - really good. I added coconut & raisins. Read More
(4)
Rating: 2 stars
05/01/2017
First I was not please with the cake flavor. It was quite bland. Second was operator error. I bought the tiny carrot sticks from the store so I didn't have to grate them. They don't cook in the time allotted for the cake. Due to the error this cake was gross and it hit the woods for the critters for enjoy. Back to being afraid of carrot cake. Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/10/2019
my family liked it so much they ask i make for good friday meal Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
04/29/2019
So moist. I didn t change a thing. So many carrot cakes are dry this one definitely was not. I usually use walnuts when making one but followed the recipe and used pecans which were great too. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
04/24/2019
Yes! Read More
(1)