We gave the springtime (or anytime, really) favorite of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting a healthy, chocolatly makeover. 100% whole wheat and sweetened with honey, applesauce, and carrots, of course, it is a special treat that will please you and your young reader. I believe I would venture into Mr. McGregor's garden to get carrots for this cake!
A cake like this is perfect for making with little ones because it is prepared with little more than measuring, mixing, mixing again, and then it's into the pan and the oven. Having patience to let it cool before adding the icing might be the hardest part of the whole process!
Cocoa-Carrot Snack Cake
- 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Grated rind of 1 orange
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 to 3 large grated carrots
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9”x9” baking ban with cooking spray.
- Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa together.
- Stir orange rind, honey, applesauce, and vanilla together.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients until just combined, and fold in grated carrots.
- Pour batter into pan, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
- When cake is cool, frost top of cake with cream cheese frosting (recipe follows).
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 oz. Neufchatel cheese or reduced fat cream cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- Beat butter and cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time; add vanilla and beat until smooth.