Carrot Cake with Quark and Date Frosting

This is one of my husband's favourite cakes. He gets soooo happy when I make it, he almost jumps with joy. This is a low fat carrot cake with a low fat frosting. Many people I know buy carrot cakes on café visits...going for the "healthy option". I have even seen carrot cakes sold in the gym's cafe. However, if you take a look at the ingredients, you will find things such as butter, full fat cream cheese, icing sugar, white sugar, glucose syrup and more. I have even seen carrots on top made of marzipan instead of using grated, fresh carrots. My cake has around 10 grams of fat in the whole recipe, including the frosting and it is still delicious. Mind you it doesn't have the "creaminess" of a cream cheese frosting but who cares as long as your heart is happy, right? Also as my husband says, this way he can eat at least 5 pieces without feeling guilty. My carrot cake is packed with fibre, protein, calcium and complex carbohydrates. It is also low in fat. Normally I use skyr, which is a low  fat Icelandic dairy product (sold in some places like Whole Foods Market), you can use quark (a low fat soft cheese) or low fat Greek yoghurt instead.

You will need a square spring form cake tin, 21 centimetres (8,3 inches) and 5 centimetres (2 inches) deep to make this cake. You will also need a food processor (I find that a blender doesn't really give me the results I am looking for in the frosting).


My husbands gets so ridiculously happy when I make these

This recipe is:

  • Nut free

This recipe is easy to make:

  • Lactose (dairy) free

Carrot Cake with Quark and Date Frosting

Makes 16 squares

Ingredients

For The Carrot Cake:

  • 200 grams (7 oz) carrots, peeled and grated fairly coarsely
  • 250 grams (8½ oz) spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon aluminium free and gluten free baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 120 grams (4 oz) Rapadura (or other raw cane sugar)
  • 175 millilitres (5¾ fluid oz) apple sauce
  • 2 eggs (please use free range eggs)
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 175 grams (5¾ oz) raisins
  • One orange (zest only)

For The Quark/Greek Yoghurt and Date Frosting:

  • 150 grams (5 oz) quark (or low fat Greek yoghurt)
  • 50 grams (1½ oz) pitted dates, chopped finely
  • 100 millilitres (3½ fluid oz) water (boiling hot)
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (from a health food store)

For The Syrup:

  • 75 millilitres (2¾ fluid oz) apple sauce
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preparation

  1. First prepare the quark and date frosting: Chop the 50 grams dates finely.
  2. Place the dates in boiling hot water and soak for 20 minutes.
  3. Place the dates and liquid in the food processor. Blend for 2 minutes. You might need to scrape the sides of the bowl and continue blending for a few seconds or until smooth. Transfer mixture to a fine mesh sieve and drain. Press lightly on the mixture with a spoon so that all excess liquid drains off (otherwise the frosting might become too runny). Place in a bowl.
  4. Add the 150 grams quark and 1 tablespoon agave nectar along with the drained dates. Stir together until the mixture is well combined (do not use a food processor or a blender, otherwise the frosting will become too runny). Cover and place in the fridge for at least one hour (or longer).
  5. Next prepare the cake: Peel the 200 grams carrots and grate fairly coarsely.
  6. Zest the orange fairly finely.
  7. In a large bowl, sift together 250 grams spelt flour, 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground cloves and 1 tablespoon baking powder.
  8. In a medium bowl mix together the 120 grams raw cane sugar, 175 millilitres apple sauce, 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons agave nectar.
  9. With a large wooden spoon, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Do this swiftly and fold approximately 8-10 times.
  10. Add orange zest, carrots and 175 grams raisins and fold 2-3 times.
  11. Line a square spring form cake tin, 21 centimetres (8,3 inches) and 5 centimetres (2 inches) deep, with baking parchment.
  12. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius/350 Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 4, for 25 minutes.
  13. Now prepare the syrup. in a small bowl, place 75 millilitres apple sauce, 2 tablespoons orange juice, 1 teaspoon agave nectar and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Combine everything and set aside.
  14. Once the cake is ready, remove from the oven and immediately pierce it all over with a sharp knife.
  15. Now add the syrup (spread one tablespoon at a time over the cake).
  16. Allow to cool completely.
  17. Spread the quark and date cream over the cake in a thick layer.
  18. Cut into 16 squares and serve on a baking dish/plate.
  19. The cake will keep for a couple of days in the fridge (in a plastic container).

Tips

  • If you can't find quark (or skyr) you can use low fat Greek yoghurt.
  • This recipe makes excellent cupcakes/muffins.
  • You can also make a round cake instead of a square cake.         
  • If the coconut oil is cold (in which case it becomes solid), place the jar in a bowl filled with hot water for a couple of minutes.
  • You can add a handful of chopped walnuts for an extra healthy option.
  • You can use whole wheat flour instead of the spelt flour.
  • You can use regular baking powder instead of the aluminium and gluten free one.
  • You can use maple syrup instead of the agave nectar.
  • You can use organic baby food instead of the apple sauce. Use baby food with apples, apricots, pineapples, bananas or pears. Just make sure they are without added sugar.
  • If you are vegan or lactose intolerant you can use Greek soy yoghurt.

Comments about this recipe

Miranda Beck, Colorado
14. May. 2011

Hi

I baked this for my book-club last night and what a response I got! Everyone LOVED this cake and couldn't believe it is so healthy! I will definitely be coming back and trying other recipes on this site.

Miranda