Go ahead, take another bite. This carrot cake with light cream cheese icing is delicious, and really good for you! Each bite provides beta carotene, which helps protect your heart. And you don't need to be a pastry chef in a four-star restaurant to make it.
Source: Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader’s Digest Canada
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180°C). Coat a 25 cm (10 in.) fluted ring pan with nonstick cooking spray. Dust the pan with a little flour, tapping out any excess.
Place the flour, mixed spice and baking soda in a large bowl and stir together. Make a well in the centre. Place the buttermilk, oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in a bowl and whisk until blended and frothy. Pour into the well in the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Fold in the carrots.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and level the surface. Lightly tap the pan to break up any large air bubbles. Bake until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Leave the carrot cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Light Cream Cheese Icing
Place the vanilla extract, cream cheese and buttermilk in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until softened. Gradually add the icing sugar and blend just until the icing is smooth. Place the carrot cake on a serving plate and cover with the light cream cheese icing, letting some drip down the sides. Refrigerate the carrot cake until ready to serve.
Per serving: 388 calories, 8 g protein, 12 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 58 mg cholesterol, 64 g total carbohydrate, 40 g sugars, 2 g fibre, 452 mg sodium
Cooking carrots, as in this recipe, breaks down the cellular walls that hold the heart-healthy beta carotene, thus increasing the availability of this vital nutrient to the body.