What would one do without October?! An ooey-gooey slice of this seasonal Lower-Fat Caramel Apple Carrot Cake is a ripe recipe for creating special memories.
2 ½ cups finely chopped pecans, divided
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
¾ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups sugar (or equivalent if using an alternative)
¾ cup light olive oil
¾ cup reduced-fat milk
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups peeled and grated Granny Smith Apples (approximately 2 medium)
2 cups grated carrots
1 8 oz. tub non-dairy fat-free whipped topping, thawed
Garnish: Reserved pecans and caramel sauce
1 16 oz. tub Litehouse® Low Fat Caramel Dip, divided
Preheat oven to 350° and prep two 9-inch round cake pans with a heavy coating of non-stick cooking spray.
Reserve ¼ cup of chopped pecans, set aside for use as garnish later. Reserve another 1 cup of pecans, set aside for use in batter later. Divide remaining portion of pecans (1 ¼ cups) in half and sprinkle each half (3/4 cup) into the bottom of prepared cake pan; lightly shake to distribute evenly.
In medium bowl, stir together whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda until combined.
In a separate large bowl, mix together sugar, oil, milk, eggs and vanilla until blended. Fold in grated apples, carrots and 1 cup of reserved pecans; stir until just blended. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients a little at a time, stirring until incorporated.
Pour batter evenly among the two pecan-prepared cake pans. Bake on middle rack of oven at 350° for approximately 30 minutes or until toothpick pulls clean.
Remove cake layers to wire rack and let cool completely. Set in refrigerator if you need to expedite the process.
Place one cake layer, pecan side down, on a platter. Spread top of cake with approximately 4 oz. of Litehouse® caramel dip (room temperature or microwave of 15 seconds for easier application). Top with second cake layer, pecan side down. Spread top layer with 3 oz. of remaining Litehouse® caramel dip (1 oz. will remain in tub). Dollop whipped topping on top of cake and spread with spatula to smooth. Drizzle with remaining Litehouse® caramel dip and sprinkle with reserved pecans.