Lower-Fat Caramel Apple Carrot Cake

Serves 12 | Finish in 1 hour (not including cooling time)
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What would one do without October?! An ooey-gooey slice of my seasonal Lower-Fat Caramel Apple Carrot Cake is a ripe recipe for creating special memories. Enjoy the slower pace of life and a sweet moment stolen with a special friend or beloved book.

Ingredients

2 ½ cups finely chopped pecans divided,
1 cup whole wheat flour,
1 cup all-purpose flour,
2 teaspoons cinnamon,
½ teaspoon nutmeg,
¾ teaspoon salt,
2 teaspoons baking soda,
2 cups sugar (or equivalent if using an alternative),
¾ cup light olive oil,
¾ reduced-fat milk,
3 large eggs,
1 teaspoon vanilla extract,
2 cups peeled and grated Granny Smith Apples (approximately 2 medium),
2 cups grated carrots,
1 tub (16-oz) Litehouse Food’s Low-Fat Caramel Dip divided,
1 tub (8-oz) non-dairy fat-free whipped topping thawed,
Garnish: Reserved pecans and caramel sauce,

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and prep two 9-inch round cake pans with a heavy coating of 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 F degrees 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 ounces of caramel (room temperature or microwave of 15 seconds for easier application). Top with second cake layer, pecan side down. Spread top layer with 3 ounces of remaining caramel (1 ounce will remain in tub).

Dollop whipped topping on top of cake and spread with spatula to smooth. Drizzle with remaining caramel sauce and sprinkle with reserved pecans.


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