Lightened-Up Carrot Cake

Don't Lose This Recipe

I am an animal lover. But after having owned rabbits, I can say with joy that I don’t like to own rabbits.

It was a day as any other day. I was probably an emotional teenager in my room when my youngest brother and sister decide to go to the park with our grandmother. After being gone awhile they came home — but they weren’t alone.

In each of their hands was a black male bunny. Some freaky old woman at the park was selling these random rabbits for $10 apiece and my grandma had the fantastic idea that they belonged with two immature children in a family that was ill-equipped to be rabbit-owners. So she bought my brother and sister each a rabbit and literally sent them to our front door with a rabbit in their arms — no cage, no shot records, no hay — just my siblings cradling strange park-pilfered rodents.

So we went out and bought a cage and put our new male rabbits together in the cage. Time passed and one day we woke up to discover something confusing and horrifying: there was a third rabbit in our cage.

This impostor bunny was much smaller, brown, and looked like it had just been born — which was kinda sorta IMFREAKINGPOSSIBLE since we had TWO MALE RABBITS… right, crazy park-lady?! So we cradled this newborn rabbit baby that clearly materialized out of thin air and started calling all the news-stations insisting that males can get pregnant. STOP THE PRESSES, Y’ALL.

[Side note: have you ever had to search a smaller animal for its, er, down-there area? It’s AWFUL. Can you imagine something 2876374 times your size rummaging around in your nether-fluff figuring out what gender you are? TERRIBLE.]

Anywhooooo, since we didn’t really understand what in the fluff was going on, we went about our day. Hours later upon our return from work and school, we went to check on our new rabbit only to find it… gone. Like it had never existed. There has been several times in my life where I’ve stopped what I’m doing and thought, I need to go to the mental hospital and this was one of those times. How can a mysterious, magical baby rabbit just appear and disappear? Everyone in my family saw the baby, so we either all drank the punch OR there was something seriously wrong here.

It wasn’t long after some research that we found out that male rabbits are basically the spawns of Satan himself and like to engage in cannibalism of their young to establish dominance or something. AKA, they are frightening beasts and it was theworstthingever to explain where the baby bunny went to younger siblings without mentioning that “the dad rabbit ate the flesh, bones, and guts of the baby bunny while the mother watched.”

So not long after that — minus the fact that (SHOCKER!) my siblings weren’t responsible enough to care for random park-pawned rabbits — we found the rabbits new loving homes with some friends of ours who loved and had PLENTY of experience with cannibalistic rodents. There’s something for everyone.

Anyway, so while I find bunnies to be adorable, irresistibly fluffy and sweet, I will never, ever own one again. I love them, but only from afar and when they aren’t sold to us from strange rando grandmas in the park.

Speaking of bunnies, Easter is around the corner! And you know what bunnies like? Carrots. And you know what people like for Easter? Carrot cake. But carrot cake is usually loaded with tons of fat and calories and butter (and deliciousness) which makes it a serious indulgence… something not a lot of people want to partake in since they’re trying to get their bikini bodies in check coughMEcough

So I made this carrot cake lighter with some simple swaps. You won’t BELIEVE how moist, fluffy and SCRUMPTIOUS this spicy, sweet cake tastes! It hardly tastes low-calorie and will definitely impress your guests with its bright, springy flavor.

Make it now or the bunnies will eat you.

Ingredients

  • 1 box carrot cake mix
  • 3 egg whites
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice
  • 1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • ½ cup raisins (if you’d like — I did not use them)
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg fat free or reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup Truvia/Stevia (you can also use regular white sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 (8 oz) tubs Cool Whip Free, thawed
  • ¼ cup sugar-free/fat-free caramel sauce
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease two 9″ cake pans with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, egg whites, unsweetened applesauce, water, pineapple juice, crushed pineapple and spices together with a handheld electric mixer until smooth and incorporated. Evenly distribute the batter among the two pans and bake for approx. 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, Stevia and vanilla until blended. Gently fold in both tubs of the Cool Whip to incorporate.
  4. Place one cake layer on a plate or cake stand and frost with HALF of the Cool Whip mixture, spreading it around evenly to the edges of the cake. Drizzle with about HALF of the caramel sauce.
  5. Top with the remaining cake layer. Top with the remaining Cool Whip mixture. Lastly, drizzle on the remaining caramel and sprinkle on the pecans. Allow the cake to set for about 10 minutes before cutting. Store leftovers in the fridge, covered in an airtight container.
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Don't Lose This Recipe

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