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Carrot cake is my absolute favorite cake. Of course, it can’t have any nuts or pineapple. My original version is a calorie buster and this year instead of making that and restricting my calories throughout the day in order to indulge, I came up with a recipe that is lighter without the use of any oils. The vegetable oil in the original was the biggest culprit to the calories and all I hear these days is how horrible seed oils are for you. It was an easy choice to research what could replace that oil. I settled on using a mixture of plain nonfat Greek yogurt and buttermilk. Contrary to the name, buttermilk is actually a low-calorie substitute.


For the sweetener I knew I wanted to use actual sugar and not a substitute. My digestive system can only handle a little sugar substitute or else I’m gassy and bloated. Therefore, I used light brown sugar for this carrot cake recipe but backed off the amount. I wanted the cake to still be sweet and taste like cake but not be so packed with sugar that the point of the “light” version was lost. I considered using maple syrup but at the end of the day it will have the exact same effect on blood sugar and is actually more calories than brown sugar. So brown sugar won out. But only one cup as opposed to the two cups my original recipe calls for.


The only other swap in is egg whites for eggs. It’s a 1/4 c egg whites swap per large egg, so the entire recipe calls for 3/4 c egg whites. If you’re unfamiliar, grocery stores carry quarts of egg whites next to the eggs. I highly recommend grabbing these not only for this recipe but also my blueberry protein pancakes. You’ll love the convenience of using this product over separating eggs and trying to get them to measure out correctly.


Just like the original recipe there are a lot of grated carrots. Grab a big bag of carrots at the store and peel them. The hardest part of the recipe is grating the carrots unless you have a food processor with a grating blade. Can’t recommend one enough. It makes getting the job done so much easier and faster. It’s wild. One of the best kitchen investments you’ll make.


The icing is made with whipped cream cheese, vanilla, salt, powdered sugar substitute and plain nonfat Greek yogurt. The Greek yogurt helps stretch the icing so there’s a lot of it while adding more protein. Greek yogurt is tangy just like cream cheese, so it works really well in this recipe. For the sweetener I used Truvia powdered sugar substitute. It tastes great and blends beautifully. The taste is spot on to the original. The only warning is the potential aftermath of using bulk sugar substitute. Some people have a hard time digesting it and get gas and many don’t. You really don’t know until you try. For those that aren’t affected I would recommend adding an additional 1/4-1/2 cup to the icing to really get it sweet.


Light Carrot Cake

A light carrot cake with no oils topped with a creamy sugar free cream cheese frosting.
4.60 from 5 votes
Course Dessert
Servings 9


  • 2 c carrots grated, heaping
  • 1 c brown sugar packed
  • 3/4 c egg whites
  • 1/2 c plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 c self-rising flour

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz whipped cream cheese softened
  • 1 c powdered sugar substitute
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanillla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c plain nonfat Greek yogurt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • To a large bowl, mix carrots, Greek yogurt, buttermilk, egg whites, vanilla and brown sugar.
  • Add the self-rising flour, cinnamon, ground ginger and salt and mix until fully combined.
  • Pour into an 8x8 or 9x9 prepared pan that's sprayed and lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes.
  • While the cake bakes make the frosting. Beat together all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth.
  • Let the cake cool for 30 minutes before frosting.
  • Cut into 9 pieces.


1 slice
262 calories
9.25 grams protein
6 grams fat
46 grams carbs
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!