Not Just Baked: Reduced Natural Sugar Carrot Cake

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Chef Fabiola Donnelly, founder of the blog Not Just Baked, is working to reduce her sugar intake -- one cake recipe at a time! She stopped by to share her recipe for a reduced sugar carrot cake with maple syrup-sweetened cream cheese frosting.

For more great recipes from Fabiola, visit her blog.

Reduced Natural Sugar Carrot Cake

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3.5 fl oz grapeseed oil
  • 4 Tbsp real maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large orange, zest and juice
  • 1 cup carrots, about 3 large carrots, grated

For the frosting:

  • 1- 8oz package full fat cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Tablespoon real maple syrup, add more if you enjoy sweeter
  • 1 orange, zest and juice, about 1 tablespoon of each


Place oven rack in center of oven and preheat heat to 350°.

Line 1- 8 or 9- inch cake pan with parchment paper and coat with spray or oil.

Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl, whisk to combine well. Add pecans and toss in flour.

Combine oil, eggs, maple syrup, orange juice and zest in a bowl. Mix to combine well using a fork. Add grated carrots to oil mixture, mix to combine. Add oil and carrot mixture to flour, gently fold together using a large spatula.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan and place in oven. Bake for 40 minutes. Cover with foil to prevent top from burning at 20 minutes.

While cake is baking prepare frosting by combining cream cheese and softened butter in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or hand mixer. Whisk together for five minutes on medium or until light and fluffy. Add maple syrup, orange zest and juice and mix to combine. Store in fridge until cake has cooled.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for five minutes before removing from cake pan. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting and serving.

Once cake is completely cooled use an offset spatula to frost cake.

Place leftovers in an airtight container and enjoy a for up to 3 days.