Bobby’s Lighter Carrot Cake

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By Bobby Deen

81g Less Sugar
152mg Less Cholesterol

Bobby’s Lighter Carrot Cake

Serves: 10


2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple butter
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups grated carrots (about 3 carrots)
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray. Line with wax-paper rounds; spray with nonstick spray.

Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat the eggs and egg whites in a large bowl using a hand mixer until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Gradually add the sugar, beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the apple butter and oil just until blended. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended.

Stir in the carrots and pineapple.

Divide the batter evenly between the pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 – 35 minutes.

Let cool in the pans on racks 10 minutes. Invert the layers onto racks and remove the wax paper; let cool completely.

For the frosting: Add all ingredients, except nuts, into a medium bowl and beat until fluffy using a hand mixer. 

Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate. Spread 1/3 cup of the frosting over the layer. Top with the remaining layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and side of the cake. Sprinkle with the nuts.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Yield: 12 servings

Per Serving: 329 Cal; 5 g Protein; 9 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 4 g Mono Fat; 56 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 29 g Sugar; 81 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 343 mg Sodium; 41 mg Cholesterol

Original recipe courtesy Paula Deen
Lightened Up recipe courtesy of Bobby Dean and the Paula Deen test kitchen

Read More From Deen Bros.

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Reader Comments:


I Love Paula Deen.I really miss her on the Food Network. All her recipes are good.

By tracey brown on February 13, 2014


Hello Deen Family, I am a diet controlled diabetic - I take NO medicine to keep my blood sugar under control. I have watched my carbs, and that has worked for me. I am about to run out of ideas for no/low carb meals. I do well with 45 grams of carbs per meal. Here's hoping you all can help. Thanks so much.

By N. M. Stephens on February 13, 2014


Hi, I love your and your mother's cooking. I am really mad that she has been held responsible for what the south did. I am very sorry for all of you. Karen

By Karen Swygard on September 16, 2013


Hi Paula. I was just told I have diabetes and I need to learn how to cook right. Can you help me? I used a lot of your recipes on line. I watched your show everyday until the dummbie took you off. Do you have a cook book on diabetics? I know since you are a diabetic you had to change the way you cook, please help me. I have your pot & pans & just love you to dead. Someone said you have a new show on TV now. What channel is it on. Thanks Susan

By Susan Paterno on August 08, 2013


My dear Paula, It seems that you are on the wrong side of the broom of a Witch Hunt!! You are in my prayers and thoughts, don't lose faith in your friends and family and fans!! You are obviously the accused in a for profit venture. I'd say someone who shall remain nameless has not enough to do to keep them happy in this life or the next!!!! I will continue to be a friend and fan May God Bless You and Your Family!! Virginia Watts

By Virginia Watts on July 08, 2013


dear any one. all got good food at saturday moring whan we aer whing you all

By dave hammer on February 17, 2013


I love mom recipes I have some of her recipes books and I love recipes too I am going try the carrot cake and let no soon how I like it thanks.

By kathy195411 on December 09, 2012


Love the carrot cake but I forgot to add the ingredients !!!!**** HELP?

By Dixie Crabtree on October 24, 2012


Love your Recipies carrot cakes one of my FAVORITE thank you!!!!*****

By Dixie Crabtree on October 06, 2012

You can use applesauce in place of the apple butter.

By Michele on October 06, 2010

Want to be added to bobby’s mailing list, I love Paula she cooks like mom, but I like the lighter version also. please add

By cynthia on October 05, 2010

I do not have apple butter for the Lighter Carrot Cake recipe.  What can I substitute that with?

By Debby on October 05, 2010

My dad’s birthday is this week and I’m making his cake and he loves Carrot Cake so I’m going to try your recipe.  Thanks!

By Marina on October 04, 2010

thank you bobby just what i needed!! my granddaughter wants to lose a few pounds but we always like a little some thing sweet. and she loves carrot cake. thanks again! happy granny in texas

By pamela on August 24, 2010

I also saved your carrot cake receipt for later use.
I also saved the strawberry one.
But I cook like your mother with lots of good old fashion ingredients. very fatten. Are you ever going to get married.

By Jo Ann on August 02, 2010

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm