Speaking from a history of impatience, I can tell you it helps (at least a little) if you can mentally prepare yourself for the things you have to wait for.
Like waiting at the post office.
It will be crowded, trust me, no matter when you go. So bring your iPhone and catch up on Words with Friends while you listen for your number to be called.
Same goes for rush-hour traffic.
We all know what that’s like. Expect delays or, you know, quit your office job to avoid the traffic altogether.
Knowing these things and simply anticipating the waits make it easier to push through them. At least for me.
It’s also kind of like baking this spelt flour carrot cake.
Thanks to a mad craving around 10 at night, I made this dark, fragrant dessert.
When I pulled this one-layered beauty out of the oven, with its mouthwatering, spiced fragrance, all I wanted to do was immediately dig in – when it was still piping hot, vulnerable without a blanket of frosting covering it.
But I knew it was best to wait. Best to wait for it to cool, to decorate it in a thick, sweet ricotta cheese icing.
Good things, deliciously sweet things, come to those who wait.Print
For a healthier and lighter carrot cake, make this spelt flour version. Moist and spiced, it is nicely balanced by hints of maple syrup in the fluffy ricotta cheese frosting.
For the Cake:
- 2 cups spelt flour
- 3/4 cup Sucanat or coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pure olive oil
- 3 large eggs
- 3 1/2 cups finely grated carrot
For the Frosting:
- 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line and grease an 8-inch cake pan. Set aside.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- In a separate small bowl, lightly whisk together the oil and eggs. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, and whisk just until incorporated.
- Add the grated carrot and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
- Bake 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and transferring to a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.
For the Frosting:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the frosting ingredients until completely combined.
- Spread the top of the cooled cake with the frosting. Transfer to a plate or stand and serve.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: cake, carrot cake, spelt flour, sucanat, coconut sugar, Easter desserts
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Mix the Dry Ingredients
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
The combination of warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice is beautiful in this dessert! Be sure to keep everything in order with a top pick from our roundup of the best spice racks.
You can also use equal parts coconut sugar, if Sucanat is unavailable.
Step 2 – Mix in the Wet Ingredients
In a separate small bowl, lightly whisk together the oil and eggs. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, whisking just until incorporated.
Extra virgin olive oil will have a flavor that’s a little too strong and peppery for a sweet cake – I suggest using the version labeled pure instead.
Step 3 – Add in the Carrots
Add the grated carrot and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into an 8-inch cake pan that has been lined with parchment paper and lightly greased with nonstick cooking spray.
Missing the nuts and dried fruits? We’re keeping it elegantly simple for this recipe, but you can certainly add them during this step! Add a 1/2 cup each of both chopped nuts and raisins.
Step 4 – Bake and Cool
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and transferring to a wire rack. Cool completely.
Step 5 – Make the Frosting
In a small bowl, whisk together the frosting ingredients until completely combined. The mixture will be softer and runnier than a traditional buttercream icing.
Why the yogurt? The tanginess mimics that same flavor found in a cream cheese, without all the fat and calories!
Step 6 – Decorate and Serve
Spread the top of the cooled cake with the frosting. Transfer to a plate or stand and serve.
Healthier Alternatives, Same Sweet Results
I don’t shy away from the usual baking ingredients in all kinds of desserts. There’s plenty of proof.
But it’s good sometimes to embrace healthier alternatives.
This version of my favorite springtime dessert uses spelt flour and Sucanat, and a lightly sweetened fluffy ricotta cheese frosting.
Looking for something carrot-filled but outside of the dessert category? You can also go for a morning breakfast version packed carrots and healthy ingredients, like our carrot muffins.
It’s different, in all the right ways. Enjoy a slice soon, and let me know what you think!
Have you baked with spelt flour or unrefined sugar before? What recipes have you used? I’d love to get new ideas for future baking days, so leave me a comment below.
If you are looking for more health-focused cake recipes, we have plenty:
- Paleo Carrot Cupcakes
- Vegan Vanilla Raspberry Cake with Oreos
- Lemon Rhubarb Spelt Cake
- Cinnamon Blueberry Vegan Coffee Cake
- Apple Maple Walnut Cake
- Raspberry Spelt Cake
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on August 16, 2010. Last updated: June 7, 2022 at 13:13 pm. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.