A healthier carrot cake, sweetened with dates and bananas. This date, carrot and banana cake is perfect for any occasion when you want a sweet treat without too much sugar.
I've held back from putting up a carrot cake recipe on Sneaky Veg until now. The reason? Well, it just seemed a bit too obvious. But also because calling carrot cake a healthy option is a bit misleading - it's usually packed full of sugar and butter. It does taste great though doesn't it? So it seemed like it was time to work on a healthy carrot cake option to bring to you all.
We made this for Grandma's birthday and it was enjoyed by all - health conscious grown ups and cake loving little people.
How to make a low sugar cake
It's entirely possible to make a cake with very little added sugar. This recipe for a healthier carrot cake, for example, is sweetened with bananas and dates. The fruit contains plenty of natural sugar and the result is plenty sweet enough. Of course, if you're used to eating very sugary cakes it might take your taste buds a little time to adjust - but they will.
You can make this cake without icing if you prefer - it still tastes great.
However, if you prefer your cake to be iced I've used a very simple cream cheese frosting sweetened with a little honey or maple syrup rather than icing sugar. I make a similar frosting when I make this mini chocolate beetroot cupcakes.
The result is a delicious, moist and flavoursome cake. My kids absolutely love this cake and I love being able to give them a treat without all the added sugar.
Is this healthy carrot cake vegan?
When I first made this cake I wasn't vegan so the original recipe wasn't. However, I have now tested it with flax eggs and it works perfectly. That's the only substitution to the actual cake that you need to make for it to be a perfect vegan carrot cake.
The cream cheese frosting can be made with vegan cream cheese and maple syrup to make it plant-based. I have found that some dairy free cream cheeses can go a bit runny when beaten however - let me know in the comments if you've found a perfect vegan cream cheese to use for frosting.
More healthy cake and sweet treats recipes
- Healthy carrot muffins
- Apple and carrot hot cross buns
- Healthy flapjacks
- Mini chocolate beetroot fairy cakes
- Naturally sweetened apple flapjacks
- Healthy carrot cake bars
- Swede and ginger cake
Pin healthy carrot cake with dates and bananas for later
How to make date, carrot and banana cake
You will need a blender or processor to make this healthier carrot cake.
If you have made this recipe I would love it if you’d leave a comment and rating below. Thank you!
Date, carrot and banana cake
- 3 large eggs or flax eggs* for vegan version
- 2 ripe bananas
- 50 g dates** chopped
- 75 g sunflower oil or melted coconut oil
- 50 g ground almonds
- 180 g plain flour wholemeal or white (I used wholemeal)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 50 g walnuts chopped
- 75 g sultanas
- 300 g carrots peeled and grated (approx 3 medium carrots)
For the frosting
- 200 g cream cheese or dairy free alternative
- 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- Juice of half a lemon
- Walnuts optional
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C/gas mark 6. Grease and base line a 20cm round cake tin.
- Whisk the eggs in a medium sized bowl or prepare your flax eggs. Set aside.
- Put the bananas, chopped dates and oil into a blender or food processor and mix until combined and creamy.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in the ground almonds.
- Add the eggs and the banana mixture and stir well. Next stir in the grated carrot, walnuts and sultanas until it all comes together.
- Pour it into your cake tin, level the top and bake for 45-50 minutes until a skewer or toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack and let it cool.
To make the frosting
- Beat together the cream cheese, honey or maple syrup and lemon juice. Spread the frosting over the top of the cake and decorate with walnuts if desired.
- If iced best stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Uniced this cake can be stored in a cake tin at room temperature.