A couple of days ago I came to a realization: every married coupel should have to put together a piece of Ikea furniture at some point in their marriage. Ideally sooner than later, you know, to make sure it’s gonna work out. I seriously think it’s a true test of a marriage.
Let me back up a bit. Since we’re moving, we’ve decided to sell a couple of things around our place now that we won’t be needing at our new house. Two of those things are the wardrobes that we used to supplement our teeny tiny closets in our duplex right now (p.s. YAY for a walk-in closet!). We had a person interested in buying them both, but she thought we would need to take it apart so it could fit in her car. Being the nice people we are, we offered to have them disassembled when they came to pick them up. Halfway through taking the first one apart I got an email saying “Nevermind! We found a friend with a truck so no need to take it apart!” Huh. That’s where the fun started.
I’ll spare you the the details but let’s just say there were a few choice words said and the entire itme I was laughing at the situation which Marc did not fine comical, butthe end, the wardrobes are gone and we’re still married. We passed the Ikea test!! Let’s celebrate with cake.
Around this time of year I always get a craving for carrot cake. It’s not my favorite cake out of all the cakes but I do love it’s spiced carrot-y goodness. What I don’t love about it is how greasy it always seems to be. Does anyone else notice that? Looking at a few recipes I’ve realized why – there is so much oil in traditional recipes! Since I’ve been accused of ruining people’s healthy diets with all of my brown butter and chocolate recipes, I set out to make a healthier version of carrot cake.
Since carrot cake is a pretty hefty cake to begin with, with all of the shredded carrots, coconut, nuts, raisins, whatever else you care to throw in there, I didn’t think that using mostly whole wheat flour would make much of a difference. I traded 3/4 of the all-purpose for whole wheat and didn’t even blink an eye at the texture of the cake. You could try using all whole-wheat flour but I don’t mind a little of the regular stuff.
I also traded most of the oil for unsweetened applesauce and for the remaining amount of oil I used melted coconut oil which went perfectly with the shredded coconut. I also cut the sugar in half and these were still amazingly sweet. In the frosting I used half low-fat cream cheese and half plain Greek yogurt. The frosting isn’t quite as thick as your typical cream cheese frosting because of the yogurt, but still worthy of licking straight from the beater. Which is, obviously, the true test of a good frosting or batter.
For my add-ins I nixed the nuts and raisins but you could definitely throw some in there if that’s your thang. I’m just not a fan.
After all of these healthy substitutions, these bars were still delicious! They would be great on Easter when you want some carrot cake but perhaps something a little lighter after a meal of ham and scalloped potatoes. We ate them for dessert, for a snack, and even for breakfast. There are, afterall, vegetables in them which automatically qualifies it as breakfast-acceptable.