Carrot Cake + Yogurt Glaze


I love visiting my family in St. Louis for lots of reasons…I get to see mom, dad, brother and sister – and dog and cat!  The lazy suburbs are a nice break from the constant go-go-go of New York City.  I get to spread myself out over an entire house rather than a teeny apartment. And I get to bake for a whole group of people instead of just myself!

This last point, my friends, is a very important one.  You see, it’s just me and my roommate at home in NY.   And since she’s not a big fan of sweets – I know, what?! – and I probably shouldn’t eat ALL of what I make by myself, I’ve got to spread the wealth of my oven around to Dan and my friends to make sure every last goody is eaten while it’s still deliciously fresh.  This is where the practical girl in me takes over.  I tend to shy away from baking things that aren’t easily dividable and transportable – it’s always cookies and muffins instead of cakes and pies.  Baking for the family in St. Louis, these little details are non-issues.  Freedom!

So…you can imagine my excitement when I asked my sister what she wanted for our Christmas Eve dessert and she replied without hesitation – carrot cake!  A CAKE!  Hooray!  Apparently she has recently discovered a special fondness towards carrot cake and her college winter break would not be complete without it.  Fine by me!  But I wanted to do a little something different, of course, so I topped the cake with a yogurt glaze instead of the traditional cream cheese frosting.  And to make sure the cake really soaked up that glaze, I poked holes all over it and let the yogurty sweetness ooze in.  I also did a bit of lightening up by using applesauce instead of oil and egg whites instead of some whole eggs.


Here’s my Yogurt Glazed Carrot Cake recipe, adapted from Baking With Agave Nectar‘s carrot cake:


3 cups grated carrots

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

3/4 cup agave nectar

2 eggs

2 egg whites

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

Yogurt Glaze:

1 1/2 cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1/2 cup agave nectar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and set aside.  In a large bowl, mix together carrots, coconut, agave nectar, eggs, egg whites, applesauce and vanilla extract.  In a separate bowl, mix together whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until well blended.  Pour batter into prepared cake pans.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Let cool in pans. 

While cakes are cooling, prepare yogurt glaze by mixing together Greek yogurt, agave nectar, vanilla extract and salt.  Once cakes cool, poke holes in them using a fork and remove from pans.  Drizzle half of yogurt glaze over cake #1 and sprinkle with half of the walnuts.  Place cake #2 on top of cake #1.  Drizzle remaining glaze over cake and sprinkle with remaining walnuts.  Note: You may want to do this over a wire cooling rack with something underneath to catch the dripping glaze.  Makes for easier clean up! 


The tip of a cake slice is the best part!

The cake got the approval of the fam!  It was perfectly spiced and super moist, especially where the yogurt glaze seeped into the poked holes.  And that glaze complemented the cake wonderfully.  It was nice and light but still flavorful – I actually thought it tasted a lot like cream cheese!

Are you a carrot cake fan?  What’s your favorite baked good with a vegetable star?  


43 Responses to “Carrot Cake + Yogurt Glaze”

  1. 1 Sharon December 31, 2008 at 2:40 am

    Wow, it looks so moist and delicious! I am definitely going to try this!!!!!!!

  2. 2 VeggieGirl December 31, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Hooray for visiting family and for scrumptious cakes!!

    Happy New Year’s Eve!!

  3. 3 Lauren December 31, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Oh yuuuuummm! This recipe looks awesome!

  4. 4 Mariposa December 31, 2008 at 9:04 am


    I love carrot cake… but im allergic to coconut- and they always seem to sneak that in there! lol

    it looks good even with the coconut tho!!! delish! glad your sis enjoyed it!

  5. 5 Kelly Turner December 31, 2008 at 9:18 am

    I love carrot cake- thanks for sharing the recipe!

    Kelly Turner

  6. 6 The Sister December 31, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Every last bite was oh so delicious.
    I share Ashley’s good taste in food.
    Thanks sis!

  7. 7 erica December 31, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    First off, Happy New Year!

    And as you probably know, Carrot Cake is my ultimate favorite dessert ever! This recipe looks incredible; I’ll have to give it a whirl someday!

  8. 8 Deb Schiff December 31, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Fantastic. I love the idea of the Greek yogurt instead of frosting. Looks tasty! Great job!

  9. 9 Mel December 31, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Oh my goodness, that looks amazing! I bet yogurt makes it 100x better!

    Have a great new year!

  10. 10 Lindsay December 31, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    ahhhhhhh I LOVE carrot cake – i am putting this on my list 🙂

  11. 11 Lindsay December 31, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    by the way – happy new year 🙂

  12. 12 HangryPants December 31, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Oh Ashley! I am so glad you started blogging – your baking creations are wonderful!

    I felt the same way when I lived at home – so many people to bake for and so many options. Now I’ll probably limit my baking a bit more because it’s just me and Mark!

    I LOVE carrot cake, so I can’t wait to try this recipe. I love lots of baked goods w/ veggies – zucchini breads and cookies, pumpkin and sweet potato loaves. Delicious. I actually prefer them to chocolate things.

  13. 13 eatingbender December 31, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    That looks incredible! I have to admit, I used to hate carrot cake. But it was always my dad’s favorite, and eventually I came around! How could I not, when it looks as good as yours does? 😉

    Happy New Year, Ashley! I feel so fortunate to know a fellow Wildcat in the blogosphere 🙂 It was too bad about the game…but they did a great job and I’m proud!

  14. 14 ttfn300 January 1, 2009 at 9:45 am

    holy cow, this looks divine 🙂 i’ll definately be trying this at some point!!

  15. 15 Dani January 1, 2009 at 11:18 am

    This looks SO delicious! You have some great ideas! I’m a big fan of carrot cake but it is usually so heavy… yours sounds a lot lighter. I love the yogurt glaze instead of the heavy cream cheese. Another recipe of yours that I have to try. Thanks!

  16. 16 sweetandnatural January 1, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Thanks EVERYONE for the nice comments! It seems carrot cake is definitely a crowd pleaser. 🙂 Let me know how you like the recipe if you try it yourself!

    Mariposa – I’m sure you could take the coconut out and it would still be yummy!

    HangryPants – It is trickier to bake for less people b/c you always seem to have treats staring you in the face saying “Eat me!” I never like to let them go to waste so I do my best to divide and conquer. 🙂

    eatingbender – Yay Northwestern connections! And the game was disappointing, but fun to watch. At least they made it to a bowl this year?!

  17. 17 Andrea [bella eats] January 1, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Yum!!! This looks absolutely delicious, Ashley! I love love love carrot cake, I think it is my favorite veggie-based baked good, although I also really love chocolate chip zucchini bread! Such a great idea you had to try a yogurt glaze instead of cream cheese…I’ll definitely try that! Happy New Year!

  18. 18 Angela January 1, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Oh. My. Gosh.

    This looks like the PERFECT carrot cake recipe!!!!

    I am a huge huge fan of CC!

    Will surely be trying this!


  19. 19 Hayley January 1, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    That cake looks amazing!!!

  20. 20 theplatedecorator January 1, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    WOW that Carrot Cake looks sooooo good!!! Happy New Year to you too!

  21. 21 Hayley January 2, 2009 at 10:36 am

    That carrot cake looks so good. I can’t believe there is no oil in it. I must try this one soon. Happy New Year.

  22. 22 Bridget January 3, 2009 at 12:10 am

    OMG that cake is making me drool!!! It looks absolutely AMAZING!!! What an awesome recipe, thanks for sharing!!

    Happy New years!!

  23. 23 sweetandnatural January 3, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Yup – it’s official. Carrot cake is a definite favorite!

    Andrea [bella eats] – Ooh…my grandma used to make chocolate chip zucchini bread for us all the time!

    Hayley – The agave nectar help it stay moist even without any oil!

  24. 24 leadingladylis January 4, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Whoever invented Carrot Cake is like, a kitchen goddess or something. Seriously, isn’t is wonderful? You’re post about Carrot Cake inspired me, Sweet and Natural! Right after reading it I went into the kitchen and made my own recipe for Carrot Cake Cookies! The only problem is that I am 100% un-experienced with anything but refined sugar- so while these are fairly healthy (lower in fat and high in fiber) they have brown sugar and granulated sugar in them. How would you make this recipe “your way”? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it on my blog!

    Love, Leading Lady Lis

  25. 25 sweetandnatural January 4, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    leadingladylis – Yum – carrot cake cookies sound delish! Since you used brown and white sugar as the sweetener in them, I’d just try substituting an unrefined sugar in their place – cup for cup. I used Sucanat for the first time last week and loved it – I’ll be doing a blog post about it soon. I bet it would would work great in your cookies!

  26. 26 Marie March 24, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    I tried this recipe this weekend and it was absolutely fantastic! The glaze recipe made about twice as much as I actually needed, so next time, I’ll cut that in half. I also think I would make it in a 9 x 13 as opposed to a layer cake. I had mixed reviews on the glaze, but I loved it. Others said they would have preferred a traditional cream cheese icing. I may try doing half yogurt / half neufchatel next time. Thanks so much for the recipe!!!

  27. 27 Tina April 22, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Thank you for this yummy recipe!! I’ve been craving carrot cake and was looking for a healthy but delicious recipe.Is it alright for me to sub 3/4 c of turbinado sugar for the agave nectar?

  28. 28 sweetandnatural April 23, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Marie – I’m glad you liked the cake! The glaze is definitely a bit different. Sort of a cream cheesy flavor, but in a less solid form.

    Tina – Hmm…I’ve never tried it that way. I’d probably recommend using another liquid sweetener – I bet maple syrup would be good! – in place of agave before I used turbinado sugar. Turbinado would likely give the cake a different texture. But if you do try it, be sure to increase the baking powder and decrease the baking soda in the recipe. 🙂

  29. 29 Melissa June 6, 2009 at 11:52 am

    this looks totally amazing

  30. 30 Daniella July 4, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    OH MY GOD!!! I just made this cake and it is AMAZING!! Thanks for sharing this recipe! it is SOOOOOOOOO good!! And I am glad that it is somewhat healthy because I will be eating most of it hahaha….

    DELICIOUS! Next time I will try the one with chocolate.

    🙂 happy 4th of July!

  31. 31 LynnP January 15, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Yogurt glaze is a fantastic, wonderful thing! I bet it would go nicely on some cinnamon rolls or a coffee cake or just about anything that usually calls for powdered sugar and cream cheese!

  32. 32 Alissa January 24, 2010 at 7:17 am

    Hi Ashley, I just found your site and am so excited about it! All of your recipes sound delicious…I just made this carrot cake this weekend but converted to cupcakes (pics of the yummy results on my blog!). Can’t wait to try more of your creations!

  33. 33 Becky Herrick June 7, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    This cake is delicious, my 3 yr old loves it too!

  34. 34 Kimberly November 28, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Hey there, I gave your carrot cake recipe a whirl for my Dad’s birthday and retirement cake. I used the yogurt glaze in the middle, but iced the top with a raw cashew and honey icing so I could decorate. I also threw some raisins into the batter. I thought it was fabulous, my family enjoyed it, but they of course think it’s better as a breakfast because they know it’s good for them so we had it for breakfast the next day too! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  35. 35 britt January 29, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Can I use plain yogurt and sweeten it up or something? Looks delish!

  36. 36 britt January 29, 2012 at 11:17 am

    In answer to my own question….no. Using plain yogurt made it really soggy. I baked my cake in a 9×13 and I actually turned this into a zucchini cake because carrot and zuccini are usually interchangable with things like this. It has a good flavor, but it is soggy. I am planning to let it sit for a while and add some cream cheese frosting.

  37. 37 teenagecakeland March 9, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Ive never tried carrot cake, but Ive always wanted to make it! I love how your blog is centered around healthier more natural ingredients, everything looks so good!

  38. 38 Rebecca May 27, 2013 at 3:46 am

    Do you know the carbs on this? being a diabetic, that, for me is important!

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