When you think about cream cheese icing, usually a decadent, calorie- and fat-laden dessert comes to mind. However, I’ve created a lightened-up carrot cake and cream cheese icing recipe so you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging! I used applesauce and whole-wheat flour to slim this recipe down, resulting in a 142-calorie muffin (including the icing!). Reduced-fat cream cheese and skim milk help save you calories in the icing department. Plus, you can’t really say no to a dessert with a vegetable in it, can you?
Lightened-Up Carrot Cake Muffins
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 12 muffins
- 1¼ cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup grated carrot
- ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons pecans, chopped
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 egg, beaten
- ¾ cup skim milk
For the Cream Cheese Glaze:
- 4 ounces ⅓ less fat cream cheese
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons skim milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners, or spray the unlined tin generously with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt.
- In another medium mixing bowl, stir together the rest of the muffin ingredients.
- Add half of the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, to moisten. Then add the remaining wet ingredients and stir together until combined.
- Evenly pour the batter in the prepared muffin tin.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Take them out to cool on a cooling rack and make the glaze.
To make the Cream Cheese Glaze:
- Soften the cream cheese by microwaving it in a microwave safe bowl for 20-30 seconds, until it is almost pourable.
- Whisk in the powdered sugar, skim milk and vanilla.
- When the muffins are completely cool, dip the tops in the glaze and allow the excess to drip off.
Tip: Grate the carrots on the smallest side of your box grater to get the finest grate; that way, your muffins have a better texture!
*Pictured with ½ teaspoon grated carrot and ¼ teaspoon chopped pecans—not included in nutrition calculation.
- Serving Size: 2 muffins
- Calories: 284
- Sugar: 21g
- Sodium: 340mg
- Fat: 9g
- Saturated Fat: 5g
- Carbohydrates: 45g
- Fiber: 5g
- Protein: 7g
- Cholesterol: 43mg