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Healthy Carrot Cake with Bran

Healthy carrot bran cake

This healthy carrot cake is a good place to start if you want healthy dessert recipes .

So many of us want that taste of something wonderfully sweet but we want something healthier too. This cake fits the description of both sweet and healthier.

Of course it’s still a cake so it has some sugar in it. This recipe uses brown sugar to give the cake a richness without using too much sugar.

You can make the cake sweeter and pretty by sprinkling it with icing sugar or drizzling it with the pineapple glaze below. Kept covered in the refrigerator, the cake will keep for at least a week (as if it would last that long!). It also freezes well.

I love this carrot cake recipe. It has so many ingredients that make it healthier. If you are concerned about the cake being denser because of the whole wheat flour, it doesn’t have to be. For one thing, this recipe uses a good amount of baking powder which will help make the batter lighter. I also alway sift my whole wheat flour. It lightens it up considerably. I use whole wheat flour in most of my baking now and it’s perfect.

The chopped almonds not only add great texture and a nice crunch, they are highly nutritious too. You can replace them with toasted chopped walnuts or pecans too.

healthy carrot cake with bran

Healthy Carrot Cake with Bran

If you want healthy dessert recipes a good place to start is with this healthy carrot cake. This cake fits the description of both sweet and healthier.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 Servings
Calories 421 kcal


  • 13 ounces canned pineapple, crushed, in pineapple juice
  • 3 cups carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice, optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat bran
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Pineapple Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice, (from the drained can of pineapple)
  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Position the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Generously spray or oil a 10 inch bundt pan. Turn the pan upside down to drain the excess.
  • Drain and save the juice from the pineapple. Press to remove as much juice as possible. Grate the carrots using a food processor or grater. Measure out 3 cups of carrots.
  • Chop the nuts and toast them in the oven until they are lightly browned, stirring part way through. Watch them closely as nuts can easily burn.
  • Measure out the raisins. Place the flour in a large bowl. Sprinkle the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Add the bran and stir until blended. Make a large well in the center.
  • Combine the oil, eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl. Whisk or beat together. Gradually beat in the sugar. Beat until thick and no lumps of sugar remain. Beat in the buttermilk and 1/4 cup of the reserved pineapple juice. Pour this mixture into the well in the flour mixture. Stir just until all the ingredients are moist. It will be thick. Sprinkle with the pineapple and stir in. Follow with the nuts and raisins. Gradually stir in the carrots until evenly distributed.
  • Scrape the mixture into the bundt pan and spread the top as best you can. To remove air pockets, bang the pan on the counter 10 times.
  • Bake for 70 minutes until the cake bounces back when lightly touched on the top. Place on a baking rack to cool for 15 minutes. Run the point of a small knife between the pan and cake, all around the edges. Pick up the pan and vigorously shake until you can feel the cake moving. Turn the cake onto the rack to cool completely before you serve it.

To Make the Pineapple Glaze:

  • For a glaze, pour 1/4 cup reserved pineapple juice into a small mixer bowl. While beating on low, gradually beat in the icing sugar. You want a thick, but pourable glaze.
  • Drizzle a spoonful over a small section of the cake. If it runs off quickly, beat in a little more icing sugar. If it is too thick, thin with more juice. Slowly drizzle the glaze over the entire cake.
  • Decorate with chopped nuts if you want.


Calories: 421kcalCarbohydrates: 75gProtein: 10gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 428mgPotassium: 581mgFiber: 14gSugar: 38gVitamin A: 4110IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 175mgIron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

I don’t make the glaze. I think the cake is far sweet enough as it is without it and I don’t want the extra sugar. I sometimes just add a bit of sifted confectioners sugar to the top of the cake. Usually though I leave it plain. I think it’s sweet enough.


Use natural wheat bran for this recipe, not bran cereal.

Look here for another healthy carrot cake recipe. This one adds apples and quinoa.

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healthy carrot cake with bran

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