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Lightened Up Carrot Cake

Light Carrot Cake

This light carrot cake recipe gets a little help from a cake mix and unsweetened applesauce. 
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Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 32 servings


Light Carrot Cake

  • 1 package yellow, white, spice or carrot cake mix standard size cake mix found in grocery store
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrot

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat strained GREEK yogurt make sure to use GREEK yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups powdered sugar



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Lightly grease and flour a 15x10x1-inch baking pan; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine cake mix, buttermilk, oil, applesauce, vanilla, cinnamon ginger, and eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Stir in carrots. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 22 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cool completely prior to frosting.


  • In a large bowl, combine softened cream cheese, Greek yogurt and vanilla. Mix until light and fluffy. Gradually mix in powdered sugar until frosting is spreadable.
  • Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Sprinkle with the nuts. Cut into bars. Makes 32 bars.


Adapted from BHG for Delish Dish feature.
Buttermilk can be replaced with regular milk. 
Make sure to use GREEK yogurt, as it's thicker than regular yogurt. Also make sure to strain off any liquid, you want the yogurt to be as thick as possible. Runny yogurt will produce a runny frosting. 
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