I take a shortcut using a boxed cake mix, but really… who has time to bake from scratch these days? I don’t even have an electric mixer!

By substituting pumpkin puree and applesauce for some of the oil, eggs and butter the cake takes on a denser, richer texture that I prefer, plus it’s healthier.

As always, I recommend using as many organic ingredients as possible.

Prep time: 20 mins
Baking time: 40 mins
Cooling time: 60 mins

CAKE
1 box (15 oz) Betty Crocker® Gluten Free yellow cake mix
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla
8 ounces (approx 1/2 small can) pure pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
3 ounces unsweetened applesauce
1 cup finely shredded carrots (2 medium)

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk
Flaked unsweetened coconut and/or walnut pieces are optional

COOKING METHOD:

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 8- or 9-inch square pan or spray with cooking spray.
  • In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, 1/4 cup butter, olive oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, 2 teaspoons vanilla, pumpkin puree, and applesauce for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally to mix it all well.
  • Stir in the shredded carrots.
  • Spread the mixture in  the baking pan.
  • Bake 36 to 41 minutes for 8-inch pan or 33 to 38 minutes for 9-inch pan or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool completely, at least 1 hour.
  • To prepare frosting, in a large bowl beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla and milk with electric mixer on low speed until smooth, then gradually beat in the powered sugar and keep beating until creamy. You can adjust the thickness of the frosting by adding or subtracting milk, a few drops at a time.
  • Spread frosting over cake, then sprinkle with walnut pieces and/or coconut if you desire.

Eat. Share. YUM!