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10 healthy bakes

If you're craving a sweet treat but also want something a little healthy, try one of these healthy baking ideas. From muffins filled with hidden veg to low-sugar cakes and wholemeal bakes, there's no better time to get baking.

Carrot cake squares
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Carrot cake squares

This healthy bake has all the classic flavour of an indulgent carrot cake recipe, but makes a healthy treat as the cake is sweetened with apple, banana and sultanas and cut into snack-size squares. Perfect for an afternoon bite with a dollop of yogurt or packing up in a picnic or lunchbox on the go.

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Put the oil, carrots, apple, banana, orange zest and sultanas in a large bowl, then crack in the eggs. Beat together until fully combined. In a separate bowl, sieve the flour, spices and baking powder together and mix in the salt.
  3. Gently fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until combined, it will be quite a stiff cake batter when all the flour is added. Transfer the mixture to the lined tin and level the top.
  4. Bake for 50-55 mins until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.
  5. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Individual squares can be wrapped up for picnics or packed lunches or serve as a pudding with a dollop of fat-free fromage frais or quark and a sprinkling of orange zest or cinnamon on top, if you like.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

Plain cake can be frozen. Cook and cool as above, then wrap the whole cake well in a double layer of clingfilm and foil. Defrost fully to serve. In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.

See more Carrot cakes

View full recipe details
  • Ingredients
  • 100ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 300g carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 apple, grated
  • 1 banana, roughly mashed
  • 1 orange, finely grated zest
  • 100g sultanas
  • 3 eggs
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • fat-free fromage frais or quark, to serve (optional)
  • extra cinnamon or orange zest, to serve (optional)