Your friends, family, and coworkers are not going to be able to get enough of these healthy mini sweet treats

By Alyssa Sparacino
Updated: November 23, 2016

You've been tasked with bringing dessert to your annual Friendsgiving or office potluck. You don't want to bring just any old pumpkin pie or apple crisp (although these healthy pies can make the cut), and you know there is going to be a surplus of decadent desserts and savory sides overflowing the conference room table or kitchen island. The answer to this holiday dilemma, and frankly, all dessert dilemmas everywhere: these candied ginger cakelets. (How adorable is the word cakelet, anyway?)

The recipe, created by food writer Genevieve Ko, has all the flavor you expect from a delicious dessert, but none of the bad-for-you stuff that puts you into a food coma after a marathon day of eating. (Ko knows a thing or two about healthy baking. She even wrote a book on it called Better Baking: Wholesome Ingredients, Delicious Desserts. More of her tasty recipes were featured in a recent issue of Shape-check out those decadent healthy desserts with good-for-you benefits.)

The best part about these mini cakes? Any leftovers that make it through the holiday party (which will be slim) can easily be packed in a Ziploc bag for a pre-portioned sweet snack after the holidays. You can thank mini muffin trays for that.

Well, what are you waiting for? Dig in and enjoy.

Candied Ginger Carrot Cakelets


1/2 cup (71g) unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (69g) barley flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

12 ounces (340g) carrots, trimmed, peeled, and cut into chunks

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup (75g) grapeseed or other neutral oil

3/4 cup (156g) sugar

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup (81g) candied ginger, cut into slivers


  1. Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Coat 36 mini muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk both flours, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Combine carrots, eggs, oil, sugar, and ground ginger in a blender and purée on high speed until very smooth, scraping jar occasionally. (You don't want any bits of carrot left.)
  3. Make a well in dry ingredients and pour in carrot mixture. Slowly and gently stir with a whisk, dragging in flour from the edges, until dry ingredients are fully incorporated and mixture is smooth. Divide batter among muffin cups. Top with candied ginger slivers.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a mini cake (in middle of pan) comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes more. Cakes will rise but not dome.
  5. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then slide small offset spatula or knife between each cake and the pan to pop out. Cool on racks until warm or at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of Genevieve Ko, food writer, recipe developer, and author of Better Baking: Wholesome Ingredients, Delicious Desserts


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