Somehow carrot season is only around Easter, but carrot baked anything like this Carrot Cake Loaf recipe should be a regular feature in life and not reserved for March or April…one bite in you’ll know why!
A really great, exceptional carrot cake has to absoluely be loaded with grated carrot throughout. The fine grated carrots don't speckle the interior of a slice overtly, but it's there in every bite, as it should be.
So let’s get down to favorites, if you could only choose one cake that is better than all the others, which of all the ones out there would you choose? Chocolate? Vanilla? Let me know in the comments below!
Without a millisecond of thought Carrot will always have my heart. It’s full of flavors that are both comforting and tender but also sweetly topped with lasshings of cream cheese fosting that I cannot resist.
Why you'll love this
Soft and tender loaf cake
This is soft and light, but still everything you want in a carrot cake without having to worry about layering or making it too pretty.
Full bodied carrot cake
This was recipe tested three times to include more carrots than even my gut was telling me because carrot cake should be full of that lightly spiced flavor and carrot strewn throughout.
Cream cheese frosting makes carrot baked goods and this wouldn’t be complete without a thick smear on top.
Dairy free cake
The cake contains no dairy and if you are intolerant, simply substitute with non dairy cream cheese and this will be perfect for anyone.
Ingredients and substitutions for Carrot Cake Loaf
- Sunflower Oil: Light sunflower oil lends a beautiful texture to this loaf cake without adding additional flavor, though you could substitute with olive oil for a more earthy flavor.
- Eggs: The eggs helps to bind the ingredients and gives the loaf structure whilst also being light.
- Sugar: The brown sugars helps add a light complimentary flavor to the spices and helps activate the baking soda, they also add the beautiful color that we know and love in a carrot cake or carrot loaf. The confectioner’s or icing sugar helps our cream cheese frosting be light.
- Flour: Plain or all purpose flour is best to create a nice light crumb to our cake.
- Baking soda: This is the key to the our cake lightly rising thanks to the brown sugar (the acid that baking soda needs to work with to rise) so don't leave it out, unless you are using self raising flour. You cannot sub baking powder like for like for this recipe as baking soda is 3-4 times stronger so you would need plenty more which would leave an after taste!
- Ground spices: Ground cinnamon and nutmeg work to add depth to the loaf and compliment the carrot flavor and brown sugars.
- Carrots: Raw orange carrots that are nice and crisp were used for a full and fresh flavor.
- Walnuts: For some people walnuts are controversial in carrot cake, but honestly, walnuts add a little crunch and the flavor compliments the carrots and ground spices.
See recipe card for quantities.
Equipment needed to make this
Mixing bowl: A medium mixing bowl is needed for the sweet potato cake and that cream cheese topping.
Whisk: A simple whisk works to create the base of your cake batter.
Tablespoon or spatula: To fold our dry ingredients into the wet to create the cake batter it’s easiest done with a plain old tablespoon or spatula.
Loaf tin: The loaf tin used here fits 1 kilo or 2 pounds.
Hand or stand mixer: To whip the dough and that buttercream, this is best done with a mixer.
FAQ's for the best Carrot Cake Loaf
What causes a carrot cake to be dry?
Freshness of your carrots factor in here, you’ll want whole fresh carrots that snap when you bend them. They hold more moisture which will result in a moist texture to your baked cake. Grating your carrots on the finest setting of your grater works best here and helps ensure the carrots are strewn more easily throughout the entire cake batter. Using oil also works best here because it will hold the moisture best and is liquid at room temperature unlike butter.
More spring recipes you'll enjoy
Hjónabandssaela - Icelandic Happy Marriage Cake
How to make Carrot Cake Loaf:
Preheat the oven to 160C/320F and lightly greaseproof a loaf tin.
Place the sugars, oil and eggs and whisk until well combined, approximately 2 minutes.
In a separate bowl place the flour, baking soda, baking powder and ground spices and stir to combine.
Toss the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold until your cake batter is formed and no dry portions remain on the edges of your bowl.
Really fold here because the wet ingredients will sneakily puddle up in spots and the batter will be quite thick by the time you have finished incorporating.
Add the grated carrot and roughly chopped walnuts and fold until well combined.
Pour into your loaf tin and smooth out on top.
Bake until golden and a skewer comes out clean, approximately 1 hour 5 minutes
Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes before placing on a cooling rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, place the cream cheese and butter into a bowl and whip until smooth.
Add in the sugar and beat until just combined and smooth, approximately 30 seconds.
Add in the vanilla extract and fold through the frosting.
Spoon on the top of your loaf and smear out the frosting over the entire loaf.
Slice and serve.
Carrot Cake Loaf
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: Serves 10 1x
- Category: Cake
This simple Carrot Cake Loaf recipes makes for a fuss free snack cake that is perfect for an event or simply to have on hand at anytime.
Carrot Cake Loaf
160 grams / ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
50 grams / ¼ cup dark brown sugar
114 grams / ½ cup sunflower oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
290 grams / 1 ¾ cups + 1 tablespoon plain flour
3 grams / ½ teaspoon baking soda
6 grams / 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
270 grams / 3 cups carrots, peeled and finely grated
33 grams / ⅓ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
120 grams / 4.23 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
30 grams / 2 tablespoons butter, softened
258 grams / 2 ¼ cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Carrot cake loaf
- Preheat the oven to 160C/320F and lightly greaseproof a loaf tin.
- Place the sugars, oil and eggs and whisk until well combined, approximately 2 minutes.
- In a separate bowl place the flour, baking soda, baking powder and ground spices and stir to combine.
- Toss the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold until your cake batter is formed and no dry portions remain on the edges of your bowl.
- Really fold here because the wet ingredients will sneakily puddle up in spots and the batter will be quite thick by the time you have finished incorporating.
- Add the grated carrot and roughly chopped walnuts and fold until well combined.
- Pour into your loaf tin and smooth out on top.
- Bake until golden and a skewer comes out clean, approximately 1 hour 5 minutes.
- Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes before placing on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, place the cream cheese and butter into a bowl and whip until smooth.
- Add in the sugar and beat until just combined and smooth, approximately 30 seconds.
- Add in the vanilla extract and fold through the frosting.
- Spoon on the top of your loaf and smear out the frosting over the entire loaf.
- Slice and serve.
- Dig in!
Recipe by Roamingtaste
- Serving Size: 1 slice ½ inch thick
- Calories: 519 calories
Keywords: spring, carrot recipes, loaf cake, snack cake
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