Today we are making this deliciously moist carrot cake loaf! It's loaded with delicious add ins that create the best texture and topped with a decadent cream cheese icing.
If you're looking for an easy and delicious dessert, carrot cake loaf is the perfect choice! It's just as delicious as traditional carrot cake, but has all the beautiful easiness of bread.
Much like pumpkin bread and banana bread, making carrot bread gives you a refreshing take on carrots! It's moist and dense and deliciously sweet.
I have tried several attempts at making a carrot cake loaf recipe, that all have failed miserably. This one, however, has made it all worth it.
I am all about making things easy, so I tend to bake a lot with a loaf pan. There's something about putting a cake mix into a loaf pan that makes it feel easier and gives you the excuse to eat it for breakfast.
I mean, this loaf is loaded with good for you ingredients like carrots, raisins and pecans. So there's that.
That totally makes it breakfast worthy? Right?
I say yes!
For this recipe, we'll break the ingredients into 2 parts, the carrot cake loaf and the cream cheese frosting.
For the carrot cake loaf:
- Flour: All purpose flour is best for this recipe
- Baking powder
- Ground cinnamon
- Eggs: The eggs should be at room temperature. This will help eggs mix better with the rest of the ingredients and allow the carrot bread to rise better
- White granulated sugar
- Vegetable oil
- Vanilla extract: If you can get your hands on pure vanilla extract, do it! It adds a delicious flavor that's unbeatable. That being said, if you don't have vanilla, this carrot cake loaf will still be delicious.
- Freshly grated carrots
- Pecans: The nuts are optional, but absolutely delicious in this recipe. You can also substitute walnuts instead. Roasting them gives them an enhanced yummy nutty flavor, but raw is perfectly fine too.
For the Frosting
- Cream cheese: Softened at room temperature. This will make it blend easier and have no lumps.
- Unsalted butter: Softened at room temperature. It'll blend way easier.
- Powdered sugar: AKA confectioners sugar
- Heavy cream: Milk will work fine as well
- Vanilla extract
See recipe card for quantities.
Making the Carrot Cake Loaf step by step. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
Grease you loaf pan and set aside.
To make your carrot cake mixture, start by mixing all of your dry ingredients into a medium bowl.
In a separate large bowl combine your sugar and room temperature eggs.
Whisk the egg mixture until it's thick and creamy.
This is where an electric mixer or immersion blender with the whisk attachment comes in handy.
If you don't have an electric mixer, hand beating it will work, it'll just take more time and energy.
Now add in your oil and vanilla into the mixture and incorporate well.
Slowly add your flour mixture into your egg mixture and mix well.
Now add in your shredded carrots, chopped pecans, and raisins (if using) and fold into your mixture.
Finally, pour your batter into a greased loaf pan or one lined with parchment paper. Bake for 1 hour.
You can make your cream cheese icing white your bread is baking, or after your loaf has cooled completely.
You don't want your scrumptious icing melting off the bread loaf!
To make the icing, simply mix all of the frosting ingredients together with an electric mixer.
Once your carrot cake is completely cool, you can ice your loaf with the freshly made frosting.
You can top off your loaf with a few pecans if you like.
When using a typical 5x9 bread loaf pan this recipe takes 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes to bake thoroughly. Check for doneness by testing with a toothpick.
If you want to turn your loaf into muffins or mini carrot cakes, you could easily bake this exact recipe in a muffin tin, but increase the oven's temperature to 350 degrees and only bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
I already mentioned most of the substitutions above, but here's a quick rundown in case you skipped ahead.
Nuts: Instead of pecans, you can use other nuts like walnuts or no nuts at all. Although they do add a great texture and flavor.
You can toast them yourself but spreading them on a sheet pan and popping them in the oven or toaster oven. You could even use the broiler in a pinch, just don't burn them!
Oil: Instead of vegetable oil, you can swap out canola oil, corn oil or even safflower oil. Just make sure it's a flavorless oil and avoid butter.
And while I love cooking with coconut oil, it'll change the texture of this bread when you stick it in the fridge for storage, which is necessary if you use the cream cheese frosting. It's also another reason to avoid butter as well, as it'll make the cake loaf harder when cold.
Spices: The spices add a lovely flavor but feel free to leave out what you don't have or can't use.
Raisins: Add a good tangy and sweet flavor, but again, totally optional.
For this recipe, the star of our show is the carrot of course! After all, this is carrot cake bread.
You'll want to make sure to peel your carrots and grate them before you start mixing your ingredients.
You can use a standard box grater, but my personal favorite method is to use the shred blade on my food processor.
If you don't own a food processor, you are missing out! I use mine nearly everyday to cut fruits and veggies. It saves an insane amount of time. I use and LOVE this one.
Let your eggs warm up to room temperature before mixing with your sugar to create a better texture for the base of your loaf.
The right tools can make baking so much easier! If you have a food processor, use that to grate up your carrots. It'll save a ton of time.
In a pinch, you can use a hand grater.
Your welcome to use a stand mixer for this recipe, however I found a basic electric hand mixer easy worked well and I just find it easier to clean.
For the Carrot Cake Bread
- 1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 room temperature eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
- 3 carrots already grated
- ½ cup raisins (optional)
For the Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 oz cream cheese (softened)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter (4 tbsp) softened
- 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon heavy cream or milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a bread loaf pan and line with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt and mix.
- In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and sugar together with an electric mixer for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture becomes creamy in texture.
- Add in the oil and vanilla and mix well until fully combined.
- Slowly stir in your dry ingredients mixture.
- With a flat spatula, fold in the carrots, raisins, and pecans.
- Pour the carrot cake batter into your pan and bake for 1 hour - 1 hour 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven when loaf is baked through and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely.
- In a clean, dry mixing bowl prep your frosting by adding in all of the ingredients for your cream cheese icing.
- Mix with an electric mixer and ice your cooled bread loaf and top with chopped pecans if desired.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. Pecans and raisins are optional ingredients. Feel free to have fun and change it up to whatever your heart desires!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 615Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 304mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 2gSugar: 51gProtein: 7g