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I absolutely love Easter. Why do you ask? It means spring has arrived! Spring is full of life bursting through those winter grey days! Now everything seems a little brighter and everyone is a little happier! Me included! I spend my days walking around town with a big smile on my face as it seems every corner store is full of bright coloured tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. I’m jumping at any opportunity to invite friends over and enjoy a meal in the backyard or at the cottage as soon as the weather gets a little nicer.
Of course, another reason I love spring is the cooking and baking. New inspirations flow with the change of season and it feels like Easter is the starting point for this. Spring means lighter meals with vibrant colours, cooking with fresh asparagus, rhubarb, and fiddleheads start to make an appearance.
I’m excited to try new recipes to share with friends. I thought the perfect dessert for Easter would be a classic that feeds a crowd! These mini carrot cake loaves are the sweetest little cakes to finish off a spring celebration of any kind. They are topped with light fluffy, lemon cream cheese icing and chopped pecans. Each cake is filled with crushed pineapple, raisins, cinnamon and ginger – of course carrots and more pecans! I love the size of these mini carrot cake loaves as they look adorable on their own – perfect for a place setting for Easter!
When it comes to this recipe you’ll want to double check that you have all of your ingredients as the list is long. That’s what makes these mini carrot cakes so delicious – it’s loaded with lots of goodies!
- Brown sugar and powdered sugar
- Vegetable oil
- Cake & pastry flour
- Baking powder and baking soda
- Spices – ground cinnamon and ginger
- Grated/shredded carrots
- Golden raisins
- Crushed pineapple
- Cream cheese
- Unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract
If you don’t have mini loaf pans, not to worry you can make them into cupcakes or even a large cake. I often use this recipe to make a 2 layered cake as well.
- Sheet cake
- 2 layered cake
Tips on How To Make Carrot Cake Loaves
- The best and easiest way to grate carrots is to use a food processor. Simply add the grating tool attachment and feed full carrots through the top.
- Stay away from using baby carrots as they seem to have more moisture in them and the flavour isn’t as strong.
- Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before starting the recipe. Room temperature ingredients will mix more easily, which will result in perfect loaves.
- Use a fork to scoop out the crushed pineapple from the can. This will allow a little juice to be transferred but you’ll get mostly pineapple. You don’t want to completely drain the pineapple of all its juices.
- Be very careful not to overmix the batter as this will cause a tough and dense loaf.
- Use an ice cream scoop to evenly distribute the batter into each loaf. Make sure to grease or line the cups before adding the batter.
How to Make Mini Carrot Cake Muffins
Step One: Prep your carrots by grating or using a food processor with the grating blade, set carrots aside. Beat brown sugar, oil and eggs using a stand mixer until pale in colour. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to the egg mixture. Mix just until combined.
Step Two: Mix carrots, pecans, raisins, and crushed pineapple together. Then add your carrot mixture to your flour/egg mixture, mix just until combined. Spoon batter into mini loaf pans about 3/4 full and bake.
Step Three: Meanwhile, make your cream cheese icing. Once the loaves have cooled completely ice the tops and add chopped pecans to the tops of each loaf.
Mini Carrot Cake Loaves
These mini carrot cake loaves are super moist and the sweetest size. Each cake is filled with crushed pineapple, raisins, cinnamon and ginger. And of course carrots and pecans! They are topped with light fluffy, lemon cream cheese icing and chopped pecans. This recipe feeds a crowd and can be turned into cupcakes or one large layered cake.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 45 mins
- Yield: 18 loaves 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: British
- 1 cup brown sugar – lightly packed
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups cake & pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cups grated/shredded carrots (approx. 3 large carrots, 300g)
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped plus extra chopped nuts for topping each loaf
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup crushed pineapple
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Grease 18 mini loaf pans.
- Beat brown sugar, oil and eggs using a stand mixer. Beat for approx. 5 minutes until mixture is fluffy and pale in colour.
- In a separate bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger together. Mix to combine.
- Add flour mixture to egg mixture, mix until just incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, mix together carrots, pecans, raisins, and crushed pineapple. Using a spoon, mix into flour/egg mixture just until combined. Spoon into mini loaf pans about 3/4 full.
- Bake for approx. 15 – 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a loaf comes out clean.
- Let cool on a cooling rack. Once cooled ice mini loaves with lemon cream cheese icing and sprinkle chopped pecans on top.
I use a food processor to chop my carrots, I find this is the easiest method and the least wasteful.
I like to use canned crushed pineapple for this recipe. Canned pineapple has a lot of extra juice in each can. Make sure you are not adding a lot of extra pineapple juice instead of the crushed pineapple to the recipe, but don’t completely drain the pineapple of all its juices either.
You can freeze any un-iced loaves.
You can make cupcakes or a cake instead of making mini loaves. Watch your baking time as it will vary.
- Serving Size: 1 loaf – no icing
- Calories: 261
- Sugar: 11.6g
- Sodium: 97mg
- Fat: 17.9g
- Saturated Fat: 3.1g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 24.5g
- Fiber: 1.6g
- Protein: 3.4g
- Cholesterol: 36mg
Keywords: Easter, Mini Carrot Cake Loaves, Carrot Cake, Cream Cheese Icing, Dessert, Cake, Loaves
Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
This is a classic cream cheese icing with a little zest of citrus. It pairs perfectly with Mini Carrot Cake Loaves (it does make a little extra so freeze extra icing for another day).
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 10 mins
- Yield: 3 cups 1x
- Category: Icing
- Cuisine: American
- 4 cups icing sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Using your stand mixer beat approx. 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Ice cakes when cooled and ready.
- Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon
- Calories: 60
- Sugar: 9.8g
- Sodium: 18mg
- Fat: 2.3g
- Saturated Fat: 1.4g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 10.1g
- Fiber: 0
- Protein: 0.3g
- Cholesterol: 7mg
Keywords: Cream Cheese Icing, Lemon, Icing, Carrot Cake
The quickest and easiest way to shred carrots is using a food processor. Add the grating tool attachment to your food processor and press full carrots through the top. You’ll have fuss-free grated carrots within minutes.
Yes, you can easily freeze grated, raw carrots for baking. Grating carrots isn’t a fun job! It’s ideal to grate a lot at once and freeze extra to use later for muffins, cake or loaves at a later date. Freeze grated carrots in freezer bags for up to 3 months and defrost (in a strainer) when ready to use.
Yes, you can make these mini carrot cake loaves into one large 8″- 2 layered cake or even into cupcakes if you don’t have a mini loaf pan. Watch your bake time as it will vary depending on the size of pans you use.
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The mini carrot cake were simply divine! This recipe will be a staple to share with friends and family for years to come!
Marica, it’s definitely a classic recipe that should be shared with family 😉 Happy to hear you like the recipe 🙂
This is my favourite carrot cake recipe! It’s super moist and turns out every time!!! I make it in a large cake pan though, I don’t have mini loaf pans.
That’s so nice to hear Julie. You can always make them into cupcakes if you like too, just watch your baking time as it will be less.
I made these mini carrot cakes for my girlfriends for Christmas. They are delicious! Very moist and I love the icing with that lemon juice. Will definitely make these again.
Hi Sandra, I’m so happy to hear you like the recipe! What a great idea to make them as gifts for Christmas. Thanks for sharing, happy holidays!
I think I drained the pineapple too much; the loaves were a bit dry. Also, they weren’t as flavorful as I thought they would be. I think I will add more cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. I will also add more raisins. The batter made 15 mini loaves. I will definitely try again (I make mini loaves twice a month for a local group which delivers 3 meals a week to 110 people.) So, I make about 140 loaves twice a month. I am always looking for new recipes, and I will definitely try this one again with a few additions.
Hi Arna, thanks for taking the time to write a comment. There could have been a few reasons, but these mini cakes are super moist so I’m a little surprised. I don’t drain the pineapple when I make them, I just use a slotted spoon or a fork to scoop out the pineapple and just leave the extra juice behind. You can also soak your raisins in warm water to plump them up (that’s if they are dried out). Also, make sure to use large fresh carrots as they will be moist and don’t squeeze them dry. Let me know how it goes on round two, happy baking!
I made this recipe and loved them. I had a question how long can you keep extra frosting in the refrigerator ?
That’s so great to hear Elaine, thank you for sharing. You can keep extra icing in the refrigerator for up to one week or you can freeze it for up to two months.
This recipe is great. Everyone I have made it for loves it. Will be making this recipe only from now on when I make carrot cake. Thanks!
Kate, this comment made my day! Thank you for the review and I’m so happy to hear you love the recipe!