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Moist Carrot Cake Loaf

Recipe Level: Easy

This carrot cake loaf is moist with plump golden raisins and has a nutty crunch from the pecans scattered throughout. Cinnamon and ginger enhance the flavours and the carrots give an earthiness and sweetness to the loaf. It's topped with a traditional cream cheese icing which turns this loaf into that carrot cake that you know and love.

Baked by Alie Romano

Professional Baker and Recipe Developer

* Make sure to read the entire blog post. Every step matters, and I’ll provide helpful tips along the way!

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The famous carrot cake is a dessert that you either love or hate, or at least that’s the way it seems from everyone I know. There doesn’t seem to be any arguments about the cream cheese icing though?! But how about a moist carrot cake loaf? It’s a little denser and everything that you love in a carrot cake but in a simple loaf recipe. Perhaps, I can even persuade the carrot cake haters, to love a loaf like this?

This carrot cake loaf is moist with plump golden raisins and has a nutty crunch from the pecans scattered throughout. Cinnamon and ginger enhance the flavours and the carrots give an earthiness and sweetness to the loaf naturally.  I still use sugar in the recipe; a combination of white and brown, again for that richness. This recipe is fairly simple and quick to prepare. The most effort comes from grating those carrots (or perhaps your patience in waiting for the loaf to cool to slather the top in cream cheese icing?!).

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour
  • Olive oil
  • Brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar & icing sugar
  • Eggs
  • Full fat sour cream
  • Carrots
  • Pecans
  • Golden raisins
  • Cream cheese
  • Unsalted butter
  • Baking powder & baking soda
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Salt

How to Grate Carrots for a Carrot Cake Loaf

The best way to quickly and safely grate carrots is using a food processor. By simply changing the blade on your food processor to the grater attachment you can easily grate carrots in a snap. Take any extra grated carrots and freeze them in freezer bags. I like to measure out 2 cups of carrots and place them in freezer bags for when I’m ready to make this carrot loaf recipe again or when I want to make mini carrot cakes. Of course, you can use leftover grated carrots for salads, soups and other cooking recipes too.

How to Store a Carrot Cake Loaf

Like most loaves, store in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Cake domes or tins are also a great way to store baking. Avoid placing the carrot loaf in the direct sun as the cream cheese icing will go rancid. The fridge will dry out the loaf quicker as well.  But you can freeze this carrot loaf. Place the loaf on a baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes to 1 hour to allow the icing to harden, then place in a freezer bag (or an airtight container) and freeze for up to 2 months.

What makes a carrot cake loaf moist?

In this carrot cake loaf the moisture comes from the olive oil and full fat sour cream. Avoid using no-fat or a lower fat sour cream for this recipe. The better the quality of ingredients you use the better your loaf will be! That goes for the olive oil too! If you don’t like the taste of the oil on its own then you won’t like it in your baking either! Because of the fats used in the recipe it makes a denser texture than you would find in a cake. But don’t be mistaken, there is still a lighter crumb to this carrot cake loaf!

How To Make a Carrot Cake Loaf

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Moist Carrot Cake Loaf

This carrot cake loaf is moist with plump golden raisins and has a nutty crunch from the pecans scattered throughout. Cinnamon and ginger enhance the flavours and the carrots give an earthiness and sweetness to the loaf. It’s topped with a traditional cream cheese icing which turns this loaf into that carrot cake that you know and love.

  • Author: Alie Romano
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 mins
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: Quick Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: British

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup full fat sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded/grated carrots (approx. 3 large carrots)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

Icing

  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup pecans, toasted (for topping)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or line a 9″x5″ loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt together. Mix to combine and set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer beat oil and sugars together until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time and sour cream. Beat until smooth and pale in colour, approx. 2-3 minutes. Now add grated carrots, raisins and 1/2 cup of chopped pecans, mix to combine.
  4. Add flour mixture to egg mixture, mix until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix your batter as this will create a tough, dry loaf.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Let cool on a cooling rack.
  7. Meanwhile, make your icing. Add powdered sugar, cream cheese and butter to a bowl and beat until smooth, light and fluffy. If the icing is too soft, place in the fridge to firm up.
  8. Once the carrot loaf is cooled ice the top with the cream cheese icing and sprinkle toasted pecans on top.

Notes

Use a food processor to easily chop carrots. I find this is the easiest method and the least wasteful.

Store loaf in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Or freeze for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice of 18
  • Calories: 301
  • Sugar: 26g
  • Sodium: 197mg
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 38.5g
  • Fiber: 1.5g
  • Protein: 3.5g
  • Cholesterol: 34mg

Keywords: Carrot Cake, Carrot Loaf, Easter, Cake, Dessert, Cream Cheese Icing

Did you make this recipe?

Write a review and let me know!

Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @bakingforfriends_

I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie

FAQ’s

What is the easiest way to grate carrots for a carrot cake loaf?

The best way to safely grate carrots is using a food processor. By simply changing the blade on your processor to the grater attachment you can easily grate carrots in a snap. If you need the carrots finer, you can switch the blade back to the original and pulse the carrots a few times. Take any extra grated carrots and freeze in freezer bags for up to 2 months.

Why is my carrot cake loaf dry?

A dry carrot cake loaf may be due to a few reasons:
1. Overbaking the loaf
2. Not using fresh carrots or squeezing the juice from the carrots
3. Not using canned crushed pineapple, or draining the pineapple too much

Can I make this carrot cake loaf ahead of time?

Yes, you can easily bake the loaf, wrap in plastic and freeze until ready to serve. Let the loaf defrost at room temperature before serving. It’s also best to make the icing fresh the same day, but you can freeze the entire loaf with icing if you need.

You may also like:

Mini Carrot Cake Loaves
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Brandie
Brandie
1 year ago

Cooked for a full hour still raw in the middle! Myn6sual recipe vases for 1 hour and 15 minutes. What a waste of time and money would not recommend.

Shannon
Shannon
1 year ago
Rating :
     

My family and I loved this recipe, so flavourful and moist. The cream cheese icing just tops it right off. We’ll definitely be making it again! thx

Serge
Serge
8 months ago
Rating :
     

Hello, Alie and fellow bakers! I made this loaf yesterday, and it came out scrumptious! The baking time was indeed longer that it says in the recipe, around 90 minutes, yet the loaf stayed nice and moist. In my version, there were dried apricots and toasted walnuts – a power combo, for my taste. Thank you for the great recipe, I’m surely will come back to it many more times!

Life is uncertain, but dessert doesn't have to be!

Heart Shaped Sandwich Cookies

Spread some love with these cute heart shaped sandwich cookies. Each cookie features a soft buttery sugar cookie, filled with sweet raspberry buttercream icing and topped with pink sugar crystals for a crispy bite. They make the perfect cookie for Valentine's Day or any special occasion. 

Alie Romano

Meet

Alie

I'm a professional baker, recipe developer & photographer behind Baking For Friends. I specialize in classic & comforting baking. I hope you enjoy the recipes & find inspiration of your own to bring your family & friends together over home-cooked food!

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