With a deep rich flavour and velvety cream cheese frosting, this intensely delicious carrot cake loaf recipe is one you should definitely have in your armoury! More flavour intense than my ultimate carrot cake recipe, this spiced version gives you snuggly warm hug with every bite! Read on for the full recipe, helpful tips and more…
Carrot cake has always been a favourite of mine, but sometimes you just don’t want a huge wedge! Cue this carrot cake loaf recipe to save the day.
It’s deeply delicious and remarkably moist with a wonderful warming flavour. The smaller slices are a more sensible portion size, which is always better for your waistline. And if you’d rather be a little bit naughty? You can always cut a thicker slice!
Why does carrot cake take so long to cook?
Well my friend, that’s because of the high moisture content. With such a wet batter (using lots of oil and eggs) and carrot being quite wet also, there’s a lot of liquid to get rid of before a cake can form. This extra moisture also allows time for the carrot to cook through, yielding a super soft and incredibly moist cake.
What spices do you need for a carrot cake loaf?
I like to keep things simple. Too many spices overcomplicate things and it can get very pricey very quickly. That’s why I love to blend mine with citrus in this combination…
- Lemon zest
- Orange zest
That’s it! The cinnamon adds a beautiful warmth and the lemon/orange zest adds a zing that lifts the flavour to a whole other level. Just trust me, wait until you try it!
How do you store carrot cake loaf?
I usually say to never put cake in the fridge as refrigeration saps the moisture out of it. Well, all except carrot cake loaf that is! Due to the high moisture content (and also cream cheese frosting being less stable than other frosting varieties) I actually keep mine in the fridge. It will happily keep for 4-5 days and still stay moist and delicious.
How to make carrot cake loaf
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
- Beat all the wet ingredients together in a jug.
- Add the wet to the dry and mix to form a batter.
- Fold through the grated carrot.
- Pour into a lined tin and bake.
- Beat together butter, icing sugar and cream cheese to make the frosting.
- When the cake has completely cooled, top with the icing.
Despite there being quite a few ingredients in this cake, it really couldn’t be more simple to throw together!
Carrot cake loaf ingredients
Here’s everything you need to know about the ingredients required for this recipe.
- Flour – Plain/all purpose flour is best in this recipe as we use other raising agents to aid the rise.
- Sugar – I use a combination of golden caster sugar and dark muscovado for a deep, rich flavour.
- Baking Powder – Used to make the cake rise.
- Bicarbonate of Soda – Helps the cake to rise.
- Salt – Table salt is fine in cakes. It’s not for texture it’s for flavour – and salt is salt!
- Cinnamon – Vital for adding a warm spiced flavour to your cake.
- Eggs – I use free range organic but whatever you have at home will work well too.
- Oil – I use sunflower oil as it doesn’t alter the flavour of the cake. You could also use vegetable oil.
- Yoghurt – I used plain Greek style yoghurt but plain yoghurt would also work.
- Orange/Lemon Zest – Gives a real lift to the overall flavour and works so well alongside the cinnamon!
- Carrot – Carrot sizes vary a lot so I definitely recommend weighing your grated carrot in this recipe.
- Icing Sugar – Used to make the cream cheese frosting, icing sugar is the only one that will work for this purpose.
- Cream Cheese – Only full fat will do! I always use Philadelphia as it’s very stable and has never let me down. (Lighter/cheaper versions have.)
Carrot cake loaf recipe tips and troubleshooting
Don’t want to run into any problems? Here’s some helpful tips for making this recipe…
- Prepare your ingredients and read through the whole recipe before you begin to avoid unexpected panic.
- Ensure all ingredients are at the same temperature unless specified otherwise. (i.e. Take eggs, butter etc out the fridge 1 hour before baking.)
- Don’t overmix the cake batter or it may become tough/chewy.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before topping with the cream cheese frosting.
- Store your cake in the fridge. It will stay moist and delicious for at least 4-5 days.
- It looks like it’s burnt – The colour will be very dark on the top because of the dark muscovado sugar. Make sure you test with a skewer to see if it’s properly cooked rather than going by the colour.
- My cake isn’t cooked through – Insert a skewer into the centre of your cake. If it comes out clean, it’s cooked. If there is batter on it, bake for a little longer.
- It’s overcooked – Remember that all ovens vary so you need to keep an eye on your cake in the last 15 mins or so.
- My cake tastes bland – Double check you add the amount of spices and salt specified in the recipe for a delicious and flavourful cake.
- My frosting has melted – You added the frosting before the cake had completely cooled.
Other cake recipes you might like
Spiced Carrot Cake Loaf Recipe
Here is what you will need to serve 10.
(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)
For the Cake
- 250g (2 Cups) Plain/All Purpose Flour
- 100g (1/2 Cup) Golden Caster Sugar
- 220g (1 Cup) Dark Muscovado Sugar
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 3 Eggs, room temp
- 125ml (1/2 Cup) Sunflower Oil
- 125ml (1/2 Cup) Greek or Plain Yoghurt
- Zest of 1 Orange
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- 200g ( 2 + 1/2 Cups) Carrot, grated
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 100g (1/2 Cup) Unsalted Butter, room temp
- 40g (1/3 Cup) Icing Sugar
- 200g (1 + 2/3 Cup) Full Fat Cream Cheese, cold *
- 13 x 23 x 8cm (5 x 9 x 3″) Loaf Tin †
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Rubber Spatula
- Wire Cooling Rack
*This has to be full fat or it won’t work. I use Philadelphia, it’s never let me down.
†Loaf tin sizes vary quite a lot. Just make sure you don’t overfill yours! Fill no higher than 3/4 full or it will overflow.
First grease and line your tin with baking paper and preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 170°C / 350°F.
Next up, mix the flour (250g | 2 Cups), caster sugar (100g | 1/2 Cup), dark muscovado (220g | 1 Cup), baking powder (2 tsp), bicarbonate of soda (1 tsp), salt (1/2 tsp) and cinnamon (2 tsp) together in a large mixing bowl.
If there are any large lumps of muscovado sugar, rub them between your forefingers and thumbs to blend them in.
Then beat together the eggs (3 x large), sunflower oil (125ml | 1/2 Cup), Greek or plain yoghurt (125ml | 1/2 Cup), orange zest (1 x orange) and lemon zest (1 x lemon) in a jug with a fork.
In thirds, add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold just until you can’t see any more streaks of flour.
Now you’re ready for the key ingredient! Add the grated carrot (200g | 2 + 1/2 cups) into the batter and fold just until it’s evenly distributed. You don’t want to overmix here.
Pour the batter into your lined loaf tin.
PLEASE NOTE Turns out my tin was a little on the small side and I accidentally poured in too much batter. This lead to it overflowing a bit in the oven. Not the end of the world (bonus cake baby did mean I got to taste some before the main cake was cooled – win!) but obviously not ideal. As loaf tins vary in sizes, make sure you fill yours no more than three quarters full, just in case.
And yes, I’m a very lazy liner. I use pegs!
Bake in the centre of your preheated oven for 45 – 55 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
It will appear quite dark in colour (that’s down to the dark muscovado sugar). Don’t worry – it’s not burnt! It’s just got a wonderfully deep and rich flavour. Allow your carrot cake loaf to cool for 15 minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
How to make cream cheese frosting
Meanwhile, beat the unsalted butter (100g | 1/2 Cup room temperature) in a mixing bowl with a spatula until it’s really soft.
Then sift in the icing sugar (40g | 1/3 Cup) and beat again until it’s very light and fluffy.
Finally beat in the cold cream cheese (200g | 1 + 2/3 Cup) until it becomes smooth, light and shiny.
When your carrot cake loaf has completely cooled (and I do mean completely!), spread the cream cheese frosting on the top.
And there you have it! An exquisite spiced carrot cake loaf that’s perfect for a rainy day. Or any other day for that matter!
Cover your carrot cake, store in the fridge and consume within 5 days. If it’s quite cold (i.e. a Winter’s day) then you could get away with storing it at room temperature. If it’s too warm however, the cream cheese frosting could melt and it won’t be pretty!
Have you made this recipe?
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For the Cake
250g (2 Cups) Plain/All Purpose Flour
100g (1/2 Cup) Golden Caster Sugar
220g (1 Cup) Dark Muscovado Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
3 Eggs, room temp
125ml (1/2 Cup) Sunflower Oil
125ml (1/2 Cup) Greek or Plain Yoghurt
Zest of 1 Orange
Zest of 1 Lemon
200g ( 2 + 1/2 Cups) Carrot, grated
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
100g (1/2 Cup) Unsalted Butter, room temp
40g (1/3 Cup) Icing Sugar
200g (1 + 2/3 Cup) Full Fat Cream Cheese, cold *
13 x 23 x 8cm (5 x 9 x 3″) Loaf Tin †
Large Mixing Bowl
Wire Cooling Rack
- Grease and line your loaf tin with baking paper and preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 170°C / 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, both sugars, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon. If there are any lumps of muscovado sugar, break them apart with your fingers.
- In a jug, beat together the eggs, oil, yoghurt, orange zest and lemon zest with a fork until blended.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in thirds. Beat with a spatula, only until you can't see anymore pockets of flour. (Don't overmix.)
- Gently fold through the carrots then pour the mixture into your lined tin.
- Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 45 - 55 minutes. Insert a skewer into the middle. If it comes out clean it's baked, if there is batter on it bake for a little longer.
- Allow your cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the cream cheese frosting, beat the butter in a mixing bowl until it's very soft.
- Sift in the icing sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add the cream cheese and beat until it's very light, smooth and shiny.
- When the cake is completely cooled, top with the cream cheese frosting.
* This has to be full fat or it won’t work. I use Philadelphia, it’s never let me down.
† Loaf tin sizes vary quite a lot. Just make sure you don’t overfill yours! Fill no higher than 3/4 full or it will overflow.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 522Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 320mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 2gSugar: 40gProtein: 7g
Nutritional information on kitchenmason.com should only be used as a general guideline, I am not a certified nutritionist. Please always check labels for allergens where applicable.
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