With a long quarantine upon us (at least in Canada), and much more time on our hands to cook and bake, I have been experimenting in the kitchen lately. I think we can all agree that leaving our house to grocery shop has actually become quite scary. With that being said, I wanted to bake my banana bread recipe (found HERE), but I was out of bananas! I then looked into the fridge and noticed a few carrots lying around, and that is when the lightly bulb went off in my head… (also it was Easter and I am usually craving carrot cake this time of year, but wanted something a little less fussy – I also have a delicious carrot cake/cupcake recipe found HERE). I successfully turned my delicious banana bread recipe into a spiced carrot cake loaf, with only a few changes. I asked a few of you on Instagram, and you wanted the recipe, so here it is, adapted from my banana bread! I hope you enjoy this delicious carrot cake loaf, as it is perfectly sweetened, soft (but not so soft that you’ll be speaking moistly to anyone), and I even top it with a cream cheese frosting, but that is optional (yet so delicious).
Carrot Cake Loaf Ingredients:
2 to 3 medium Carrots (basically 1 Cup + 1/3 of shredded carrots, pressed)*
1/3 Cup Unsalted Butter (Room Temperature)
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Large Egg
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp of Ground Cinnamon*
1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger *optional
1/2 Cup Milk
+ add-in’s like raisins and nuts (I added about 1/4 cup of each)*
*I used about 2 to 3 medium carrots and with a cheese grater, grated about 1 cup to 1/3 of a cup of carrots. I feel this amount was perfect, but this recipe can easily be adapted to add a little more carrot, or even less, basically about 1 to 1+1/2 cups of carrots is ideal. I measured the carrots by pressing the grated carrots firmly into the measuring cup, so keep that in mind as well.
*The cinnamon is necessary to give the carrot cake that iconic spice, but if you do not want a strongly spiced loaf, you can add only 1 tsp. You can also omit the ginger if you do not have it, or simple do not like spices.
*Finally, the add-in’s are optional, but I like a few raisins which is why I added 1/4 cup, you can add more, or omit these. You can do the same thing with the nuts. I had slivered almonds on hand, but you can use your favourite nut, or omit this too. The choice is yours. Another nice addition would be flaked coconut if you have it and enjoy that. 🙂
Carrot Cake Loaf Instructions:
– Pre-heat your oven to 350F
-Cream the butter, and sugar until combined, then add the grated carrots, (I use the paddle attachment of my stand mixer, but you can even do this with the beater, an electric mixer, or by hand).
– Add in the egg, and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
– In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger, and give a stir to incorporate.
– Alternately add the flour mixture, and milk to the banana batter until everything is combined in a creamy mix. Whip well. You will likely need to scrape down the bowl. It is a good idea to start and end with the flour mix.
– Add the optional add-in’s such as raisins & nuts to the batter and mix until just combined. This is optional, as you can even make a simple carrot cake loaf, but I prefer some more texture and spice.
*At this stage you can then pour the batter into a parchment lined loaf pan, and bake at 350F for 1 hour…
*If you would like to add the crumble on top, see my banana bread recipe HERE, and top before baking. Since I prefer to top this with a cream cheese frosting after baking, I skip that step, place the loaf in the oven, and then prepare the frosting…
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
1/2 a package (or 4oz) of Cream Cheese (Room Temp)
1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter (Room Temp)
1/8 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 to 2 Tsp of milk or cream
1 + 1/2 to 2 cups Icing Sugar (approx.. can add more or less less)
*This is just enough to frost the top of this loaf, but if you prefer a LOT of frosting, feel free to double this recipe.
Cream Cheese Frosting Directions:
In a stand mixer (or using hand mixer), whip the room temperature butter, cream cheese, and salt until soft, about 1 to 2 minutes on medium/high. If they are not room temperature, you can microwave them for 10 to 15 seconds.
Add in vanilla extract, and milk/cream, and whip for another 30 seconds until combined.
Next, add in the powdered sugar, a bit at a time (about 1 cup at a time), until fully incorporated and smooth. Taste to see if it is sweetened to your liking. I usually whip on low, and once everything is combined, whip for a few seconds on a medium to high speed until fluffy.
Keep this refrigerated until needed.
Once the loaf has baked, I let it cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then carefully remove it and let it cool on a wire rack (if you have one) even further for an additional 40 minutes to an hour before frosting with the cream cheese frosting. If you attempt to frost this loaf while it is still warm, the frosting will melt, and that is not what we want here. If you omit this frosting, you can eat this loaf after a 20 to 30 minute cool off time.
Now you can enjoy this soft, spiced, carrot cake loaf!! This recipe is great to use as a banana bread which is tried and true, now as a carrot cake loaf, or even an apple spice cake if you omit the carrots/banana for 2 to 3 apples instead (my sister did this and it came out great)! Since times are a bit strange right now, it’s good to have a recipe that can be easily adapted to fit the ingredients that you already have at home.
I hope you give this recipe a try, and if you do, please tag me at @ladolcelisa on Instagram. You can also watch me make the original banana bread loaf that inspired this recipe on my youtube channel HERE.
Happy Baking! I know times are tough right now, but one thing that always helps me feel better is baking and creating something I can enjoy with my loved ones 🙂
Love: Lisa (@ladolcelisa)