This carrot cake loaf is basically like the best carrot cake, but in convenient bread form. Easy to slice, serve, and most importantly, enjoy, this Carrot Bread is covered in a delicious cream cheese glaze for the perfect cake-to-frosting ratio!
Carrot bread is like carrot cake in loaf form, which makes it perfectly acceptable to enjoy at breakfast. For some reason, it seems to be a spring favorite, but I think it should be enjoyed year round!
The other day, a friend of mine mentioned that she loves all of my bread recipes and suggested I make a carrot cake bread.
Carrot Cake Loaf
You’ll find that carrot loaf is easier to slice and store than the traditional cake. In fact, you can even freeze it because you know you’ll want to save some for later.
I serve this carrot cake loaf 12 months out of the year, but if you’re looking for more easy Easter ideas, you can find a comprehensive list of all my Easter Recipes here, including my Cottontail Easter Cupcakes and Carrot Cake Cheese Ball. So many to choose from!
To make this recipe gluten-free, swap the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free measure-for-measure all-purpose flour substitute.
Ingredients and Substitutions
For the carrot bread:
- White granulated sugar
- All-purpose flour – Lightly spoon this into the measuring cup, rather than scooping it.
- Baking powder
- Egg – Let this come to room temperature.
- Milk – The milk should also be room temperature before you start baking.
- Vegetable oil – Canola oil is fine too.
- Vanilla extract – Store-bought or homemade vanilla.
- Carrots – Use a box grater or your food processor to grate the carrots.
For the topping:
- Cream cheese – Let this come to room temperature so it will mix smoothly with the other ingredients. Learn how to soften cream cheese.
- Butter – The butter should be room temperature as well. Learn how to soften butter quickly.
- Vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar – Also known as confectioners’ sugar – if you don’t have any, learn how to make powdered sugar here.
- Prep – Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Grease a 1 pound loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.
- Mix the dry ingredients – Whisk the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
- Combine the wet ingredients – In a mixing bowl or mixer, beat the egg, milk and oil.
- Finish the batter – Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture until just moist. Fold in the grated carrots.
- Bake – Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown and set. Let it cool, then remove it from the pan.
- Ice – Combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Warm for 15 seconds in a microwave until the mixture is smooth and pourable. Pour the icing over the bread.
You can add more or less grated carrot depending on your texture preferences. You can also grate it into smaller or larger pieces!
Buy grated carrots from the grocery store and save yourself the work of grating them yourself.
- Instead of the cream cheese icing, you can sprinkle Demerara sugar over the top of the loaf for a crunchy topping that’s a bit less sweet.
- Fold chopped walnuts into the batter after adding the carrots if you like nuts in your carrot cake.
- Soak raisins in spiced rum, then drain off the liquid and fold the raisins into the carrot loaf batter.
How to Store
Refrigerate – Refrigerate carrot bread in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic for up to 4 days.
Freeze – To freeze carrot bread, cover in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. This will prevent any freezer odors from seeping in, along with freezer burn.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are carrots used in baking?
Carrots are a great addition to baked goods because they provide moisture and sweetness. The natural sugars in carrots caramelize when baked, giving the bread a sweet flavor. Carrots can be grated, chopped, or mashed and added to the batter for a unique texture as well.
As long as you wash the carrots well, there’s no need to peel them.
If your kitchen isn’t too warm, you can leave carrot cake (or this carrot cake bread) out overnight, but not any longer than that. The sugar will help preserve the cream cheese frosting for a short amount of time, but beyond that, it will need to be refrigerated.
Don’t over-mix! You only need to mix until the dry ingredients are mostly incorporated into the wet; a few streaks of flour are fine.
You can allow the carrot bread to cool completely on a wire rack which will set the icing, or you can serve it warm. The choice is yours!
Place the loaf on a wire rack set over a piece of foil before icing. The excess will drip onto the foil and then you can throw it away for easy cleanup.
You can make one large loaf pan or, if you prefer, 6 miniature loaf pans. Just reduce the baking time. I love using miniature loaf pans for easy gifting.
Carrot Cake Loaf
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease 1 lb loaf pan and set aside.
- Combine sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl/mixer, beat egg, milk and oil.
- Gradually add dry mixture to wet until just moist. Add grated carrots.
- Pour into loaf pan and bake 50 minutes or until golden brown and set.
- Combine topping ingredients and warm 15 seconds in a microwave until smooth and pourable, if needed. Pour over bread and serve.
- Don’t over-mix! You only need to mix until the dry ingredients are mostly incorporated into the wet; a few streaks of flour are fine.
- You can allow the carrot bread to cool completely on a wire rack which will set the icing, or you can serve it warm. The choice is yours!
- Place the loaf on a wire rack set over a piece of foil before icing. The excess will drip onto the foil and then you can throw it away for easy cleanup.
- You can make one large loaf pan or, if you prefer, 6 miniature loaf pans. Just reduce the baking time. I love using miniature loaf pans for easy gifting.
Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.