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Sometimes I'm too lazy to grate carrots, so this easy carrot loaf cake involves carrot puree. This is also great if you love the flavors of traditional carrot cake but don't like shredded carrots running through the batter!

If you adore easy baking recipes with cozy flavors like pumpkin bread and sweet potato bread, then you're going to fall in love with this spiced carrot quick bread!

face on view of a carrot loaf cake with a slice cut away from it showing the fluffy and moist interior.Pin
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📖 Recipe Overview

  • Quick & Easy to Prepare - There's no need to grate the carrots, they are simply blended with some of the wet ingredients and then folded together with the remaining ingredients before baking. Truly, the hardest part is waiting for it to bake and cool!
  • Moist & Flavorful - The consistency is moist and tender, and a little denser than my regular vegan carrot cake.
  • Contains Hidden Vegetables - Blending the carrots gives the illusion of a regular spice cake rather than a more chunky carrot cake, just in case you have picky eaters or skeptical kids in the house!
  • Versatile - While the freshness of carrots makes this the perfect spring loaf cake, the warming spices and brown butter make this cake cozy enough to enjoy over fall and winter.

🧾 Ingredients Needed

Here's everything you need to make this easy carrot loaf cake from scratch:

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Ingredient Notes

  • Olive Oil - I love the slightly floral and earthy flavor this brings to vegan cake, if you want a more neutral flavor, go for vegetable oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, or a light olive oil.
  • Soy Milk - This is mixed with apple cider vinegar to create a vegan buttermilk substitute. You can also use oat milk or almond milk if you need to.
  • Brown Sugar - I used panela, an unrefined cane sugar, but feel free to also use coconut sugar or soft brown sugar if you prefer.
  • Vegan Butter - For the browned butter icing, you will need a good-quality block-style vegan butter. I use Violife plant butter which browns beautifully.
  • Walnuts - Every good carrot cake recipe needs a little crunch and walnuts are the perfect complement to the warm spices. You can swap these for pecans or you could probably leave them out if you have a nut allergy or want to keep the recipe more budget-friendly!
  • Spices - My go-to spice blend for carrot cake includes ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. You could also introduce a little cardamom for some peppery citrus notes.
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda - You will need both for this recipe, as they work in tandem to lift and leaven the cake.
  • Powdered Sugar - This is needed for the brown butter glaze. It may also be labeled as "confectioner's sugar" or icing sugar if you're in Ireland or the UK.
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🥣 How To Make Carrot Cake Loaf

Making this moist carrot cake loaf recipe could not be easier, here's a visual of how it's done:

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Step 1: In a food processor or high-speed blender, blitz the carrots, olive oil, non-dairy yogurt, and vanilla extract until smooth.

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Step 2: Add the pureed carrot mixture to a large bowl with the brown sugar and whisk to combine.

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Step 3: Whisk in the dairy-free buttermilk. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the sifted all purpose flour, raising agents, salt, and spices.

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Step 4: Carefully fold half of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Then add the remaining dry ingredients and chopped walnuts.

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Step 5: Fold the mixture until just combined and there are no visible pockets of flour. Don't be tempted to overmix, or you will end up with a gummy loaf.

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Step 6: Transfer the batter to a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Cut thin strips of vegan butter and place them down the center of the loaf. This will encourage a nice crack down the center of the loaf when baking.

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Step 7: Once baked, let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before lifting it onto a wire rack to cool further. Then place it on a tray lined with parchment to catch any drips before icing it.

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Step 8: Pour the brown butter icing over the top of the loaf. Then use a spoon to scoop up the overflow and pour it over the edges and around the sides of the cake.

🥕 Variations

While I adore the carrot cake bread as is, here are some ways you can customize the recipe to your liking:

  • Thicker Frosting - You can make the brown butter frosting thicker by using just one tablespoon of non-dairy milk, or runnier by using 2 spoons.
  • Classic Frosting - For a more traditional topping, you can't go wrong with cream cheese frosting. For a thinner cream cheese icing try the topping in my gingerbread loaf.
  • Raisins - Add around ⅓ of a cup to the batter, or use them in place of the nuts in the recipe.
  • Coffee Buttercream - For all-out carrot cake latte vibes!

💬 FAQs

How to store carrot cake loaf? Can I freeze it?

When your carrot loaf has cooled, wrap any leftovers tightly in plastic wrap or foil, or place it in an airtight container. It will last at room temperature for up to 5 days (provided your environment is not too warm). Or you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

To freeze, cut the bread into individual slices and separate them with sheets of parchment. Make sure they are wrapped well or place them in a sealed container and freeze for up to a month. To defrost, let it thaw at room temperature for a couple of hours.

Does carrot cake taste better the next day?

Yes! This cake stays super moist for days and tastes even better on the day after baking if you ask me. The spices and flavors have a chance to mingle and create the perfect accompaniment to your afternoon tea or coffee.

a carrot cake loaf with a thick layer of non-dairy brown butter frosting on top.Pin

🥧 More Easy Loaf Cakes

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Easy Vegan Carrot Cake Loaf

5 from 22 votes
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 1 hour
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 10
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Description

Incredibly flavorful and moist vegan carrot cake loaf topped with vanilla brown butter glaze. This carrot quick bread is easy to make with no eggs or dairy, and no grating required!

Ingredients

  • 160 ml ( cup) soy milk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 250 g (2 cups) raw carrots (peeled and roughly chopped), ~4 medium carrots *see note 1
  • 118 ml (½ cup) olive oil, or neutral oil such as rapeseed/sunflower
  • 80 g ( cup) vegan Greek-style yogurt, or vegan sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 200 g (1 cup) light brown sugar
  • 280 g (2 ¼ cups) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 125 g (1 cup) walnuts, roughly chopped

Brown Butter Glaze (Optional)

Instructions

  • Preparation: Preheat your oven to fan 160°C(320°F) or conventional 180°C(356°F).
    Lightly grease a 1-pound loaf pan with some oil or vegan butter and line it with a sling of parchment paper - leaving an overhang on the sides.
  • Make vegan buttermilk: Mix the soy milk and apple cider vinegar and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Blend the carrots: Add the carrots, olive oil, yogurt, and vanilla to a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  • Mix wet ingredients: To a large mixing bowl add the pureed carrot mixture, brown sugar, and whisk to combine. Whisk in the vegan buttermilk mixture.
  • Mix the dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
  • Make the batter: Sift half of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold the ingredients into the batter. Then fold in the chopped walnuts and the remaining dry ingredients until there are no pockets or streaks of flour. Do not be tempted to overmix!
  • Assemble: Add the batter to the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top of it with a spatula or knife. Place the pan on top of an aluminum tray or baking sheet. Optionally, cut thin strips of vegan butter and place them down the center of the loaf, this will help the loaf to crack in the center once it bakes (*see note 3).
  • Bake: I like to bake it on an aluminum baking sheet which conducts heat and helps bake the cake evenly from underneath. Bake for 55-65 minutes. The loaf will rise and the top will be golden brown. Check the cake is done at the 55-minute mark by piercing it with a toothpick or a knife, the knife should come out clean with a small few crumbs on it. Continue to bake in 5-minute increments as and if needed until baked through.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack to cool completely.
    Once the loaf is completely cool, transfer it to a tray or sheet of parchment paper.
  • Brown the butter: Add the vegan butter to a saucepan over medium heat. Constantly stir the mixture for approximately 5 minutes, until the butter turns a golden brown color and there is a nutty buttery aroma. Do not leave it on the heat any longer as it will burn very quickly.
  • Make the glaze: Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and non-dairy milk to the browned butter and whisk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze on top of the cooled loaf.
  • Storage: When your cake has cooled, wrap any leftovers tightly in plastic wrap or foil, or place it in an airtight container. It can be kept at room temperature for up to 5 days (provided your environment is not too warm) or in the fridge for up to 7 days.
    To freeze, cut the bread into individual slices and separate them with sheets of parchment. Make sure they are wrapped well or place them in a sealed container and freeze for up to a month. To defrost, let it thaw at room temperature for a couple of hours.

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Notes

  1. Carrots: Weighed after peeling.
  2. Non-dairy milk for the frosting: For a thick frosting add 1 tablespoon, for a thinner glaze add 2 tablespoons.
  3. Adding a thin line of butter slices down the middle of the batter helps to create a lovely crack in the center of the cake. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 484kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 363mg | Potassium: 228mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 4250IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 2mg
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