Carrot Cake Loaf

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Our mom’s famous carrot cake recipe is now in a quick and easy loaf form. This carrot cake loaf comes together in one bowl and is practically foolproof. After baking, we spread a generous layer of cream cheese frosting on top. Everyone loves this carrot cake, and this loaf version is no exception.

Tips for the Perfect Carrot Cake

Carrots: Avoid pre-grated carrots. They are too thick and dry. Freshly shredded carrots are thinner and moister, which helps them melt into the cake layers, making the cake perfectly moist.

Crushed Pineapple: This might sound odd, but crushed pineapple is a game-changer. Drain a small 4 oz can slightly and mix it into the batter. As the cake bakes, the pineapple releases juice and acidity, resulting in balanced, moist layers.

Cream Cheese Icing: While you can use other icings, cream cheese pairs perfectly with carrot cake. Try our brown butter version for a twist.

Carrot Cake Loaf FAQs

  1. Can I use pre-shredded carrots?
  • It’s best to hand-grate the carrots for optimal texture and moisture. Pre-shredded carrots are often too thick and dry.
  1. Can I omit the crushed pineapple?
  • The crushed pineapple is essential for moisture and flavor. It releases juices and acidity during baking, creating a perfect cake.
  1. Can I use a different frosting?
  • While you can use other types of icing, cream cheese is a classic and complements carrot cake beautifully. Brown butter icing is another delicious option.
  1. How should I store leftover carrot cake loaf?
  • Store the cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  1. Can I freeze this carrot cake loaf?
  • Yes, freeze the cake (without icing) for up to 2-3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  1. Can I use a different type of oil?
  • Vegetable oil is recommended for its neutral flavor and moisture content. You can use other neutral oils like canola or grapeseed.
  1. Can I make this recipe into cupcakes?
  • Absolutely! Adjust the baking time to about 20-25 minutes for standard-sized cupcakes.
  1. Can I reduce the sugar?
  • You can slightly reduce the sugar, but it affects both sweetness and texture. Adjusting it may change the final result.
  1. How do I know when the carrot cake loaf is done?
  • Use the toothpick test. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake; if it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, the cake is done.
  1. Can I add nuts or raisins?
    • Yes! Chopped nuts or raisins can be added for extra texture and flavor. Use about 1/2 to 1 cup.

Carrot Cake Loaf

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 8


– **Cake:**

  • – 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • – 1 cup sugar
  • – 2 large eggs room temperature
  • – 1 cup flour
  • – 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • – 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • – 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • – 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • – 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • – 1 1/2 cups grated carrots*
  • – 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • – 4 oz crushed pineapple lightly drained
  • *Peeled and grated by hand. Pre-shredded carrots are too dry and large.

– **Cream Cheese Icing:**

  • – 1/2 stick softened salted butter
  • – 1/2 stick softened cream cheese 4 oz
  • – 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • – 1/4 teaspoon almond extract optional
  • – 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • – 2 cups powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Grease and line an 8×4” loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well.
  • Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Add in pineapple and grated carrots, mixing until just combined.
  • Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

**Cream Cheese Icing:**

  • In a large bowl, beat softened butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until fluffy (around 2 minutes).
  • Add salt, almond extract, and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  • On low speed, gradually add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
  • Once all the sugar is added, increase the speed to medium-high and whip until light and fluffy (around 2 minutes).
  • Spread icing over the cooled loaf in an even layer.

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