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Carrot Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This Carrot Loaf Cake recipe is not just your ordinary dessert; it delivers all the sweet, moist, and tender memories of your favorite carrot cake with the easy preparation of a loaf cake. 

You'll love it's easy preparation when planning your holiday dessert table. Imagine the smiles and satisfaction that will follow when you serve up a slice of this homemade goodness.

Moist and Delicious Carrot Loaf Cake

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A slice of carrot loaf cake on a white plate with a fork beside it.

Let's preheat the oven, and get baking this perfectly moist Carrot Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. You'll find it's a breeze for you to replicate at home. If you're ready to bring a slice of homemade happiness to your holiday table, keep reading. 

Why You'll Love This Carrot Loaf Cake Recipe

It's Moist and Flavorful: This recipe guarantees a moist and flavorful carrot cake that captures the essence of traditional carrot cake but in a convenient loaf form. The grated carrots infuse every bite with natural sweetness and a delightful texture, making it a hit with both kids and adults.

The Creamy Dreamy Frosting: Cream cheese frosting enthusiasts, this one's for you! My recipe includes a heavenly cream cheese frosting that adds a touch of decadence to the already scrumptious carrot loaf. It's the icing on the cake, quite literally.

Homemade Goodness: There's something incredibly heartwarming about homemade desserts. Sharing a slice of this Carrot Loaf Cake with loved ones creates memorable moments, especially during the holiday season. The satisfaction of baking from scratch and the smiles it brings are priceless. I love that I can pronounce every single ingredient I use when baking this cake.

Versatile Treat: While it's a star at holiday gatherings, this Carrot Loaf Cake isn't limited to just one season. It's a versatile treat that can grace your dessert table year-round, be it for birthdays, brunches, or simply as a cozy evening snack.

Kid-Friendly Fun: Baking this loaf cake can be a family affair. Get the kids involved in grating carrots or frosting the cake. It's an enjoyable and educational experience, and the little ones will love the end result.

Easy Holiday Delight: The holiday season is all about joy and celebration, not stress in the kitchen. This Carrot Loaf Cake strikes the perfect balance between impressive flavor and effortless preparation. 

Ingredients Tips

Shredded Carrots: Use fresh, peeled carrots to make your own shredded carrots for the best flavor and texture. Alternatively, you can use pre-packaged shredded carrots, but fresh ones tend to be more flavorful.

Eggs at Room Temperature: To ensure a well-mixed batter and optimal rise, allow the eggs to come to room temperature before using them. You can do this by placing them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.

Vegetable Oil: Oil helps keep the carrot cake moist. Use a neutral flavored oil.

Chopped Nuts: Whether you choose walnuts or pecans, be sure to chop them finely for an even distribution of nutty goodness throughout the cake.  I love to use this manual nut grinder for my nuts.

A woman using a manual nut grinder.

Cream Cheese Frosting: For a smooth and creamy frosting, make sure your cream cheese and butter are softened at room temperature. This will prevent lumps and create a velvety texture. Sift the powdered sugar to avoid lumps in the frosting.

How to Make a Carrot Loaf Cake

Making this Carrot Loaf Cake is as enjoyable as the delightful taste it promises. With the right equipment and easy preparation steps, you'll soon be savoring every slice. 

The Equipment You'll Need

- A 9x5-inch loaf pan, lightly greased and floured. If you use another size loaf pan the cooking time will vary.

- Using a hand or stand mixer is optional for this cake, but I do use one.

- A box grater for shredding your carrots is a necessity.

- A manual nut grinder will get your nuts to an ideal size with ease.

The Steps in Making a Carrot Loaf Cake

1. Preheat and Prep: Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease your 9x5-inch loaf pan and line it with parchment paper for easy removal later. 

2. Grate the Carrots: Grab those fresh carrots and a box grater to grate them. You'll need about 2 cups of packed shredded carrots. The natural sweetness and texture of these freshly grated carrots will work magic in your loaf.

3. Whisk the Dry Ingredients: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and the lovely trio of spices: cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. This spice blend adds that warm, cozy aroma to your loaf.

4. Beat the Wet Ingredients: In another bowl, let's whisk those room-temperature eggs until they're nice and frothy. Gradually add the granulated sugar, whisking until the mixture lightens in color. Slowly stream in the vegetable oil and vanilla extract while whisking.

5. Combine Wet and Dry: Add the dry mixture into the wet and mix until just combined. Avoid overmixing; we want a tender cake. Now, it's time to fold in those beautifully grated carrots, raisins, and your choice of walnuts or pecans. These ingredients bring wonderful texture and flavor to the cake.

6. Baking Time: Pour your luscious batter into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top, and pop it into the preheated oven for about 60-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The aroma of baking spices will fill your kitchen!

7. Cool and Frost: Once your Carrot Loaf Cake is beautifully baked, let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then transfer it to a cooling rack to cool completely. While it's cooling, it's the perfect time to prepare your creamy cream cheese frosting.

Making the Cream Cheese Frosting

The crowning glory of your Carrot Loaf Cake is undoubtedly the dreamy cream cheese frosting. It's the perfect blend of sweetness and tanginess, adding that extra layer of deliciousness to your already scrumptious cake.

A carrot Loaf Cake on a plate, frosted with cream cheese frosting and topped with pecan halves.

You Will Need

  • 4 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1-1/4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Soften the Cream Cheese and Butter: Before diving into frosting preparation, make sure your cream cheese and butter are at room temperature. This ensures a smooth and creamy texture. You can achieve this by letting them sit out for a while or gently microwaving in short intervals.

2. Whip the Cream Cheese and Butter:  In a mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and butter. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat them together until you achieve a creamy and uniform consistency. The key is to avoid any lumps.

3. Add the Sweetness: Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar to the cream cheese and butter mixture. Continue to beat until the frosting becomes smooth and the sugar is fully incorporated. The frosting will thicken and become creamy in texture.

4. Flavor with Vanilla: Finally, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the mixture and continue to beat until the frosting is light, fluffy, and fragrant with that wonderful vanilla aroma.

5. Frost the Cake: Once your Carrot Loaf Cake has completely cooled, it's time to adorn it with your freshly made cream cheese frosting. Spread a generous layer of the frosting over the top of the loaf. You can get creative with swirls or patterns for an extra visual appeal. 

A woman frosting a carrot loaf cake using an offset spatula.

Pro Tip: For a professional touch, use an offset spatula or a butter knife to spread the frosting evenly. If you want to take it up a notch, sprinkle some extra chopped nuts or grated carrots on top as a garnish.

And there you have it – a heavenly cream cheese frosting that will take your Carrot Loaf Cake to new heights. It's the perfect marriage of creamy, sweet, and tangy, enhancing the overall flavor and making each bite absolutely irresistible. 

Frequently Asked Questions

 Can I use pre-packaged shredded carrots for this recipe?

You can use pre-packaged shredded carrots for convenience. However, using fresh, peeled carrots and grating them yourself will provide a more flavorful taste and more tender texture.

Can I make this carrot loaf cake in advance?

Yes, you can! This cake can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. For longer storage, refrigerate the cake for up to a week. Make sure to bring it to room temperature before serving.

Can I freeze the carrot loaf cake?

Yes, you can freeze the carrot loaf cake (without frosting) for up to 2-3 months. Ensure it's wrapped well in plastic wrap and stored in an airtight container. Thaw it in the refrigerator and frost before serving.

Can I substitute vegetable oil with a different oil?

You can substitute vegetable oil with other neutral-flavored oils like canola or sunflower oil. Olive oil, while not typically used in carrot cake, can also work if you enjoy its flavor.

Can I omit nuts or raisins from the recipe?

Of course you can! The recipe is flexible. If you're not a fan of nuts or raisins, feel free to omit them, or substitute with your preferred ingredients, like shredded coconut or dried cranberries.

What can I use if I don't have a hand or stand mixer for the frosting?

If you don't have a mixer, you can use a whisk and some elbow grease. Soften the cream cheese and butter well at room temperature, then vigorously whisk together the ingredients until you achieve a smooth consistency.

Can I make mini carrot loaf cakes instead of one large loaf?

 Yes, you can make mini carrot loaf cakes by using smaller loaf pans or even muffin tins. Adjust the baking time accordingly, as smaller cakes will bake faster.

What's the best way to store leftover frosting?

Store any leftover cream cheese frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Before using it again, allow it to come to room temperature, and give it a quick stir to restore its smoothness.


The Carrot Loaf Cake Recipe

moist carrot cake, carrot loaf cake recipe, holiday dessert
Yield: 8
Author: Donna Urso
Moist and Easy Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - Holiday Dessert Recipe a carrot loaf cake for Christmas, Thanksgiving or any day of the year.
Carrot Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

A delicious, moist, easy carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 1 H & 15 MTotal time: 1 H & 30 M


The Carrot Cake
Cream Cheese Frosting


  1. Lightly grease and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar. Add the oil and vanilla, mixing to combine.
  4. Add the flour mixture all at once to the wet ingredients. Stir to combine.
  5. Fold in the carrots, raisins, and nuts.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour to 1-1/4 hours, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then completely on a wire rack.
  8. Frost with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter together until combined and smooth.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy. If needed, add a little milk or heavy cream to thin the frosting.


This recipe makes a delicious breakfast cake, coffee cake, or snack cake.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

44.44 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

11.65 g

Carbs (grams)

45.36 g

Fiber (grams)

2.33 g

Net carbs

43.04 g

Sugar (grams)

31.16 g

Protein (grams)

5.2 g

Sodium (milligrams)

300.39 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

90.75 mg

Nutritional information is approximate.


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