Carrot Cake Bread

Breads and Muffins  |  Published May 17, 2020  |  Updated Nov 5, 2020  |  By Tawnie

A piece of carrot cake sitting on top of a wood cutting board

Carrot Cake Bread is the ultimate Spring treat.

Well, that and my famous banana bread recipe!

I know carrot cake is slotted as dessert quick bread but who says you can’t enjoy it for a breakfast or snack?!

I’ve loved having this with my morning coffee lately, it’s the ultimate cozy situation and a total adult move.

This carrot cake bread mimics all the same flavors of a layered carrot cake but in an easier, fuss-free quick bread form.

carrot cake bread on a white plate

It’s loaded with hearty carrots, prunes (dried plums), warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and it’s all topped off with a not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting.

What makes this bread unique from the rest is that the cream cheese is not only part of the frosting, but cream cheese gets baked into the carrot cake bread as well.

Before you get skeptical hang with me.

Cream cheese helps to make the carrot cake bread soft, moist, tender and overall a magical experience.

Carrot Cake Bread Ingredients

carrot cake bread ingredients in glass bowls
  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Kosher Salt
  • Carrots, finely grated
  • Cream cheese, softened (2, 8 oz. packages)
  • Prunes, diced
carrot cake bread ingredients in glass bowls

How to make this carrot cake loaf

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.
  3. Fold in the grated carrots and set aside.
  4. In another bowl press the softened cream cheese into the bowl to smooth it out. Then pour in the sugar and incorporate the two ingredients together until smooth.
  5. Whisk in the eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.
  6. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and fold in the prunes.
  7. Pour into a prepared 9×5 loaf pan and bake.
  8. Let cool completely and then make the frosting.
carrot cake loaf step by step instructional photos
carrot cake bread with cream cheese frosting on top

Tips to make the best carrot bread

  • Fresh grate the carrots using a box grater/cheese grater. This ensures maximizes moisture in the carrot cake bread.
  • Spicing up the carrot cake bread with different spices is key. I like to use both cinnamon and nutmeg but you can also add in ground ginger too.
  • Making it perfectly spiced is the goal. But, more isn’t always merrier! Try not to add in more spice than called for because you don’t want to steal the show from the natural sweet flavor of the carrots.
  • Add the cream cheese INTO the batter. Yep! Secret to add an extra moist-factor.
  • Have fun with the add ins! But be careful, don’t add TOO many.
  • Choose between prunes, raisins or walnuts! Add in raisins (soak them in rum for ultra wow factor) or if you don’t live with anyone with allergies – add nuts!
  • Toast up walnuts or pecans on the stove in a small skillet and add them into the batter or sprinkle on top of the cream cheese frosting.
  • Don’t spread the cream cheese frosting on until the carrot cake bread is 100% cooled! (Typically takes ~1 hour for it to cool completely).
  • The cream cheese frosting is sweet, tangy and oh-so perfect so the last thing you want it to do is turn into a frosting disaster on your kitchen counter and not on your carrot cake bread!
  • Spray your loaf pan with Bak-Klene. It’s the best for baking! Highly recommend. Or, coat loaf pan with butter and a light dusting of flour.
carrot cake bread with cream cheese frosting on top

FAQ

Why prunes? Are prunes healthy?

Because prunes are actually amazing gems that are so underrated. Yes, prunes are healthy! They are loaded with fiber, potassium, Vitamin K and add natural sweetness to this carrot cake bread. If you just can’t get behind prunes, use raisins, or leave dried fruit out completely.

Can you freeze carrot bread?

Yes you can. I recommend freezing it without the frosting. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe bag.

Can this bread be made gluten free?

I have not personally tested this with a gluten free flour but I recommend using Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten free baking flour.

HUNGRY FOR MORE? If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow me on Pinterest or Instagram. Sign up for my email list, too!

A piece of carrot cake sitting on top of a wood cutting board
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Carrot Cake Bread

Carrot Cake Bread is a delicious quick bread, easier to make compared to a layered carrot cake, it's moist and filled with carrot cake flavor. It's finished off with a to-die-for cream cheese frosting and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
4.7 from 10 reviews
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooling time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8 hearty slices
Calories: 542kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt*
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, grated (~3 large carrots)
  • 1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup diced prunes (about 8 oz.) or raisins

Frosting

  • 8 oz. package softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F
  • In a medium sized bowl, mix the dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  • Fold in the grated carrots and set aside.
  • In another bowl, using a rubber spatula, press the 8 oz. (1 package) softened cream cheese into the bowl to smooth it out. Then pour in the sugar and incorporate the two ingredients together until smooth.
  • Then whisk in the eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.
  • Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until no more floury pockets remain. Lastly, fold in the diced prunes.
  • Pour into a prepared a light colored aluminum steel 9"-x-5" loaf pan (spray with non stick spray) and bake for ~55-60 minutes* or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely and then make the frosting.

For the frosting

  • Using a hand mixer or whisk, mix together softened cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt until smooth. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled carrot cake and dust with cinnamon if desired. Slice and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Add in 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts if desired. 
  • Some ovens may take longer to bake, some may take a shorter amount of time. Anywhere from 55-65 minutes should be plenty of time. If baking in a glass pan, the bread will take longer to bake.
  • To ensure your carrot cake stays moist, do not over bake the carrot cake.  
  • Store carrot cake in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • If sensitive to salt, reduce to 1/2 tsp. 
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Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 542kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Potassium: 379mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 4262IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 222mg | Iron: 2mg

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14 Comments
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Jackie
7 days ago

These were great ! Moist perfect texture!!!! Just one thing is that the right amount of salt they were salty🤷‍♂️

Geney
1 year ago

HI! I am planning on making this for Easter but am wondering if I can add crushed pineapples?

Caroline
2 years ago

This looks and sounds delicious – I can definitely get behind the prunes, so this sounds a great addition.

Helen @ family-friends-food.com
2 years ago

This sounds so delicious. I love loaf cakes so bookmarking this one!

veenaazmanov
2 years ago

Full of flavor and delicious. Amazing ingredients to making this amazing Carrot Cake Bread with cream cheese.

Dannii
2 years ago

We love carrot cake bread. It makes such a nice change from banana bread.

Emmeline
2 years ago

Mm I would love having this for breakfast as well!! Or dessert or anytime really. Seems like a great recipe – will save to try this weekend!

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