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Carrot bread iced with orange cream cheese frosing on a cutting board with three pieces sliced.

Carrot Cake Bread Recipe

Carrot Cake Bread is cake in carrot cake loaf form! It's just as easy to make as my moist Carrot Cake Recipe with Pineapple, but because carrot cake quick bread is made in a loaf pan, it's a bit more casual. Share with an orange spiked cream cheese frosting, or enjoy without. Either way, it's perfect for all your occasions and general snacking!
*Time above does not include two hours to cool the cake completely before icing. See blog post for more tips.
Course Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Carrot Cake Bread, Carrot Cake Loaf Recipe
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 10 Slices (1 loaf)
Calories 476kcal
Author Traci York | Vanilla And Bean


For the Cake/Bread

  • 3/4 cup (80 grams) Pecans or Walnuts
  • 1 1/4 cup (175 grams) Unbleached All Purpose Flour I use Bob's Red Mill
  • 1 tablespoon Corn Starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine Sea Salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/3 cup (70 grams) Dark Brown Sugar or light, packed
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) Cane Sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) Coconut Oil melted and warm to touch, or Canola Oil
  • 1 Large Orange zested and 2 tablespoons of orange juice
  • 2 Whole Eggs room temperature* see note
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) Unsweetened Whole Milk Yogurt or Greek Yogurt
  • 1 1/4 cups (160 grams) Finely Shredded Carrots packed, about 3 medium carrots

For the Icing

  • 5 tablespoons Unsalted Butter room temperature
  • 7 ounces (200 grams) Cream Cheese room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (40g) Powdered Sugar sifted** see note
  • 1 Large Orange zested
  • 1/2 Vanilla Bean scraped, or use 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Orange Juice fresh squeezed, a few teaspoons for loosening the icing if needed.


For the Cake/Bread

  • Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
    Place the nuts on a small sheet pan and put them in the oven while the oven is preheating. Toast the nuts for about 15 minutes, or until the nuts are fragrant and starting to turn slightly darker. Chop fine when cool. Set aside.
  • Grease a 9 inch by 5 inch (23 centimeters by 13 centimeters) loaf pan thoroughly on the all sides and bottom. Be sure to get the corners good! Line the pan with parchment paper, just one strip across the bottom and sides will act as a handle to remove the bread once baked. Clip the sides of the parchment to the pan if desired.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour, corn starch, ginger, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the brown sugar, cane sugar and oil until ingredients are combined, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs, orange zest and juice and vanilla. Whisk until the ingredients are emulsified, about 20 seconds.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the egg/sugar mixture. Using a silicone spatula, gently mix/fold until no flour streaks remain. If using coconut oil, the batter will start to stiffen at this point because the coconut oil is cooling (solidifying). Fold in the yogurt until no white streaks remain.
    Working quickly, fold in the shredded carrots and nuts. If using canola oil, the batter should be thick but loose and almost pourable (pictured in the photos). For coconut oil, the batter should be stiff and thick.
  • Transfer the cake batter to the loaf pan and using an offset spatula, smooth the batter into an even layer. If using coconut oil, spread the batter while pressing it into the pan. Tap the pan on the counter to disperse any air pockets. Remove the parchment clips if using.
  • Bake the cake for 60-70 minutes. The loaf is ready when it's golden, a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean, the cake slightly springs back under gentle pressure at center, and the edges of the loaf are just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.
    Allow cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes on a cooling rack. Lift cake out and transfer to a cooking rack. Cool completely at room temperature before icing or covering (about 2 hours).

For the Icing

  • Start with ingredients at room temperature. Place butter in mixer and beat on high with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Scrape down your bowl several times to make sure the butter is getting whipped. Add the cream cheese and beat another minute. Scrape down the bowl.
  • Sift in the powder sugar, add the vanilla, and orange zest then mix on low until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Taste for sweet adjustment and add another tablespoon of powered sugar if desired. To loosen the icing, you can add a few teaspoons of orange juice.
  • Store the icing in a lidded container, in the refrigerator, if not icing the bread after it cools. Bring to room temperature before slathering!

Ice the Bread/Cake

  • Because cream cheese needs to be refrigerated, consider how/when you'll share the cake before icing it. An iced cake needs to be consumed, refrigerated or frozen within three hours. An uniced cake can set covered at room temperature for up to three days.
    Ice the Cake: Once the loaf cake is cool and just before serving, spread the icing evenly over the top of the cake. Slice and share within three hours.
    Individual Pieces: Once the loaf is cool, slice the loaf and share with a dollop or slather of cream cheese icing.
    *Uniced carrot cake bread is lovely toasted or warmed, then slathered with cream cheese icing!

For Storing

  • Room Temperature: Store an iced loaf cake at room temperature (70F or less) for up to three hours. Afterwards, store the cake in the fridge, covered for up to three days. Before serving, pull the cake from the fridge and rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow the fats to soften. Food safety says cheese should set out for no more than three hours. An uniced loaf cake can be stored covered at room temperature for up to three days.
  • To Freeze: This cake freezes beautifully, iced or uniced. Simply allow the cake to cool completely, ice the cake or not, then freeze individual pieces on a sheet pan. Once frozen wrap snugly in plastic wrap or store in a lidded container. Store in freezer then thaw at room temperature for about two hours before enjoying. If iced, take the plastic wrap off before thawing so the icing doesn't stick. 
    I've only tested freezing the iced cake for up to two days. Uniced will freeze well for up to two weeks. Unwrap and thaw at room temperature, covered with a cake dome.


*Room Temperature Eggs: give em' a few hours on the counter or place them in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes. 
Recipe adapted from my Carrot Cake with Pineapple and Carrot Cake Cupcakes. 
Nutrition below includes icing. 


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 476kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 263mg | Potassium: 259mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 3226IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 1mg