Basic Carrot Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

I’d never had carrot cake until a few years ago. I think as a child there’s something quite off-putting about carrots in cake, even though I loved carrots. Cheesecake too I always found to be an odd concept. However, since braving my first carrot cake in my 20’s, I have loved them. Especially when they are covered in yummy cream cheese icing (which I suspect would also have put me off as a child!).

I’d considered making one in the past. But, I’m not very good at cakes, and they always look a little complicated. I’ve recently discovered, however, that all cakes are easy if you stick them in a loaf tin and just put what would usually be a filling on the top! And so, Basic Carrot Loaf Cake was born.

Close up of sliced Basic Carrot Loaf Cake

The first time I made it, I burned the outside slightly, the inside was a little too dry, and the spices weren’t strong enough. It was dry and bland basically. But, I was reluctant to change things too much, as I like to try to keep the recipes I share as simple as I can.

Which means we had to eat a lot of carrot cake while I practiced so that I could get it just right. Honestly, the things I put my poor family through for the love of my blog! This post contains affiliate links.

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 300g Plain flour
  • 1tsp Baking powder
  • 1tsp Cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch salt
  • 200g Peeled carrots
  • 150g Caster sugar
  • 50g Dark brown sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 175g Butter, Melted

For the Icing

  • 150g Cream Cheese
  • 1tbsp Butter
  • 300g Icing sugar
  • 5tsp Vanilla extract
  • Carrot decorations

Basic Carrot Loaf Cake Ingredients

Notes

You can buy ready grated carrots, which would be easier, but I’d image they’d be too thick, and your cake would be quite lumpy. Grating yourself with the tiny holes on a grater will create a much smoother cake.

You could ice little carrots on top yourself, but I’m completely and utterly not capable of such neatness. So, I bought some super cute little carrots to stick on.

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, lightly grease a loaf tin and grate the carrots. I must say I found carrot grating incredibly annoying. It’s the first time I’ve ever really wanted a food processor.

grating carrot

Mix the sugars and egg. I used my stick blenders whisk attachment for this. I normally whisk by hand, but I find brown sugar to be quite lumpy, so this ensured an even mixture.

Next, add the melted butter and continue to whisk until smooth.

Weigh the flour into a bowl with the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Sift these into the egg mixture and fold in well.

Tip in the grated carrots, which are oddly wet, and mix. This is quite a tough mixture, so you need to dig down to make sure the carrots are spread evenly.

carrot cake mix in bowl

Empty the Basic Carrot Loaf Cake mixture into the loaf tin, spread evenly and bake for 50 minutes.Basic Carrot Loaf Cake in tin

Once baked, remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack, until completely cooled.

For the flour, mix the butter, vanilla and cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Then add the icing sugar and stir. You have to beat this quite well to get it to a nice smooth consistency.

cream cheese and basic carrot loaf cake on board

Spread over the cake and let it run down the sides a little. Place the cream cheese covered Basic Carrot Loaf Cake in the fridge to set a little before decorating.

Slicing cake

This Basic Carrot Loaf Cake recipe is easy to follow, moist and sweet with the perfect combination of flavours. A proper autumn treat.

Basic Carrot Loaf Cake

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Basic Carrot Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 

This carrot cake is super simple with a gorgeous cream cheese top!

Course: Cake
Cuisine: British
Keyword: cake, Loaf Cake
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 300 kcal
Author: Donna
Ingredients
For the Cake
  • • 300g Plain flour
  • • 1tsp Baking powder
  • • 1tsp Cinnamon
  • • 1tsp ground nutmeg
  • • Pinch ground cloves
  • • Pinch salt
  • • 200g Peeled carrots
  • • 150g Caster sugar
  • • 50g Dark brown sugar
  • • 2 Large Eggs
  • • 175g Butter Melted
For the Icing
  • • 150g Cream Cheese
  • • 1tbsp Butter
  • • 300g Icing sugar
  • • 0.5tsp Vanilla extract
  • • Carrot decorations
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, grease a loaf tin and finely grate the carrots
  2. Whisk the sugars and eggs in a mixing bowl
  3. Add the melted butter and continue to whisk until smooth
  4. Sift in the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and salt
  5. Fold in well
  6. Add the carrots and mix until evenly distributed
  7. Pour into loaf tin and spread evenly
  8. Bake in the oven for 50minutes
  9. Remove from the tin and leave on a wire rack until cooled
  10. When ready, mix together butter, vanilla and cream cheese until fluffy
  11. Add icing sugar and mix until smooth
  12. Spread on to cake
  13. Cool in the fridge for 1 hour before adding decorations
Recipe Notes

Time just for cake, doesn't include cooling times as these will vary.

I bake my loaf cakes in a tin that's 10" by 5" and 2" deep.

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