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Spiced Carrot Loaf Cake with Citrus Glaze

Spiced Carrot Loaf Cake with Citrus Glaze

An elegant yet unpretentious springtime dessert, this rich and moist carrot cake is flecked with finely grated carrots and enveloped in a generous coating of tangy citrus glaze

An elegant yet unpretentious springtime dessert, this rich and moist carrot cake is flecked with finely grated carrots and enveloped in a generous coating of tangy citrus glaze. It’s equally at home as a casual weekend dessert or a festive holiday treat, but for the complete experience, make sure to serve it with a warm cup of tea or coffee.

Spiced Carrot Loaf Cake with Citrus Glaze

Yields | 1 (9-by-5-inch) loaf |

Spiced Carrot Loaf Cake

  • 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¹⁄₈ tsp ground ginger
  • pinch nutmeg
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup mild olive oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1½ cups finely grated carrots
  • ½ cup toasted and chopped walnuts or pecans, optional

Citrus Glaze

  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest (from about 1 lemon)
  • 1 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 3 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Preparation – Spiced Carrot Loaf Cake | Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking oil and line with strip of parchment paper, leaving an overhang of parchment on the ends. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat brown sugar and eggs until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add oil and applesauce; mix until combined, stopping to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl. Add flour mixture; mix on low, just until combined. Remove bowl from mixer; using a spatula, fold in grated carrots and nuts, if using.

Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan, smoothing the surface into an even layer. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Shortly before loaf is finished baking, prepare citrus glaze. Remove carrot cake loaf from oven and set on a wire rack. Pour glaze over top of cake, spreading so that it sinks in and creates an even coating. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan Allow carrot cake loaf to come to room temperature before serving, then cut into ¾-inch slices and enjoy.

Preparation – Citrus Glaze | In a bowl, whisk all ingredients together until smooth. If mixture is too thick, add 1 to 2 teaspoons more lemon juice to achieve a pourable glaze.

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Teresa Floyd is a Kansas City-based food writer, editor for the online food publication feedfeed and contributing monthly columnist for Feast Magazine’s Sugar Rush. Find her current creations on Now, Forager, a pastry blog featuring seasonal desserts.

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