“Joannie, can I please have this recipe,” I asked my dear high school friend after tasting her carrot cake for the first time. “It’s my mom’s recipe! Shared by none,” she said. Hum! “I need to change that,” I thought.
Since that moment, I have always been drawn to carrot cake. I’ve tasted and baked many versions and loved them all. This is my twist on the memorable slice of cake, shared long ago, only baked up quickly in a loaf pan.
This moist, tender loaf is hinted with chocolate, highlighted with plump raisins, stuffed with earthy sweet carrots, and a whisper of soft flakes of coconut. Baked in with a spice blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and topped with a not-so-sweet, soft, creamy cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
Meet ya in the kitchen!
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sweetened coconut
2 cups grated carrots (about 2-3 carrots. I grated them in a food processor fitted with a shredding blade)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar + 2 tablespoons
3/4 cup canola or safflower oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
For the Frosting:
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
4-ounces cream cheese softened
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 to 2 tablespoons milk, enough to make a spreadable frosting
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter or grease a 9×10 loaf pan, and set aside.
For the Loaf:
In a microwave-safe bowl, add the raisins and enough water to cover. Microwave for 1 minute, drain and set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cocoa, and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, coconut, and the raisins.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the 1/2 cup each of brown and granulated sugars and oil together on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Add the vanilla extract. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix in the carrot mixture. Pour into loaf pan and sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a thin knife or a toothpick inserted into the center, comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack while you make the frosting.
To Make the Frosting:
Working with the stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and cinnamon and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Add the milk a little at a time, until the frosting is spreadable.
If you’d like coconut in the frosting, add 1/4 cup of sweetened coconut, and mix until smooth.
Bake some love!
Thanks for stopping by.