I am convinced that carrot cake should be a staple all year long, especially this carrot cake loaf! This loaf is not only easy to make, it is moist and has all the best flavors. Plus it is topped with a dreamy brown butter cream cheese frosting!
Carrot cake is seriously one of my favorite desserts in the world. Any good carrot cake is soft and flavorful, and just hits different. I am also in the opinion that less is more when it comes to carrot cake. Some recipes add loads of spices to carrot cake, but I like to keep it simple with cinnamon! I think it adds plenty of flavor without over complicating the taste. Plus, carrot cake is loaded with shredded carrots, which pretty much makes it healthy, right?
what ingredients do i need?
- olive oil
- brown sugar
- plain greek yogurt
- baking soda
- baking powder
- cream cheese
- powdered sugar
These are all pretty typical ingredients, you probably have most of them at home right now! As for the carrots, I find that it is easiest to use large carrots instead of baby carrots. Baby carrots are just too small, especially if you are grating them by hand! Also, if you are using a box grater, I would recommend using one of the smaller sizes. I think the loaf bakes more evenly when the carrots are more finely shredded!
what is brown butter and how do i make it?
Brown butter is MAGICAL. That’s basically all you need to know! I started baking and cooking with brown butter a few years ago and I am obsessed. Brown butter is butter that has been cooked over a moderate heat until the milk solids begin to toast. When they toast, the butter turns a light brown color and smells nutty and delicious. The small step of browning your butter really transforms any recipe, this frosting included!
Luckily, making brown butter is really easy. Start by adding the butter to a pan over medium heat. Stir it while it melts and begins to bubble. After a couple minutes of bubbling up, it will start to foam — keep stirring. When the foam subsides, you’ll be left with brown butter and begin to smell its amazing, nutty smell. That’s it! You’ve got brown butter! For this recipe, we then transfer the brown butter to another container then to the fridge to set up slightly before adding to our frosting.
other carrot cake recipes you’ll love
carrot cake loaf with brown butter cream cheese frosting
carrot cake loaf
- 1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups carrots finely shredded
brown butter cream cheese frosting
- 1/4 cup butter
- 4 oz cream cheese at room temp
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- splash of milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, add the olive oil, brown sugar, eggs, greek yogurt, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until well combined.
- Grate the carrots onto a paper towel and squeeze some of the juice out.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients bowl. Gently stir the dry ingredients in until they are almost combined. Add the shredded carrots and gently fold in until no large streaks of dry ingredients remain and carrots are well distributed.
- Grease an 8"x4" loaf pan (If you only have a larger loaf pan, this should work, just decrease the cook time a bit). Line the loaf pan with parchment paper (this step is optional, but makes it even easier to remove the loaf after cooking).
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Transfer to the oven and cook for a total of 45-50 minutes. Check the loaf around 35 minutes. If it is starting to brown really quickly on top, add a loose layer of tin foil over the loaf for the remaining cook time. Cook until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack after 10 minutes.
- While the loaf cools, make the frosting. Add the butter to a pan over medium heat. Stir while the butter starts to melt. The butter will start to bubble, then after a couple minutes it will start to foam up — keep stirring. After the foam subsides, you'll have brown, nutty smelling butter! Take the pan off the heat and pour the butter into a bowl or cup. Transfer the butter to the freezer for 10 minutes to set up.
- Transfer the cooled butter to a bowl or stand mixer. Add cream cheese and mix for 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix another two minutes. Add a splash of milk and mix until smooth.
- When loaf is completely cooled, spread the frosting on top. If you'd like, top with a few crushed pecans. Enjoy!
- Keep any leftover loaf in a sealed container in the fridge. The loaf will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.
I’d live to make the carrot cake loaf with a flour alternative to wheat. Do you have any suggestions?
i would use a 1:1 gluten free flour! i like king arthur’s.
I have made this recipe gluten free multiple times! I use 1.5 cups of cup4cup blend gluten free flour and 0.25 cups almond flour. It’s been perfect every time
yay! thank you for sharing what worked for you. so glad you’ve enjoyed!
i cooked yesterday! Sooo good! It was the first time I baked something sweet. And, to be honest, I felt proud enough to keep doing it! 😀
The only thing was the time it spent in the oven… It’s too long, so it ended up a bit dry . Delicious though! Next time will be better!
Thanks for the recipies!
yay i’m so glad you enjoyed! i’m sorry it was a bit dry — every oven is slightly different so i hope next time is better!
I made this it was so good thank you so much for these recipes ????
yay i’m so glad you enjoyed!
Ju Anntionette loh says
I discovered this recipe through TikTok and had to give it a try. I can’t believe how incredible this carrot cake tastes! If you want to impress your friends, family, or coworkers- this recipe will do it! I baked it in my cast iron dutch oven with the lid off for 45 minutes and it turned out perfectly. 10/10 give it a shot- you won’t be disappointed!
YAY so glad you loved this carrot cake loaf!!
Diane Hodge says
Thanks for the carrot cake recipe
I look forward to trying it.
yay! so excited for you to try this!
I made this recipe a couple days ago and I couldn’t get myself to have any self control!!! The brown butter frosting is literally everything and more! I definitely recommend trying out this recipe, especially with Easter on it’s way! 🙂 But a quick question, how would I go about baking this cake is a regular 10″ round cake pan? Thanks!
yay! so glad you loved this recipe!! the frosting is definitely addicting! if you were to bake this in a cake pan, you would need to adjust the cook time. i haven’t tested it in a cake pan so i’m not sure how much you would need to adjust it. i would just check it occasionally until a toothpick comes out clean!
Do you drain or squeeze out the water from the grated carrots?
for this recipe i did not drain the water. if your carrots seem overly wet you can squeeze out some water, otherwise just add them right in!
Can I use milk or sour cream as an alternative to Greek yogurt, and if so how much would I put of either one? This recipe looks so good
you can use sour cream! just use the same amount.
What else can we substitute instead of yogurt or sour cream? Both are not a palatable flavor for me and lactose ? thanks
you can use a dairy free yogurt!
I messed it up????? I mean, I held it 50min and it already started to get very dark on the edges, also the toothpick was dry, but me, the idiot, somehow forget (HOW DO YOU EVEN FORGET THAT) to put it in the middle ? It turned out very raw in the middle but it tastes so bloody good ?. Maybe the issue was I baked it up/down, did you bake it with a fan or with conventional heating? Definitely gotta try this one again ?
hi! i’m sorry it didn’t turn out quite how you wanted. some ovens get hotter than others! next time, if it is starting to brown on the edges but it isn’t done in the center, cover it with tin foil! this way the middle will continue to cook without the edges burning.
I looove carrot cake and this one looks sooo yummy.. my question is what can i replace the butter with in the frosting?
hi! if you don’t want to add the butter, use 8oz of cream cheese instead.
I made this last night. First time using one of your recipes and first time making a carrot cake. I can’t even tell you how much we all enjoyed this cake. I love to bake so for my husband to say this is the best cake I’ve made is high praise. Thanks for a fantastic recipe! Also, that frosting?! It was so hard to restrain myself from eating it on its own!
YAY this makes me so happy!! i’m so glad you loved this recipe, and grateful for the high praise from your husband! and yes so glad you are addicted to the frosting just like i am haha
I was looking in the comments to see if anyone made this as a cake and I saw this comment. Went “woah, we have the same name!” and then I realized it was my own comment ???? So it’s still going to be great, 4 months later!
hahah what a realization! excited for you to have it again!
Great recipe! Thank you ? can I add almonds and if yes how many?
hi! yes, if you would like to add nuts, add 1 cup of chopped nut! i think adding pecans would be delicious!
Siew Hoong says
Thanks for the recipe. I just baked it yesterday, taste so good. Family loves it.
yay! so glad it was enjoyed!
This was SO good!! The cake was so moist and the frosting…oh man, the frosting…when I say that it’s the best cream cheese frosting I’ve ever tasted, I mean it from the bottom of my heart. I will definitely be making this again every week for the rest of my life.
Oh, this was so good. Loved the texture. Didn’t change anything with the recipe except added some chopped pecans. We shared with a friend and they loved it as well. That frosting is perfect. Making it again a party next week.?
yay i’m so glad you enjoyed! and great idea adding chopped pecans!
Can I use self raising flour or plain flour in the recipe. It doesn’t state what flour – im assuming all purpose..I’m uk based.
I just made this and it turned out so perfect!! My boyfriend doesn’t even like carrot cake and he tried this and said it was so good! Everyone needs to make this !!
yay i’m so glad you enjoyed! and glad your boyfriend improved as well haha
I have made this loaf 3 times in the last few weeks already and I can’t get enough of it! The recipe is full proof tastes superb each times I’ve made it! Thank you for this top notch recipe! Can’t wait to make it the 4th time haha
yay!! this makes me so happy! haha i can’t wait for you to make it a 4th time! 🙂
What substitutes could I use for plain Greek yogurt?
anything else ??? milk ?
creme fraiche, buttermilk, and ricotta are other good substitutes! or just normal plain yogurt. if you don’t have any of those, you can use milk.
trying this recipe for a birthday party! for cupcakes what would the temp and time be for baking?
yay that will be so fun! cook at the same temp, but decrease the bake time. it will be closer to 15-20 minutes! just check it with a toothpick and bake until the toothpick comes out clean.
Can I bake these in muffin tins?
yes, that should work! just decrease the bake time!
I made this recipe to show my new boyfriend and his friends my skills; and they LOVED IT!!!!! Whole cake gone in one sitting. Now they make me bake it every 2 weeks 😀
It’s amazingly delicious!
yay!! this makes me so happy!! and i’m so glad it is now on a bi-weekly schedule haha.
I LOVE Carrot Cake and this is the first one I’ve ever made, I honestly can’t believe how easy it was! Most importantly it was THE BEST Carrot Cake I’ve ever had!! The frosting is positively addicting. This is a WINNER!! Thank you so much!!
YAY i’m so glad you loved it!!! i’m with you on the frosting — it is addicting!! so glad it wins best carrot cake!
Found your recipe on tik tok! I’m excited to try it! Do you think I should alter the cooking instructions any if I was to make them into cupcakes instead of a loaf? Also adding the cream cheese frosting to cook in as a filling. I want to make them so that I can freeze some of them for meal prepping before my baby comes in a few weeks.
hi! i’m so glad you found me on tiktok! yes, you can definitely make these into cupcakes. you’ll just need to decrease the bake time! i don’t know the exact timing because i haven’t tried it with this specific recipe, but i would start checking them at 15 minutes, then take them out when they bounce back when you gently touch the top. you can definitely add the cream cheese in the middle! if you want it to bake in, you’ll need to freeze small balls of the frosting so you can insert the frosting into the dough. otherwise, you could bake them first then pipe the frosting into the center. it should freeze well either way. also congrats on the new baby coming soon!!
Can this recipe be frozen with frosting?
yes, for sure! the loaf itself is very moist and will still taste greta without frosting!
Thank you for sharing this recipe. I just made it and it’s so yummy! The only thing I did differently was to cut the amount of sugar by 1/4 of a cup and it still was very good.
yay!! so glad you enjoyed!!
Tristy Novalia says
hola, greetings from Jakarta, Indonesia. I’ve been made this recipe few times and it was really great, coz ur recipe turns out not very sweet, and i love them. Btw, i need more advice for making the toppings, coz i’ve never made mine fluffy as urs, my cream is always runny, idk what’s wrong?
hi! i’m so glad you love this recipe! maybe the cream cheese is slightly different in your country? also, if the frosting is runny, adding more powdered sugar will help!
Haylee Saldana says
Hello!! I was thinking of trying your recipe for Easter this weekend and I was wondering what kind of butter you used for the frosting.
hi! so excited for you to try this! you can use salted or unsalted. i usually use salted. i don’t usually specify because i don’t think it makes and huge difference and don’t want people to stress if they only have one kind!
Butter for frosting, salted or unsalted?
either works fine! i usually use salted. i don’t usually specify because i don’t think it makes and huge difference and don’t want people to stress if they only have one kind!
Thank you! Making cupcakes for tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe.
Would Coconut Yogurt work for this recipe instead of Greek yogurt and dairy free cream cheese and butter substitutes?
yes! those subs should all do just fine!
If you don’t like carrot cake, this will recipe will change your mind! Made this for Easter, and so glad I did!!! The loaf is simple and delicious, but the winner is the brown butter cream cheese frosting. Could have eaten just that with a spoon. I will be making this year year round!
yay i’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe!! and yes i agree that the frosting can be eaten with a spoon hahah.
Transferring the butter from the stove top to the glass caused the glass to break 🙁
oh no! i’m so sorry!!! that has never happened to me so i’m so sorry it happened to you. i hope the broken glass didn’t hurt anyone…
Very delicious! Just know your oven well as with any recipe. Mine was ready in 35 minutes. I can’t wait to make this again to share with family and friends. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe with the internet!
yay i’m so glad you enjoyed!! yes always good to trust your instincts when it comes to your oven!
Catherine C says
I was wondering if i can use the frosting for cupcakes. I’d like to pipe it would this work for that? If so would the recipe cover 12 regular sized cupcakes?
yes you can absolutely use it for cupcakes! it should be plenty for 12 cupcakes.
THIS WAS SO DAMN GOOD. Came here from TikTok and made this at 6am ?. I added 1/8 tsp each of allspice, ground clove, and nutmeg and a small handful of crushed walnut into the mix. At first, I didn’t have the patience for the brown butter but I did it anyways and I was so happy I did lmao! Love love love this recipe, thanks girly! ??
YAY so glad you you enjoyed!!!! and what a great time of day to bake this hahah
Alison De La Luz says
hi! absolutely loved this as a loaf cake. How can i turn this into a 8” cake??
hi! it should work totally fine to use an 8″ pan! you’ll need to decrease the baking time since it will be more spread out. it also might make a pretty thin cake. refer to this for more sizing info! https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/cake-pan-sizes/
Could you please list the quantities of the ingredients in grams instead of cups? Thank you in advance ???
I’m gonna make this tomorrow. Can I substitute flour with the same measurements of oat flour?
hi! i haven’t tested this recipe with oat flour so i can’t guarantee how it will turn out. it should work out ok, though the texture will be very different.