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.
- 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 glass 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.