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Carrots and crushed pineapple, cream cheese and nuts – these are the base ingredients for a wonderful, moist and simple Carrot Loaf Cake. We all love a good loaf cake and especially love how easy they are to bake. No need to worry about level layers and icing crumb-coats. It’s true, and widely known, that layer cakes are my nemesis leaving me to store-bought creations for my children’s birthdays and celebrations. However, over the years they have forgiven me this inqdequacy and settled for cupcakes and pies instead. Since cakes have never been my most successful recipes, this just proves that anybody can make this simple cake.
This is a worry-free, moist and full-flavored Carrot Loaf Cake made without any fuss at all.
Most important, use the freshest carrots you can find so they’re not dried out and flavorless. Baking is always better when you use fresh ingredients. I replace my baking powder and baking soda a few times a year, but especially before holiday baking. That may be a tad-bit wasteful, but so is making an entire recipe that flops because the baking powder lost it’s zip!
Carrot cake would not be the same without the classic smear of cream cheese icing and a few chopped pecans.
For this recipe I did not add raisins and nuts to the cake batter, but feel free – they’re a wonderful addition to carrot cake! We have new neighbors moving in and this will be the perfect “welcome to the neighborhood” treat. Without knowing if they have food allergies, I thought it best to leave out the tree nuts. This recipe makes two cakes so you can serve one now and freeze one for later. Make a small batch of icing when ready to serve the extra cake.
The crushed pineapple really works well combined with the carrots. The pineapple is just enough to lightly sweeten the batter without overpowering the flavor. Be sure to use crushed pineapple packed in 100% juice – not syrup. No sugar bombs here!
Easy, delicious Carrot Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Icing is loaded with cinnamon and other warm spices folded into a moist and tender cake.
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Carrot Loaf Cake
For the cake:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups shredded carrots (about 7-8 small to medium)
- 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice (do not drain)
For the frosting:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- dash of salt
- 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans for garnish (optional)
To prepare the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray (or grease) two small 8.5" x 4.5" loaf pans and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the brown sugar and granulated sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Break up any clumps of brown sugar and whisk until smooth.
- Add the crushed pineapple with juice, and the grated carrots. Blend together using a spatula.
- Add the flour mixture and fold together just until combined.
- Divide the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Check using a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake. Moist crumbs are okay but it should not come out wet.
- Cool for 30 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
To prepare the icing:
- To make the icing, combine the powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, vanilla bean paste, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat on low until the icing is smooth. Add 1 teaspoon of milk or 1/4 cup additional confections sugar if needed for desired consistency. Sprinkle with chopped, toasted pecans and serve.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
- Add 2/3 cups currants or raisins and 1/2 cup shopped nuts to the batter if desired.
- Makes 2 loaf cakes. Freeze before icing if desired.
- The icing recipe makes enough for both cakes. If freezing one cake, half the recipe or frost one entire cake (top and sides) then add chopped pecans to the sides.
Everybody needs a good quality loaf pan, or two and a good grater!
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Did you go outside in the middle of the night and watch the Perseid Meteor Shower this weekend? We spent a little time on our deck around 3:00 a.m. a few nights ago and saw a few quick, and fleeting, meteors. It’s difficult to see them with so much ambient light from the other houses and street lights. So we got a wild hair and drove to the Shenandoah Mountains last night at 10:00 p.m. It’s about 1 1/2 hours from our house to Skyline Drive where we parked the truck and set up cameras trying to capture the elusive show. We didn’t have much luck as most of the meteors were quick and not very bright so they didn’t show up in the time-lapse photos we took. We missed the peak from a few nights ago, but wanted to try anyway.
We were able to snag some star-studded night photos and a few of the setting moon. I’ll share a few (if any turned out) once we get them edited. My husband is a (very good) photographer so this was an exciting field trip for both of us. I’m much better at shooting nice little cookies, or dishes that sit still while I work to get the settings just right. Taking pictures of zippy meteors in the dead of night when you can hardly see your hand in front of your face brings a hole new set of challenges. I forgot to mention the sleep-deprevation that comes along with these obsessions! We arrived back home at 5:00 a.m. this morning. ZZZZZZ – I’m off to take a nap! Have a wonderful week and thanks so much for stopping by!