The BEST Carrot Cake Loaf Cake

5 from 12 votes

This is the BEST Carrot Cake Loaf Cake you’ll ever make. It’s soft and FULL of carrot cake flavor with a delicious cream cheese frosting!

I know Carrot Cake is normally deemed dessert but since it’s in loaf form, I also call this a breakfast recipe. Yes?


slices of carrot cake loaf

I’m so exhausted you guys. This week I’m at the Mediavine Publishers Conference and it’s been 3 days of nonstop networking and learning. It’s been amazing, just tiring. The conference is being hosted at one of the Google complexes in Silicon Valley, so we leave the hotel on buses at 8am and then learn all day and go for dinner and go to bed too late.

Except today I just couldn’t keep going, so I left after lunch and am sitting in a quiet hotel room trying to stay awake and write this post. My brain is a little fried, so…that’s all for the chit chat.

It’s MARCH already (um, what?) which means that Easter is just around the corner. What’s something everyone makes at Easter? Carrot Cake!

(Why is carrot cake only a spring thing? I love it all year. In fact, it’s Mel’s favorite dessert, ensuring that every carrot cake I make goes on the Mel Ate It list.)

Carrot cake is one of those things I love in all forms: cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, pie, coffee cake…you name it, I love it.

For this easy carrot cake loaf recipe, I turned my favorite carrot cake recipe into two loaves. Sometimes loaf cakes are just better, you know? They’re easier to frost, slice, eat, and store…plus this recipe makes two so there’s one for me and one for you.

slices of carrot cake loaf

And also, let’s  not forget the frosting. Usually any cake I eat is a vehicle for frosting, but especially when it’s CREAM CHEESE frosting. Cream cheese frosting is the best frosting, especially when paired with the cake full of spices like ginger and cinnamon and carrots. It’s a bit spicy and a bit sweet and all delicious.

Move over Easter, I’m making carrot cake a year round thing. Plus, loaf cake is like quick bread and quick bread is for breakfast so now you can eat carrot cake for breakfast.

This moist Carrot Cake Loaf is a smaller version of my favorite carrot cake recipe topped with the most delicious cream cheese frosting!

Carrot Cake Loaf Cake

How to make a carrot cake loaf with cream cheese frosting:

  1. This recipe makes TWO loaves. You could easily cut the recipe in half if you only want one, but I love making two. One to eat, one to gift.
  2. Be sure to shred your own carrots. The pre-shredded ones are too thick for cake.
  3. I love adding applesauce for two reasons: one, it cuts down on the amount of oil you need, and two, it gives a nice moist flavor to the cake.
  4. You can add nuts or raisins if you want. I love walnuts in carrot cake!
  5. Loaf cakes freeze really easily, frosted or unfrosted. That makes this the perfect cake to make ahead of time.

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The BEST Carrot Cake Loaf

This is the BEST Carrot Cake Loaf Cake you'll ever make. It's soft and FULL of carrot cake flavor with a delicious cream cheese frosting!
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Yield 12 servings
Serving Size 1 slice


For the Cake:

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups 248g all purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups 312g packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup 99g granulated sugar
  • 2 cups shredded carrots from about 4-6 carrots

For the Frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup 113g unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups 340g powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8x4-inch loaf pans.
  • Whisk salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and flour in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Whisk eggs until beaten, then whisk in oil, vanilla, applesauce and both sugars. Whisk until combined, then add dry ingredients and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until just combined. Stir in carrots.
  • Pour batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake for 40-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean in the center.
  • Let the cake completely cool before removing from the pan and frosting.
  • To make the frosting: beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the mixture comes together, then add vanilla and salt. Beat until smooth
  • Remove cakes from pans and frost the top, then slice and serve.
  • Store loosely covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 1823mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake

Be sure to check out all my carrot cake recipes as well as other Easter recipes, Aimee’s Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake, these Carrot Cake Scones, or Jocelyn’s Carrot Cake Pound Cake!

Carrot Cake Roll

carrot cake roll on a white platter with writing

Naked Carrot Cake

Naked Carrot Cake on a white cake stand

Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cupcakes

Carrot cake cheesecake cupcake on a cupcake paper
**Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!**

Last Updated on November 8, 2020

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Recipe Rating

23 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. Delicious and moist carrot cake loaf. I do have a question. Why does my loaf sink in once it’s baked? Am I doing something wrong?

    1. It can sink if it’s not baked completely – then it’ll fall along the center usually. Otherwise, cakes collapse if they are mixed too much, allowing too much air into the batter.

  2. HI Dorothy! I am finally getting around to making your beautiful recipe after a few years drooling over it. Is it my imagination, or have you reduced the amount of oil from when you first posted?

  3. Hi! This looks like a winner. Is the frosting too sticky to package? I plan to make this into mini loaves and give them out as gifts but was wondering if the frosting will stick to the bag?

  4. ready to try your recipe. can I use 9 x 9 x 2 square pan and can I use 2 cup of applesauce instead of oil. Looks delicious! Thanks.

  5. I have tried the recipe to gift a friend, I must say it came out perfect! My friend couldn’t hold herself, she finished the loaf all by herself the same day because it tasted like heaven.. it’s so moist and flavourful.

    Thank you for the great recipe.

  6. Great recipe! I made a few adjustments, I added 3/4 cup of unsweetened shedded coconut, 1/2 cup walnuts and 1/4 golden raisins. I revived many compliments.

  7. OMG!!!! I don’t know why anyone would leave a bad review about this recipe. It’s super moist and the spice is amazing!!!! Definitely gonna make again! Turned out perfectly!!!