Healthier Carrot Cake Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting
on Feb 15, 2023, Updated May 23, 2023
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Swap the box mix for a healthier carrot cake loaf with cream cheese frosting when you are craving a delicious carrot cake. Perfect as a springtime snack, for Easter or a baby shower.
Carrot cake bread is a quickbread made with grated carrots and spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. It’s a variation of traditional carrot cake, but in a bread form and baked in a loaf pan.
Serve this moist cake alone or pair with cream cheese frosting for a healthier alternative to traditional carrot cake.
What to Love About this Carrot Bread
- Delicious taste: Carrot bread has a moist and dense texture and is full of warm, cozy flavors. The combination of grated carrots and spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg creates a unique and delicious taste that many people enjoy.
- Nutritious: Carrots are packed with nutrients, such as beta-carotene and fiber. Additionally, carrot bread may contain less sugar and oil compared to traditional desserts, making it a healthier option.
- Cream cheese frosting: This carrot cake loaf is topped with a cream cheese frosting sweetened with pure maple syrup. The sweet and tangy frosting complements the warm flavors of the bread, creating a perfect balance of flavors.
To make this recipe a little healthier than cake, we are using coconut flour and sugar along with yogurt among the main ingredients.
Here’s what you need:
- Coconut Flour – This is a healthier flour that you can use to make this easy carrot cake loaf recipe. It cuts out some carbs.
- Baking Soda – A must have ingredient for when you go to bake your carrot loaf.
- Cinnamon – The cinnamon adds a nice depth of flavor to the easy recipe. Warm spices in each bite.
- Coconut Sugar – Instead of granulated sugar I reached for coconut sugar for a healthier sugar option.
- Butter – I recommend using unsalted butter, or it will make your dessert bread a bit to salty.
- Eggs – Room temperature eggs are key, as it is the binder in the bread.
- Vanilla – The vanilla enhances the flavor of the bread quite a bit.
- Yogurt – Reach for Greek yogurt for added protein to the bread. Now if you don’t want to use Greek you can use a plain yogurt if you want.
- Carrots – Shredded carrots are a must for you, just use a hand or electric grater to shave your carrots.
- Pineapple – Crushed pineapple from the can works great. Just ensure you drain all the juice off.
- Pecans – A nice crunch to the bread that will leave you wanting one more bite of this nut-filled bread.
- Cream Cheese – Reach for room temperature cream cheese. You are going to get a creamy texture that way for the frosting.
- Maple Syrup – For the frosting I used maple syrup and it was a great way to add sweetness to the cream cheese frosting that you spread on the top.
How to Make It
Full directions on how to make this delicious carrot cake loaf with and cream cheese frosting is in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post. Below is a quick walk through.
Preheat the oven and prep the baking loaf pan by spraying it with coconut oil or your favorite non-stick spray. Then set it aside.
Next in a small bowl add your dry ingredients and set aside.
In a large bowl you will cream your butter and sugar. Once well mixed you will add an egg at a time, followed by Greek yogurt and vanilla.
Add in the dry ingredients mixing to fully combined.
Fold in the pineapple and carrot mixing to combine. Make sure to not overmix the dough.
Pour your carrot bread dough in the loaf pan, and top with pecans. Then bake in the oven as directed.
Once the cake is done allow it to fully cool. Then mix up the cream cheese frosting.
Spread the frosting on top of the cooled carrot pineapple cake. Then top with cinnamon and more chopped nuts.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
Here are a few ways to change up this carrot loaf cake recipe.
- Grate the carrots finely: Grating the carrots finely will ensure they are well incorporated into the batter, and they will cook evenly.
- Drain the pineapple: If you are using canned pineapple, make sure to drain it well before adding it to the batter. Excess moisture can make the bread too wet and affect the texture.
- Don’t over-mix the batter: Over mixing the batter can lead to a tough and dense bread. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
- Use room temperature ingredients: Room temperature ingredients, such as eggs and butter, will incorporate better into the batter, creating a smoother and more even texture.
- Test for doneness: To test if the bread is done, insert a toothpick or cake tester into the center of the bread. If it comes out clean, the bread is done.
- Let the bread cool: Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it and placing it on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Aluminum foil: Tent your loaf with a tent of aluminum foil if you find the top of the bread is browning too fast but the center of the loaf is still raw. This prevents the bread from over-browning when it bakes.
Variations To Recipe
- Add raisins: Soak some raisins in hot water until plump, then fold them into the batter before baking. This will add a chewy and sweet texture to the bread.
- Add nuts: Add chopped nuts, such as pecans, walnuts, or almonds, to the batter. They will add a nice crunch and flavor to the bread.
- Add spices: Experiment with adding different spices to the batter, such as cardamom, cloves, or allspice. This will add a unique and delicious flavor to the bread.
- Add a glaze: Instead of cream cheese icing, you can drizzle a glaze over the bread, such as a vanilla glaze or a maple glaze. Wait for the cooled loaf to reach room temperature before frosting.
- Add fruits: Instead of pineapple, you can use other fruits, such as apples, bananas, or berries. This will add a fruity flavor to the bread.
Store your cooled cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The fruit in the recipe along with the cream cheese frosting will perish if left out.
Place the bread in the fridge for up to 5 days. The whole family will love snacking on it.
You can also freeze this moist carrot cake loaf! Just let the quick bread cool completely and then store in a freezer friendly container for 3-4 months.
Thaw in the fridge overnight to allow for a slow thaw of the bread and enjoy.
Print the Recipe Card
Print or save this recipe for later. I hope you love it!
Frosted Carrot Cake Loaf
- ¾ cup coconut flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup softened unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- ½ cup drained crushed pineapple
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- 8 oz room temperature cream cheese
- ¼ cup greek yogurt
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray loaf pan with coconut oil.
- In a small bowl, combined flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add one egg at a time until well combined. Then add the Greek yogurt and vanilla.
- Fold in carrots and pineapple and mix well until incorporated.
- With a spoon or spatula, stir in dry ingredients but do not over mix.
- Pour bread mixture into loaf pan and top with pecans.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing and placing on cooling rack.
- While the bread is cooling, place frosting ingredients into a medium bowl and beat on high until light and fluffy. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.