carrot + apple loaf cake

September 26th, 2012

I am so ready for fall you guys. I’m ready for sweaters and scarves, leaves changing color along with a little nip in the air when you first walk outside in the morning. I’m ready for root vegetables, apples, pears, and squash galore. But most of all, I’m ready to turn the oven on.

Last weekend I found myself with an abundance of some of those fall goodies, carrots and apples, and I immediately thought of warm, spiced carrot cake. But I didn’t want just any carrot cake—it needed a twist, something to make it a little more fall. That’s when apples came to the rescue. Instead of pineapple, which many carrot cake recipe call for, I simply swapped in some apples, giving this loaf cake the perfect fall twist I was looking for. Oh, and the cinnamon cream cheese frosting didn’t hurt either.

The batter is pretty easy to whip up—there’s no weird waiting time or some secret step that that requires any crazy equipment. In fact I kind of enjoyed the rhythm of the recipe—shredding, chopping, mixing, stirring. The thoughts of fresh, warm cake so near in my future. One of the best parts of this recipe comes about 20 minutes after you’ve tucked it in the oven. All of a sudden you may perk up, find your nose in the air and your stomach begin to rumble because this cake smells like a little piece of heaven. In fact my husband came home while it was in the oven and simply stopped at the door and groaned “whooooaaa”. It’s kind of intoxicating.

The sweet scent of this cake does not mislead. After the cake has baked and cooled a bit, a layer of cinnamon cream cheese frosting is gently spread over the top of the loaf, some of which gently rolls down the sides of the cake. I mean, carrot cake is not carrot cake without cream cheese frosting—that would just be wrong.

A slice into the bread reveals a moist, carrot and apple dotted interior. One bite and I know I’ve achieved my quest for a fall-inspired treat. What’s even better is tastes just as good warm in the evening after dinner as it does room temperature the next morning for breakfast. That’s an acceptable breakfast, right?

carrot + apple loaf cake

adapted from a cozy kitchen

To make the cake:

3 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups demerera sugar, white will do too if that’s what you have
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups coarsely grated carrots, about 4 medium carrots
1 cup apple, cut into 1/4″-cubes, about 2 small apples
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (sweetened will work too, it’ll just be sweeter)
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.

1. In a mixer, beat your eggs. Add the oil, sugar and vanilla; continue beating the mixture until thick and slightly foamy.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. A third at a time, add the dry ingredients into wet and gently stir (by hand) after each addition. Gently fold in the carrots, apples, ginger, and shredded coconut.

3. Pour the batter into the parchment-lined loaf pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a wooden pick inserted in to the center comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool thoroughly.


To make the frosting

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1. While the cake is baking, make the frosting. In a medium bowl, add the butter, sugar, cream cheese, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Beat until smooth. Spoon the glaze over the cake and serve. Place in an airtight ziploc bag to keep moist for up to 3 days.



Comments: 12 Total

  1. Casey

    September 26, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Delicious recipe! I added a small cup of applesauce because the batter seemed too doughy and left it in for 1 hour and 15 mins. Came out perfect!

  2. Stacy

    September 26, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Yes, please! That looks delicious — I love most any dessert that tastes of autumn.

  3. m.

    September 26, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    looks fantastic! I have my own apple tree. So tomorrow I’ll try this recipe! Thank you :) ))

  4. Life's a Bowl

    September 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    This looks absolutely deliccc!!! I made a loaf of banana bread over the weekend but really want to make something with apple/ pumpkin for the fall :)

  5. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    September 26, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    This looks awesome! Great idea!

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    September 28, 2012 at 2:01 am
  7. Jenny (vintagesugarcube)

    September 28, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Just saw the link on Shutterbean, and had to say HI! I love anything carrot and hadn’t thought of combining it with apples.. Bravos and fantasticoooo blog! Happy Friday.

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  10. Jeff @ Cheeseburger

    October 3, 2012 at 12:42 am

    The cinnamon cream cheese frosting makes the cake perfect. This is a great cake to welcome the fall.

  11. Alana

    October 5, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Just made this as my daughter’s first birthday cake. So divine. I subbed in applesauce instead of eggs, used whole wheat flour and coconut milk for the icing instead of whole milk. Recipe made the perfect amount for the Mickey Mouse pan that I had used also! I will be making this recipe again! Thanks for the perfect fall/ first birthday greeting!

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