This Easy Carrot Loaf Cake Recipe with Pecans is SO light, moist and packed with flavours. It is the perfect cake to toast for breakfast, to enjoy with your afternoon tea or to finish any meal!
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Putting veggies into my sweet bakes is not an easy thing for me. Carrots…? In Cakes…? But this Carrot Cake was a game changer.
I don’t know if it is the delicious balance between the naturally sweet carrots and spices, or the fact that it is an incredibly light and moist cake thanks to the super finely grated Carrots and the use of Almond Meal.
Either way, it got everybody hooked. With the yummy addition of crunchy Pecans, floral Honey and tangy Lemon Zest, this is the BEST carrot cake ever for me. And I can’t wait to make it again!
The most important ingredient of this Carrot Bread Loaf is obviously the Carrots. I used medium sized carrots and grated them very finely.
The Spices are really important here too, and can easily be interchanged to your taste. I used Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg and Star Anise.
The original use of Honey also brings a deliciously floral taste to the cake and is a great way to reduce the use of processed sugar too.
Lastly, the addition of Lemon Zest and Almond Meal respectively bring a light tang and delicious lightness to the cake.
Don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients. They all work perfectly together to make an incredible carrot cake!
To make this Carrot Cake, you will need (scroll down to recipe card for all quantities):
- Carrots, finely grated
- Brown Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Lemon Zest
- Canola Oil
- Plain / All-Purpose Flour
- Almond Meal
- Baking Powder
- Spices: Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg and Star Anise (optional)
- Pecans (or walnuts)
How to make Carrot Cake Loaf
Making this carrot cake is very simple. The “hardest” part is to grate the carrots, but if you can use a food processor that has a grate disk attachment, this will be done very quickly. Alternatively, you can use the fine shred side of a hand grater.
The second step will be to mix in all the wet ingredients and the grated carrots. Lastly, add the dry ingredients and chopped Pecans.
Here is how to make a Carrot Cake in a Loaf Pan:
- Finely Grate the Carrots and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the Eggs and Sugar then add the Oil, Honey, Vanilla Extract and Lemon Zest.
- Stir in the grated Carrots.
- Mix in all the dry ingredients: Flour, Almond Meal, Baking Powder, Salt and Spices.
- Thinly chop the pecans and add them to the batter.
- Pour in a grease and floured 25cm / 10 inch Loaf Pan
I find that grating the Carrots very finely makes a HUGE difference in the texture of the cake. It really combines with all the other ingredients to create a super moist and light crumb.
I also recommend not draining your carrots after grating them, as you want to keep all of those extra juices to mix in with your batter.
More Hidden Veggies Bakes:
- Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins
- Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
- Spinach & Ricotta Muffins
- Goat’s Cheese Zucchini Muffins
How to keep this cake?
To keep this super moist carrot cake, I do not recommend keeping it in the fridge. It should be kept at room temperature, in its tin covered with wrap or foil.
Alternatively, it can be kept in a large air-tight container.
Because it is so moist, you can also pre-slice it and keep the slices in an air-tight container.
How long will this cake last?
The cake will stay nice and moist for about 3 days. Because it does not have frosting on it, it will stay fresh for much longer and does not need to be refrigerated.
A delicious way to enjoy this cake is to place a slice in the toaster to get a crunchy, almost caramelised crumb. It is especially good to do after a few days when the cake will start to get a bit harder.
You can also make this cake ahead and freeze it if needed.
Can you freeze this Quick Bread?
Yes, you can! First, leave the loaf to cool down completely. Then wrap it in a layer of plastic wrap and one layer of aluminium foil. You can also place the cake in a large freezing bag if you have one big enough to fit it.
Keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. The cake will last for much longer than that in the freezer, but it will always taste better if you don’t leave it in the freezer for too long.
Note that this recipe does not include a frosting, so the freezer and storing advices are for an un-frosted carrot cake only.
How to thaw Carrot Cake
Simply remove from the foils/wrap/freezing bag and leave to thaw at room temperature for a few hours or over night. Or until fully thawed.
The cake should be eaten within 2 days after being thawed for maximum freshness.
What to serve with this Carrot Bread
I am not a big fan of frosting so for me, this Carrot Cake is delicious as is. Grilled in the toaster or freshly sliced, it is up to you!
If you want a little bit of an extra “something”, there are many different sweet sauces or frosting that will work great with this loaf cake.
Here are a few ideas:
- Raspberry Coulis
- Mixed Berry Compote
- with the Caramel Sauce from my Sticky Date Puddings
- Orange Cream Cheese Frosting from Christina’s Cucina
More Loaf Cake Recipes:
- Chocolate Loaf Cake with Whipped Ganache
- Vegan & Gluten Free Banana Bread
- Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake
- Lemon and Poppy Seed Loaf
- Orange & Honey Loaf Cake
Simple Carrot Loaf Cake
- 3 Large Carrots, thinly grated, (approx 250gr – 1 1/2 cup packed, grated)
- 3 Eggs
- 1/3 cup (60gr) Brown Sugar
- 1/2 cup (120ml) Canola Oil, or your choice of unflavoured vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 tbsp Honey
- 1/2 teasp. Vanilla Extract
- 1 Lemon, Zest only
- 1 cup (150gr) Plain / All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup (50gr) Almond Meal
- 1 1/2 teasp. Baking Powder
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 1/2 teasp. Ground Cinnamon
- 1 teasp. Ground Ginger
- 1/2 teasp. Ground Nutmeg
- 1/4 teasp. Star Anise Powder, optional
- 1/2 cup (60gr) Pecans, chopped, or Walnuts
- Preheat your oven on 160'C/325'F. Grease and Flour your Loaf Pan (I used a 25cm / 10 inch loaf pan)
- Very thinly grate the Carrots and set aside (see note 1)
- In a large bowl, whisk the Eggs and Brown Sugar until froathy. Whisk in the Canola Oil, then the Honey, Vanilla Extract and Lemon Zest.
- Whisk in the thinly grated Carrots until incorporated.
- Stir in all the Dry Ingredients: Plain Flour, Almond Meal, Baking Powder, Salt and Spices. Mix until combined.
- Thinly chop the Pecans (or Walnuts) and add them to the batter.
- Pour the Carrot Cake batter in your greased and floured Loaf Pan (see note 2) and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean (see note 3). Leave to cool down completely before removing the loaf from the pan.
- To get a very moist cake, it is important to grate the Carrot very finely and NOT drain them. Keep all the juices to put in the cake batter.
- I sprayed the bottom of my Loaf Pan with Canola Oil, then dusted it with Flour. Shake the pan to evenly distribute the flour, then flip it oven and tap it against your surface to remove any excess.
- To help your loaf opening up, you can remove it from the oven after 15 minute and slice the top with a very sharp knife. Then place it back in the oven and keep baking as usual.