All the classic flavors of carrot cake in a simple and easy Carrot Cake Loaf recipe. This delicious quick bread recipe with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting is meant to be enjoyed throughout the day, not just at dessert time.
Enjoy slice after slice of loaf bread with plump raisins, crushed pineapple, chopped walnuts, and a dreamy cream cheese frosting. No matter how you serve it, this will be a staple in your home year after year.
Because the flavor of this bread is naturally enhanced with fresh shredded carrots and all the cozy spices like ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Plus unsweetened applesauce and crushed pineapple elevate this sweet quick bread recipe to bakery-style real quick.
And you will enjoy this Carrot Cake Loaf with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese throughout the day– not just for an after dinner dessert. Our kids love taking slices to school, too.
Hence everyone loves this gluten free, dairy free, and soy free recipe.
Bake and serve this sweet bread as it is or add a dollop of homemade dairy free brown sugar cream cheese to the top. And this Carrot Cake Loaf looks absolutely gorgeous on a cake plate with a generous smothering of cream cheese, but sometimes it is nice to enjoy it without.
Prepare yourself– you won’t want to save this for an after dinner dessert– enjoy slices for breakfast, for brunch, over your work break, as an after-school snack, and on road trips.
And this Carrot Cake Loaf is best when it has been baked ahead of time and completely cooled before serving. We actually prefer this bread a day after it has been baked. The flavors have more time to meld together and each slice is absolutely dreamy!
Therefore– if possible bake this bread 1-2 days before you plan on slicing and serving. After the loaf has cooled, cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate. If you are frosting this cake with our brown sugar cream cheese frosting, frost the cooled cake then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving. The cream cheese frosting will not get runny or ruin the quick bread.
You cannot go wrong with this no-fail recipe.
carrot cake loaf ingredients
- gluten free all-purpose flour— use the spoon and level method. Our go-to is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Mix. This blend does contain xanthan gum.
- xanthan gum— omit if your gf all-purpose flour uses this or guar gum
- granulated sugar
- baking powder— this loses its potency after being opened for 6 months. We suggest labeling your baking powder container when you first open it.
- baking soda— again use our tip mentioned above for baking powder
- ground cinnamon— we use the McCormick brand spices
- ground cloves
- kosher salt
- unsweetened applesauce
- crushed pineapple, canned— lightly drained
- grapeseed oil— or your favorite vegetable oil
- large eggs— room temperature
- vanilla extract
- peeled and shredded carrots— and take the time to sprinkle carrot shreds over the top of the chopped nuts on top of the cake. It takes just seconds, and looks so beautiful
- golden raisins— they taste so good and plump in this recipe. However if raisins are not your favorite, you can omit them.
- optional— finely chopped toasted nuts such as walnuts or pecans are wonderful in this quick bread and added to the top at pictured
brown sugar cream cheese frosting ingredients
- dairy free cream cheese— Kite Hill Plain Cream Cheese is our go-to; use your favorite dairy free cream cheese
- dairy free butter— we use Earth Balance Buttery Sticks room temperature for 20 minutes
- brown sugar— packed
- vanilla extract
- powdered sugar
- molasses— this is an optional step; however, if you have molasses on hand, it deepens the brown sugar cream cheese flavor
- optional— raisins, chopped walnuts or pecans, and shredded carrots to top the frosted loaf
You could also top this gluten free and dairy free Carrot Cake Loaf with our traditional mouthwatering Cream Cheese recipe. You won’t regret it!
kitchen equipment + utensils
- stand mixer with a paddle attachment or handheld mixer
- measuring cups
- cutting board
- vegetable peeler
- cheese grater— a grater will give you thin, even carrot slices for your bread
- 9×5-inch loaf pan— we use this loaf pan time and time again
- angled spatula— an angled spatula makes icing this frosting super easy
more recipes you will love
- veggie pasta salad— this easy-to-make veggie pasta salad is loaded with fresh flavor, veggies, and tender bow tie pasta noodles with a tangy Italian dressing. It’s the perfect side dish.
- 9×13-inch carrot cake bars with brown sugar cream cheese frosting— forget the fuss of baking and icing a layered cake and opt for these easy Carrot Cake Bars instead. This is an easy peasy, yet delicious recipe no one will forget.
- creamy mashed potatoes— want to know the secret ingredient to whipping up the best dairy free mashed potatoes? I have it in this post for you. This recipe will give you the PERFECT mashed potatoes every time. They’re creamy and delicious.
- oven roasted salmon— an easy and quick weeknight meal with moist, flaky, and caramelized oven roasted salmon
Our Carrot Cake Loaf is light and fluffy with just the right amount of spice you love. Your family and friends will never guess this recipe is gluten free, dairy free, and soy free. Each slice is bursting with the most amazing, refreshing flavor. And how convenient it is that you can change the recipe to include only your favorites! If you are not a fan of nuts or raisins, skip them, or if you cannot imagine a Carrot Cake Loaf without them, add more in.
We like saving time by baking two loaves early in the spring and freezing one loaf for brunch around Easter time. Just remember our suggestion to bake this quick bread recipe 1-2 days before serving to enjoy the best flavor. Give those flavors time to meld together for amazing flavor.
Plus– have you snooped around our website, Eating Gluten and Dairy Free? Do so now and start pinning new, safe recipes for this next week. And don’t forget the desserts. We have so many mouthwatering gluten free and dairy free desserts on our website, with more being added every week!
Follow along on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. We share our new recipes, food product alerts, favorite brand giveaways, and our tips for living your best while eating gluten and dairy free.
Eat well and feel well,
Carrot Cake Loaf
Carrot Cake Loaf
- 1½ c gluten free all-purpose flour spoon and level method
- ½ tsp xanthan gum omit if your gf all-purpose flour contains this or guar gum
- 1 c granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ c unsweetened applesauce
- ⅔ c canned crushed pineapple lightly drained
- ¼ c grapeseed oil or vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- ¾ tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ c peeled and shredded carrots more for decorating the top of the cake loaf
- ½ c golden raisins, optional
- 1 c chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese
- 4 oz dairy free cream cheese room temperature
- 2 tbsp dairy free butter room temperature 20 minutes
- ⅓ c brown sugar packed
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 c powdered sugar
- ½ tsp molasses, optional
Carrot Cake Loaf
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray; set aside.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or using a handheld mixer with a large bowl, combine the flour, xanthan gum if needed, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and salt.
- Next add in the applesauce, crushed pineapple, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- Beat 1-2 minutes or until combined, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Then stir in the shredded carrots, raisins, and nuts.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and transfer to the oven for 60 minutes or so.
- All ovens heat and bake differently so keep your eye on this loaf. We like to set a timer for 55 minutes and then check in every minute or two until it is done.
- This is easy to do using a cake tester. Insert a cake tester into the middle of the loaf pan. If it comes out with just a few crumbles, this bread is ready to be removed from the oven. If the cake tester has raw dough on the end, continue baking.
- Once baked remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
- Place the cream cheese, butter, and brown sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Using the paddle attachment or a handheld mixer, beat for 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add in vanilla extract and sift 1 cup of powdered sugar.
- Then add the remaining powered sugar, a little at a time, and the molasses. Beat until smooth.
- You can frost your cooled cake loaf immediately or refrigerate 1-2 days before using. Keep frosting refrigerated.
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