Writer and Photographer Francine Coles
Springtime brings Easter, Mother’s Day and graduations. It’s a perfect time to bake this carrot cake loaf. Simpler than a layered carrot cake but equally delicious, it will please everyone! If you want to take it up a notch, try decorating it with baby carrots on top!
For the Loaves:
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 pound whole carrots, peeled
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Green and orange food coloring (optional)
Grease and flour two 9-x-5-inch loaf pans. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Whisk thoroughly to combine.
In a food processor with a grater attachment, process the carrots until shredded. Pour into a medium bowl and set aside. Wipe out the food processor and fit with a standard metal attachment. Add white sugar, brown sugar and eggs then process until thoroughly combined.
Next, with the food processor running, drizzle oil into the sugar/egg mixture until thick and emulsified, about 30 seconds. Pour wet mixture into dry ingredients then whisk until combined. Fold carrots into the batter using a spatula and distribute evenly between loaf pans.
Bake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
Meanwhile, using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until smooth. Mix in vanilla extract until thoroughly combined. Pipe or spread onto cooled carrot cake loaves.
Optional: Separate two 1/4 cup portions of frosting into separate bowls. Add a few drops of orange and green food coloring into each bowl and mix, adjusting colors to your preference. Spoon dyed frosting into small Ziploc bags, cut a tiny opening in the corner of each bag and gently pipe carrot designs all over the top of the cake, as desired. Carrots are made by squeezing a blob of orange frosting then quickly drawing the frosting in a downward motion. Add leaves by making 1–2 small green dots on the top of each orange carrot.
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