Happy first day of spring! Let’s celebrate with a slice of carrot cake loaf with nutella swirled cream cheese frosting.
I have always associated carrot cake with Easter and spring. I don’t think we had an overwhelming number of carrot cakes around Easter growing up, but all of the stores and bakeries seem to increase their supply of the cream cheese frosted cakes around this time, as if the Easter bunny would really have a shot at getting a slice after setting out the baskets.
This loaf isn’t one that will hang around long. It is moist and delicate, but still substantial. Maple syrup creates a deeper flavor than brown sugar alone and each bite is filled with spices. The Nutella swirled cream cheese frosting is the perfect combination of tang and sweet and makes the perfect pairing to each bite of your bread.
This is cake bread. It is great as dessert, but also makes the perfect snack (we all need a little pick me up after a few rounds of egg hunting, am I right?). This carrot cake loaf is filled with carrots, so it is essentially vegetable bread, which is absolutely acceptable for breakfast. I find anything in loaf form to be a perfectly acceptable breakfast. We eat banana bread and pumpkin bread for breakfast, let’s not discriminate in our fruit and vegetable breakfast breads. Carrot cake bread for Easter breakfast, snack and dessert!
The carrot cake loaf is not overly sweet on it’s own, which makes it the perfect base for cream cheese frosting. To put a twist on the traditional carrot cake, swirl Nutella across the top of the bread – your guests will thank you. When I was searching for the perfect carrot cake recipe, I wanted to make sure it was not dry, it didn’t fall apart easily, and it was flavorful. The cream cheese frosting couldn’t be too sweet, but it also couldn’t be too tart; the cake and the frosting had to balance each other out. I also wanted the final version to be a little different than what most people are used to seeing. It turned out better than I could have imagined. I took one bite of the delectable combination and immediately told Will that I found the cake I want for my birthday this year.
This is a great loaf to serve to company, but also makes a great hostess gift if you are staying with family or friends this spring. Wrap the loaf in parchment paper and include the cream cheese frosting and Nutella in separate jars for a personal, no-mess gift that they can have at any time of the day, maybe even while you are there, if you get lucky ;)
This is really the superior way to eat your veggies.
Carrot Cake Loaf with Nutella Swirled Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 1 loaf
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
½ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup butter, melted
¾ cup packed brown sugar
2 cups shredded carrots
Nutella Swirled Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces (1 block) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter
1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup nutella
To make the Carrot Cake Loaf
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, and butter. Add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until combined. Add the shredded carrots and stir until the carrots are disbursed and the batter is an even consistency.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan and tap it a few times on the counter to break any bubbles and evenly distribute the batter in the pan. Place into the oven and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Remove the loaf from the pan and let it continue to cool on a wire rack until fully cooled, about 1 hour.
To make the Nutella Swirled Cream Cheese Frosting
In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Spread the cream cheese icing onto the cooled loaf. Spoon the Nutella on top of the cream cheese frosting and carefully swirl the two together.
Serve right away or store the loaf in the fridge (to keep the cream cheese frosting from getting melty) and serve cold, or remove from the fridge an hour or so before serving and serve room temperature. You can store the loaf in the fridge for a week.
Cake adapted from Flourishing Foodie, frosting adapted from How Sweet Eats