Carrot Cake Loaf

Easy, simple and straight forward, this carrot cake loaf is a perfect everyday spice cake just loaded with flavour. Filled to the brim with nuts, this cake loaf is delicious on it’s own or with a frosting. I adore it with a buttery cinnamon streusel!

Inside of carrot cake loaf.

I feel like spice cakes, more specifically carrot cakes, have no season. They can be enjoyed throughout the year and are adored by many. I love carrot cake and can eat it in any shape or form. I adore it the classic way, smothered in cream cheese frosting, but even a simpler version can satisfy those cravings.

This carrot cake loaf is just like that. A simpler version of a classic carrot cake with almost have the time and effort an actual carrot cake would take.

Whole carrot cake loaf.

This recipe is similar to my Autumn Spice Cake and these Gingerbread Muffins. It’s an easy, no mixer required recipe that can be whipped up in minutes and is pretty much failproof.

Key Ingredients

  • Spices: I used cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg but feel free to add any spices you like such as cloves or cardamom.
  • Soft brown sugar: please do not leave this out. Brown sugar is a key ingredient to this cake, probably the most important one.
  • Applesauce: you can use either homemade or store bought just make sure to use it. It adds so much texture to the cake, I love it!
  • Carrots: make sure to grate your own carrots. The moisture in freshly grated carrots is key to the cake’s texture.
  • Walnuts: this may not seem like a must have but it totally seals the deal of this cake. Just a small amount but makes a world of a difference so please do include. Pecans can be used instead or even a mixture of both.
  • Raisins/dried cranberries: these are optional but can definitely be tossed into the batter. Same goes with coconut. If you like that flavour combination with carrot cake, go ahead and add in some desiccated or shredded coconut with the dry ingredients.


  • Streusel: I use a delicious buttery cinnamon streusel to top this loaf. Super easy to make and adds soo much extra flavour.
  • Cream cheese glaze: this carrot cake loaf if just as delicious with a simple cream cheese glaze, slathered on top while the cake is still warm. Cream cheese and carrot cake is a match made in heaven.
  • Caramel: I love the combo of carrot cake and caramel, just drizzle some on top of the cake or on each slice once you cut and serve the cake.
  • Powdered sugar: of course if you want to leave out frosting altogether and top with a dusting of powdered sugar, that would be great too.

The cake is also just perfect on its own without anything added! Feel free to play around with the add-ins and toppings. I would suggest to make the cake for the first time as written in the recipe card below, then make any adjustments.

Carrot cake slice.

More spice cake favourites:

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Carrot Cake Loaf

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Linda @thedutchbaker


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time





This recipe can be used to make 12 carrot cake muffins or 1 8inch or 9inch round cake.

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  • 1 1/2 cups (190gms) all purpose flour

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 3/4 teaspoon ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup (80mls) oil

  • 1/2 cup (100gms) soft brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup (50gms) sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/3 cup (80gms) unsweetened applesauce, store bought or homemade

  • 1 1/2 cups (2 large) carrots, freshly grated

  • 1/3 cup (80mls) buttermilk*

  • 1/2 cup (120gms) toasted chopped walnuts or pecans

  • Streusel Topping
  • 2 tablespoons (30gms) soft brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/3 cup (40gms) flour

  • 3 tablespoons (35gms) cold salted butter

  • Pinch of salt


  • Toasted Walnuts
  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease and flour an 8×4 inch cake pan.
  • Chop up some raw walnuts and placed on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring half way.
  • Streusel Topping
  • In a bowl, make the crumb topping. Whisk together the sugars, cinnamon, flour and salt. Using a fork or your hands, rub in the cold chopped butter until combined and crumbly. Set aside.
  • Cake Loaf
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, salt, baking powder and soda until very well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugars, eggs and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the applesauce.
  • Add in half of the flour mix until just combined. Whisk in the buttermilk until just combined. Stir the grated carrots and walnuts (and raisins if using) into the remaining flour mix then add this mix to the batter and whisk until just combined. Don’t over mix, batter will be slightly thick and lumpy.
  • Pour batter into prepared cake pan then sprinkle the prepared streusel on top of the cake batter. Bake until cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes and a knife or toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool cake on a wire rack for about 15 minutes then store in an airtight container to continue cooling completely.


  • *To make your own buttermilk, measure 1 /3 cup/80mls milk in a cup . Remove 3/4 teaspoon milk and replace with 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar. Stand for about 5 minutes while you prepare the batter then whisk and use as stated in the recipe.

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Inside of carrot cake loaf.

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  1. Looks delicious! Love the addition of apple sauce and nuts. Definitely will be trying it soon.

    1. Thank you! Hope you like it 🙂

  2. These sound so good! I don’t usually use walnuts as I don’t like them unless I pulverize them! I have never toasted them so I am curious, what does toasting them do to the flavor?

    1. I get what you mean about pulverizing walnuts, I usually chop them into small pieces. Toasting them brings out a delicious more deeper flavour and removes some of that bitterness that raw walnuts have. You should definitely try it, really makes a difference.

  3. Yum! This loaf looks delicious! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much! 💜

  4. Carrot Cake is a gourmet dessert, in my opinion. 🥕🥮🐰

    1. Thank you! Same here 😊

      1. 😍

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