Spiced Carrot Loaf With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting & Crushed Walnuts


My sister has asked me since basically…well…always, to bake her a carrot cake when we’re together. She just loves it! The spices, the nut layering and the creamy tangy cream cheese frosting that covers it. I’ve never had a recipe that I LOVED so decided it was time to take it on.

I decided to make a loaf instead of a layered cake since I love how casual a loaf is and how easy it is to just dump into one tin and frost the top instead of layering, plus this is an everyday cake which again makes me love it even more. Cake doesn’t need to be a celebratory thing, it can just be an everyday thing. Now, cream cheese frosting usually has a ton of icing sugar in it but since I decided to go down the maple syrup road I just used that instead. It comes out less airy but, I find that chilling it in the fridge firms it up and creates a beautiful creamy texture that I personally prefer. Also, because I use maple syrup instead of confection sugar, it’s not cloyingly sweet which for me is always a big no no when baking. I just don’t like when sweets are too sweet…you know what I mean?! 

Spiced Carrot Loaf With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting & Crushed Walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots (I blend it in my food processor…I just never have time or patience for grating) around 3 large carrots
  • 1/2 cup full fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil- or any other neutral oil but I have also made this with extra virgin olive oil and it also really works if you want to go down that road.
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups ap flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground clove
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts plus a couple to grate or chop for on top
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Butter and line a tin loaf with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl add the grated carrots, yogurt, maple syrup, brown sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla whisk well.
  4. In a medium sized bowl add the all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ground clove and salt and whisk together until combined.
  5. Using a whisk start mixing the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. When it is all combined sprinkle in the walnuts and using a spatula fold it it. Pour the batter into the buttered lined tin and spread the batter on top until even. Place into your preheated oven for 45 min to an hour. You know the loaf is done when you touch the top with your finger and it bounces back. You also know it is done if you insert a knife or a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean with some crumbs on it.
  6. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling wrack to let cool.
  7. While the cake is cooling make the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

maple cream cheese frosting

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup full fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbls maple syrup
  • Pinch of cinnamon for garnish
  • Pinch of sea salt salt
  • 2 tablespoons crushed or grated (I like to grate in a microplane over) walnuts to finish off the loaf
  1. Place the room temp butter and the cream cheese in a bowl and using a whisk start creaming them together. Whip as much as you can, you want to incorporate as much air into the frosting as you can. Add in the vanilla, maple syrup and pinch of sea salt and continue to whisk for another couple of minutes until it is all combined and has a nice whipped texture. Place in the fridge until the loaf is ready to frost just to firm up a bit.
  2. When the loaf is room temp remove the frosting from the fridge and using either a spoon or a spatula spread over the frosting. Finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and the crushed or grated walnuts. Enjoy in the afternoon with coffee, in the morning for breakfast or honestly anytime of the day because…its amazing and, well…it’s cake!