Spring is almost here! It was in the upper 60’s this past weekend, and it felt wonderful! Of course, they’re forecasting lower 40’s for next weekend, but we’ll take the warm weather while we have it. While I like the warm weather that spring brings, there’s another thing that I get excited about when spring rolls around. Carrot cake. Who decided that carrot cake should be associated with spring? It’s my favorite cake (but it has to be just carrot cake, no add-ins, please!) and I’ve already shared a few forms of it on here. My latest way to eat it? Carrot cake quick bread with cream cheese frosting!
A quick and easy quick bread turns into a healthy version of carrot cake. Instead of lots of oil, applesauce keeps the bread moist while keeping the fat content down. I usually try to reduce as much refined sugar as possible in my baking but I had to keep the brown sugar, because it gives the iconic carrot cake flavor. The warmth of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of allspice make the bread complete. Well, almost.
If you’re like me, you can’t have carrot cake without cream cheese frosting. So top the bread with a generous layer of cream cheese frosting! A sprinkling of chopped pecans adds some crunch and texture to finish it off. Basically it’s carrot cake in bread form, except you can start your morning with it, because bread is perfectly acceptable for breakfast!
- ¾ C whole wheat flour
- ¾ C white whole wheat or all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp allspice
- ½ C brown sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ C unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ C butter, melted and cooled
- ½ C milk
- 1 C shredded carrots
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 tbsp butter, softened
- 1 C confectioner's sugar
- chopped pecans, optional
- Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8x4 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and brown sugar.
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg, vanilla extract, unsweetened applesauce, butter, and milk. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in shredded carrots.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check bread at 30 minutes and if top is getting brown, cover with aluminum foil for the remainder of the baking time.
- Remove to a wire rack to cool.
- While bread is cooling, prepare frosting. Beat together cream cheese and butter until creamy. Beat in confectioner's sugar until smooth.
- Spread frosting over cooled bread. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.