Carrot Cake Loaf with Brown Sugar Glaze

Super moist and easy carrot cake loaf studded with pecans and topped with the BEST brown sugar cinnamon icing.

Hello friends, It’s been a minute, huh…

Real talk, I love baking, I love taking photos & I love sharing them with you all but it’s easier said than done. There’s so many steps in between & it’s so hard to keep up with posting. I wish I could just bake, take photos and *poof* they’re posted and ready for you to make ! But that doesn’t happen, obvvvvvvsss. 

Anyways, onto the topic of discussion.

I absolutely love banana bread but unfortunately, my husband does not. He says the banana flavor is too strong. So I made a carrot bread, which is a similar, extra *MOIST* texture, but without the banana flavor. It’s pretty amazing, if you ask me. 

What ingredients do I need for carrot cake loaf?!

Making carrot bread is just as easy as making carrot cake, except you don’t have to frost it or layer it! The ingredients you’ll need are:

  • All-purpose Flour: I never sift my flour unless I specify that. 
  • Baking Soda: My leavening agent of choice; can usually be substituted for 4x the amount of baking powder but I have not tested it with this recipe.
  • Salt: always add a pinch.
  • Oil: I’ve made this with vegetable oil, canola oil and olive oil without any problems.
  • Greek Yogurt: (I was trying to be healthy, nbd). I used 1/2 cup of greek yogurt but it can be substituted for 1/3 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup of sour cream.
  • Buttermilk: The real deal is the best, but you can use a buttermilk substitute (milk with lemon, vinegar or cream of tartar), as well.
  • Eggs: I always use large, room temperature eggs (run them under hot water for a few minutes if they’re cold).
  • Brown Sugar: Changes the flavor a little and gives it more moisture.
  • Granulated Sugar: Helps with stability and texture.
  • Carrots: grated carrots are a must for carrot cake loaf.
  • Pecans: optional. I was never a huge fan of nuts but I find that nuts help balance out sweetness in baking so I grind them up pretty small before adding them to my batter. I usually make carrot cake recipes with walnuts but any nut will work just fine.
  • Cinnamon: You can’t make carrot cake without cinnamon; just please don’t.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla is my best friend, and I add it to everything.
  • Lemon zest: Lemon is my second best friend. It’s certainly optional, but I love the little tang that lemon gives to baked goods.

How to make the carrot loaf?

As you know, I like to keep my recipes fairly simple and this carrot cake bread is no different. The only thing that’s a little more time consuming is shredding the carrots. I use a kitchen aid attachment to do this but you can also do it by hand with a grater or even just purchase pre-shredded carrots.

After you’ve shredded your carrots, simply combine the eggs, oil, vanilla and sugars in a large bowl. Whisk them together for a couple minutes, until they’re evenly combined. Then you’ll add in the buttermilk, mix until combined, followed by the dry ingredients and nuts. Once those are combined, fold in the shredded carrots.

How to make brown sugar icing for carrot cake loaf?

I was originally going to make a cream cheese frosting recipe and then a brown sugar frosting but thennnnnn I thought those are too basic and boring (even though they’re delicious). So I had a brilliant idea to just make a brown sugar icing or glaze, whatever you want to call it and drench it over the whole loaf. Can I just say *amaaaazzzzinnnnggggg*

To make the brown sugar icing you’ll need:

  • Butter
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • Heavy Whipping Cream (or Milk)

You want to melt the butter with half of the cream and the brown sugar. Whisk them together and then bring them to a boil. Once the brown sugar is fully melted (shouldn’t take too long), remove from heat and add in the confectioner sugar, the rest of the cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Whisk until combined and then pour over loaf.

Storing and serving carrot cake loaf

Quick breads are one of my all time favorite baked goods to make and to eat *winky-face*. Unlike a layer cake, just whip up the batter real quick, pour into a loaf pan, bake it for an hour or so and then enjoy it the rest of the week. They’re not overly sweet, which is what I love but you can always add cream cheese and butter frosting or a brown sugar glaze, whatever you prefer!

If you make this carrot bread, make sure to tag me @baranbakery on instagram, I’d love to share it with the BB tribe! As always,

Love, B

Yield: 8-12 slices

Carrot Cake Loaf with Brown Sugar Icing Recipe

carrot cake loaf with icing

Super moist carrot cake loaf studded with pecans and topped with the BEST brown sugar cinnamon icing.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours


Carrot Cake Loaf

  • 1 cups carrots, shredded
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup (59mL) vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (113g) buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (112g) greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (about 1/2 lemon)

Brown Sugar Icing

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup (66g) brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


Carrot Cake Loaf

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/177C convection (or 325F/162C conventional) and grease and line a loaf pan.
  2. Begin by peeling and shredding carrots, either with a grater or a mixer attachment. Set carrots aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and chopped pecans. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugars, oil and vanilla.
  5. Add the buttermilk, greek yogurt and lemon zest to the wet ingredients, and whisk until they are combined.
  6. Fold in the dry ingredients until they are barely combined, then fold in the carrots.
  7. Once combined, pour the batter into a prepared pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the loaf and allow it to cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes, then remove it from the pan and allow it to cool completely.

Brown Sugar Icing

  1. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter with the brown sugar and half of the cream.
  2. Use a whisk to stir it, then bring it to a boil. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, remove it from the stove and stir in the vanilla.
  3. Allow it to cool for a minute or two and then whisk in the powdered sugar, cinnamon and the rest of the cream.
  4. Whisk until everything is evenly combined and pour it over the carrot loaf.


  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days or refrigerate for up to a week.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 359Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 326mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 2gSugar: 32gProtein: 5g

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  1. Hi, I tried this recipe, and I am generally happy with the results! The “loaf” has risen beautifully, and the icing covers amazingly when hard. Since my partner is lactose intolerant, I have replaced the milk products with vegan substitutes. There are just a few minor things that I had trouble with:

    – in the middle of the recipe there is a sudden call for lemon zest, while it was not mentioned in the list of ingredients. I happened to have a lemon lying around, but I did not know how much was needed so I just grated the entire lemon peel and put it in there. It was not bad but might have reinforced the lack of salt (see below).

    – the sugar icing ingredients list asks for cinnamon, but it disappears in the instructions. So I did not use it there in the end.

    – I do not know what baking soda is made out of in the USA, but in my country in western europe, it is sold as natrium bicarbonate, which means that it reacts very strongly with salt. Whenever a recipe uses baking soda as a rising agent, I do not dare to add the salt because it will ruin everyting. However, when tasting the result, I did feel like lack of any salt at all bothered me. If I make this again, I will be substituting the baking soda for baking powder so that adding salt is safe.

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