Carrot Loaf with Cider and Olive Oil

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Smitten Kitchen for the win.  Again!  I love her recipes and this one is a delicious, dairy free (unless you smear it with cream cheese icing!) carrot cake, baked in a loaf pan. That just seems to make it okay to eat for breakfast! This recipe calls for apple cider, which is pure, unfiltered apple juice like Triple Jim’s Apple Cider made using Lepp Farm Market apples, not the “hard” or alcoholic apple cider you purchase at a liquor store.

Ingredients

2 1/3 cups (290 grams) all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon (5 grams) table or fine sea salt

2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder (I prefer aluminum-free)

1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground or a bunch of gratings of whole nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil

 

3/4 cup (145 grams) dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup cider (235 ml)

1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups packed coarsely grated carrots from about 9 ounces (2 to 2 1/2 meaty/large or 4 to 5 slim; about 255 grams) whole carrots

Olive oil or nonstick cooking spray for baking pan

Method

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan* with olive oil or a nonstick cooking spray.   If your loaf pan is smaller than that, I’d recommend taking a bit of batter out to bake as a muffin or two, or it could overflow in the oven.  If yours is old and you’re nervous about the cake sticking, it cannot hurt to line yours with a fitted rectangle of parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, brown sugar, eggs, cider and vanilla. Stir grated carrots into wet ingredients until evenly coated, then stir wet ingredients into dry just until no floury bits remain.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out batter-free. Let cool in loaf pan for 20 to 30 minutes, then remove from pan and cool the rest of the way on a rack. Loaf should keep at room temperature for a few days, and longer in the fridge. It’s even more moist on the second day.

Whatever you do, definitely avoid making a cream cheese frosting-like spread whipped together from 4 ounces of softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extra and 6 tablespoons powdered sugar, some of which can be replaced with honey or maple syrup but will make for a softer spread. It will unquestionably compromise this cake’s dairy-free status. It might be dangerously good.