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Carrot Tea Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Grated carrot is the secret to the moistness and mellow sweetness of this loaf cake topped with thick swirls of tangy frosting.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
Carrot Tea Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Source: Everyday Food, March 2009


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup packed grated carrots (from about 2 carrots)
  • 1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 5-by-9-inch (6-cup) loaf pan. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

  2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in carrots. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan; bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Turn cake out onto a wire rack, and let cool completely.

  3. Make frosting: Using mixer, beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until fluffy. Frost top of cooled cake.

Reviews (10)

  • jaejae1 20 Mar, 2014

    Here in Mexico the eggs are gigantic and full of flavor unlike in the States. They add a richness to bake goods like no other. So I followed the recipe but for one minor detail. I didn't have cinnamon so I put in garam masala… Voila! Great cake! Going to make this one many times over.

  • robin1250 27 Jan, 2014

    Made this for the first time yesterday. I followed the recipe exactly but added 1/2 cup of chopped pecans. The batter was perfectly moist (I can't imagine why people had problems with it) and the cake is delicious. It's so good, in fact, that I skipped the frosting and served it with whipped cream cheese. I'll definitely make this again.

  • robertadc 5 Jun, 2013

    I've made this cake twice -- both times I've used a total of three eggs and 1.5-2 times the amount of carrots called for in the original recipe. Also added a splash of milk or yogurt to make the batter smoother. Comes out delicious and moist every time!

  • Happy_Birthday_Dr_Seuss 25 Jan, 2013

    Carrot Tea Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
    Russell's Friday Dinner
    Nutritious and Delicious!

  • Virginiaaa 15 Oct, 2012

    Batter turned out WAY too dry. I added these to the existing recipe...1 cup carrot, 1 egg, 1/4 cup white granulated sugar and 1/4 cup milk. It turned out excellent. Will definitely make this again (my way :))

  • blazerrose 2 Mar, 2012

    While some have thought this was dry if made as listed, I didn't have that problem. For some added sweetness, I added about a half a cup of golden raisins. To punch up the spice level just a bit, I added an 1/8 tsp of cloves (a secret my mom taught me - you don't notice the cloves, but the cinnamon becomes cinnamonyer).

  • amiefifilapin 6 Dec, 2011

    I found the cake moist enough, but it was definitely not SWEET ENOUGH! I like to eat my cakes without frostings or anything, but for this recipe, a delicious frosting may be mandatory. Otherwise, light and good for getting rid of those last few carrots. Pretty good.

  • Turcotten 19 Sep, 2011

    I added an extra egg as suggested as I was using medium sized ones and another cup of packed carrots and it was delicious. We didn't find it dry and the frosting complemented it perfectly.

  • senorastephanie 13 Dec, 2010

    I have to agree that this recipe once mixed is quite dry. So, I remedied with an extra egg, a little milk, just enough to have the right texture for a loaf bread batter. Then I added a half cup chopped pecans, one cup dried cranberries, and fourth cup chopped dates. Well, my family and I thought it was perfect, very fluffy, moist, and a bit like cake but delicious!

  • abracadebs 26 Jul, 2010

    I recently made this loaf cake. While the flavor was nice, it was a little dry. Compared to most of the other quick bread recipes on this site, it seems to be missing an ingredient (oil, buttermilk, sour cream) that might give it more moisture. I am normally 100% happy with other Martha recipes for baked goods, but the carrots don't do enough on their own. It was very fast and easy to make, but if you are looking for something with a moist carrot cake quality, this is not the answer.

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