Thick Slices of Toasted Carrot Loaf

Carrot Loaf with Walnuts and Crystallized Ginger

Banana Cake, zucchini bread, and now carrot loaf. Though I haven’t posted them, I’ve gone through a slew of recipes for these sweet loaves of bread that are more of a loaf-shaped cake than they are any sort of actual bread. My theory is that calling these sweet treats bread rather than cake lends them a speciously healthy air which legitimizes their enjoyment at any hour of the day. Which is fine by me. Though to avoid any further confusion I’m calling my toasted version a loaf. A Carrot Loaf with Walnuts and Crystallized Ginger to be exact. However, if anyone has any information on the dividing line between bread and cake, please pass it along.

In the meantime let me tell you about this carrot loaf. It’s not at all like its spongy cousin – the sweet treat most of us call carrot cake. First, there’s no cream cheese frosting. Though I suppose you could add some. I didn’t because I was looking for a carrot loaf that was more of a breakfast with coffee or an afternoon snack with tea kind of carrot cake. The kind of carrot cake that you can carve out in thick slices, slide into a toaster, then slather with salty European butter. It has to be firm, moist, and fragrant but not so sweet that it scorches the toaster. The kind of carrot cake that’s better called carrot loaf, don’t you agree? GREG

Carrot Loaf with Walnuts and Caramelized Ginger

Toasted Carrot Loaf with Walnuts and Crystallized Ginger 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 1 loafPublished
Toasted Carrot Loaf with Walnuts and Crystallized Ginger


  • ½ pound unsalted butter (at room temperature) plus more for loaf pan
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup chopped crystallized ginger


With the rack in the middle position, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Butter a 9‑inch loaf pan (preferably a straight-sided Pullman pan, do not use the lid). Line the pan with a piece of parchment sized to fit edge to edge and extend over the two long sides by a couple of inches on each side. Butter the parchment and set the pan aside.

In a large bowl use an electric mixer to cream butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Set aside.

In a separate large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in three additions, mixing well between additions. Fold in carrots, walnuts, and ginger.

Dollop the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. It will be quite thick. Spread the batter evenly around the pan taking care to get it into the corners and remove any air pockets. 

Bake in the heated oven about 1 hour and 20 minutes (depending on the type of pan) or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on rack, then remove from pan and peel away parchment.

Once cool you can optionally cut the loaf into thick slices and toast them in the toaster. Serve with good butter.