A truly delicious chocolate loaf cake is a thing of beauty and everyone should have a recipe for one in their back pocket. Because many of us have this one in said pocket, and can find versions of it here, and here, and elsewhere truth be told, I am not now going to try and reinvent the wheel. Instead, I am providing you with another chocolate loaf, for your other pocket, and this one includes carrots.
If you’ve ever had chocolate zucchini cake, you know where this is going: the carrots make the cake unbelievably moist, and yet impart almost no flavor. Like all good loaf (or tea) cakes, this one is incredibly easy to put together (the hardest part is grating the carrots with a microplane – which I highly recommend, as the finer you grate the carrots, the better the texture and crumb of the finished carrot loaf cake) and is deeply chocolate-y, both due to the cocoa powder and the melted unsweetened chocolate.I like to make a cinnamon cream cheese whipped cream to spread on slices of this deliciousness, but to each his own: if that does not float your boat, serving this with scoops of vanilla (or salty caramel) ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream – or with nothing at all! – would also be delish. If you do go with cinnamon, however, might I suggest you purchase this one, from my absolute faves, The Spice House. I love everything about this company – and their product, obvs – and am pretty sure you will too, so check them out.
A note: Finally, I was inspired to create this carrot loaf cake recipe by some fellow bloggers, who challenged us all to post a recipe using carrots on a specific day (umh, today . . . ). To see many more amazing carrot-inspired recipes, check out the hashtag #24carrotgoals on instagram.
Chocolate Carrot Loaf Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Whipped Cream
For the cake
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 9 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- a rounded 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp table salt
- 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup olive oil NOT extra virgin or any neutral oil of your choosing
- 1 yolk room temperature
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 6 tablespoons buttermilk room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 ounce unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled slightly
- 2 cups lightly packed finely grated carrots
For the cinnamon cream cheese whipped cream
- 1 cup cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or softened butter. Line with parchment paper, so the paper goes up the two short sides of the pan. Set aside.
- Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and whisk long enough to insure the leavening is evenly distributed. Set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the sugars and oil and whisk vigorously. Add the yolk and eggs, one at a time, gently whisking after each addition. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and whisk again. Add the melted chocolate and whisk a final time.
- Add the flour mixture to the egg and sugar mixture, and with a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry into the wet, until a few streaks of flour remain. Add the carrots and fold again, until the carrots are completely incorporated. Let the cake batter rest for 15 minutes. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the cake after 15, and checking it with a cake tester/toothpick after 35. the tester should have a few moist crumbs, on it, but nothing too wet.
- While the cake bakes, make the whipped cream.
- Refrigerate the bowl of a stand mixer and the whisk attachment (or a medium metal bowl and beaters from a hand mixer) until quite cold, about 15 minutes.
- Cnce chilled, remove the bowl and whisk from the refrigerator, add the cream cheese, and whip it on medium speed until smooth. Add the cream and continue to whip on medium speed until the cream is incorporated.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and, on medium-high speed, whip the cream mixture until it holds stiff peaks that stand upright when the whisk is raised. Use it immediately, or refrigerate until ready to use.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it rest in its pan on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes or so, or until the cake is still warm, but you can easily hold the pan without burning yourself. Invert the cake onto the cooling rack and let the cake cool completely. Serve slices spread with cinnamon cream cheese whipped cream.