Happy Sunday, friends. I hope today’s post and recipe, a simple carrot pound cake, finds you ready for spring and all the newness it brings. In our neck of the woods, it only takes a peek out into our yard to be reminded that fresh starts are everywhere- the grass that is brightening to shades of green, the azaleas opening up in bursts of pink, and the little white blossoms that flower from my two favorite crepe myrtle trees. Everything is coming to life, all over again. I don’t know about you, but I love the idea that there’s something new and fresh waiting to revive in me, too.
We put a lot of weight on that first month of the year. January 1st the practical time to start over, to resolve for more, and to chalk our agendas full of new things to do. New school years take some heat, too, as our kids and young relatives and teacher friends gear up for new faces and blank slates. But there’s something unique about the fresh start that spring offers us, too. As we shed our own physical layers, the heft of wool coats, thick scarves, and lined boots, the earth does too. The sky trades its grey for streaks of sunlight and its snow clouds for rain, everything from the ground up coming alive again. It’s almost as if God has offered all of creation its own kind of blank slate- an opportunity for something new.
Me? I’m taking it. Like the earth drinks in the rain, I want to soak up every bit of life and hope this new season has to offer. Easter is a reminder that even dead things have potential for life, and I, for one, welcome the chance for my own little revival of energy, ideas, joy, and heart. These past few years have left a lot of us a little worse for the wear, and I need the hope of a new season. I need the hope that new life is available. And while we make Easter all about baskets and egg hunts and gingham table spreads, the fun and beauty of those things are really only meant to point us to something better. Something real. If you, like me, want more of that for your own life, I hope you’ll use this spring as your opportunity to find it.
I made this carrot pound cake for this coming Easter season. My kids are at the perfect age for getting psyched up about holidays, so when it comes time for holiday-themed food, we spare no expense. Since we’ve already celebrated with a carrot bundt cake with brown butter glaze, carrot cake cheesecake, and even the carrot-adjacent hummingbird layer cake, I thought it was time to offer something even more simple: a carrot pound cake that can double as breakfast, snack, or dessert and can be made in less than an hour. Let me tell you how to make it.
To make this carrot pound cake, we start with the fats and sugar. Butter, oil, brown sugar, and granulated sugar come together in a mixing bowl before adding eggs and vanilla extract. Next comes the dry ingredients: flour, leavening, salt and spice. I opted for cinnamon and ginger because my tastebuds don’t prefer nutmeg and cloves, but you could certainly add and 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of those as well if you’d like. Once combined, stir in freshly grated carrots (truly, the only annoying part of this recipe) and some nuts (I opted for pecans!), if desired. A 45-minute bake makes one tender and moist loaf of carrot pound cake that is as fragrant as it is delicious.
I opted to add a cream cheese frosting to this carrot pound cake, but you can do without if you’d like. The loaf is incredibly delicious all on its own, but I love the fancy flair of the piped frosting swirls. Either way, this carrot pound cake is a new must-make for my family, and I think you’ll enjoy it too. I hope you get a chance to enjoy this recipe in the coming weeks, and I hope those weeks find you simultaneously enjoying something new. Happy Sunday and Happy Baking!
If you like this carrot pound cake you should try:Print
Carrot Pound Cake
This carrot pound cake is a simple and moist loaf cake scented with spice and topped with a fluffy cream cheese buttercream!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 45
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 8 Servings (1 Loaf)
- Category: Cake
For the loaf:
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1–1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1–1/3 cup freshly peeled and grated carrots
- ½ cup chopped pecans, walnuts if you’d prefer
- For the frosting:
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
To prepare the loaf:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease and 8×4” loaf pan and line the bottom (if desired) with a trimmed piece of parchment paper for easy removal. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, oil, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing gently at each addition, followed by the vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger, stirring only until combined. Add the carrots and nuts and fold until integrated. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the loaf in the oven about 45-47 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes before inverting the pan on a cooling rack to allow to cool completely. If desired, top with frosting.
To prepare the frosting:
- Cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed in a medium-sized mixing bowl until smooth. Add the vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar, stirring on low until combined and smooth, about 1 minute. Pipe or spread on the cake as desired. I used a 1M piping tip to pipe the design shown.