carrot cake with cider and olive oil

Not 10 seconds after I hit “publish” on Tuesday’s fall-toush salad, pretty much out of the clear blue sky, wherever it might be hiding, I simultaneously began craving carrot cake, feeling vaguely annoyed that we didn’t have any around (because I haven’t made it in six years, maybe?) and more pressingly for the breadth of this site, why I didn’t have what I’d consider a go-to recipe for the kind of hearty, craggy thud of a carrot cake loaf I want more of in my life. Sure, there’s a carrot cake cupcake/layer cake in the archives, but it’s a featherweight, for swirls of cream cheese frosting and birthday candle. I wanted breakfast/afternoon snack carrot cake, the kind that comes in thick slices and toasts well with salted butter. In my mind, they’re different. And my mind, as you can gather, ponders these things a lot.

what you'll need
flour, spices and less baking powder than you'd expect

So, I conferred with my husband — I don’t want to shock you, but I am not always the motivated, enthusiastic person and quite often just a little “yeah, please make it!” from the spouse or kid will trigger me into putting vague cooking notions into action — and he thought it was a great idea but he requested “none of that raisin/nuts/pineapple stuff in it.” Except, uh, he didn’t say “stuff.” Now, I know this might crush those of you who love a busy, cluttered carrot cake most of all, but I don’t think you’ll miss them here.

cider, olive oil, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs
peeling carrots
grating carrots

Because this here tastes to me like an October farmer’s market haul, with 3/4 pound fresh, grated carrots and fresh-pressed apple cider in here, olive oil replacing the usual butter (it’s dairy-free) and just the right amount of cinnamon/nutmeg/clove fall fragrance. It yields one towering, bronzed crown of a loaf with a deeply moist crumb (especially on day 2) and restrained sweetness. It’s weighty and moist, and will fill every millimeter of your loaf pan.

wet into dry ingredients
before the oven
from the oven

Whatever you do, do not make yourself a teeny tiny batch of (definitely not dairy-free) cream cheese frosting as a schmear. It’s best not to see how it melts right into a warm slice, lacing it with sweet tanginess or how this would indulge those that eat carrot cake mostly for the icing but only want to dabble in it at breakfast time. Just don’t, okay? I was better off not knowing.

carrot cake + cream cheese spread
carrot cake loaf with olive oil and apple cider

One year ago: Apple Slab Pie
Two years ago: Apple Mosaic Tart with Salted Caramel
Three years ago: Cumin Seed Roasted Cauliflower with Yogurt and Pomegranate
Four years ago: Spiced Applesauce Cake
Five years ago: Jalapeno Cheddar Scones and Apple Cider Doughnuts
Six years ago: Acorn Squash Quesadillas with Tomatillo Salsa and My Family’s Noodle Kugel
Seven years ago: Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Eight years ago: Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons (that I think needs to be dinner tonight)

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroons and Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms
1.5 Years Ago: Ramp Pizza
2.5 Years Ago: Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches
3.5 Years Ago: Blackberry and Coconut Macaroon Tart and Heavenly Chocolate Cake Roll

Carrot Cake with Cider and Olive Oil

Updated recipe [10/24/14]: In response to comments that the cake was coming out too wet/not baking through, I’ve made some adjustments. I’ve dropped the apple cider from the original 1 1/4 cups to 1 cup and the carrots (which I believe were the weighty culprit, as I was greedy to stuff this cake with almost an excess of them) from 2 cups to 1 1/2. My most recent loaf baked up wonderfully. I’m so sorry that some of you got off on the wrong foot with this cake. I hope this cures it, and gives this cake a chance to be your favorite again.

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, see buying suggestions below)
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

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan* with olive oil or a nonstick cooking spray. 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.


  • Apple cider: The cider I used here (sometimes called sweet or “soft” cider) is different from both apple juice and the hard, or alcoholic, fermented apple cider. It’s a fresh, unfiltered (it has sediment), raw apple juice — the juice literally pressed from fresh apples. The farmer’s market bottles are usually unpasteurized and must be refrigerated because they’re perishable. In the Northeast, I usually find it at farm stands and some grocery stores. I was convinced you couldn’t find this anywhere in the UK until I went there last year and a very dedicated shopper found a product called “cloudy” apple juice that was sold pasteurized but tasted remarkably like what we call apple cider, and from which we successfully made these heavenly caramels. Regardless of all this, I think a regular apple juice would work just fine here, it just has a less complex flavor.
  • Whole wheat variation: This cake is so dense and moist, I think it would be easy to start with a 1/3 to 1/2 swap of whole wheat or white whole wheat flour without compromising a whole lot. Plus, then it’s totally perfect for breakfast, right?
  • *Loaf pan vs. cake size: As I mentioned in the post, this loaf, once baked, uses the whole cake pan. My loaf pan is exactly 9×5-inches (top measurements, base is tapered in/smaller) and holds 6 1/4 cups liquid (to the brim). If yours is even a little smaller, I highly encourage baking a little of the batter off as muffins, rather than risk overflow. If you’re nervous, you can also use a foil-lined pan underneath the loaf pan to catch any messes.

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409 comments on carrot cake with cider and olive oil

    1. Devin

      Just made this and it’s legit. I grew up not liking carrots but started juicing them this summer and realized I should give them a second chance. I got a few in my weekly produce box and decided to go for it around 11:00p tonight and I’m so glad I did! Can’t wait to try it with the cream cheese frosting/icing/glaze.

  1. Raphaelle

    This sounds incredible and will be made very, very soon. Just the thing to use up leftover cider from the caramels. :) To be clear, is it 1 1/4 CUPS of cider? Thanks!

  2. Michelle

    This looks amazing! I love your food blog, I check it regularly.

    I’m wondering… is it 1 1/4 CUPS of apple cider? I’m hosting a small gathering this weekend & was still deciding on the desert, this may be it!

  3. Oh goodness, this looks delicious. I love the idea of it toasted with cold, cold butter. And yes, in the UK we do usually call this kind of juice ‘cloudy’ apple juice. PS I came to the event you did at Divertimenti in London. You were ace!

  4. Shelley

    Just happen to have a bunch of organic “rainbow” carrots which should make things interesting! Now to get the cider and make this for tonight:)

  5. Anna

    I just recently found out that I have a mild milk allergy (very mild, as in a level 1 out of 5), and I’ve been musing on the possibility of limiting dairy. I’m not a huge fan of the idea, but this I can get on board with!

  6. diana

    You are awesome. I listened and watched your interview on the diane rhyme show, love your blog and cookbook!!!! Could this be made as cupcakes?

  7. Sarah J

    What is so crazy is I was searching your site today for carrot muffins but made apple muffins (from your site) instead (delicious, inhaled 3). But I have all the ingredients for these too. So what’s to stop me?!!!!!!!

  8. Tom

    Do you peel the carrots before you grate them or do you prefer to grate them unpeeled? It seems like you prefer the unpeeled carrot but I wanted to clarify.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. It looks delicious. I side with your husband; I’d rather have a slice that isn’t chock full of things (raisins, nuts, etc) which distract from the bread and contributes to a crumbly slice.

  9. Ha! I was just talking with my mom last night about how I think I would like carrot cake a lot more if people didn’t insist on putting pineapple and walnuts in it. Alex and I think alike.
    I also recommend that you Google BJ Novak’s “Kindness Among Cakes,” which I quote whenever anyone mentions carrot cake. Here, I’ll link to it in my name.

  10. Robert

    I think I’m going to make it with the addition of crystallized ginge. Have a lot on hand and think it will go well.

    thanks for the idea!

  11. deb

    Timmy — Yes, just added (which, of course, you didn’t see because the site went down for 10 minutes after I published this, arrgh).

    Tom — Yes, I do. Will edit to note that.

    mary — That’s hilarious. Alex will get a chuckle, too. (Did you know he reads all of the comments? Not just here, but on other websites? I find this fascinating, the idea of being able to read a newspaper article’s comment section, etc. and not wanting to wrangle people. Uh, I digress…)

  12. Unfortunately, this summer I discovered Cream Cheese frosting freezes beautifully and have been waiting for THE perfect vehicle to make space in the freezer. Thanks!

  13. deb

    Betsey — I just learned this too! Had leftover from Jacob’s birthday cupcakes for school, used them for the next birthday party. Felt so much better than either tossing it or, um, eating it.

    call me kate — I definitely think you could use another oil or butter here. I find this cake to be very forgiving of small changes. (For example, my first loaf had 1.5 cups carrot and when I changed it to 2 cups, it worked just as well.)

  14. anon

    Actually, cider in the US that’s sold in grocery stores -is- pasteurized. According to wikipedia, regulations were finalized in 2001 that required any cider not sold directly from producers to consumers to follow “Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points” controls such as heat pasteurization.

  15. Binsy

    Hi Deb! just curious as to what the “and for the other side of the world” refers to… I can’t believe I’ve been reading this blog for 8 years! Wow-you are truly amazing :)

  16. deb

    anon — You are correct. I will edit the information accordingly.

    Binsy — I’ve had several requests over the years from readers in Australia and New Zealand, where they are going into summer as we go into winter, and vice-versa, to highlight recipes that might be seasonal for them. I just finally started doing it this week.

    Claire — I think so. Is it an aversion to brown sugar or you just wanted to use a more natural sweetener? If you’re nervous, you can begin with a half-swap.

  17. And with that, carrots are on my grocery list for Saturday. I have a carrot cupcake recipe I love that I adapted from Alton Brown that has, I think, the substance you’re talking about, but I love apple cider and can never get through it by myself and this would be a great use (other than forgetting it in the back of the fridge to let it turn into vaguely hard cider). However, nuts are going in mine because everything is better with nuts. Sorry Alex.

    (And on a totally unrelated note Deb, I’m going to Paris for the first time in a few weeks. I read your posts on your trip there–it sounds like you stayed in or near Marais, which is where I’ll be. I’d love any advice/suggestions!)

  18. Sally

    Question – how do you grate your carrots? It looks like in the FP, but with which blade? (very important question, I know…) Thanks :)

    This is the bane of my existence, hand grating carrots… And I’m OBSESSED with your carrot cake recipe from 2008, which I just made again this past weekend.

  19. I just bought a jug of cider to make syrup (which, oops, I overcooked and kind of made caramel, quelle horreur!) and was wondering if I could use up the rest in some kind of baked good. What a delicious looking answer, too – can’t wait to give this a go!

  20. deb

    Christina — Ooh, very envious over here! My notes are hopelessly outdated (as in, I’d cross check and make sure places I liked are still considered good) because we haven’t been in 6 very long years, not coincidentally just a little longer than a certain mini-human has been in our lives.

    Sally — I use the FP. It makes coarse-ish strands. I detest hand-grating, too.

  21. Kate

    Deb! I love carrot cake with a blazing passion and this carrot bread looks divine. I only have one issue – I’m not a super skilled baker AND I live in Denver (5,280 ft). I’ve pretty much given up on making breads/cakes from scratch unless I follow a high altitude recipe. What alterations would you suggest for all of us living in the clouds? Thanks!!!

    1. Jan

      I am in Lake Tahoe at 6300 feet and have had a fair amount of success in baking here with reducing oil by as much as 1/4 cup and substituting an additional egg. Not sure if this would work in this one as I have not tried it yet.

  22. Killian

    I cannot wait to make this. I’d been wondering what to make for our new neighbors who just moved in – this is perfect.

    I wholeheartedly agree with Alex, btw. I will tolerate raisins in carrot cake, but pineapple is gross in baked things, and nuts don’t belong anywhere except straight out of the shell. Baking them into something automatically renders it inedible. Yuck.

  23. Sally

    Glad that I’m not alone!

    Ok, so OCD question – for the carrots, do you use the fine or coarse grating blade in the FP?

    Thanks again!

    1. deb

      Sally — I used the coarse blade. I will update the recipe to note that they’re coarsely grated.

      FWIW, I bought a fancy blender this summer and briefly fantasized that I could downsize my kitchen clutter by using it as I once did the FP. Then I realized it doesn’t have a grating feature. I will basically never get rid of my FP for this alone.

  24. Sally

    Thanks Deb! I LOVE my Cuisinart, which is the new version at W-S, with three bowls nested in it. The only downside is the cleaning – it’s enormous. We basically don’t use our blender anymore because it’s kind of broken and don’t really need it…

  25. That’s why I figured I’d ask :-) I have a whole map of places that sound good (it’s mostly a David Lobovitz’s In Abstentia Tour of Paris) and things we want to see or do, but if there’s one thing that you’d suggest (not necessarily a place to eat) for someone who’s never been, any thoughts?

    1. deb

      Christina — I wouldn’t expect Chez Omar or Bistro Paul Bert to be any less good years later; ditto for the Breizh Cafe. I would never dark leave Paris without at least one trip to Poilane for bread and another for a bag (or bags, they make great gifts; keep really well) of those sable cookies. And you have to go to G. Detou to buy your lifetime supply of Valrhona cocoa. :)

      Kristin — I’ve never used a light olive oil before, so I wouldn’t expect it to be needed. I used, well, the brand you see above, which has a great flavor.

  26. Anya

    Thank you so much for the note on a UK-available cider substitute! After 7 years here, I’m never more homesick than when trying to find baking ingredients. (Now if I can just find chocolate chips I’ll be all set…)

  27. Kristin

    Do you recommend using light olive oil, so the flavor doesn’t mix oddly with the other ingredients – or does it not matter? Looks amazing and I can’t wait to make it! Thanks!!

  28. deb

    One more note before I run off to the store for soup ingredients (I wasn’t kidding), I just added a third note at the end of the recipe about pan size. I use a large loaf pan; if yours is smaller, do consider pouring off a little into muffin cups. This is a BIG loaf.

  29. Tia

    Perfect timing, I was just looking for a carrot cake recipe this afternoon that would use up some odd leftover ingredients! I had a cup and a quarter of shredded carrots leftover so I used some leftover shredded coconut to make up the difference (since it was sweetened, I reduced the sugar to one half cup). I have no sour cream, yogurt, or buttermilk, which so many recipes call for, but I have lots of cider.

    I even have half a block of cream cheese to use up, so, again, perfect timing! You must be a mind reader.

  30. Now that you mention it, carrot cake does sound good.

    Reading this right now during lunch makes me desperately want to try this with carrot juice instead as I’m too lazy to go out and find some apple cider. I might change also out the cream cheese frosting you didn’t suggest (I’ll plead the fifth if questioned on it) and not do it with some chevre instead; not because I don’t love cream cheese, but cow dairy isn’t purchased in my house any longer.

  31. I love carrot cake so much! This looks so delicious. I spend so much time looking at recipes and foody blogs I thought I was passed craving the food I see online but I am completely craving this now; it’s so full of delicious autumnal flavours. It looks like the ultimate comfort food.

  32. Alice C.

    That looks ridiculously good! Definitely on my list along with some apple cider caramels! Looks like it’s probably moist enough to ship too!

  33. The second carrot cake I am reading about today – I am taking this now as a serious hint and will make carrot cake soon. Is my Mother-in-law at your place? She keeps asking me about carrot cake, too. I’ve never seen a loaf version, only circular ones and sorry, I love, love hazelnuts in mine.

  34. Jessica

    Yum! Thinking about making this later today – do you happen to know how I would best substitute butter for the olive oil? Would it still be 1/2 cup? My family has an aversion to olive oil in cakes, they can taste an olive-y flavor that my kids especially aren’t fond of.

  35. Teresa

    Deb, I am so sorry to ask to clarify the grating of the carrots again…I read through all the comments, but did you use the grating disk where you push the carrots through on top, or did you use the blade where the carrots spin and chop up on the bottom of the processor? Thanks, looks so delicious!

  36. Kathy K

    Your recipes are inspirational! Will pick up cider shortly and look forward to making this bread ASAP. I like to make ‘mini loaves’…less of a temptation (?) when all but one are in the freezer (with the cream cheese frosting:). They make great gifts and store better than muffins.

  37. Kiri

    Your note about apple cider not being available in the UK made me chuckle – I only get cloudy apple juice have done for years – and I always get confused when American’s talk about cider as the stuff I drank at uni in Bristol was strongly alcoholic!

  38. Sounds fantastic – I can’t say I’ve ever made a snack version of carrot cake, but I’m loving the idea! This recipe couldn’t have come at a better time, since I’ll be picking up some fresh cider this weekend.

  39. Robyn

    Just noted the half yearly archive links. Clicked back to see when this had started. Had to laugh, didn’t notice this great addition on the Fall-toush, when I was adding a link for it with an autumn tag in Evernote. Thank you from NZ.

  40. Sarah

    My mom just got back from a trip to the ME and got me this huge jar of Date syrup, do you think by any means it could be substituted for the dark brown sugar?

  41. To the question above on olive oil: light olive oil only means light on flavor. As in, it’s not first cold pressing, so it has less of the olive oil flavor (and color) and is fine for things when the flavor isn’t important- but in this case (and most in my opinion) you want that flavor! :) Extra virgin for sure will be the best. I’ve made the olive oil blood orange cake (on here I believe) and the olive oil is the star- But in case you were wondering the “light” doesn’t mean lighter in anything else. It’s still just olive oil. I think you’ll benefit from EVOO here though. Mine is in the oven. And I used some fresh pressed local cider and I cannot WAIT to try it! I made a double batch and filled two loaf pans. Heavenly smells! Why should pumpkin get all the fun? cider and carrots? yes. please.

  42. And carrot questioner above- she would have had to have used a disc w/ grating feature- I think she mentioned it somewhere in comments- the chopper won’t get them quite this texture. ;) happy grating!

  43. Kris

    Is there any way to make this without eggs? My husband’s boss (along with the rest of his department) is having a spectacularly crappy month, she’s vegan, and I’d like to make a treat that they can all enjoy.

  44. Jillian N.

    Thanks for considering up on the other side of the world! I love this site, and many other northern hemispheric sites, but being on the other side of the world means I am generally not cooking up winter favorites when you are. Carrot cake, however, is always seasonal. Cheers!

  45. JP

    Would be interested in knowing how this would come out with carrot juice used instead of cider @#64…do let us know if you actually try it! Sounds carrot to the nth!

  46. Staci

    Is there something that could be used instead of the apple cider? I’m allergic to apples, but I’d still love to make this! Would water do the trick?

  47. Lex

    Hi Deb, wondering how this would do with sweet potato rather than carrots. I’m sure puree would make it incredibly dense but – I’ve never tried raw, grated sweet potato and wanted your more-educated-than-mine guess/thoughts.

  48. deb

    Lex — Hm, I think it could be good. I might bump the flour up to 2 1/2 cups, not because sweet potato is that much more moist than carrots, but because it will fall apart more once baking and might lend too much of a mush factor. You might want a little more spice, too, so it stands out above the sweetness.

    If you don’t want to use apple cider — Use milk, regular milk. If it’s just an apple issue, and you can get something fun like pear cider, go for it. If you are in the pineapple camp and think you’ll miss it, try pineapple juice.

    Kris and others with egg-free requests — I haven’t tested it out here, but many people have told me over the years that they’ve had success with the flax seed-water combo for baking. If anyone tries it and would like to report back on how it went, I am sure it will be appreciated.

    Butter instead of olive oil — Absolutely.

    Sarah, actually both Sarahs who asked about using liquid sweeteners — I think it’s worth trying. I feel like this cake will be fairly forgiving of single changes when everything else is the same, so go for it. (But blah blah disclaimer, I haven’t made this with only a liquid sweetener so don’t know for absolute certain, but you knew that…)

    Maggy — Let’s see if I can talk about it without being my excessively long-winded self! But the background may or may not be worth noting. I’d read a bit of this book a few years ago (I think it was built on an article he’d written for the New Yorker) about the tenuous grip on truth in labeling in most of the olive oil industry has. Tom Mueller keeps on his website of “great olive oils” — ones he’s found to be honest and also well-made and cross-referenced his list with what I could find easily at stores which is how I landed on this brand. That’s the long story. The short one is: it tastes very, very good.

    Re, UK apple cider with booze in it — I’m not even sure it would be terrible here. I might, however, not eat a slice for breakfast. Uh, on a weekday. :)

    Teresa — I probably didn’t clarify, actually. Yes, I used the grating disc. I only otherwise have a slicing disc and that wouldn’t… don’t say cut it don’t say cut it … it wouldn’t have shredded them well.

    Lydia/almond flour question — I’d be nervous to do a full swap of almond flour on a whole loaf. I might test it on a half or less batch of muffins first, just to see.

  49. Interesting! I’ve never had this kind of carrot cake, I always make the kind with raisins and walnuts and uh, stuff =P

    This sounds good, and definitely OK for breakfast in my book! Especially with the cream cheese – it’s like a bagel with cream cheese at that point, and THAT’s classic breakfast food, right? :)

  50. I am laughing right now because I literally made a cider cake with fall spices based on your blood orange olive oil cake at the last yoga retreat I hosted, just 2 weeks ago. The cake turned out great and was a hit. Excited to try it as a carrot cake.

  51. Deb, this looks absolutely delish, and I have some carrots I need to do something with in my fridge.

    I think I may try this over the weekend…

    Also, this’ll give me an excuse to try baking in my new oven. Had to call my apartment manager last week and they ended up replacing my old 24″ stove with a brand new 24″ one (electric) as the lower element in the old oven went.

    I think I got most of the rest of the ingredients as well, other than maybe the flour.

  52. sarah

    I saw this this afternoon and I had to try it! I had all of the ingredients on hand, except I only had whole wheat flour, so I substituted that for all of the AP flour. The cake came out delicious with the whole wheat substitution, although I might up the sweetness next time.

    I don’t own a loaf pan, so I baked it in a 9X9 square cake pan. It took about 50 minutes in my oven, and the batter fit really nicely.

    Definitely a fall-appropriate recipe! I’m looking forward to leftovers for breakfast tomorrow!

  53. MJ

    I have been looking for this recipe for years! Like others–including Alex–I don’t like carrot cakes with extra “stuff” in them. I’m allergic to nuts, which is a fairly easy ingredient to drop out but the pineapple always had me flummoxed. I like pineapple. Just not in my carrot cake. I was worried about swapping out too many ingredients that I’d end up with a mess.
    This cake also looks like it’d be perfect for my kids who are raisin, walnut and pineapple adverse. They are huge fans of your zucchini bread and I suspect I can add this to the list.

  54. ‘Morning, Now I know this sounds like I really do want my cake and eat it but is there a way of putting a “share” button on your recipe pages like a well known online consumer has? I often receive your recipes and think that my daughter would love a recipe and it would be great to hit a share button and write a short message? Thanks and this looks lovely by the way – I have so many recipes I intend to try over the next couple of weeks.

  55. April

    Forgive me, as I’m not very unfamiliar with apple cider. So, it’s just apples sent through the juicer? Because I can’t get apple cider where I live (just store-bought apple juice), but I do have a juicer. Can I sent a few apples through it and use that liquid as the cider?

    I guess I don’t understand the difference between cider and juice.

  56. Ruth

    Oh my word, that looks amazing. I’m moving country next Wednesday and all of my baking paraphernalia is already packed, but I’m almost tempted to dig it out to make this right now! Yum yum, will definitely be making this once my new kitchen is set up!

  57. Pietila

    Thank you for the tip on apple cider! We do have “cloudy” apple juice here in Finland, can’t wait to make it, looks so delicious! :)

  58. Jenny

    Cider in the UK is not only alcoholic but fizzy (carbonated) so I guess it should be left out to get flat before we bake with it?

  59. What are you, some kind of psychic? I haven’t been on your blog in a while (I know, shame on me!), and then I bought a bunch of carrots with grand plans of making your carrot cake. So not only is the first thing that greets me on your webiste a link to said carrot cake recipe, you’ve also posted this one. Guess I need to go out and get some cider now too! Can’t wait to try this.

  60. Right up my alley. Love baking this kind of loafs, which taste awesome and makes me believe I am feeding the kids their veggie allowance for the day. So this recipe is going straight onto the top of my to-try pile od recipes.
    Also, we use the same brand of olive oil! (isn´t it such a happy label design?)

  61. deb

    Liz — Probably similar to my suggestions to Lex in Comment #98; she’d wanted to use sweet potato. Btw, if you’re thinking more of a puree, as in a carrot-squash cake, you could swap half the apple cider for a puree and it should still bake up just fine.

    Indian Food — Re, eggs, see my suggestion to Kris in Comment #98.

    Jenny — No, I don’t think any need to let it get flat first. I mention in the notes, btw, that cloudy apple juice in the UK is probably the closest thing to what we call apple cider in the US.

    April — I believe so. I think for cider they use more of a press, but it’s just semantics. I’d imagine fresh apple juice could give you the same. Btw, here’s a great explainer from The Kitchn on the difference between apple juice and apple cider.

    Marlene — I would agree that it’s not the easiest to find — and a redesign to make this and other things is easier is in the works! but until then — there’s a line below each recipe, before the comments begin with options: Bookmark (will open with several options) as well as Pinning and Emailing. Hope that helps.

  62. Saw in an above comment that a flax egg might work- I volunteer to be the tester! I’ll give this recipe a try either tonight or over the weekend and report back ASAP. Looks delicious, Deb- I’m so excited!

  63. Hi Deb, I’ve attempted to make this carrot cake this afternoon but it just won’t bake – it’s been in the oven for over 2 hours now. Looks perfect but when it has cooled slightly and I’ve cut into it it’s a damp soggy mess inside. Taste is divine but in it’s current state it’s inedible…. I don’t know where I went wrong??? I’ve just put it back into the oven for even longer on Gas Mark 180. I followed the ingredients amounts precisely and used cup measurements for liquids and grams for dry ingredients – could that be it? As we don’t have 350 degrees on our cookers over in the UK I cooked it at 175 degrees but then upped it to 180 towards the end of it’s second hour. I also covered it with foil to stop it burning. Has anyone else had the same problem or is it just me?

    1. calliaphone

      Same here, also in uk. I measured everything as weights except the liquids which I measured in millilitres. Using a convection oven not a fan oven, at 180 deg C. Have had similar problems with the ultimate zucchini bread – part resolved by using very slightly lower ratio of zucchini to other ingredients, and partly by baking as muffins. Have yet to try that for this recipe.

  64. MaryM

    Great recipe! I think I’ll bake it at a convenient time and freeze it for my next church circle meeting! BTW I like it with all the various “stuffs” in it, but have found (at age 60-something) that I seem to be allergic to pineapple. May throw in some pecans, though!

  65. Rachael

    THAT IS THE BIGGEST JAR OF VANILLA EXTRACT I HAVE EVER SEEN. do you buy in bulk (hopefully cheaper) or do you make your own? i am constantly lamenting the ridiculous cost of vanilla but i use so much in my baking and ice cream projects, so if you have any suggestions i would love to hear them.

    1. deb

      Rachael — I made my own. Bought some bottles, used Wednesday Chef’s version as a guide. Definitely give it 6 weeks to steep if you can. I mean, it’s great after 1 to 2, but at 6, it’s miles better than storebought. Oh, and always buy vanilla beans by the weight, not number, IMHO. Seems like a more fair transaction. I still have some left and was thinking about just getting another bottle started so whenever I need it (clearly not soon), it will be fully steeped.

      1. jessica

        deb, where do you buy your vanilla beans by weight? i’ve always wanted to make my own but can only seem to find them by number.

        oh, and where did you get that awesome loaf pan sized cooling rack? thx so much!

  66. Heather

    Ha! Just in time! I bought carrots with this same craving in mind yesterday!! Question though – what do you think of adding some persimmon? We have a very productive tree in full fruit right now, and I plan to make persimmon sauce (same consistency as apple sauce) and thought I might add that to whatever carrot cake I made. Substitute the cider? And the fruit is quite sweet so maybe cut back on sugar? I like the idea of milk too though if I need the liquid… Thanks!

  67. Sheryl

    Hi, not sure if anyone has asked this, but, fresh out of apple cider…If I sub using apple sauce, how would it change consistency??? Or, should I get my butt out of the house and buy some?

  68. deb

    Heather — If you’ve got puree, I think you can easily swap half the cider for it. I confess that I haven’t spent nearly enough time cooking with persimmons so I can’t offer more advice, but if they do seem quite sweet to you — sweeter than cider — you might drop the sugar a little, but I’m also wary of this because I promise, this is not a terribly sweet cake to begin with. Oh, and if you have any suggested persimmon “starter” recipes, I’m all ears. I’d love to fiddle around.

    Marlene — Yikes, I’m so sorry and I honestly have no idea what might have happened. I made this twice, but it didn’t ever have to bake it more than 65 minutes. Did you need to make any ingredient adjustments? Do you have an oven thermometer? I’ll keep an eye out for more responses, in case it’s not just you.

    Ella — Thank you!

  69. Mary

    I should just set up an auto pin from your blog to my pinterest board called “Delish Discovery.” Because I invariably pin everything you post. My sister just had a baby and I can’t decide if she would like this cake or the chocolate babka better…

  70. karen

    i came here for your banana bread recipe and found this! made it yesterday and it is DELICIOUS! extra great for the non-dairy-ness!

  71. Polina

    Thanks for the recipe — made it yesterday with carrots from the market! Super yummy, though I had to bake it close to 80 mins (my pan was 8.5×4.5). And I had to use about 9 carrots to get 340g.

  72. Elaine

    The loaf is in the oven as I type this, and I have already sampled the mini muffins that were from the overflow. I had a bit smaller loaf pan, so was able to make 12 mini muffins as well. Baked those at 20 mins and came out delicious. The only other things I changed is that I used vegetable oil and apple juice. They both were just what I had on hand, and hoping my toddler doesn’t notice the couple of missing juice boxes! Go get to baking! This is keeper, and I’m thinking of making up several for the holidays to give to friends!

  73. Regine Franck

    Dairy-free is perfect (both my kids and the son of a friend are allergic to milk), but did I miss out on the gluten-free version? Is it at all doable (my kids can and do eat wheat products but my friend’s son can’t)?

    As to nuts in carrot cake, ground hazelnuts (or almonds) are very much a feature in Swiss carrot cake (Aargauer Rüeblitorte). The cute marzipan carrots alone make it a firm favourite with kids any age … go google and you might convince your husband yet :-)

    greetings from yet another side of the world (a small provincial town in Switzerland)

  74. redgirl

    Question here: I love all of this but I happen to really hate cloves. Can they be left out (or substituted with…?) and still have a great product?

  75. Nancy

    I just made this now!! I bought apple cider and lots of carrots from upstate NY farm over the weekend ;) Unfortunately the cake sunk… but it tastes yummy. I stuck a toothpick in at 60 minutes and it came out *almost* clean so I popped it back in for another 10-12 minutes. Still looks like I could have added more time?? But I guess it’ll just be extra moist lol

  76. Vicky

    perhaps you answered this And I missed it but I typically substitute applesauce for op in recipes. Do you know if it will work for this one?

  77. RG

    I wonder if the fancy blender would chop finely (rather than grate)? Also, in the vein of 34 lbs of apples, I wonder if you could make apple cider with that fancy blender and a cheesecloth? it would be worth it for the caramels since you wouldn’t have to boil the cider down. We have a pear tree and I think about similar ways to process the excess poundage.

  78. Kate A

    I made this earlier today and it didn’t rise that well. I double checked all ingredients and made sure the oven was at the right temperature, but after 70 minutes it came out looking deflated. It continued to look deflated, and after taking it out of the pan it’s very compact looking and too moist. Any ideas what went wrong?

  79. Sarah

    I had the same problem as Kate – I made this last night and followed the recipe as written. I know my oven runs true to temp and despite checking and baking for 70+ minutes, it’s very damp and almost like pudding inside, so I’m also wondering what might have happened.

  80. Wendy

    From the other side of the world in Argentina, thank you so much! It’s so hard to wait six months to try out your recipes when they are in season. This is a great reminder.

  81. Ann G.

    I, too, was super psyched to try this and also wound up with a soggy middle even after 70+minutes at the 350F heat…only tweak I did was an extra bit of carrots-about 2.5c total of the heirloom variety. Towards the end of baking, it looked nice and domed but then it fell upon cooling. Hate to toss it; may try and salvage slice by slice by toasting? The mixture did appear quite moist, more from the eggs and cider than the carrots; they grated up nice and dry.

  82. elkiddo

    I made this following your instructions exactly and the cake came out perfect and delicious. It looks very much like yours. I used light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar and i did squeeze out the moisture out of the grated carrots before mixing them in the wet ingredients, not sure whether it makes any difference though. Thanks for the recipe. Like Alex, i too don’t like ‘stuff’ in my carrot cake.

  83. Frances

    Thank you for including your ‘other side of the world’ recipe links! (Though this lot just reminded me how annoying it is that I cannot find ramps in Sydney…)

  84. Lee

    Marlene: the same thing just happened to me. I had it in the oven for about 90 minutes, the skewer came out clean… but the bottom half of the cake was wet and dense enough that it looked like raw batter. Putting it in to re-bake didn’t do any good, either. A couple of hours later, I’ve given up and will just be eating the top half. If I make this again, I might try cutting the liquid or preheating the tin, maybe?

  85. Sam

    Your everyday cakes are always exactly what I’m looking for, I’ve ended up slowly baking my way through the list. Your baking is great because it’s always about the flavour and the experience, and it just looks fantastic because you can actually see how good it is going to taste. Perfect.

  86. Nicole

    I made this and the taste was delicious, but it was too moist. The skewer came out clean after I cooked it for 70 minutes, but it was still soggy when I cut it. The only thing I didn’t do was squeeze the liquid out of the grated carrots, could this have been the problem?

  87. Monica P

    I made your carrot cake with cider and olive oil yesterday and it was wonderful. We had it toasted for breakfast with pumpkin spiced coffee, such a lovely fall breakfast.

  88. Lisa

    Just came to see if you have a gingerbread recipe because I have a hankering for a fall loaf cake, and then this is on the front page. And I’d have to go out to the store for molasses, but I bought carrots at the farmer’s market yesterday without knowing what they were for. With the rest of the cider from last week’s market, this will be just perfect!

  89. deb

    Uncooked centers/bottoms — I’m sorry to hear this is happening. I did not squeeze the juice from my carrots but I had this pause as I was making it, wondering if people used baby carrots, which are very wet, if it would still cook as well. Tell me, was that what any of you with damp centers used? Extra carrots, more than 2 coarsely grated cups, could definitely throw the moisture too high as well. I’ll be making another loaf again this afternoon — my best guess is that if none of the above is the issue, we might find it works more consistently with 2 1/2 cups flour. I used that level on my first two, then dropped it to 2 1/3 cups on the last and liked the additional moisture. However, this is really only a 1 2/3 tablespoon change, and I question if it would make a huge difference.

    Jenna — I don’t remember, but I feel certain it was more than that.

  90. Catherine

    Did you use ground ginger or cardamom in the cake? It looks like it in the pictures, but isn’t listed in the recipe… Thanks!

  91. Could I put in nuts and raisins and stuff? I love tons of crunch and texture in my breads – the more the better. How much could this cake hold, do you think?

  92. Erik

    Made exactly by weight, whole carrots, but with a bit of white weheat substituted (aprox .5 cup) and had the same soggy problem. At 70 minutes loaf looked perfect and the skewer came out clean, but fully a half of the center was uncooked. Sadness….

  93. Margit Van Schaick

    Diana#165, I’m not an expert, but I did a lot of experimenting when I had a job as the cook in a small facility for handicapped children. How much extra stuff you add(nuts, raisins, even the basic wet stuff such as carrots, bananas, sweet potato, squash) depends on the rest of the ingredients–flour, eggs, oil or butter. I would start with 1/2 cup total of extras. You can’t go wrong with that! Next time, try it with 1 1/2 cups. See how that turns out. And so forth. I’m sure Deb has some more expert recommendations. But, I thought I’d offer my suggestions, in case you want to bake RIGHT NOW! As you experiment, you might like to see what happens when you add another egg and maybe 1/4 cup more flour. I think it’s fun to play with recipes, as long as you make small changes, observing what happens, and based on that, maybe try another small variation. As for the sogginess mentioned by some other commenters, it might be the shape of your loaf pan, how deep it is. And, perhaps the carrots sank mostly to the bottom, for some reason.

  94. Janet Miller

    Sadly, I am in the same boat as Marlene. My loaf is cooling on the rack now, but when I inverted it (after 20 min. cooling in the pan) the bottom 1/3 of the cake broke into a mushy mess. Seems like there is too much liquid for the amount of dry ingredients. When I compare thus to a zucchini bread, there only seems to be liquid from eggs and oil. Keep us updated if measurements change. This is a great flavor combination!

  95. Muffy

    My CSA overloaded me with carrots, so this recipe was timely, but like Janet my loaf just couldn’t handle all that moisture between cider and the volume of grated carrots – even baking it nearly an hour longer than the recipe called for. Not a keeper for me, sorry to say.

  96. deb

    Updating the recipe — This was tricky because I wasn’t getting the wetness some have described, but I went ahead and reduced the apple cider to just under 1 cup, and the final crumb of the cake on the retest still seems moist but hopefully not excessively so. This also keeps the cake from spilling out of the pan, i.e. reducing the cider rather than increasing the flour, as my loaf pans are near-fully filled with this cake. I’m going to update the recipe accordingly. I’m so sorry for those of you who have had overly moist cakes. I’d have caught it sooner if it was happening to me. In the meanwhile, I’d recommend toasting your too-moist slices before eating each one, should help get its structure back. I hope they’re at least still tasty.

    Catherine — I used ginger in my first batch but found it distracting (why you see it in a photo). If you think you’d like it here, I’d say 1/4 teaspoon ground is about right.

  97. sara g

    I used 100% whole wheat flour and the original/larger amount of apple juice (instead of cider.) Came out wonderful. Everyone, inc. my almost 3yo grandson, loved it. i made it in 2 smaller loaf pans – maybe that’s why it wasn’t too moist?

  98. I can practically smell this baking as I type…this looks delicious, and sure to please my husband, as well, who would agree with yours on the subject of raisins and nuts and “stuff” :) Love the look of this as a bread, but maybe will try baking in muffin tins for half an hour or so to avoid the potential moisture problems. Thanks, as always, for posting such delicious-looking recipes!

  99. Marion

    Hi Deb, I also made it this morning and mine was also overly wet… Glad I wasn’t the only one with this problem… I’ll try it again sometime….

  100. Bonnie

    I boiled my cider down a little to 3/4 cup as I was doing a GF version with C4C and worried about the amount of liquid without the gluten for structure. Intensified the apple flavor and ended up great!

  101. I just served this and had the first slice (with the icing! Even though I’m not supposed to have dairy because I have terrible acne right now). SO GOOD. AHHH. Not bad for cleanup.

    This is one of your recipes where I can get *all* of the ingredients at the co-op on my street, so I can make it on a whim instead of waiting for my partner to come home from work with the car. My son likes going to scoop bulk spices because they give him a free lollipop, hehe. Cheers!

  102. Anna

    Hi deb, so this has to be the first time something goes wrong! it never cooked through!!!! so currently toasting slices! but would love to get same end result as you!!!!

  103. What a coincidence! I feel like carrot cake RIGHT NOW and started searching for a suitable recipe (nut allergy…) before stepping out for groceries. I usually compare couple of recipes before deciding which one to go for, and as I type smitten kitchen the front page is showing a carrot cake! I take this as sign that carrot cake is on the menu this afternoon :)

  104. Katie

    I made this exactly as written and it was done perfectly in 70 minutes. For the cream cheese glaze, I made it with just one tablespoon of honey (was out of powdered sugar) and it was plenty sweet for breakfast.

  105. Judy

    Made this cake this morning, but in a large muffin tin instead – unanimously proclaimed delicious! As we’re from Wisconsin, we obviously took the cream cheese option;) I had no issues with overly wet batter – the muffins came out beautifully (about 10 large ones). For anyone debating, this is a great recipe, but won’t taste like the tooth-achingly sweet carrot cake of the dessert world – more complex and spicy. I might try it with coconut oil next time around. Deb – I love your recipes and appreciate that they are not overly sweet. Thanks for a great breakfast! Go Packers!

  106. Cory

    Just made this in my 10″ bundt pan. It baked for 60 minutes and came out great. I often find the bundt pan works well for a heavy, moist cake because the tube shape gives it extra surface area. Might be an answer for those who are finding it doesn’t bake through. The cake filled the bundt pan about halfway full.

  107. Kristina

    Hi Deb! I just enjoyed two slices of this cake, fresh from the oven (with required amount of resting time, of course), and had to get back here to report that I love this recipe. I tried (really, I did!) to make this exactly as you wrote it, however I got out the scale and only had about half of the suggested amount of carrots on hand. Not cool, I figured, so I grabbed two beets that had been languishing in the crisper– one red, one gold– and hoped for the best as I folded them in with the carrots. Let me tell you, it’s fabulous. And very festive looking, with the streaks of magenta kind of confetti-ing through the crumb. Will definitely be making the frosting for further enjoyment this week. :) Thank you! K

  108. Beth

    Regarding the moisture problem, how about tossing the shredded carrots with the dry ingredients instead of mixing them into the wet ingredients? Flour-coated carrots might be less likely to sink and cause a soggy bottom layer.

  109. Sarah

    I made this tonight in muffin/cupcake form. It was a perfect, kid-friendly dessert contribution for a gathering of friends. I doubled the recipe which perfectly filled 24 standard-size muffin tins. I baked at 350 for 25 minutes – which seemed just right. Delicious!

  110. cathykc

    Deb, thank you for the update on cider amount. I made the original and had moisture problem in the middle as well, but it was still great tasting. Will make again!!

  111. Kamo

    Made this using the updated measurements and it turned out great! Only cooked 60min and it was perfectly set and moist. It’s not as carrot cakey as I was expecting but still delicious. Makes me want a good fall beer!

  112. Nick

    I unfortunately had the same problem as Kate and a few others. I followed the instructions precisely (ingredients by weight) and my two 8.5×4.5 loaf pans are only half full. Looks like the cakes didn’t rise properly. My baking powder isn’t expired yet (though it does expire in 8 weeks)

    Any thoughts?

  113. Lotta

    Does this cake freeze well? Got our first baby arriving in a couple of weeks and would love to stock up the freezer with some lovely treats for those sleep deprived early months.. Thanks!

  114. Johanna

    I made this with only whole wheat flour I watched get ground in a historic grist mill in Washington (i know, i know). I forgot it was 100% whole wheat so it came out a little dense, but it was delicious anyhow. Thanks, Deb!

  115. Liz

    How do you think a little rye flour (maybe swapping out a cup of the AP) would fare? I started experimenting with different flours (thank you Good to the Grain) and I love adding rye… I think I might have to try it. It’s great in your buttermilk cake with the berries!

  116. Our minds think alike. I’ve been thinking of carrot cake or bread as well. Even touched base with co-worker who made the best carrot cake ever. Thanks for the suggestion, time to pull my Mom’ carrot bread rec

  117. Eva

    Is it possible to use less oil? I haven’t tried to make the cake yet so I don’t know how many slices to expect. If the yield is about 12 slices then each slice would have 9.3 grams of oil. That seems like a lot especially if the cake is really good and one is tempted to eat a second slice.

  118. Zach

    Have you tried a carrot pie before? Rough mashed carrot, cheddar cheese, cider vinegar on a shortcrust pastry. Tangy, sweet, savoury. Like a good soup, even better the next day.

  119. Faye

    I ran home from work yesterday to make this loaf; I had printed my recipe over the weekend and did not look at updates yesterday as I put it all together. Unfortunately, the end product was waaaaay too moist and the bread did not set properly in the middle. Will now try toasting the individual slices as I eat them.

  120. Lydia Downey

    I made this cake yesterday and have to say I’m quite disappointed with the result. After the maximum 70 min baking time, an inserted skewer came out clean, but after slicing when cold, the loaf was still raw in the middle. I put it back in the oven hoping to dry it out, but it didn’t work. On the whole, the texture it really dense, heavy and too moist, similar to English Bread Pudding. I actually think it would’ve worked better without the addition of cider, as the proportions of the other ingredients are similar to other carrot cake recipes I’ve made.

  121. Pen Fox

    I had the same uncooked center/bottom issue that some others reported after 70 minutes of baking time (and items usually cook too fast in my oven). I thought this was because I made too many adjustments, but I’m not sure, given the other reports here. I replaced about 100g of the AP flour with whole wheat pastry flour, did not use baby carrots, and had to make do with a mix of baby food and juice (I should have used milk…). I agree with Lydia that mine was a bit more like bread pudding than bread.

  122. I’ll just report that I made this recipe as muffins (which I freeze to send to school for the kids’ snacks throughout the week) using about 80% whole wheat flour and just half a cup of sugar. They baked for about 21 minutes at 375 and are totally delicious.

  123. Carlyn

    So sad-I tried making this wonderful sounding carrot bread this afternoon. I am not sure what I did but it did NOT come out like yours! I double checked and here are the things I mismanaged:
    forgot those 2 extra tablespoons of cider and did not pack down my carrots.
    Could these be the issues?
    I really want to try again but would like any input..

  124. deb

    I’m so sorry that some people are still having trouble with dampness in the cake. I’m going to get back to this before the end of the weekend and try it with even 1/3 the liquid and see if that helps. It did happen in any my batches, but that’s little consolation. We’re going to get to the bottom of this. As I mentioned earlier, if your still seems a little damp, just toast the slices before you eat them; hopefully they will be no less delicious for the trouble.

  125. Oda

    I made this with moderate success with the updated cider amount. A small band close to the bottom was completely compact. I did probably over mix the batter though, but I always do that and it doesn’t usually cause this problem. I stayed true to all amounts, but my 3 fat carrots weighed just shy of 300 grams when grated. If I were to make it again I’d add a little baking soda and lower the temperature a little and bake it longer.

  126. creamoftomato

    Another very wet dense cake here :(
    I subbed half the flour for wholewheat and orange juice for the cider but actually already reduced the amount of juice because it felt like a lot of liquid to me anyway. The mix was sloppy but needed a spoon to get it into the pan and it looked done and was clean-skewered after 70 mins – but when I cut into it, it’s exactly like someone described above – like ‘bread pudding’ but with a crust. It tastes delicious but it’s really sticky claggy and heavy. So saaaaad. Though I did eat a slice anyway and will try toasting tomorrow.

  127. Chris

    It sounds to me the muffin bakers are having good success with this recipe, and the loaf bakers are finding an issue with too much liquid. I would like to try it this weekend and here’s my thought: either bake recipe as-is as muffins, or make a loaf and replace most of the apple cider with boiled apple cider. I bet I could use a little bit of apple cider and then add a tablespoon or two of boiled apple cider to add flavor but not over hydrate the batter.
    I could see grated carrot portions being an issue here as well, and of course flour hydration can be a big problem. I live in Rhode Island and it has been very humid for a while now, and my flours at home despite being stored in tupperware-like containers, are proving to be quite hydrated with my pizza and calzone dough.

  128. Amy

    I just made this, and it turned out great. I used 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour and reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup. Baked in a 9 x 5 pan for 65 minutes. Moist but not wet. Delicious!

  129. Molly

    Delicious! I love that you can taste the olive oil. Per Deb’s suggestion, I subbed 1/3 c whole wheat flour. They came out perfectly. It made 15 muffins for me. I filled nearly to the top withoug experiencing any spill over and cooked for 20min. Next time I will double the recipe and swap more whole wheat flour.

  130. I substituted 1/2 cup of the 2 1/3 cup flour required for this recipe with almond flour. I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup because I bake too much and have to cut sugar somewhere. Then I added a 1/4 cup of golden raisins to the batter and 1/4 cup of toasted walnuts to the frosting…


  131. I made this recipe with the reduced amount of apple cider and the crumb was perfect — moist but not damp or mushy. So that worked out but I think the reduction of apple cider also reduces some of the tangy apple flavor that more cider brings to the party.

  132. Karen

    I made this with the reduced amount of apple cider and it was delicious!!! I tend to make mini-loafs – I used three smaller loaf pans. Given that people seem to report success with muffins, maybe the smaller loaf pan helped. Loved it!! One other thought – I have found the farmer’s market carrots are often much drier than carrots from the grocery store. Not sure why that would be, but they definitely seem much different…even if you’re buying “fresh” carrots at the store. Perhaps that is part of the issue?

  133. Deanna

    I made this carrot loaf in a 3-section lasgna pan. I baked for about 45 minutes total. I only had enough batter for 2 of the sections. I live in no. AZ. It turned out fine. They were small though. I made the mistake of using the julienned carrots from the store. To me the loaf didn’t seem to have much of a carrot flavor. Will grate the next batch. Have question, Would roasting or cooking the carrots & mashing them give more of a carrot flavor to the loaf?

  134. Heather

    After reading all reviews, I decided to go with muffins. I made 12 regular size muffins and 16 mini muffins (perfect size for Kindergartener’s snack). I baked the regular for 25 minutes – perfect. And the mini for 15 mins. – probably could have stopped at 12 mins. I used 120g whole wheat flour and 170g all-purpose flour. And thanks for all the information on carrots – I needed exactly 7 carrots to get 340g. I love that you give that level of detail so I don’t end up with a bunch of left over shredded carrot. Oh, and like #218 Molly, I filled my muffins almost to the top with no spill over (I did place my muffin pan on a rimmed baking sheet just in case!) Thanks for another great recipe Deb!

  135. Wendy

    Meh! I made this with the adjusted cider amount and while the cake baked fine and was not a soggy mess in the middle I don’t think this will be a repeat recipe at this house. Neither my husband nor myself are crazy about it. I used half olive oil, half canola oil and I’m really glad I did as I think using all olive oil would have completely overwhelmed any cider flavor or even the spices. There have been very few Smitten Kitchen recipes I have tried that we deemed not worth repeating but I’m afraid this is one that meets our definition of not worthy of repetition.

  136. Suzy

    Glad to see recipe being tweaked — my mom & I both made this and both got unpleasantly soggy loaves. Toasting helped a tiny bit, but they were so wet they were hard to toast. (And when Mum tried hers in the toaster oven, it caught on fire.) We didn’t use the so-called baby carrots — I just used a hand grater — and the carrots didn’t seem particularly wet. Since dairy is not a problem, I might try butter next time, and I hope less cider does the trick. I really want this one to work!

  137. I really need to wait a few days and then read the comments before getting started (although I’m glad it’s not just me)! I also had the same problem with the loaf deflating when it came out of the oven and the interior was sort of gummy and a tad oily :( I hand grated normal sized carrots from the farmer’s market and measured 2 cups exactly. I’ll try toasting the slices to see if that helps, but overall not a favorite for us which is a bummer because I LOVE carrot cake. The baby did love it though, so maybe I’ll follow some of the suggestions and try making it again as muffins.

  138. I definitely went with the muffin tin all the way. There’s something delightful about a muffin cut in half and slathered with butter in the mid afternoon. I did end up tossing some rum soaked raisins into the batter before baking. Which is honestly the only way I’ll eat raisins.

    The Board and Wire

  139. Meg

    Baked it exactly as posted and 70+ minutes and it is still flat/gummy/uncooked along the bottom. It rose, but sank when it cooled. Made quick jalapeno/cheese bread and it rose well, so I don’t believe there is anything wrong with baking powder.

  140. Maggie

    @Meg @Courtney @Suzy, @Wendy, I’m with you.

    This was my first major Smitten Kitchen baking *fail*. Baked as directed, seemed wet-ish after 70 minutes so I gave it an additional 10, tester skewer came out dry. But when unpanned, the bottom half of the loaf was gummy and whole loaf was rather flat. Check oven temp with thermometer, checked baking powder with biscuits — they were not at fault.

    Toasting the slices was not help, either.

  141. Beth

    I made this yesterday afternoon, and it turned out perfectly. The bottom of the loaf was a little moist, but not unpleasantly so, and the top had a bit of crust you could hear if you tapped on it. I love the variety of textures from top to bottom. I gave it 65 minutes at 350 in my oven, which can tend to run a little bit hot. I grated the carrots by hand using a coarse Microplane (took forever), but I love seeing all the bright bits of orange throughout the cake. I brought most of the loaf to work to save the waistlines of me and my husband, and it has been devoured by my co-workers with many compliments! Very fall, very tasty. Thanks for the great recipe! I was thinking of making one for my mom and shipping it to her – do you think it would still be good and not stale if I wrapped a loaf up tight and sent it USPS priority mail?

  142. Christine

    Haven’t made it yet, but I’m thinking hand grater vs grating disc may be the issue with the overly moist loaves. I ferment grated ginger carrots, and they never release enough moisture when I use the processor disc– I have to do them on the box grater to get enough liquid. Just a thought…

  143. deb

    As promised, I’m reworking this today. I hope to have an update by the evening. I’m so sorry for the trouble. I have a funny feeling, now that I’ve mulled it over, that it’s actually too many carrots. My first batch had 1.5 cups and Alex and I loved it but I’m so picky, I wanted more carrots! more veg! etc. So I made it 2 cups. Mine did not come out gummy (nor the next loaf) but it’s obviously happening for others. Going to retest it at 1.5 cups — more soon. Carrots could easily add that extra gummy weight.

  144. I just made this following the recipe exactly, except I got bored of grating carrots so my cups were scant and not packed. It cooked up perfectly after 70 minutes. I think you might be on the right course, Deb.

  145. Ellie

    I just baked this today, the flavour was wonderful, but like several others the bottom of my loaf just wouldn’t cook. Definitely still edible though, especially hot from the oven!

  146. deb

    The recipe is finally updated: slightly less cider (than the original) and fewer carrots. It was wonderful. I hope this cures it, and gives this cake a chance to be your favorite again.

  147. Delicious–especially smeared with some cream cheese frosting I found in the freezer! ;)

    For some reason, even with the addition of apple cider and olive oil, I was expecting a traditional carrot cake, but I taste the cider clearly coming through. Different but scrumptious nonetheless!

    I used a pound of carrots grated. I’m not sure if that comes out to 1.5 cups or two, but whatever it was, it worked for me. (I did bake longer than the 70 minutes because I was blow-drying my hair when the timer beeped…)

  148. Lee

    Reporting back on my second attempt: made before I saw the most recent updates, so I used the original weight of (big, tough) carrots. It turns out my coarse grater gives wide shreds, but they’re very flat and ribbon-y. Maybe the additional surface area was affecting the wetness?

    This time, I squeezed as much moisture as I could out of the carrots, then (accidentally) left it out overnight. I did have to bake it for around 75 minutes, but Cake 2.0 came out with no wet/super-dense bits whatsoever! Actually, I’m kind of hoping it’ll be a little more moist by tomorrow…

  149. Megan

    I just made this, with the updated amounts. I weighed my carrots before grating. 65 minutes in the oven. It’s pretty fall-apart-y, but delicious. Next time I’ll try some ww flour to soak up more liquid, and maybe some rolled oats, because I like how they get bread to hang together.

  150. Sara

    Made it for dinner last night (plus schmear, as we like to live dangerously out here in West Texas), and it was delicious. This morning, we discovered that it makes for delightful French toast, too. If, you know, any of you were wondering.

  151. Tristin

    Hi! How long should I bake this if I am doing muffins or even mini muffins? I am making them for my son’s birthday party at school and the teacher is a health nut and one of the students has a “milk/dairy” allergy. So these are PERFECT. But I want to do muffins to make them more festive. Thanks!

  152. Jeannette

    We just made this recipe today and instead of carrots, we used equal amounts of parsnips (our fridge is more full of parsnips than carrots, so parsnips won). It was delicious! We thought it might need more liquid, but no changes were necessary. Highly recommended if you have more parsnips than you know what to do with.

  153. shannon

    Haven’t read all the posts so forgive me if it is already up…here’s what I did to make this with pumpkin. 1 c. pumpkin (I used un-canned i.e. fresh, roasted) 1/2 c. olive oil, 1/2 c apple cider, 2 eggs, spices, salt, 3/4 c. brown sugar, 2 c. flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, vanilla. It came out perfectly.

    As per persimmons-we grew up with persimmon pudding, like a bread pudding, served with orange hard sauce. It spoke Christmas.

  154. Amy P

    I made it today with the updated recipe (didn’t try it with the original) and it was very good. I didn’t notice an apple flavour – I’m curious if reducing 2 cups of cider down to 1 would intensify it, or just make it too sweet. Hm… :) Oh and I cluttered the thing up with raisins and walnuts. They fell in. Sorry :D

  155. deb

    Amy — I was thinking that would be nice as well. The cake — I’m not sure if you agree — isn’t terribly sweet so I don’t think it would mess things up too much. If you don’t wish to make it any sweeter, you could drop the sugar by a couple tablespoons to compensate.

    Mary — You’re right; it was first you and then, like, three other people in the same week. Regardless, I hope you know I’m jesting warmly about it (and that I always appreciate it when people tell me about interesting things they’ve made).

  156. Jen

    Made this with the updated measurements and it was fantastic. More of a breakfast loaf in my mind than a cake, and the olive oil gives it a pleasant complexity to offset the sweetness. Adults, 1 year old, and 4 year old were all very enthusiastic. I baked it for 70 minutes, and my oven is usually pretty true to temperature.

  157. j j

    I have been baking for many years and loved the idea of a less sweet carrot cake – using the original recipe the first one went into the trash as it was carrot pudding with a lovely crust (clean tootpicks!) and the second that baked for 2 hours. I use an oven thermometer all the time… will try the updated recipe and hope the third time is a charm!

  158. Susan

    I am getting caught up with your newest postings, the carrot loaf looks awesome. Mostly, I look for the link to Jacob, I adore your son and love following him as he grows oh so fast! Thanks as always for sharing with us.

  159. Francoise

    Just made it with the updated amounts re cider and carrots. A quick note to decrease baking time if still using the large loaf pan (I started checking at 50min and it was perfect at 55min). Delicious!!

  160. Joanna

    My son is almost 3 months old and I am experimenting with dairy free, but love to bake, so I was thrilled to see this recipe! He was super fussy today and so I put him in the wrap and we made it together. :) My husband also hates the ‘extras’ in carrot cake so it’s perfect for him too. Using the updated amounts, out of the oven it was super moist but in a good way. The top was just starting to get too brown and inside was just set at 65 minutes for me. Forgot the vanilla and the only spice I had was cinnamon, but it still tastes great. Oh, and I had enough carrots and cider so I just doubled it. The second loaf went right into the freezer. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  161. Sarahb1313

    I am making this tomorrow!
    But I do have an explanation re the carrots. I have an old family recipe (rice pilaf) that I have been struggling with for years- because of the water. And a few years ago I finally understood- if you have very wet carrots, almost no water was needed to cook the rice; older or dryer or carrots with less water content, more water.

    So with regard to the variations you are hearing about with respect to moisture issues and adjusting cider and carrots, I think if you can get a sense of how juicy your carrots are, the recipe can probably be appropriately adjusted!

  162. Sarahb1313

    So I made the bread, 1/3 whole wheat flour, came out very very nice. I think as I was doubling the recipe for 2 loaves, I amy not have doubled the sugar… but that ended up being a good thing, really a great breakfast bread!

    I will note that the batter was extremely wet. I weigh my ingredients, so it was accurate. So much so that I added more flour to the batter before spooning it into the pan. The bread did come out perfect, very moist. In my case I do not think it was the carrots, but the amount of liquid in the batter… I looked at your photo and your batter was definitely “normal” looking which is why I opted to add the extra flour.

    One loaf I left plain, the other I couldn’t resist putting a pile of toasted pecans I had on my counter… begging to get added. Very nice both ways.

  163. Dan

    So, I made this over the weekend, with local cider and carrots from the garden. I had it all together when I realized I was a quarter cup short of cider. So I sub’d in a quarter cup of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar and loved the smell and taste. The pong from the vinegar was great, it’s what I like about the traditional cream cheese frosting which we skipped in frosting or shmear form.

  164. Heather

    I made these originally as muffins with 3/4C + 2T cider, 2C carrots (340g) and 120g whole wheat flour and 170g A-P flour (comment #224) and they were great. I wanted to try the new amounts to see if I liked it the same or better. I reduced 2C apple cider down to 1C. I grated carrots and weighed out 255g. I made 12 muffins and baked 15 minutes (like before), not done. Baked 5 more minutes, nope. Two more minutes, done. They’re more moist than my first batch. Almost unpleasantly so. I like this recipe a lot and will keep making with the slightly reduced cider and extra carrots : ) Yesterday I became the proud owner of a donut pan. Now that I have it, I must use it so….I baked some of the batter in the donut pan and it turned out great. I left a couple plain and added some chopped walnuts to the pan before the batter on others. Just a fun idea for donut pan owners.

  165. NT

    Made this today with the revised ingredient list and it was delicious. Used 2/3 cup whole wheat flour and the texture was still velvety and pleasant. Generally my family doesn’t love fall spices, but I used the amounts given and the flavor was perfect, not overly assertive. In my overly energetic oven 55 minutes did the trick. This cake is just lovely.

  166. Olya

    Deb, hi! i have 5×10 1-1/2-Pound Loaf Pan. what is the best way to go around adjusting your recipe? if any. i made your zucchini bread in theses pans before and pulled them out of the oven a bit earlier and they came out not so tall as yours, otherwise good.

  167. Just made this and it was DELICIOUS. Followed the (updated) recipe exactly except subbed 1/3 c. of the all purpose flour with whole wheat bran, and it turned out perfectly. Not too sweet, I can taste the cider and the subtle flavor of the olive oil. I decided to call this a bread instead of a cake so I don’t have anything to feel guilty about when eating for breakfast. Or mid-morning snack. Or while I’m making dinner. :) Thanks for another great recipe. Absolutely love your blog!

  168. Pam

    I too tried the updated recipe. I used honey (scant 1/2c) instead of brown sugar , because that’s what I have and I been baking with honey for years, so wasn’t worried. I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of white. And, the new recipe works. I have a smaller loaf pan, used your recommendation for making some cupcakes, and since they baked up faster, they were sampled first. And, I highly recommend waiting until the cake-bread is mostly cool before cutting into. If you can. Like yeasted/kneaded bread, it doesn’t compact during slicing if you wait until it’s mostly cool.

  169. Heather

    I also made this for Halloween with purple and orange carrots – great confetti look inside! Also made as a round layer cake – cooked well in 25 mins. Substituted cider with 1/2C persimmon sauce (like apple sauce, but we have a lot of persimmons) and 1/2C milk. Also doubled the icing to make layered “naked cake.” Photo on my Instagram feed – @heathsuz – came out pretty and delicious!

  170. MaryM

    A bit late on the commentary, but I just made this to serve at my bridge party. I used the mini-bundt pans that make 6 individual cakes to a pan. The batter perfectly filled 12 cakes. I added a cup of pecans and a grated apple to the recipe – just because. Baked 40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Absolutely perfect! They will wow all the guests and my house smells incredible! I filled the pans fuller than I thought I should, but they didn’t rise all that much and behaved admirably. This may be my dessert for Thanksgiving, though I will have to make it with gluten-free flour.

  171. MaryM

    P.S. I had printed out the recipe before you made the changes and used it as it stood. My Bund-lettes are perfect; the little ridges are crispy and the cake itself is moist, but not too much so. Even with the 2 cups of carrots and the additional grated apple.

  172. carol

    I love this recipe, I love your website, I love your blog, I love your fb posts. I keep all my recipes on my laptop and kindle. When I try to copy and paste them into my electronic recipe file, the ingredient lists get all messed up and I end up having to a)give up and not store the recipe and therefore not use it or b)type the recipe over myself which often results in errors. is there a way around this? thank you

  173. Annie

    I just made this yesterday. It turned out brilliantly. The only addition for me was cardamom. I toasted a slice this morning, added some honey to creme fraiche and put a dollop onto the toasted cake. It was the perfect breakfast. Thank you!

  174. Annie

    I followed the corrected recipe and I also had the problem of it not being totally cooked through on the bottom. It’s likely user error, as I’m a newbie baker. Just in case you’re wondering, I added the flour and carrots by weight and pressed some additional water out of the carrots before adding them to the batter. I was a little nervous as I have a 9 x 5 loaf pan and my batter only filled 3/4 of the pan. I baked the loaf for 65 minutes, when my skewer came out clean.

    Next time, I think I’ll try cupcakes instead, as I loved the subtle spices and think this cake would be perfect for teatime.

  175. Sugarmama

    Amazing. Might be my favorite recipe of yours (for the moment, because I love so many of them – p.s. also made cauliflower cheese tonight with bacon, YUM). I made this to try and get more veggies into my annoyingly picky toddler. Have mercy! How do you think zucchini would do? I am hoping to give it a try tomorrow. I love the light not-so-sweet style of this. Don’t ever stop Deb, you are such a staple in our home!

  176. Dahlink

    I made this yesterday as muffins/cupcakes following the revised amounts, but I had the same thought as Amy P (#245)–maybe reduce the cider before incorporating to intensify the apple flavor. And/or add some apple chunks. I took this to work for our monthly birthday party, and it was the first time something from this blog did not get raves–maybe just a little too subtle.

  177. Oh carrot cake its so common here in Sweden, but not on my fav list.. But this one really looks delicious, and I’m willing to give it a try since so many people here are complimenting the recipe. Ill come back with review on it :D In the meantime, you can maybe try out my very own amazing recipe of Swedish Kanelbullar (Cinnamon Buns) on my blog. You’ll love it and maybe who knows maybe post it here or after you tried it out! :) Hope you enjoy!
    Hugs! Lorellay

  178. Nan

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I made it, following your directions, with the exception of swapping out all of the regular flour for 100% whole wheat. I used the original quantity of cider. It turned out perfectly–good for breakfast or any time.

  179. I’m on the Sunshine Committee at my daughter’s daycare, which means that you bring treats for the ~80 staff a few weeks out of the year. I made 4 loaves of this cake (although 2 were adulterated with nuts, pumpkin seeds, & other “stuff” for variety’s sake) and the crumbs that I tasted convinced me to make a batch for us. Since my daughter is allergic to eggs, I borrowed a trick from the Post Punk Kitchen and substituted 2 tbsp of flax seeds and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar for the eggs and stirred the mixture vigorously in the cider. I also made muffins for ease of freezing. (Since I used 1/3 cup whole wheat flour, it’s a healthy breakfast/snack, right?) The tops are domed beautifully in the oven and I can’t wait to try them!

  180. Sarah R

    I was really nervous about the amount of liquid in the batter so I improvised slightly by mixing a few spoons of apple butter with the apple cider (all came to one cup) so I wouldn’t have to give up any apple flavor. I baked it for the full 70 minutes and it turned out great!

  181. Lauren

    I just tried the recently updated version of this recipe and even cooked it significantly longer than suggested. The tester came out clean but then it sunk as it cooled and was still too wet. I also don’t love the flavor, maybe it’s my olive oil? Anyway, it’s a rare occurrence that one of your recipes disappoints so thanks for all the great ones!

  182. Hannah

    Thank you for a wonderful corpus of recipes, Deb. Per your note in this one about it being even more moist and delicious the second day, I’m thinking of making it tonight for a party tomorrow evening. How would you recommend storing it overnight? Outside the fridge, I think, but…covered with foil? Saran? Out of the loaf pan and wrapped? Thank you!

  183. Melitz

    Just made this tonight and it was great – I can never resist adding s^%& sooo … mine also had golden raisins I have been wanting to use up, about 1/2 TBL orange zest, 2 capfuls of bourbon that was sitting on the counter (so why not?) it was not very boozey and I liked the mix or orange and apple flavors in them. Next time will likely use original recipe.

  184. Lombardi

    Made this for a holiday gathering yesterday. It was incredibly moist and delicious! Added orange zest to frosting. It brightens the flavor and compliments the carrots perfectly! I’m planning to make another batch for the office today. The bread recipe is perfect as it is. Thank you so much for this lovely and wonderful item! It was very well received by all! Bravo!!!

  185. June

    Just made a double batch yesterday, but I only have one decent loaf pan so had to bake one then the other after (ridiculous I know). I probably should have done muffins instead. The first I left in for 75 minutes and the bottom had the soggy (consistency of bread pudding was suggested above and is accurate) factor.. the second I put it in for 30 minutes extra at 375, big mistake, didn’t help at all and didn’t have the lovely top half. Now, I did not want to mess up an extra bowl, so I put the flour into the wet mix, not sure if that really mattered, and I love carrot so I’m sure I had at least 2 cups. I LOVE the flavour so am going to try again with a little less oil and cider and swap in some whole wheat flour, and I’ll do the extra dishes…fingers crossed. BTW, the double chocolate banana cake is absolutely incredible and I was required to share the recipe right away. And I made the French chocolate cake for my friend’s birthday last month with that ridiculous chocolate whipping cream.. OMG it was amazing!! And the extra froze pretty well, too.

  186. Erica

    I made this tonight and didn’t have any of the undercooked issues other bakers had. I made the the recipe to a tee, cooking for 70 minutes. My tester stick didn’t come out clean at 60 minutes, so I put it in for another 10. I think I could have gotten away with 65-67 minutes. Either way, I thought it was very good. It wasn’t too sweet so it would be good for breakfast….and was an excellent dessert along with the “unrecommended” cream cheese frosting recipe (with a bit of orange zest). Yum!

  187. Charlotte

    Made this in the fall and it was great! Question: I’d like to make it again as a birthday cake. Question: any suggestions for a frosting that honors the “served for breakfast with salted butter” spirit of the loaf-cake but would allow me to dress it up like a birthday cake? Cream cheese frosting is a bit too sweet, I think. But I can’t just frost it with salted butter.

  188. Deb Miller-Cushon

    I have often found baking loaves (banana bread, zucchini bread, and now this carrot loaf) a little iffy on the timing/fully baked thing. I made this yesterday, fully alerted by the comments, following the revised recipe (in a 5×9 tin baking pan lined with parchment paper). After 60 minutes, it was not nearly done – I watched/checked it periodically and ended up giving it most of another 30 minutes. It was really good (served it with lightly sweetened whipped cream) but next time I might try baking it in a square baking dish. I’m glad to know it’s not just me, but loaf recipes always seem to woefully underestimate the amount of baking time needed in my kitchen.

  189. peter levine

    i am sorry but the addition of 1 cup of apple juice is wrong. i would omit it all together, as i did on the second batch which came out great.
    i added grated apple instead.

  190. Patrick

    This recipe looks fantastic, I’m excited to try it! I’m looking for a food processor that would work for recipes like this as well, do you have a recommendation for an affordable one?

  191. Hiba

    I don’t have cider vinegar at my area, do you have a reliable way to make it at home. I know that it might take time, but I’m willing to do it. Please help :)

  192. Jess

    Made this last night the second I got home because I was so excited to be reminded via Instagram that it existed! It came out mostly great – the batter was amazing – but in my (electric) oven I think I will cook on a lower rack next time, as the bottom was not as cakey as the top. It cooked all the way through, but the bottom 1/3 could use some work. I think more heat closer to the bottom would have helped. I reduced 2 cups of homemade spiced cider to 1 cup and would do it again (as, IMO, my cider needed some more reduction anyway :) ).

    Also, @Hiba #294 – the recipe does NOT call for cider vinegar, but regular apple cider! You can make cider at home by coring and chunking up apples (I usually use 6 or 7) – optionally peel them – and putting them in a large stock pot with enough water to cover by an inch or so. Cover and bring everything up to a boil, boil uncovered for 30 minutes or so, then reduce heat to simmer everything for a couple hours. I put in a couple of cinnamon sticks, lots of freshly grated nutmeg, a few strips of orange peel, and about a tablespoon of whole cloves in the apple/water mix when I start it heating; you can also add some brown sugar if you have tart apples or prefer a sweet cider. (Leave out the spices if you prefer an un-mulled taste.) The apples should fall apart when you poke at them with a fork or wooden spoon. Strain out the solids – the liquid you are left with is cider! Taste, and reduce further if you prefer a stronger taste, or just serve hot (with spiced rum if you partake) or cold with a cinnamon sugar rim!

  193. tfb

    woke up with a craving to make (ok, eat) this but didn’t have cider. i know that’s the whole point of it, but replaced with same quantity of strong earl grey tea. works a treat.

  194. Haven’t read the comments exhaustively, but I gather I had the same problem as many before me. Baked last night following instructions exactly (many many many times I’ve been the culprit when recipes don’t turn out as hoped, but this time wasn’t one of them: I triple checked myself, and all the volumes / masses were as directed). Center was very wet after 80min in oven. I looked at several other quickbread recipes to determine how much to adjust the liquids for a do-ver, and I’m surprised that a cake/quickbread with this much liquid in it would turn out under any circumstances. For example, CI’s zucchini bread calls for squeezing water out of the zucchini, 1/4c fat, same 2 eggs, and no additional liquid (though only 83% as much flour by mass); I’m thus more surprised that an additional 1c of cider and 1/4c of oil would result in anything but soggy-city. I wonder what the differences are that led to the listed ratios working for some and not for others. Is it possible that a better-sealed oven would result in less liquid cooking off / a less-well-sealed oven would promote liquid cooking off? In any case, I made the recipe over with half the olive oil and half the cider, and it turned out just perfectly.

  195. YAAAS it’s apple season in new england and i just made this today with fresh apple cider from the farm. i have eaten an ungodly amount of this CAKELOAF and am plastered to the floor in paralyzing perfect autumnal bliss.

  196. Kathy

    I made this yesterday with apple cider I found in my freezer from last year, still good. And, 2 large carrots. Oh and I had grated them, super easy and less mess than using my food processor. I used Penzey’s Apple Pie spice. I made it as instructed and it baked in 65 minutes. I had it for breakfast this morning. YUMMY!! I would double the spices and add more carrot next time. I find it suspect that many people have trouble with it being wet after the stated time. I found it to be the easiest and more accurate recipe I have made in a long time. I usually can read through a recipe and find what needs changed to make it turn out right. I love baking!! This is my new go to fall recipe. My husband, the Chef, is taking this recipe to work.

  197. I have this baking now and it smells DIVINE. I cannot wait to bring it to work tomorrow — although I will struggle not to devour it tonight. :) Thank you for another amazing recipe!

  198. Naveen

    I adapted this recipe to make a dozen muffins and it came out great! Your recipes are always reliable.

    — 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup suji (coarse wheat farina) – the suji adds some texture
    — orange juice instead of cider, since that’s what I had
    — 1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 coconut sugar
    — a combo of carrots (2 skinny carrots), zucchini (about 1/4 cup grated) and sweet potato (about 1/2 cup grated), again based on what I had on hand
    — 1 tsp of cinnamon

  199. Alison

    This cake is excellent! I didn’t expect cider and carrots to go well together but they totally do. I think you can even cut the sugar a smidge if you want it to be even more breakfast friendly, and I bet it’d be delicious with some whole wheat flour as well (but really wonderful as is!)

  200. Maya

    Made this a couple days ago on a snowy weekend and it was fantastic! I love the cider. I had absolutely no problem with the consistency of the batter or the bake time. I made it vegan by using flax eggs (1 T ground flax with 3 T water, let sit for 5 minutes and stir=1 egg). Thank you!

  201. Kim

    Your recipe says to grate the carrots but your photo shows them in a food processor, can you clarify if a processor is needed?

  202. Katie

    I saw one commenter note that this was successful in a bundt pan – any tips for baking it in a 10″ bundt rather than a 9×5 loaf pan?

  203. Anne

    I substituted coconut water for cider and it turned out great! Cider is hard to find in El Salvador and it was the perfect local adaptation.

  204. Mary

    I made quite a few modifications so honestly it’s hardly even the same recipe anymore. Instead of oil, I used apple sauce because I couldn’t really afford to use that much oil. I also added walnuts and craisins, and I used ginger beer instead of apple cider because it was, again, much less expensive. I added the walnuts and craisins to the dry ingredients and mixed them in before adding the wet, and I whisked the wet ingredients until they were nice and foamy before adding them to the dry. I then baked them as cupcakes. I filled my lined cupcakes tins with 1/4 c. batter, then I baked them for 18 min at 350 degrees F. We are only about 600 ft above sea level. After baking I cooled them in the pan for 5 minutes, then transferred to a rack to finish cooling.

    For frosting, I used your maple cream cheese frosting from another recipe, except I halved the recipe because I didn’t want all of the cupcakes (muffins, if we’re being honest) to be frosted. Except, instead of using maple syrup, I used ginger syrup instead.

    They were frikin fantastic, if I do say so myself.

  205. Tim

    I made this last night (with the updated recipe) and sadly it came out pudding like. My gut was telling me to squeeze out the grated carrots because they seemed to be carrying a lot of moisture. I probably should have listened to it! I’ll try again tonight, fingers crossed.

  206. Sophie

    Have you tried this with the pulp from juiced carrots? Too fine? Too mushy? Do you think if I added more than coarsely chopped it would work?

  207. Juli

    Insanely delicious! I made it vegan by using egg replacer and cut some of the suger, added Maple syrup for extra flavour. It won’t even last a few days:)

  208. You know what I love, love, love about you and your site – whenever I think, “I’d like to make something with carrots like a muffin or a bread…”, bam- you’ve already thought of it! I will be making this tonight as a gluten-free version.

    1. Update: turned out amazing! I used 2 cups gluten-free (gf) flour mixture, 1/3 c. coconut flour, 3 eggs (gf baked goods tend to need the extra structure of egg), 1/2 c coconut sugar and remainder brown sugar as indicated. I weighed the grated carrots and used 203g (vs recommended 255g). I also made these as muffins vs. loaf. The flavor is lovely and the crumb was delicate. For anyone else interested, I tried the coconut flour because it absorbs a lot of liquid; never replace more than a bit of flour/flour substitute with coconut flour else you’ll have a sawdusty mess :-) Thanks again, Deb, for an truly delightful recipe and site.

  209. Made this for my daughter (her favorite cake is carrot cake) only to discover that what she loves most about carrot cake is the raisins/pineapple/nuts. This cake came out great, the frosting too! But now I’ve learned the entire family is wishing it had the other “stuff”, so I’m off to the store to pick up a few things to make a sauce that might manage to make the “non-stuff” cake taste even better to everyone here that’s missing the stuff. Anybody have any recipe ideas or links? Thanks!

  210. Liz Fritsch

    I have a bottle of hard apple cider that I partially used for a recipe, but can’t finish (pregnant… sigh…) Could I use it in this recipe or would the alcohol content mess things up?

  211. Carrie

    I made this yesterday afternoon, and am enjoying it for breakfast as I type. I followed the recipe exactly, and don’t think I’d change a thing if I made it again.

  212. Amber

    Just made this for my meal prep for the week and cut a slice for my husband and I. Perfect. Just so, so perfect. I made it with half whole wheat flour and used applesauce instead of oil 1. Because I wanted this to be breakfast for the hubs and I and our 4yo for a good portion of the week and because 2. I really wanted to concentrate the apple flavor, and the loaf was totally accepting of both. Very forgiving, and very delicious, and perfect for fall even though it’s suddenly spiked in temperature in northwestern Pennsylvania. I am so excited for breakfast tomorrow morning.

  213. I’ve made this cake/bread twice in the past week with some small tweaks. I used parsnip as well as carrot (and used purple carrots :o) ), reduced the sugar to 100g as I really wanted something that was closer to bread than cake, and played around with using a bit of spelt flour. While the cake tastes great (I particularly like how the spice play off of the carrot and parsnip) mine haven’t risen nearly as much and they definitely don’t require the caution on size of pan. I checked my baking powder which seems fine and I know from past experience that using spelt flour typically means the product won’t be as fluffy or rise as much but perhaps I’m doing something else wrong… Either way, lovely snacking bread/ breakfast/ fun way to incorporate veggies into other food.

  214. Fran

    I’ve got this in the oven now for tomorrow night’s dessert! Am wondering what sort of glaze would work since I can’t use a dairy frosting – maybe lemon (icing sugar + lemon juice/zest)? Would using cider in the glaze make it too sweet? Any advice would be much appreciated!

  215. Kathy

    I baked this cake but my cake didn’t raise much and the outside was more cooked than the inside. Baked 60minutes
    Tasted delicious!
    Thank u

  216. It pains me to leave a less than stellar review, but this cake did not work for me at all. I baked it for 70 minutes, and the cake rose beautifully in the oven, then sank immensely as it cooled. The outside was lovely, the inside was gummy and sticky. As an avid baker, I refused to give up, so I tried the recipe again with half the amount of cider, thinking that perhaps the batter was simply too liquid. The cake suffered the same fate. Very mysterious. There seems to be a pretty solid sampling of people who had great success with this cake, and others who could not get it to work at all. Baking is such a journey sometimes.

  217. Lou

    It only took me 2 and half years to make this recipe, but I finally got around to making it for Easter brunch. Followed the recipe exactly, baked it in a 9×5 loaf pan for about 50 minutes (I think my oven runs hot) and it came out perfectly. So moist (even on days 2, 3, and 4…it didn’t make it past that). It was loved by all, especially when it was topped with that cream cheese frosting ;-)

  218. Novia

    This is on rotation this week for my toddler’s snack. Veggie-heavy baked goods are one of only a few ways I can get him to eat veggies, while his canines/molars come in. I cut the sugar back by 40g, used a pumpkin-spiced apple cider and added a tbsp of orange zest. I got 24 mini muffins and 4 muffins out of it. Absolutely wonderful! Thank you, Deb.

    1. deb

      In general, ground nutmeg tastes older and dustier sooner than freshly grated. I don’t find the nutmeg nuts particularly expensive or challenging to find, I find that they last a long time (i.e. you don’t want to know how old mine are), and if you have a Microplane zester grater, you’ve already got what you need to use them.

  219. Joan

    My neighbour’s two young boys spent weeks in Intensive Care and very nearly died from drinking unpasteurized apple juice that Starbucks used to sell.You just never know. I would Highly recommend not using unpasteurized products.

  220. Anne

    Very nice cake that isn’t too sweet. I used apple juice for the cider and baked for 60 minutes at 350 convection. Will probably increase spices next time. Thanks for the recipe.

  221. I made this yesterday and it rose perfectly. I baked it for 65 min until skewer was clean however it fell significantly upon cooling. I think this is due to my fresh, moist carrots (although they were measured to weight).

    Deb, What do you recommend to give it more structure? I was thinking an extra egg, more flour, limiting the cider to 1 cup perhaps scant, maybe reducing the oil a touch. It was very loose batter.

    1. deb

      You can reduce the cider; it sounds like others have successfully. If you reduce it on the stovetop, you can keep the flavor while reducing the moisture.

  222. Perfect as written!! I hesitated on the olive oil–worried it would leave a funky olive oil taste. But I do like to try recipes as written the first time and then adjust. No adjusting–this was WONDERFUL. As for the frosting, it’s an absolutely terrible idea and Deb is right that no good comes of it. But oh….frosting.

  223. Sarah

    Made this with Deb’s re-vamped recipe and it was perfect. made as written except maple syrup in place of brown sugar. Delicious, muffiny, not too sweet snacking cake. Would def make again.

  224. Janet in NC

    Simple and tender baked into 24 mini muffins, subbed cocnut oil for olive, may add orange zest and a pinch more salt next time.

  225. Lisa Matarazzo

    What’s a girl to do? I can’t decide what to make!!! Deb, you have too many beautiful, drool worthy images to choose from. I want to make everything!!! Thank you for all your terrific work.

  226. I just made a couple of tweaks, and it’s now in the oven. So excited! (Tweaks were: Matchstick carrots at the full two cups because I find grated ones always disappear into the loaf; cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top for a crunchy/crackly lid; and I added half a cup of raisins because my kids would be suspicious if it was “just” carrots.)

  227. Ellerie

    Hi Deb!
    I was wondering if sparkling apple juice would also work for this recipe? Sadly my grocery store doesn’t carry cider…

  228. I made this using a 1.5x recipe, putting 1/3 the batter in a smaller loaf tin, subbing applesauce for the cider. The smaller one baked for about 40 minutes and came out well, though a little overly moist in the middle, but the larger one needed to bake for 80 or so minutes and still sank when it cooled and was very gummy inside as others had encountered. The tl;dr is that I think this recipe would be better in a 9×9 square pan to give it more room to spread out and rise without suffering under the weight of the ingredients.

  229. Jen Firlik

    Baked this today! I used 1 cup of whole wheat flour, and cider (“cider”?) from Trader Joes. I reduced the sugar to 100g to justify my preschooler and I having cake for breakfast; dare I say, I think I cut a little too much (would love it to be just a touch sweeter).

  230. Katie

    If I wanted to make this as a cake, do you have any frosting suggestions? And any recommendations on scaling it for an 8 or 9 inch pan?

  231. Made this last night and it was like a healthy carrot cake bread. It was nice to make the cream cheese frosting on the side. I used store-bought shredded carrots and unfiltered apple cider from Trader Joe’s. I didn’t taste much carrot flavor (maybe because it’s not freshly grated?), but others said they could. I also cut the sugar back to 1c and used light brown sugar, so I think the loaf turned out a little lighter than the photos. 70 minutes was enough time to get clean pokes, but there were some slightly wet spots after I sliced into the loaf.

  232. Hi Debra! I am in Israel and they don’t really have 9×5 loaf pans here. I found a 12×5. Do you think it’ll be too small? should I make 1.5 of the recipe, or just let it be a little shallower? Thank you!

  233. Lois

    Sadly, I’m joining the naysayers on this one. I baked the cake for 80 minutes and thought all was good, but it just didn’t have the right texture in the middle. The slices are fine for family (and toasted), but they were meant for a dessert platter and I just couldn’t serve them to others. On the other hand, we LOVE the date spice bread from this site.

  234. Tracy

    I just got done making this recipe into cupcakes to use up carrots left over from Thanksgiving. I used probably half of the brown sugar and did use milk instead of cider as I am an American living in the UK did not feel like hunting for cloudy apple juice. They also subbed in about 15 g of wheat flour. They came out delicious. I plan to eat them toasted with cream cheese. I meant to add walnuts to half of the batter but accidentally loaded the cupcakes without adding the walnuts.

  235. Just made this, into cupcakes instead of a loaf. So disappointed – came out flavorless and gummy texture (as I see someone else reported). The only thing I changed in the recipe was using orange juice in place of the cider, which someone else had suggested. I don’t know what happened to the spices, I gave the batter a little taste to check on the clove proportion, as I’m not a huge fan of cloves when they overpower a recipe with their spiciness, and the batter tasted just fine before baking. Wondering if using the OJ somehow neutralized the spices because they honestly taste as if I didn’t put ANY cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg in. So weird! Oh well, these won’t work for the cupcakes I was making for an event, but will work as muffins for the family. No loss!

  236. I substituted sweet potatoes for the carrots, and cooked in an 8 inch Bundt Pan. I only filled about 2/3 of the way and cooked the rest as a mini loaf. The mini loaf collapsed after cooling, which wasn’t a problem. The Bundt worked great, and the spicing is great.

    Another winner from Deb!

  237. Dana

    Came out great! I subbed 1/3 of the flour with whole wheat, used 111g of dark brown sugar, took the sea salt down to 1/2tsp, and used regular apple juice. Also added half a cup of pepitas :)

  238. Jen

    Somehow had the perfect amount of carrots and cider and made this! Couldn’t resist adding pecans and crystallized ginger to the batter, and orange zest to the cream cheese spread. Came out like a lovely giant muffin. It’s certainly more of a bread than a cake. Will have to try a banana bread variant. Thanks for the motivation!

  239. Angelica Lindström

    Hi Deb! I made this cake yesterday (the revised version) and suspect that I did something wrong. I ended up with a very tasty but somewhat gummy cake, not wet or soggy. Baked it for about 1 h 30 min to set it. But I did converte the measurments from cups to decimal system (I do not (yet!) have a kitchen scale) and I suspect standard eggs sold in sweden migth be smaller than those sold in america. I migth have converted something wrong but I have not found it yet.
    What consistency should the cake batter be? Mine was more of a very sticky dough than a standard batter. Which yours, after looking back on your pictures, does not seem to be.
    I do like the taste and a (healthyish!) cake for breakfast on sundays can never be bad. I would like to have your version of this cake but with a bit of toasted hazelnut flour substituted in. Because tasty.
    But before going through making my own hazelnut flour I would like to correctly make THIS cake. What are your thougths of possible too little egg? Should I add another small one?

    (On an unrelated tangent, I have looked at your cinnamon bun variations and while they do seem tasty they don’t quite fit the definition of a proper swedish kanelbulle. According to my very swedish sensibilities.
    And because I find a ligth, fluffy, fresh-out-of-the-oven and almost-too-hot-to-eat kanelbulle one of life’s deligths; I was wondering if you would want my mother’s recipe?
    I have not found a version of hers written in english so far and hers is,of course, the best. But I could write it up (using grams!) and send it. I promise to only be a tiny bit offended if you say no, and will continue to love your recipies.)

      1. Angelica Lindström

        Then I will :). Maybe I could link to a Google doc?
        Also I tried this recipe again with no problems, I must have mismeasured something the first time. So very tasty.

  240. Mary

    Hi Deb- this cake looks yummy. Do you think a cross between this cake and your (mother’s) apple cake ( would work out well? My daughter has often requested an apple cake for her bday, but this year requested a carrot cake. Your apple cake has always been a big hit. I am tempted to try to cross these. Thoughts or recommendations?

    1. deb

      I would proceed with caution. If you wanted to take, say, one recipe of this and half a recipe of that and mix them, it might work, but I wouldn’t just add apple chunks to this or carrot to that because this one will be too moist and that one, perhaps not moist enough.

  241. Oh, I wanted to love this. But after baking it for nearly 2 hours, it’s still…..not raw, but a level of moistness that in a cake I find disturbing. I keep imagining Paul Hollywood pushing his meaty fingers into a slice of the cake and staring at me accusingly.

    HOWEVER, my husband (for whom I made this after I roasted him for eating the perfectly blackened bananas that I was saving to make marbled banana bread and he suggested instead I make a carrot cake) said that the cake tasted amazing and we’ve discovered that the slices work if toasted in a sandwich press before eating.

    And that schmear. Oh my word. I substituted some of powdered sugar with maple syrup and have been adding the schmear to anything that stands still long enough.

  242. BONNIE

    Would you change this recipe at all (i.e., ingredient amounts) if you were using it as a layer cake rather than a loaf cake?

  243. Jeanette Rumsby

    I made this recipe vegan by subbing the eggs with flax egg, and adding 1&1/2 tsp. of baking soda and 1 tbsp of ACV. It was divine!! Baked in a 9 inch round pan for about an hour, and topped with vegan maple buttercream… So so good.

  244. WhereAreMyGlasses

    To get the hand-grated texture with a food processor, first use the grater function. Remove carrots from bowl, remove the grater and put in the regular blade. Add the carrots back to the food bowl and then carefully pulse until the carrot pieces are slightly more chopped but not puréed.

    I use this technique with potatos for making potato kugal.

  245. Katie

    I made this as a breakfast dish and omitted the brown sugar. Turns out it doesn’t need sugar! Especially if you’re going to make cream cheese icing, it’s sweet enough just from the carrots and juice.

  246. EastWestGirl

    I was excited for this cake but it came out dry and very olive oil-ish. I may have over mixed it. I may have over baked it. And my olive oil is a beautiful, strong oil from Greece which may not be the best choice for cake.
    I liked the idea of adding pineapple. I may give it another shot.

  247. Rachel

    I had extra carrots from when I made Deb’s tangy braised chickpeas ( – do yourself a favor and MAKE THESE) and thought this looked intriguing. Unfortunately, since I was using up extra carrots and hadn’t planned to make the recipe in advance, I didn’t have apple cider. Instead, I used milk as recommended. It was awesome and lasted less than twenty-four hours in our (ahem, two-person) house.

  248. tiffany jordan

    I made this with a half cup of orange juice (that’s what I had on hand) and it was great with the cream cheese frosting I couldn’t help but make 😊

  249. Katy

    This was a very good way of using up the carrots in last week’s veg box. I used the revised instructions, with milk instead of apple juice and a mix of 1 cup wholemeal self raising and 1 and 1/3 cups plain self raising with a teaspoon of baking powder. I used dark muscovado topped up with dark brown sugar. In my mother in law’s huge stainless steel loaf pan it was ready in 60 minutes. No raisins or walnuts. This is a great cake. It’s not very sweet at all, which I really like, and not busy the way your typical carrot cake is.

  250. Jade

    Mmmmmm I love carrot cake but haven’t been able to have any since becoming allergic to dairy. I added a bunch of chopped candied ginger to this and didn’t even miss the frosting! Yum.

  251. Nando’s Mom

    This recipe is on regular rotation for me in the fall and winter. I always make the cream cheese spread and serve it as an accompaniment. Only thing I change is to add grated orange peel to the spread. It adds a nice sweet citrus note.

  252. Mie

    For anyone who don’t want to buy a huge gallon of apple cider, you can used the 235ml bottle apple cider from Wegmans, which is the only grocery store in my area that carries the small bottle of cold press apple cider. The liquid amount it just right. The cake is just cooked all the way through at 350 for 60 minutes. Extra crispy toppings I found in my freezer to top it off. Then I broiled for ~2 minutes.

  253. Pam

    The updated recipe turned out great for me! Not too sweet. Texture was dense, like banana bread, but not gummy. I made some small adjustments:
    1. substituted 90 g whole wheat flour for some all purpose flour,
    2. used a scant 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus 1/4 cup canola oil, and
    3. used a scant cup of cider instead of a full cup.
    Lastly, I sprinkled a tablespoon of raw/turbinado sugar on top of the batter before baking – it added a sweet crunch to the overall texture of a slice. Would definitely make again! My dad presses homegrown apples every fall, so I am always on the lookout for ways to use fresh cider.

  254. Melody

    Here’s me making this entire cake with apple cider freaking VINEGAR instead of apple cider. “Hmm seems like a lot but, Deb has never steered me wrong.”

    The resulting cake is beautiful in visual and about what you would imagine in flavor. Oops. Serves me right to do that on the week I’m cutting down on caffeine. Ugh!

  255. Jennifer Neilly

    Beautiful recipe! I had to bake mine slightly longer than 70 minutes, but it came out moist, fluffy and delicious. I added some raisins since I can’t do a carrot cake/loaf without it, haha. Perfect for when you’re craving carrot cake but not the sugar coma that often comes with it ;). Will definitely make again!