Recipe - Carrot Pecan Loaf Cake

Growing up, I was never a fan of carrot cake. It always had a strange texture, especially since the grated carrots seemed to be dry and a little hard. There was always a plastic-tasting "cream cheese" frosting on top as well. Why would you put cream cheese with carrots? It was the problem with having only store-bought, mass-produced carrot cake though. Quality control isn't 100% there, and I knew no different. Therefore, I ascertained that carrot cake was not for me. However, as I got older, I decided that maybe younger Minerva had no idea what she was thinking and I ought to give it a try. Not bad, I felt. Then I kept trying until I wanted to make some myself. Here's a version in loaf form (for easy breakfast grabbing!) using pecans and golden raisins as sidekicks. Hope you enjoy making it!

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 9x5" loaf)

  • 4 medium eggs
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsps pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour + 1 Tbsp
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, finely grated (~3 peeled carrots)

Step 2: Prepping ingredients
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly oil and flour loaf pan. Beat together eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl until light in color with a foamy layer on top (~4-5 minutes). Leaving mixer on, drizzle in oil and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, sift together flour (minus tablespoon of it), baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In another bowl, mix together tablespoon of flour with raisins and chopped pecans. In another bowl, grate carrots finely.

Step 3: Mixing ingredients
Fold dry ingredients, raisins and pecans, and grated carrots into the mixing bowl's wet mixture until incorporated but not over-mixed. Pour into prepared loaf pan.

Step 4: Finishing
Bake 65-70 minutes or until a testing stick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before flipping loaf onto a wire rack or similar apparatus to cool through completely. Leaving it in the loaf pan will not give proper aeration. Enjoy!

Photography by Duc Duong.