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Rustic Carrot Loaf Cake (Made with Honey)

This Rustic Carrot Cake recipe is made with honey instead of sugar giving it a rich delicious taste with warm spices.

rustic carrot cake on a cake platter

I love a good loaf cake. They are much simpler to make than a layer cake and you get a similar result. A delicious cake to enjoy in loaf form. Recently, I have been baking more and more with honey over the usual white sugar used to make cakes. I must tell you, this has been nothing short of a shocking discovery as the honey created a much richer, more in depth flavor over sugar. Not what I was expecting. Now this isn’t to say that it works as well for all baked goods. But the nice thing is, is that you can find conversion charts for testing just about any recipe you would like.

For the select few delicious recipes I have created, the use of honey transformed something ordinary into a fantastic treat. When you are done making this carrot loaf cake recipe, give these Healthy Lemon Blueberry Muffins. You won’t be disappointed.

This moist carrot cake loaf is topped with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting that is also made with the wonderful addition of honey. 

Rustic Carrot Loaf Cake Is…

  • Much simpler to make than a traditional carrot cake with layers.
  • Made with simple ingredients.
  • My favorite carrot cake to make as it is sweetened with honey.
  • A delicious carrot cake to enjoy any time of day.
  • Is topped with a cream cheese icing. 

Ingredients

Flour-  use all-purpose flour for the perfect lift and a nice tight crumb. I use King Arthur unbleached all-purpose. You can also use cake flour for the carrot cake batter with similar results.

Honey- the use of golden raw honey gives this cake a richer, more intense flavor. I use raw honey but standard filtered honey will work fine too. 

Carrots- you can’t make carrot cake without carrots. Make sure the carrots are fresh and they need to be grated not chopped for this cake.

Eggs- I use large eggs for this. Use the best quality eggs you can find.

Spices- a blend of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg give this loaf cake delicious warmth. 

Baking Soda- for a nice lift, we will be using baking soda as the leavening agent. 

Butter- I use salted butter for both the frosting and the batter but you can also use unsalted butter. If using unsalted butter be sure to add a pinch of salt to the batter to help balance out the flavors. The frosting is fine without it. 

Raisins- delicious plump raisins add a bit of texture and flavor to the carrot loaf cake. 

Walnuts- the blend of walnuts and raisins are classic carrot cake ingredients to add. If you prefer you can use pecans. 

Vanilla Extract- use a good quality real vanilla extract not imitation. I like to use my homemade vanilla extract for my cakes. 

Cream Cheese- used for a tangy frosting. The cream cheese pairs nicely with the honey and spices in this cake.

Tools

Loaf Pan

Electric Mixer (optional)

Directions

Heat oven to 350℉. For the dry ingredients, use a large bowl to combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and baking soda. Grate carrots and chop the walnuts into fine pieces. Set both aside.

a bowl with flour and spices

In a separate mixing bowl blend the butter, vanilla, eggs, and honey until completely incorporated. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the large bowl with the flour mixture and stir until combined. Fold in the shredded carrots, walnuts, and raisins.

rustic carrot cake batter

In a waiting loaf pan, line it with parchment paper (as shown) and pour the batter in.

a loaf pan lined with parchment paper

Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until you can pull a clean toothpick out of the center of the cake. 

parchment paper in a loaf pan with batter poured in

For the frosting, use an electric mixer to blend the entire ingredients for the frosting on a low speed until smooth. You can use a wooden spoon or Dutch whisk to mix as well just note that the frosting is a little more difficult to make smooth.

Frost the cake when completely cooled. Add chopped walnuts to the top to garnish (optional).

rustic carrot cake on a cake plate

Slice and enjoy!

rustic carrot cake on a cake platter cut open
rustic carrot cake slice

Butter Cream Icing with Honey (in place of cream cheese)

You can make a classic buttercream icing sweetened with honey. Using 8 tbsps. of room temp butter and a 1/2 cup of honey plus 1 tsp vanilla. I like to use an electric mixer to whip the icing but you can also mix it by hand too.

Baking Notes

  • Using parchment paper helps make removing the cake from the pan simple while reducing the clean-up.
  • I use salted butter for this recipe but you can also use unsalted.
  • If using unsalted be sure to add 1/4 tsp of salt to the flour mixture as this will help balance the flavors.
  • I suggest unbleached, organic all-purpose flour for this cake.

FAQ

What can I substitute for the walnuts?

Pecans work great for this recipe. I have used both but prefer the walnuts for taste, however, both are delicious.

What if I don’t have cream cheese?

You can make a classic buttercream icing sweetened with honey. Using 8 tbsps. of room temp butter and a 1/2 cup of honey plus 1 tsp vanilla. I like to use a hand mixer to whip the icing but you can also mix it by hand too.

Can I make this gluten free?


You can swap out the all-purpose flour for this recipe and use gluten-free all-purpose flour. Just make sure it is all-purpose. A good one to try is King Arthurs Gluten Free All Purpose Flour.

Why honey instead of sugar?

I like to use honey instead of sugar when baking to reduce the amount of white sugar I use in my kitchen. Honey is a healthier option for sweeteners and is a great one to bake with, especially for cakes. In this particular recipe, I think the honey enhances the spices in this cake and provides a richness to the cake that you simply can’t get from white refined sugar.

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Cake Plate

Raw Unfiltered Honey

Cuisinart Stand Mixer

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rustic carrot cake on a cake plate

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Yield: 8 Servings

Rustic Carrot Loaf Cake Recipe (Made with Honey)

rustic carrot cake on a cake platter

A delicious rich cake sweetened with honey and topped with a cream cheese frosting.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 6 tbsp of salted butter melted
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts plus more for garnishing (if desired)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • Frosting
  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 4 tbsp butter (room temp)
  • ½ cup of honey
  • 1 tsp of vanilla

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350℉.
  2. For the dry ingredients, use a large bowl to combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and baking soda.
  3. Grate carrots and chop the walnuts into fine pieces. Set both aside.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl blend the butter, vanilla, eggs, and honey until completely incorporated.
  5. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Stir until combined.
  6. Fold in the shredded carrots, walnuts, and raisins.
  7. Pour batter into a prepared loaf pan, or line it with parchment paper (as shown) and pour the batter in for easy clean up. 
  8. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until you can pull a clean toothpick out of the center of the cake.
  9. For the frosting, use an electric mixer to blend the entire ingredients for the frosting on a low speed until smooth. You can use a wooden spoon or Dutch whisk to mix as well just note that the frosting is a little more difficult to make smooth.
  10. Make sure to let the cake cool completely before frosting.
  11. Slice and enjoy.

Notes

  • Using parchment paper helps make removing the cake from the pan simple while reducing the clean-up.
  • I use salted butter for this recipe but you can also use unsalted. If using unsalted be sure to add 1/4 tsp of salt to the flour mixture as this will help balance the flavors.
  • I suggest unbleached, organic all-purpose flour for this cake.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 608Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 480mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 2gSugar: 63gProtein: 7g

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