It's Easter weekend! Easter is one of the three signs of Spring for me. Are you preparing the holiday dinner on Sunday? I am and I would like to share with you the yummy dessert that I am baking up for my family - carrot cake bread with a cream cheese glaze. This is a quick bread recipe that I found on Pinterest and it is delicious!
This recipe makes two generous 9 x 5 loaves so it is perfect for sharing - one loaf for your neighbor and one loaf for you. Or you can freeze one of the loaves (without the glaze) for another time. Would you like to give this recipe a try? Okay, here we go.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your 9 x 5 loaf pans by lightly greasing them with butter. Make your life easy by then fitting each pan with parchment paper cut to fit then grease the paper. Then, dust the pans lightly with flour.
In addition to the normal ingredients (flour, sugar, eggs, etc.) you will need fresh carrots, a small can (8 oz) of crushed pineapple, applesauce and shredded, unsweetened coconut. The applesauce replaces some of the oil called for in the original recipe. You can get the shredded unsweetened coconut online. Nuts.com has the coconut at a great price and will ship it to you in record time. Or you can use sweetened shredded coconut that is readily available at your local supermarket. It is up to you.
Start your mise en place by draining the crushed pineapple (an 8 oz. can) and coarsely shredding the carrots (about 2 cups). In a bowl, whisk together 2 cups AP flour, 1 cup white whole wheat flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Set the flour mixture aside.
In the bowl of your mixer, beat 3 large eggs. Next, add in 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 1/2 cup of applesauce, 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar and two teaspoons of vanilla and beat these ingredients with the eggs until the mixture is slightly foamy. Note: I reduced the amount of sugar from the two cups called for in the original recipe. Also, although I did not try it, you could substitute coconut oil for the vegetable oil. Just be sure to melt the coconut oil before adding it in.
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients one third at a time, stirring gently after each addition. Then fold in the shredded carrots, the drained pineapple and 1/4 cup of shredded coconut. Divide the batter equally between your two prepared pans and bake for 1 hour or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Cool the breads in the pan for 10 minutes then remove them from the pan and let them cool on a rack. This process is MUCH easier if you lined your bread pans with parchment. Allow the breads to cool completely before glazing them. If you are using only one loaf, wrap the second cooled and unglazed loaf tightly in plastic wrap then in aluminum foil and freeze it until you are ready to use it.
For the glaze, place 1/4 cup of softened unsalted butter, 4 ounces of softened cream cheese, 3/4 cup of confectioner's sugar, 1/4 cup milk ( I use skim) and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a medium sized bowl. Beat the glaze ingredients until smooth then pour the glaze over the loaf. I like carrot cake bread the way I like my carrot cake, cold. So after glazing the loaf and allowing the glaze to set up a bit, I cover the bread with plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator until I am ready to serve it.
This quick bread is irresistibly moist and utterly delicious. Trust me, you and your guests won't be able to stop eating it! Happy Easter, dear friends!