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Lighter Healthier Carrot Cake Loaf

This carrot cake loaf is the perfect moist and delicious slice to have with coffee. It's made healthier by using olive oil, whole wheat flour, and low-fat cream cheese for the frosting.
Course cake
Cuisine American
Keyword carrot cake, carrot loaf
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 381kcal
Author Salted Mint


  • zest and juice 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins or regular raisins
  • 2/3 cup sunflower oil plus extra for greasing (apple sauce)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup soft light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 2/3 cup self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp each ground cinnamon and ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 1/4 cups carrots coarsely grated
  • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped, for the topping

For the icing

  • 8 ounce tub light cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 2/3 cup icing sugar sifted
  • 2 tablespoons malt powder Ovaltine or Horlicks


  • If you have time to do it the night before, put the orange zest and juice in a bowl with the sultanas. If you don’t have time, on the day simply stir the zest, juice and sultanas together and microwave on Medium for 1-2 mins.
  • Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and grease and line the base and sides of a 2lb loaf tin. Whisk together the oil and eggs. Mix together the sugar, flours, mixed spice, cinnamon and bicarb in your largest mixing bowl. Add the sultanas with any juice and zest left in the bowl, grated carrot, and whisked egg mixture into the dry ingredients, then thoroughly mix with a wooden spoon. Tip into the loaf tin and bake on the middle shelf for 1 hr, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool the cake in the tin.
  • Once cool, remove from the tin and make the icing. With an electric whisk, beat together the soft cheese, butter, icing sugar and cinnamon until smooth. Spread over the top of the cake and decorate with walnut halves.