Cardamom Carrot Loaf w/ Brown Butter Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

by sammymoniz

Spring has sprung (in my part of the country!) and this Cardamom Carrot Loaf w/ Brown Butter Maple Cream Cheese Frosting is perfect for spring. Calling this cake a loaf just sounds better when you go to grab a slice for breakfast but let’s call a spade, a spade. While this is in loaf form, this is 100% a sweet cake with bold flavors. Cardamom, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg shine bright and accompany carrots, golden raisins and toasted pecans. Not to mention, the loaf is covered in swirls of nutty brown butter and maple sweetened cream cheese frosting.

Naked Cardamom Carrot Loaf.

The grocery list.

Carrot cake in loaf form.

While you’ll find all the traditional flavors of carrot cake in this loaf, it’s heavy-handed on cardamom. One of my favorite ingredients! It’s fruity and slightly-sweet and less common as the star of a carrot cake. Typically your ginger, nutmeg and clove spices are more forward and in this recipe they are flavor enhancers but they’re not stealing the show. Other than waiting for the loaf to bake, most of your prep time will be spent measuring out a laundry-list of ingredients. It will all pay-off when you’re enjoying sweet bites of this loaf with friends and family.

Brown butter maple cream cheese frosting.

The title of this frosting is also just about every ingredient you’ll find in the recipe for it. Sometimes I don’t want to leave anything for your mind to wander, I want you to know EXACTLY what to expect. Typically, in cream cheese frosting, the cream cheese is the strongest flavor. It’s my favorite part! But in this recipe, the brown butter shines! It’s smooth and nutty and brings down the sweetness just a touch for the perfect balance.

Finished Cardamom Carrot Loaf w/ Brown Butter Maple Cream Cheese Frosting swirled on top.

Steps to make this Cardamom Carrot Loaf.

The prep.

The most active part of this recipe for you is going to be preparing the batter. It’s a good deal of measuring ingredients but it can all be done in TWO bowls. One for wet ingredients and one for dry. Once you’ve mixed all your wet ingredients and all your dry ingredients in separate bowls, you’ll add the dry to the wet. Stir until just combined and no dry bits remain, add it to your prepared loaf bake and toss it in the oven. The hard part is over!

The bake.

Since we are baking in a loaf pan the baking times are dependent on the size and also why you’ll see a range for time. I suggest checking on the doneness at 45 minutes. If the toothpick comes out with batter, continue to bake for another 5 minutes. Completely this check-and-bake 1-2 times more to ensure the center is set.

The cooling.

It’s important to allow the loaf to completely cool before frosting and slicing. If you frost the cake while it’s still warm, the frosting will melt. Secondarily, if you slice the cake while it’s still warm it will crumble. The loaf needs an hour or more to completely cool out of the loaf pan in order for it to be set and be ready for frosting, slicing and serving. You may remove the loaf from the pan to a wire rack and cool on the counter for 15 minutes and then move the cake to the fridge to help speed up the cooling process.

The frosting.

This frosting is complex in flavor and oh so yummy! Browning the butter is the KEY to the complex nutty flavor that compliments the sweet maple and powdered sugar as well as the tang from the cream cheese. It’d stick my face in this frosting like Mrs. Doutbfire, it’s THAT good!

Slice of Cardamom Carrot Loaf w/ Brown Butter Maple Cream Cheese Frosting sprinkled with toasted pecans.

Looking for more sweet brunch recipes?

Here are a few to try:




Lastly, if you make this Cardamom Carrot Loaf w/ Brown Butter Maple Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, be sure to leave a comment! Above all, I love to hear from ya’ll and do my best to respond to every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of your dayyyummm good recreations is my favorite!

This post contains affiliate links that will not change your price but will share some commission.

Cardamom Carrot Loaf w/ Brown Butter Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

sammymoniz Spring has sprung (in my part of the country!) and this Cardamom Carrot Loaf w/ Brown Butter Maple Cream Cheese Frosting is perfect… Brunch Carrot cake, Sweet Treat, Dessert, Spring Baking, Easter European Print
Feeds: 8-10 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


Cardamom Carrot Loaf

Brown butter maple cream cheese frosting


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly spray a loaf pan ** with cooking spray and line it parchment paper for easy removal. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk the granulated sugar, brown sugar with the eggs, pineapple juice and olive oil. Set aside.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the cake flour, all-purpose flour, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cloves. Add the shredded carrots and toss to coat. Add the golden raisins and 1/2 cup toasted pecans, stir to combine. 
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl of wet ingredients. Fold to combine until no dry bits remain but do not over mix. Add the batter to the prepare loaf pan. 
  5. Set the pan into the heated oven and bake for 40 minutes. Check begin checking the loaf at the 40 minute mark to see if the center is set. Bake and additional 5 minutes before checking again, continue checking and baking for 55 minutes if needed. 
  6. While the loaf is baking, prepare your brown butter (it will need plenty of time to cool so this is the best time to complete this step!). Add the 4 tablespoons of salted butter to a small non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the butter, stirring frequently until frothy and browned. It will bubble and smell nutty, continue to stir until it no longer bubbles. Keep a close eye as it could easily burn. Set aside to cool to room temperature (do no put in the fridge as it will harden). 
  7. When the loaf has completely baking, remove it from the oven and cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Next, move the cake to a wire cooling rack for 1 hour to cool completely before frosting. 
  8. While the loaf is cooling, prepare the frosting. Add the cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) and beat for 30 seconds. Add the cooled brown butter (and all it's brown bits!), maple syrup and vanilla. Beat to combine.
  9. Lastly, add the powdered sugar and salt and beat until just combined and smooth. 
  10. Frost the cake with swirls of frosting and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of toasted pecans, slice and serve. 


** I used a 9.75 x 2.75 Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Loaf Pan for this recipe. If you do not have a loaf pan, check out this chart to help with baking time conversions for different pan sizes.


Nutrition Information: 10 servings 474 cal / 17g F / 76g C / 5g P


Leave a Comment


Callie Baney March 24, 2021 - 11:21 am

I would love this recipe for my small Easter gathering!!!

sammymoniz March 25, 2021 - 5:59 pm

Callie, hope you enjoy it!

Marzia Cenedese March 24, 2021 - 12:12 pm

Hello 🙂
I love yhis recipe, but I can’t find quantities of the Grocery List.
Can you help me? 🙂

Marzia Cenedese March 24, 2021 - 12:15 pm

Ok, sorry! But I didn’t see the sum up until my comment before. :O

sammymoniz March 25, 2021 - 6:00 pm

Marzia, there was a site error but things should all be fixed now!

Wilma Bell March 24, 2021 - 12:59 pm

I’m buying the ingredients! Will make it today and hopefully it turns out good like yours!

sammymoniz March 25, 2021 - 5:57 pm

Can’t wait to hear what you think! Be sure to share and tag me on Instagram!

Kristin March 28, 2021 - 11:06 pm

Made this recipe this weekend (tagged you in IG). I made it GF using almond flour and Red Mill 1-to-1 flour due to dietary restrictions. Need to adjust bake time slightly and reduce the pineapple juice a tad so it bakes a little better. But it was still really good. I also left out the raisins, since I am not a fan. Definitely will make this again.

Carrie Miller March 31, 2021 - 1:26 am

Our loaf is currently in the oven and it smells amazing! Great post-workout treat 🙂

sammymoniz March 31, 2021 - 8:38 am

Yes Carrie!

Kodi April 11, 2021 - 11:49 pm

Smells amazing, tastes amazing, but it falls apart when I slice it. Not sure if I messed up the ingredients or what. Either way, flavors are fantastic!

sammymoniz April 12, 2021 - 10:53 am

Hmm, typically that happens when it’s not completely cooled. Cakes / loafs, etc. need time to set or they’ll crumble up. You could make amazing cake pops with the crumbled cake and frosting!!

Rachel W April 24, 2021 - 8:17 pm

I keep trying this each week with a different set of nuts! Pecans were great, walnuts were good, today trying it with toasted pumpkin seeds!!

sammymoniz April 26, 2021 - 10:01 am

I love this idea Rachel, the toasted pumpkin seeds sound amazing!


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