Who else loves carrot cake? If I had to choose my favorite cake, I think it would be carrot cake. Half because of all the texture, and half because of the cream cheese frosting! I decided to make this wonderful cake into a loaf, and I made it a little healthier too! And I paired it with this delicious vanilla bean maple whipped ricotta. Sooooo good.
I made this a little healthier by loading it with tons of carrots, pineapple, raisins, and coconut, and I used whole wheat flour as well! Instead of butter, I used coconut oil. For moisture, I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Some of my absolute favorite swaps.
One of my requirements of a good quickbread is that it has to be moist. This one is definitely that, and it’s super hearty and dense too. I added walnuts, but if you don’t like nuts in your baked goods (I know a lot of people that don’t), feel free to leave them out!
More about this vanilla bean maple whipped ricotta: it’s SO delicious and I may or may not have resorted to eating it with a spoon. It’s crazy simple too. Three ingredients, and a quick whirl in the food processor, and there you have it! Vanilla bean is one of my favorite ingredients in the whole world. It adds such a wonderful, warm flavor to everything.
Keeping things short (and sweet!) today because I’m hosting a bunch of my family for Easter. Have a wonderful weekend! <3
Carrot Cake Loaf with Vanilla Bean Maple Ricotta
This carrot cake loaf is made healthier with whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt, and coconut oil! It's served with the most delicious vanilla maple ricotta!
For the bread
- 2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (not regular whole wheat, this is a finer ground variety..can also sub all-purpose!)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (any milk will work)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups canned crushed pineapple
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrots (I use the smallest side on my box grater)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
For the ricotta
- 3/4 cup ricotta
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean
Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease and flour a 9x5 loaf pan or spray with cooking spray. I like to line the bottom with parchment paper too, just to be safe.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, coconut, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
In another large bowl, combine the coconut oil, sugar, and brown sugar. Whisk to combine. Add the eggs, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, and vanilla and whisk again until combined. Add the crushed pineapple and carrots and stir again to combine.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined. Fold in the raisins and walnuts. Pour into the loaf pan (it will be super full, but don't worry!). Bake for 70-75 minutes or until golden, the center is set, and a toothpick comes out clean. If the top starts to look dark toward the end of the baking time, I place aluminum foil over the top for the last 20 minutes or so to prevent it from getting too brown. Let cool for 20-30 minutes before removing from pan. Let cool completely on a rack before slicing.
While bread is baking, make the ricotta. Combine the ricotta, maple syrup, and vanilla bean seeds in a food processor. Blend for 1 minute until light and fluffy. Serve with the carrot cake loaf!