round breakfast carrot cake on a counter

Breakfast Carrot Cake

Breakfast Favorites, Muffins, Breads, and Biscuits, Southern Breakfasts

This delicious carrot cake recipe is made without frosting and is perfect with coffee for breakfast or as an afternoon snack with hot tea.


An easy carrot cake recipe without frosting

Bake this healthy kid-friendly carrot cake for your next party with minimal ingredients and healthy alternates.

These cakes also make great food gifts for family and friends during the holidays. Just use your loaf pan or 2 half-size loaf pans to bake a giftable healthy treat.

I call this cake healthy not only for the fresh carrots used but also for the whole wheat flour. Yup, the only flour used in this healthy carrot cake is whole wheat flour!

Options for this easy homemade carrot cake

Carrot cake with plain flour or cake flour:

If you prefer not to use wheat flour, standard white flour types can be used.

Plain white flour gives an even more soft and fluffy cake than the wheat flour, and is suitable for parties.

If you plan to use cake flour or self-rising flour, just skip the baking powder and baking soda.

For those who do want to add frosting, go for the classic cream cheese frosting.

For an eggless carrot cake:

To make it eggless, just skip the egg and add extra yogurt, applesauce, or even crushed pineapple.

The yogurt makes the cake super-moist and soft, blending beautifully with the carrot.

If you want a vegan version of this cake, try this vegan carrot cake recipe; it even has a vegan cream cheese frosting.

A few basics about baking powder and baking soda

Whenever we use baking soda, we need to add an acidic ingredient like yogurt or buttermilk or lemon or vinegar or brown sugar.

The acid reacts with the soda base, and due to the chemical reaction, bubbles/carbon dioxide form. This makes the cake airy and fluffy.

Keep in mind that baking soda gives a heavy metallic bitter taste when too much is added. As a rule of thumb for recipes with baking soda, use just 1/4 tsp for one cup flour. Never more than that.

When it comes to baking powder, they are double-acting, meaning they create the chemical reaction on their own, even when no acidic ingredient is present.

And when the recipe calls for both baking powder and soda that means the ingredients require extra leavening to come up.

Why are both baking powder & baking soda used in this carrot cake recipe?

In this carrot cake recipe, we use almost equal amounts of grated carrot and whole wheat flour. Both carrot and wheat flour are dense items that may make the cake heavy and dense difficult to raise.

So we use both baking powder and baking soda to make the cake light. The acidity in the yogurt and brown sugar reacts with the soda to create fluffiness.

a piece of breakfast carrot cake

Ingredients for a simple carrot cake (without frosting)

Ingredients

  • 250 g grated carrot (2 large carrots)
  • 1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil (or other oil)
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt (or applesauce)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon or nutmeg powder
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking salt
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup mixed chopped nuts (optional)

Making the breakfast carrot cake

Preparation:

  • Choose two large fresh carrots, wash them, and peel and discard the skin.
  • Grate them using a small-holed grater. Finely grated carrot is better suitable for our soft carrot cake.
  • Set the grated carrot aside.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F (185C).
  2. Grease a cake pan with oil or use butter paper to avoid sticking. I used an 8″ square cake pan. This recipe also works for the same size round cake pan or a standard bread loaf pan.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, take one whole egg. Add a 1/4 cup of white sugar (either powdered sugar or superfine granulated sugar) and a 1/4 cup of brown sugar.
  4. Measure and add 1/2 cup of canola oil, 1/3 cup of yogurt. If you don’t have yogurt, replace it with 1/4 cup milk. Next, add a tsp of vanilla extract.
  5. Whisk the sugar and wet ingredients well with an egg beater for five minutes. If you use an electric beater, mix for two minutes in a low setting. The sugar should dissolve completely in the egg mixture. You have to powder before adding if you use big granulated sugar.
  6. Sift in the dry ingredients one by one. Start with 1.25 cups of whole wheat flour. (You can also use all-purpose flour. Or use half and half wheat flour and plain flour.) Add 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon for spice. Nutmeg powder also suits well. Next add 3/4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp of baking soda and 1/4 tsp of salt. Sift the flour and salts so that they mix evenly.
  7. Now add the finely shredded carrots. I add a 1/4 cup of mixed chopped nuts, which is optional. Combine everything together with a spatula gently.
  8. Fill the cake batter into the pan, and tap lightly to remove extra air bubbles.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven until done. The baking time may vary depending upon the pan size, consistency of the batter and temperature of the oven. Always keep an eye on it towards the end (from 20 minutes onwards) and check by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the carrot cake is ready.
  10. Take out the pan and let cool for a few minutes.
  11. Invert the cake and cool down the cake on a rack prior to serving

Tips for this healthy carrot cake:

1) This carrot cake recipe can be made without egg. For the eggless version use a little extra yogurt or applesauce (1/2 cup instead of 1/3 cup).

2) If you wish to use only brown sugar you can skip white sugar. But make sure the sugar granules are fine enough to blend well. If bigger granules are left without proper mixing they may give an unpleasant experience while biting this super-soft carrot cake.

3) Likewise, the use of nuts is completely optional. Nuts give crunchy delicious bites for this carrot cake. Chopped pecans or chopped walnuts are perfect for this cake. Raisins can also be added.

4) Instead of grated carrot, you can use blended carrots. But this adjusts the consistency of the batter which may alter the texture of this delicious carrot cake.

We hope you’ll enjoy our easy carrot cake recipe!

breakfast carrot cake squares

Breakfast Carrot Cake | A simple carrot cake recipe without frosting

A delicious, simple, and easy carrot cake recipe made without frosting that is perfect to serve with coffee or warm milk as a breakfast or as an afternoon snack with hot tea.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Breakfast, Healthy snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12 medium pieces
Calories 174 kcal

Equipment

  • oven
  • Baking cake pan
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spatula, hand mixer

Ingredients
  

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup grated carrot (2 large)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil or other oil
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt or applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon or nutmeg powder
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup mixed chopped nuts (optional)

Instructions
 

Preparation:

  • Peel and wash two large fresh carrots, discarding the skin.
  • Grate the carrots using a small-holed grater. Set aside.
  • Grease a 8" cake pan or a loaf pan with oil or butter.

Recipe:

  • Preheat the oven to 375F (185C).
  • In a large mixing bowl, add one egg, 1/4 cup of white sugar (powdered or superfine granules), 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of oil, 1/3 cup of yogurt, and vanilla extract.
  • Whisk the sugar and wet ingredients well with a hand or electric mixer for five minutes. If you use an electric beater, mix for two minutes in a low setting. The sugar should dissolve completely in the egg mixture.
  • Sift in the dry ingredients one by one. Start with 1.25 cups of whole wheat flour. Add 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon or nutmeg for spice. Next add 3/4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp of baking soda, and 1/4 tsp of salt.
  • Now add the finely grated carrot and chopped pecans, chopped walnuts, or other nuts if desired. Combine everything together with a spatula gently.
  • Fill the cake batter into the pan, and tap lightly to remove extra air bubbles.
  • Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven until done. The baking time may vary depending upon the pan size, consistency of the batter and temperature of the oven. Always keep an eye towards the end (from 20 mins onwards) and check by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean carrot cake is ready.
  • Take out the pan and let cool for a few minutes. Invert the cake and let cool on a rack before serving.

Notes

Tips:
1) This carrot cake recipe can be made without egg. For the eggless version, use little extra yogurt or applesauce (1/2 cup instead of 1/3 cup).
2) If you wish to use only brown sugar you can skip white sugar. But make sure the sugar granules are fine enough to blend well. 
3) The use of nuts is completely optional. Nuts give a delicious crunchiness to this carrot cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 174kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 112mgPotassium: 127mgFiber: 2gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 1810IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Carrot cake, Easy cake recipes, Healthy carrot cake recipe without frosting, How to make soft carrot cake, Wheat flour carrot cake
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