Spiced Carrot Cake Mini Loaves, perfect to use up the abundant carrot crop and create a delectable breakfast, snack, dessert, with all the flavors of the beloved carrot cake. These mini loaves are nut free, ideal for a back-to-school lunch box.
Song of the day: September - Earth, Wind & Fire.
"The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such...."
- John Updike, September
September is here. Hard to believe that until -what feels like- yesterday, summer was just starting and with it, the promise of long sunny days, relaxing time, funny adventures. August felt shorter than its 31 days, we spent it mostly in Italy, on holidays, among friends and family. My grandpa was still with us, I didn't have to miss him, already, I didn't have to feel, suddenly, so lonely, without grandparents.
September doesn't have all the glitter of the summer, and the stark light is fading. September is a bit moody and more subdued, during the day it still holds some summer traits, but the first chill of autumn cools the morning and night air. Silver grey skies and clouds heavy with rain, many a time I remember my birthday, few days before the end of the month, under a heavy blanket of rain, all hopes of doing something outdoor, ruined by the inclement weather.
September has always been "my" month, a month I've loved for being my birthday month, and for marking the back to school season. School came effortlessly to me, from kindergarten to University. Never a burden, often a pleasure, always faced with diligence and willingness. Shopping for the start of school was a favorite of mine, beautiful memories I have of going back home with bags full of items that smelled of new beginnings. And many of those memories included my grandparents and their dedication to me, their first grand daughter, their pride, and joy, "la bella dei nonni". They brought me to school, they were there when the bell rang, and I couldn't wait to run to them, to go to their place until my mother would come to pick me up, and sometimes, I would beg her to stay longer (and I'd win).
Memories of snacks to bring to school, simple, fragrant baked goods my mother would bake for me. Slices of a loaf, coffee cake, crostata; unfortunately no muffin tins or mini loaf pans or fancy cookie cutters among her baking supplies.
As these memories dwindle, I am brought back to the reality of the task at hand: creating these wonderful Spiced Carrot Cake Mini Loaves. I would have to say that if I received one of these in my lunch box I would be thrilled. And why not. They're cute and extremely delicious. Feels like having dessert for breakfast.
That streusel topping is the one that captivates you: buttery and sweet and with a dynamic texture from the pepitas to the chopped candied ginger, offering the palate a surplus of flavor. Going in, you bite into the moistness of the cake: Greek yogurt, sunflower oil, and the shredded carrots produce a scrumptious yet light and delicate texture that combined with vanilla and the spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, make these Spiced Carrot Cake Mini Loaves a winner from top to bottom.
Most parents want their children to eat healthily and sometimes that can be a challenge. Here you have the perfect balance of nutrition and "scrumdiddlyumptious".
These Spiced Carrot Cake Mini Loaves were enjoyed and appreciated by our grown up family. As a matter of fact, they didn't survive to see the second day, also helped by a couple of nice neighbours always willing to help the cause.
If you have an abundance of carrots in your fridge, this is a great way to use them up and even a better way to get your kids to eat them. Not to mention that your house will be filled with a beautiful, lingering, aroma of all those spices!
Song of the day: September - Earth, Wind & Fire.Print
For the mini loaves:
- 1 ¾ flour 00 (or all-purpose)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp cardamom
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- 2 organic eggs, free range
- ⅔ cup sunflower oil (or any vegetable oil you like)
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup cane sugar
- ¼ cup packed turbinado sugar (or dark brown sugar)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups grated carrots
For the streusel:
- 2 Tbsp flour 00
- 1 Tbsp packed turbinado sugar
- 1 ½ butter, melted and cooled
- 2 Tbsp pepitas (optional)
- 1 Tbsp chopped candied ginger (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C) and place the mini paper loaf pans on a baking sheet (or line a muffin tin with paper liners).
For the streusel:
- Combine flour and brown sugar in a small bowl.
- Add the melted butter and mix with your hands until crumbly.
For the batter:
- Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, other spices, and salt in a large bowl.
- Beat eggs, oil, yogurt, both sugars, and vanilla in a medium bowl.
- Add wet mixture into flour mixture and stir just until combined.
- Stir in carrots last.
- Divide the batter among the mini loaf pans (or muffin cups), then sprinkle tops with the streusel, pepitas and chopped ginger (if using).
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pans.
Muffins will cook a bit faster than mini loves, check them after around 20 minutes that they're in the oven.
If you like these Spiced Carrot Cake Mini Loaves, you might also like our amazing:
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