We’re combining a Spring favorite with a breakfast classic to make this Carrot Coffee Cake– it’s the perfect brunch dish for your next celebration. A delightfully decadent cake full of shredded carrots and nuts with a crumb topping and a cream cheese glaze make this the ideal recipe for a gathering. With this dessert in hand, you’ll definitely impress your friends and family this Easter or at any spring get together.

Carrot coffee cake is an easy brunch recipe.

Carrot Coffee Cake Recipe

We’ve all had carrot cake. And most have probably had coffee cake.

But a few weeks ago the craving for both hit—at the same time.

“Why not combine the two and make a Carrot Coffee Cake?!”

You guys… you will NOT be disappointed!

Because in this light and fluffy, bread-like cake, you also get a delightful brown sugar cinnamon crumb topping and cream cheese drizzle.

Yes, literally the best of both worlds. Moist carrot cake flavors as an easy coffee cake recipe. It’s perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning.

Something sweet for an Easter brunch, Mother’s Day breakfast, or even as an easy dessert cake.

Carrots, coconut, flour, spices, butter, cream cheese, eggs, and sugar are the main ingredients for this dish.

Carrot Coffee Cake Ingredients

To make this homemade carrot coffee cake recipe you need:

  • Flour. Either all-purpose flour or a gluten-free 1-to-1 blend can be used. Be sure to carefully measure the flour, or the cake will be dense.
  • Spices. An earthy blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger add the perfect level of flavor to this cake.
  • Butter. Salted butter is preferred, though unsalted can be used. Be sure to get it out of the fridge 30 minutes before you need it so it’s softened.
  • Sugar. While this recipe calls for white sugar for the cake and brown sugar for the crumb topping, you can opt for coconut sugar or a variety that fits your dietary needs. Powdered sugar is needed for the glaze, as well.
  • Eggs. You’ll want to set out 3 large eggs to come to room temperature for the best results.
  • Milk. Both regular milk or a plant-based variety will work just fine!
  • Carrots. You can either buy a bag of pre-shredded carrots, or peel and grate your own. The thicker the pieces, the more prominent they’ll be in the cake.
  • Coconut. Sweetened, shredded coconut adds a little bit more flavor, but feel free to go with unsweetened if you prefer.
  • Cream cheese. Any type of cream cheese will work, but a higher fat version usually turns out smoother.

How to Make Carrot Coffee Cake

Below, you’ll find the steps to follow to make this easy carrot coffee cake recipe:

Mix the Dry

In a large bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt. Use a whisk to thoroughly combine them.

Always be careful when you’re measuring dry ingredients. It’s best to sift the flour, or at least spoon the flour into the measuring cup. If not, you might end up with a dense cake.

Beat the Butter and Sugar

In another large bowl, combine the softened butter and sugar. Use a hand mixer to beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. You want the mixture smooth and creamy.

If the butter isn’t at room temperature, it will not combine well with the sugar.

You can also use the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment if you prefer.

Add the Eggs and Vanilla

Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Ensure there are no shells. Pour the eggs into the butter mixture.

Carefully measure the vanilla and pour it in with the eggs, as well.

Beat for another 1 to 2 minutes, until everything is combined.

Combine the Wet and Dry

Now it’s time to add the wet ingredients to the dry. You don’t want to do this all at once, or you will have flour in every nook and cranny in your kitchen.

Carefully pour about a quarter of the flour mixture into the butter and sugar and beat on LOW speed. Once everything is combined, add another quarter.

Continue adding the dry ingredients in quarters until they are completely incorporated.

Finally, pour in the milk and beat on low until everything is well combined.

Grate the Carrots

You can either use a food processor with a grating attachment or a handheld grater for this step. You ultimately need 2 ½ cups of grated carrots. Be careful and watch your knuckles when you grate carrots, though.

Add the carrots and shredded coconut to the batter and mix by hand. Do not overwork it at this point.

Spread the cake batter into a 9×13 baking dish you have misted with non-stick cooking spray.

Make the Crumb Topping

Preheat the oven to 350℉.

Whisk together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cube the cold butter.

Using a pastry cutter, mix the butter into the dry ingredients. You can also use a large fork.

The result will be a crumbly mixture with some pea-sized chunks left.

Evenly sprinkle this over the raw batter.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes. It is done when a toothpick poked into the middle comes out clean.

Make the Cream Cheese Glaze

In another clean, medium-sized bowl, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Use a handheld or stand mixer to thoroughly combine.

Add the milk in small increments to the cream cheese mixture until a drizzling consistency is reached.

Be sure the cake has cooled for at least 30 minutes before you drizzle the glaze or else it will melt into the cake.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: This entire cake can be made the night before you serve it. Or, you can shred the carrots and make the crumble one day before.
  • How to store: This carrot coffee cake will stay fresh for up to 2 to 3 days at room temperature, or up to 1 week in the fridge. Seal in an airtight container.
  • How to freeze: Be sure the cake cools completely, then wrap it in plastic wrap, and place in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • How to reheat: You can warm this cake up in 15 second intervals in the microwave. Or, you can place it back in a 250℉ oven. However, the glaze might melt into the cake.
A fork digs into a slice of carrot coffee cake on a plate.

Dietary Modifications

The recipe you’ll find below is already vegetarian as written. Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:

  • Dairy-free: Stick with a dairy-free version of milk, butter, and cream cheese.
  • Gluten-free: Opt for a gluten-free 1-to-1 blend of flour.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Save time. Check for shredded carrots at the store.
  • Scoop it up. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup so you don’t end up with too much.
  • Don’t overdo it. Pay attention when you’re mixing the batter, overmixing will lead to tough—rather than tender—consistency.
  • Just a poke. Use a toothpick to check for doneness.
  • Be patient. Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes before drizzling on the glaze.
After drizzling the glaze, the cake is cut into squares.

More Sweet Breakfast Recipes

Breakfast doesn’t always have to be savory. Try one of these recipes and start your morning off on a sweet note.

Healthy Pumpkin Muffins, Lemon Poppyseed Muffins, and Double Chocolate Banana Muffins are both tasty and good for you.

Of course, Blueberry Pancakes and Gluten-free Pancakes are classics everyone loves.

For something different, try a Dutch Baby Pancake or Healthy Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Carrot Coffee Cake Recipe

Easy yet full of flavor, this Carrot Coffee Cake is the perfect brunch dish for your next celebration. A delightfully decadent cake full of shredded carrots and nuts with a crumb topping and a cream cheese glaze make this the ideal recipe for brunch.
Yield 15 servings
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 45 minutes
Total 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients 

Carrot Coffee Cake:

  • 2 ½ cups flour all purpose or a gluten-free 1-to-1 blend
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ sticks butter softened
  • 1 ¼ cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs large
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup milk regular or plant-based
  • 2 ½ cups carrots peeled, finely grated
  • ½ cup coconut sweetened shredded

Crumb Topping:

  • ½ cup brown sugar packed
  • cup flour all purpose or gluten-free 1-to-1
  • 4 Tbsp. butter room temperature
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 2 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 Tbsp. butter melted
  • ½ tsp. vanilla clear
  • 1-2 Tbsp. milk optional
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To Make the Coffee Cake:

  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt together in a large bowl.
  • In a separate large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together for 2 minutes on medium speed, or until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Continue beating for another 1-2 minutes or until well combined.
  • Incrementally add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, beating on low speed after each addition until everything is well combined.
  • Once mixed, pour in the milk and mix on low until incorporated.
  • Using either a food processor with a grating attachment or a handheld grater, shred peeled carrots until you get 2 ½ cups of grated carrots. Add this to the batter along with the shredded coconut and mix by hand with a spatula until well combined.
  • Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and then pour in the coffee cake batter. Spread this out until smooth.

To Make the Crumb Topping:

  • In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cube the butter and then cut it into the flour mixture using either a pastry cutter or a large fork. You should still have some pea-sized crumbs left. Sprinkle this on top of the batter in the baking dish.
  • Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick when inserted in comes out clean.

To Make the Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • In a medium-sized bowl mix the ingredients together using a handheld or stand mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Thin out the glaze with milk until a drizzling consistency is reached. Allow the cake to cool for at least 30 minutes before drizzling the glaze on top. Enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Video

Notes

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: This entire cake can be made the night before you serve it. Or, you can shred the carrots and make the crumble one day before.
  • How to store: This carrot coffee cake will stay fresh for up to 2 to 3 days at room temperature, or up to 1 week in the fridge. Seal in an airtight container.
  • How to freeze: Be sure the cake cools completely, then wrap it in plastic wrap, and place in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • How to reheat: You can warm this cake up in 15 second intervals in the microwave. Or, you can place it back in a 250℉ oven. However, the glaze might melt into the cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 296kcal, Carbohydrates: 54g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 327mg, Potassium: 133mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 34g, Vitamin A: 3789IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 61mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Comments

  1. Hey, am I missing something? I don’t see any type of coffee in the list of ingredients and it doesn’t say where or when to include it, it seems the recipe is for a carrot cake and it looks amazing but not coffee on it at all

    1. Hi Lesley, a coffee cake is traditionally served WITH coffee, it doesn’t usually contain actual coffee. This recipe combines the flavors of carrot cake and the style of a coffee cake.