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Spiced Chai Carrot Loaf

This seasonal loaf is perfect for a chilly, holiday morning cozied up at home with a cup of tea. The warming spices from the chai are balanced by creamy frosting and gentle carrot flavor, making it an easy crowd pleaser. It comes together in a pinch and while best served day of, keeps for a few days in the refrigerator.



makes 1 9x5 loaf cake

1 English breakfast teabags

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon ginger

½ tablespoon cinnamon

½ tablespoon allspice

½ tablespoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup olive oil

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup whole milk greek yogurt or sour cream

3 cups shredded carrots, finely grated on a box grater

Zest of 1 lemon

Sprinkle of cinnamon, for topping

Cream cheese frosting

½ stick (4oz) unsalted butter

4 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1 ½ cup powdered sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x5 loaf pan and line with parchment, so the parchment overhangs by 1 inch.

Bring 2 tablespoons of water to boil and pour into a mug. Add the English breakfast teabag and steep for 5 minutes then discard the bag.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer (or large bowl), beat the oil and sugars until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, then add in the tea and vanilla extract.

Gently whisk the dry ingredients into the wet, alternating with the greek yogurt, until just combined. Fold in shredded carrots and lemon zest and pour into prepared loaf pan.

Bake until the loaf is browned and a toothpick comes out clean, about 40-55 minutes. Begin checking for doneness at 40 minutes, and then every 5 minutes after. If your cake is browning too quick, tent with tinfoil and return to oven. Once baked, remove from oven and allow to cool completely in the loaf pan on a wire rack.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract until combined and creamy, about 4-5 minutes. Add in salt and slowly mix in powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, until just combined, scraping down sides of the bowl, as needed.

Once the cake is completely cooled, remove from pan and frost with an offset spatula. Top the frosting with a sprinkle of cinnamon and enjoy. Cake can be made a day in advance, but is best day of with a cup of warm tea or coffee.

*This recipe is adapted from Olives + Thyme.


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