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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Carrot Cake Bread (Soy, Fish and Milk-Free, Can Be Nut, Egg and Wheat-Free)


Hello, everyone!  I know - it's been a long time since my last post, and I deeply regret that.  My daughter's healing from her surgery took a month or so since she had to have a second surgery due to a post tonsillectomy hemorrhage.  After that, it was getting ready for back-to-school, illness and a myriad of other things.  I've wanted to and meant to post a new recipe so many times between the last one and this, and I just haven't been able to for one reason or another.  I'm hoping that I can post more often (I have several that I have tried out and just need to type up), but I can't promise.  Life happens, and not always as we expect.  I hope, however, that this recipe was worth the wait! :D
This recipe is a twist on my Zucchini Bread recipe.  It reminds me of carrot cake without the frosting, hence the name.  I'm sure you could make it in a cake pan and frost it and have a delicious carrot cake, too. :)  I hope you like it!

Please note that this recipe is soy-free if you use all soy-free ingredients, and is fish and milk-free.  It can also be nut, egg and wheat-free (see variations).
Carrot Cake Bread

3 Cups soy-free flour (white or wheat will work, though I prefer whole wheat for this recipe)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

3 eggs

1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 Cup soy-free, unsweetened, natural applesauce

2 1/4 Cups sugar

1 Tablespoon vanilla

1/2 to 1 Cup grated carrots

2 Cups grated zucchini (DO NOT DRAIN!)

1/2 to 1 Cups pecan pieces

1. Grease and flour two 8x4 pans (To keep this recipe milk-free and soy-free, use olive oil or lard to grease the pan. If you don't need to keep it milk-free, use full-fat, salted butter.).

2. Preheat the oven to 325oF.

3. Mix flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon together in a medium bowl; set aside.

4. In another large bowl, beat eggs, oil, applesauce, sugar and vanilla until well blended.

5. Add dry ingredients to the creamed sugar mixture and beat well.

6. Stir in zucchini and carrots until well combined. (Note: The grated zucchini should be very wet - DO NOT DRAIN! The moisture is needed.  Amount of carrots is based on personal preference.)

7. Stir in the pecan pieces (amount is based on personal preference) until evenly distributed.

8. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 55 - 70 minutes or until tester/toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

9. Cool loaves in pans on wire rack for 20 minutes before removing the bread from the pans.

10. Allow the bread to cool completely on the wire rack before enjoying.

Variations (Please keep your individual allergy and dietary needs in mind when using substitutions.):
  • Nut-Free: Leave out the pecans and prepare as directed.
  • Egg-Free: Use an egg replacer or try one of the ingredient substitution ideas for eggs listed here.
  • Wheat/Gluten-Free: Use a gluten-free or baking mix of your choice for the flour.  You can even use gluten-free flour/baking mix to flour the pans with.  Note that this substitution will change the texture of the bread (no matter what kind you use), and may require 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum or ground flaxseed for textural purposes.
  • Stir-In Ideas/Substitutes: Use walnuts, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, raisins, apple, crushed pineapple, chocolate chips (Enjoy Life is a great allergy-friendly option), etc. for the pecans or along with them.  I would not recommend using more than 1 Cup total add-ins, so make sure that the amount of pecans, raisins, pumpkin seeds, etc. does not exceed 1 Cup total.  Also, if you use crushed pineapple, you will not want to use more than 1/2 Cup and may want to leave out the applesauce.  Make sure you drain the pineapple well, as it will increase the moisture content by a lot.  If you want to use both applesauce and pineapple, reduce the applesauce to 1/4 Cup and use 1/4 Cup crushed pineapple.
  • Less Zucchini Bread: If you don't want so much zucchini, you can reduce the zucchini to 1 Cup.  You do not have to increase the amount of carrot if you do this.
  • Carrot Cake: Bake this recipe in a 13x9 pan instead of loaf pans and cook at 325oF for 40-45 minutes or until a tester/toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Top with Sweetened Whipped Cream or frost with Vanilla Buttercream or the Cream Cheese Frosting Listed below if desired. You can also top it with chopped walnuts or pecans if desired.  Note: You can try your hand at making a soy-free version of cream cheese from scratch if you like (I've not tried it, so I can't vouch for the taste, though.). You can also try using a dairy-free, soy-free "butter" (Earth Balance has one) if you want to make the buttercream dairy and soy-free. There is a recipe for a dairy and soy-free "cream cheese" frosting here, but I've never tried it, so I cannot vouch for the taste. You can also just dust the cake with powdered sugar or eat it plain as well.
Cream Cheese Frosting
(Adapted from a recipe on submitted by Janni to be egg, fish, wheat, and nut-free)
1 package cream cheese (8 oz.), softened
1/4 Cup full-fat, salted butter, softened
1-1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
dash of salt
1 to 2 Cups powdered sugar
1. Cream butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl until creamy.
2. Mix in vanilla and salt until well blended.
3. Gradually stir in the powdered sugar until well incorporated.
4. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting: Stir in 1/4 to 1/2 Cup cocoa powder with the powdered sugar.

Looks good, right?  I promise; it is!

What's your favorite bread?
Do you like sweet or savory breads better?
What's your favorite autumnal recipe or activity?