Carrot cake isn’t really a breakfast food, though it does contain a serving of veggies (well, sort of!), because it is usually fortified with quite a bit of sugar and topped with a generous layer of cream cheese frosting. If you’re a fan of carrot cake but want a more breakfast-friendly format, give this Carrot Oatmeal Quick Bread a try! The bread has many of the same flavors that you would find in a traditional carrot cake, but baked into a sturdier quick bread form that is perfect for breakfast or brunch.
True to its name, the bread comes together very quickly once you have your ingredients ready to go. The slowest part of the prep is shredding up those carrots! I added a little bit more sugar to this recipe than I do for some of my quick breads. While it may seem a little strange to add sugar when you’re adding a naturally sweet vegetable (carrots) to the bread, the oatmeal is not particularly sweet and really seems to soak up some of that sugar during baking, so the loaf needs a little extra sugar to make it taste its best! The extra sugar also helps ensure that the bread remains moist and has a nice tight crumb. You’ll taste both nutty oatmeal and sweet carrots, as well as plenty of warm spices, in each bite. And I can assure you that the finished loaf will not be too sweet.
This bread is delicious on its own and, if I’m planning to snack on it myself with coffee or tea, I’ll add a sprinkle of coarse sugar to the top of the bread before baking. The dense crumb makes this loaf sturdy enough to hold up to toasting, too, and that is an excellent way to serve the loaf. And for those of you who want to keep the tradition of cream cheese and carrot baked goods alive, this bread is very good when smeared wiht a little bit of whipped cream cheese – especially after a piece has been toasted and it is still warm.
The bread keeps well for a couple of days, so store the leftovers in an airtight container. Extra slices can also be frozen for slightly longer storage.
Carrot Oatmeal Quick Bread
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups shredded carrots
6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 tbsp coarse sugar, for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together sugars, eggs, milk, vanilla and shredded carrots. Pour carrot mixture into the flour mixture and stir until batter comes together. Pour in butter and stir until completely incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with sugar, if using.
Bake for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Allow loaf to cool completely in the pan before turning it out to serve.
Makes 1 loaf; serves 10-12.