February 28, 2016



Everything is better in mini form. These cinnamon, ginger, and clove spiced Mini Carrot Loaves are perfect with a cup of coffee, tea, or a glass of milk. Keep these in mind for Easter treats!
Mini Carrot Loaves
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When my favorite shows were off the air during the winter TV hiatus, I watched a couple of programs I have not viewed before. One was Kids Baking Championship on the Food Network. Have you ever seen it? I was quite impressed with the amazing little bakers who competed on the show. Not only were they adorable and incredibly talented, but they were also precocious, creative, and smart. These competitive 10-13 year olds can think on the fly and run circles around me in the kitchen. The amount of knowledge and skills the baking prodigies acquired in their young lives is nothing short of impressive. The winner went home with a $25,000 grand prize. Not bad, huh? But I did  find it heartbreaking when they got eliminated: it's tough to see kids cry after they have given their all.

Mini Carrot Loaves

Inspired by the young kitchen rock stars, I decided to do a little baking. Since I almost missed the last holiday and posted a Valentines dessert on Valentine's Day, I decided to get a head start on baking for Easter. It is only a month away and will be here before we know it!  

These mini carrot loaves are fragrant and moist. Vegetable oil, applesauce, and sour cream provide plenty of moisture. To further ensure perfect results, do not over bake. Remove the bread from the oven when a toothpick comes out with crumbs attached. If a toothpick comes out clean, chances are the carrot loaf is going to be over cooked.  

Mini Carrot Loaves

The recipe makes four mini loaves. What I love about this bread is it tastes even better the day after. The flavors meld together and intensify even more. If yo don't want to share, freeze whatever you can't eat to enjoy whenever you want.

The carrot frosting embellishments are optional. You can make them using the recipe given or store bought frosting. I piped the carrots freehand using regular zip lock bags. To be frank, I have done very little piping. So if you too are inexperienced, don't be hesitant try. I used this video to learn the technique. Be warned: the guy sounds a bit creepy but the video is helpful. Piping the carrots was fun! Of course, if you don't want to follow the video, do it any way you want...or not at all. 

Have a fantastic week, and as Jacques Pepin would say, "Happy Cooking"!

Mini Carrot Loaves

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2 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6 tbsp. granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
3 large eggs
1/3 rounded cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup applesauce
2 1/2 cups grated carrots
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup chopped walnuts

For the Cream Cheese Carrot Frosting:

3 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp. butter, room temperature
yellow gel food coloring
red gel food coloring
blue gel food coloring


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, add sugars, oil, and eggs. Beat for 2 minutes. Add sour cream, vanilla, and applesauce. Beat to thoroughly incorporate. Add dry ingredients, a third at a time until just blended.  Add carrots, coconut flakes, and walnuts. Blend using a large spatula.

Generously spray four 5 3/4" x 3" x 2 1/8" mini bread pans with cooking spray. Divide batter equally into each pan. Bake for 38-42 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with crumbs attached.

Cool for 5 minutes. Unmold and cool completely on cooling racks.

To make frosting, beat cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Remove half of the frosting and place in a bowl. To one bowl, add a few drops of food coloring at a rough ratio of 3 parts yellow to one part red to obtain your desired shade of orange. To the other bowl, add a few drops of food coloring at a rough ratio of 2 parts yellow to 1 part blue to obtain your desired shade of green. 

To pipe carrots, place the orange frosting in a small zip lock bag and the green in another. Refer to this video (fyi, the guy sounds a little creepy but the technique is helpful) I used for a tutorial on piping carrots.

Makes 4 mini loaves.

Great finds for the home and family! Any commission made on purchases help towards the running of this blog.


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  1. I haven't seen that baking show, but I'm not sure my heart could take watching little kids cry after trying so hard and being eliminated! I will totally agree that EVERYTHING is better when it's made mini and I am LOVING these little carrot loaves! Tres chic! Plus since they are mini I can eat an entire one to myself, which is totally winning since I hate to share anything delicious! Baking perfection, my dear! Cheers! <3

    1. It's hard to see children face rejection, but their talent and passion for baking will take them places even if they don't win on the show. They are so inspiring. And I learned a trick or two from them. I totally agree with you on the not sharing! Minis are the perfect excuse not to. Have a wonderful week! :)

  2. I love mini loaves because I like having my own little cake all to myself! Also, I love the flavors of carrot cake (and cream cheese frosting) but don't always want to go through the hassle of baking a whole cake and having all those leftovers. This recipe is perfect because I can have my cake and eat it too (plus I can freeze the leftovers mini loaves and take them out as needed). I'll have to get off my low carb diet for these beauties ;) p.s. we are currently watching the back episodes of the kid's baking show now. They are too cute and they can bake!!

    1. We definitely love mini loaves for the same reasons, Karrie. Plus I when you give away a mini loaf, it says "thinking of you" whereas giving a way a part of a large loaf says "I couldn't eat it all". Kudos to you for sticking it out on the low carb diet! You are a stronger woman than I am! And aren't those kids adorable? I wanted to adopt them. :)

  3. These mini carrot loaves look deliciously adorable! Perfect treat for the Easter Bunny! I love carrot in baked goodies - it transforms to an unexpectedly sweet & rich ingredient. I've never seen "Kids Baking Championship" - I'll have to watch it with my daughter sometime. We love watching Chopped together - she loves Cupcake Wars too, but that show bores me after a few minutes :)

    1. The Easter Bunny would love these loaves...they are just his size! I prefer to watch straight forward cooking shows—I have to be in the mood to watch competitive cooking shows. I watch Chopped from time to time and kind of feel the same way as you do about Cupcake Wars. But I got hooked on Kids Baking Championship. It sounds like your daughter might become a little chef herself if she enjoys watching cooking shows. :)

  4. These are SO adorable and so perfect for Easter! Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts, there's just something absolutely incredible about a spiced caked! And because they're mini, means I can eat more, right? :P

    1. There is something so irresistible about carrot cake. I don't always want a chocolate cake when I see it, but I always want carrot cake when I see it. You are right—we can definitely eat more when we eat mini...that's the story and I'm sticking to it! :)

  5. I love that you used all the classic flavors and ingredients in your carrot loaves. They look scrumptious!!

    1. Thanks, Liz. There is no reinventing the wheel here, just making it look cuter. ;)

  6. I've seen that kids baking show. They are quite impressive! My daughter is just that age and is a bit envious of their skill. Adorable little mini loafs there! They look all full of good things. And I love the carrots on top. Very cute. :)

    1. Thank you, Annmarie! Those kids are amazing. My daughter was not very interested in helping me out in the kitchen at that age. I think it's wonderful if your daughter is showing interest.

  7. Oh girl, it looks absolutely delicious. Seems like a perfect dessert for a Sunday afternoon. Would it taste better with a coffee or a tea :)? Enjoy!

  8. I love mini baking too! And your little frosting carrots are sooo cute!

    1. You and I like our minis, Inger! Those carrots are fun to create. I wanted to keep making them.

  9. Your Mini Carrot Loaves look amazing! Looking forward to seeing you again at Full Plate Thursday tonight!
    Hope you are having a great day!
    Miz Helen