Sourdough Carrot Cake Loaf

Something about this time of year with the warmer weather, flowers pushing their way out of the ground and birds singing in the trees makes me want to pull out my pans and whip up a loaf of quick bread. I have some delicious recipes on my site; this sourdough zucchini bread, gingerbread snack cake and this delicious applesauce bread, not to mention some favorite muffin recipes. But springtime and Easter season have me eyeing carrots and dreaming about a nice slice of this delicious sourdough carrot cake loaf. Last year I made these carrot cake muffins for our Easter dessert. This year, I decided to mix in some of my sourdough discard to make a loaf of carrot cake bread and let me tell you, it is delicious!

Shredding the Carrots

For the best texture and flavor, avoid using pre-shredded carrots from the store when making this delicious carrot cake bread with sourdough discard. Instead, use traditional, large carrots or baby carrots, and shred them yourself using a food processor or cheese grater. The fresh carrots will melt into the bread and add pops of orange and delicious flavor. Don’t settle for crunchy, pre-shredded carrots that won’t blend as well. That little bit of extra work is definitely worth it.

Sourdough Discard in this Carrot Cake Bread

Not all sourdough discard is created equal. Some discard might have been sitting around in your fridge for a week or two and some is only a day or two old. I prefer to use a “young” discard because it isn’t quite as strong as an older discard. I like a light sourdough flavor instead of a strong flavor in my carrot bread. You can use what you prefer. I typically use a 100% hydration sourdough discard–equal weights of water and flour mixed with the starter. If your discard is maintained at a different hydration you may need a splash of milk for a thicker discard or a little extra flour for a thinner discard.

Mixing the Sourdough Carrot Cake Loaf

Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you off. This bread is super quick and will come together in just a few minutes. The hardest part is shredding up the carrots (and that isn’t very hard). Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl with the spices. Add the carrots and mix until the carrots are lightly floured. To a liquid measuring cup (affiliate link…I use it almost daily and it’s my favorite), mix together the sourdough discard, vegetable oil, yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract. Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. 

Baking Tips

One of my favorite tips when baking quick breads is to keep the heat high for the first few minutes of baking and then reduce the temperature. This activates the rising agents and gives the bread a nicely domed top. I also like using a 9 by 5 pan for this bread, though it would work in an 8.5 by 4.5 pan too (just be careful not to overfill it).

Cream Cheese Icing

This delicious sourdough carrot cake loaf is amazing without any cream cheese icing, and you can definitely serve it that way. However, I love cream cheese icing that just gives a hint of cream cheese but isn’t overpoweringly “cream cheesy.” This icing fits the bill. It is rich, buttery and has just a hint of cream cheese flavor that pairs beautifully with the carrots and spices in this loaf. If you’re looking for a little extra luxurious taste, whip up this cream cheese icing and top the bread with it. The carrot bread with the icing puts this recipe dangerously into the “yearly family tradition” category. It is that good. 

Delicious Carrot Cake Bread with Sourdough Discard would make the perfect addition to your Easter spread. We also love it for a spring dessert or an afternoon snack. It looks delicious, tastes divine and is just all around a yummy bake. I hope you love it as much as we do!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I store leftover carrot cake bread with sourdough discard?

Slice the loaf and stick the slices in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Can I make this into muffins instead of bread?

Yes, you can. Bake for 6 minutes at 425ºF (make sure your oven is preheated before putting your muffins in). After six minutes, lower the temperature to 350ºF and continue baking for 10 minutes. Your muffins are ready when they’ve formed a beautiful domed top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Do you have a recipe without sourdough discard?

Try these carrot cake muffins. They are a family favorite and don’t have sourdough discard.

Sourdough Carrot Cake Loaf

A delicious loaf of spiced, carrot-flavored quick bread made with sourdough discard and perfect for any carrot-cake lovers. The creamy topping adds a delicious sweetness to this moist carrot cake loaf.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Bread, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 1 9 by 5 loaf


Carrot Cake Loaf

  • 120 grams sourdough discard see recipe note, about 1/2 cup
  • 65 grams vegetable oil any neutral flavored oil works, about 1/3 cup
  • 80 grams plain yogurt sour cream can be substituted in a pinch, about 5 Tablespoons
  • 2 large eggs about 100 grams
  • 4 grams vanilla extract about 1 teaspoon
  • 200 grams all purpose flour about 1 1/3 cups
  • 200 grams brown sugar about 1 cup
  • 5 grams baking soda about 1 teaspoon
  • 5 grams baking powder about 1 teaspoon
  • 7 grams salt about 1 teaspoon
  • 4 grams ground cinnamon about 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • 1 gram ground ginger about 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1 gram ground nutmeg about 1/2 teaspoon
  • 165 grams carrots, shredded see recipe note, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 100 grams chopped nuts or dried fruit optional, about 3/4 cup

Cream Cheese Topping

  • 56 grams unsalted butter softened, about 4 Tablespoons
  • 28 grams cream cheese softened, about 1 oz
  • 120 grams powdered sugar about 1 cup
  • 15 grams heavy cream as needed, about 1-2 Tablespoons
  • 2 grams vanilla extract about 1/2 teaspoon
  • pinch of salt


Sourdough Carrot Cake Loaf

  • Preheat oven to 425ºF and line a 9 by 5 loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • To a large measuring cup, whisk together the liquid ingredients: sourdough discard, vegetable oil, plain yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract until combined. Set aside.
  • Shred the carrots in a food processor or grate them on a box grater. Set aside.
  • To a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Add the shredded carrots and mix with a spoon to combine and disperse the carrots throughout the flour.
  • Pour the liquid mixture on top of the flour/carrot mixture and gently stir to combine. Add 3/4 cup chopped fruit, nuts or a combination of both if desired.
  • Spread the carrot cake loaf batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 425ºF. Then reduce the temperature to 350ºF and continue baking for 40-50 minutes. Insert a toothpick or sharp knife in the center to check for doneness. If it comes out "clean" with no crumbs, it is ready. If it comes out wet, let it bake for another few minutes and check again.
  • While the loaf cools, prepare the cream cheese topping.

Cream Cheese Topping

  • To a small bowl, whip the unsalted butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and a tablespoon of heavy cream. Whip together. Add the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Continue whipping until light and fluffy. Add a little more heavy cream as needed if the topping is too thick.
  • Spread the cream cheese topping on the cooled loaf and enjoy!


Carrots: The best carrots for this recipe are traditional, large and long carrots. Peel and grate them (or use a food processor) for best results. You can also use baby carrots. I do not recommend pre-shredded carrots which you can buy at the grocery store. They do not hold the moisture needed for this recipe and don’t melt into the loaf as well.
Sourdough Discard: I prefer to use fresh sourdough discard (or even young sourdough starter) in this recipe. I find it doesn’t give an overpowering “sour” aftertaste to the finished loaf. If you want more sour flavor, use discard that has been sitting longer in your fridge.
Keyword beginner sourdough, carrot cake, carrot cake bread, carrot cake bread with sourdough, carrot cake bread with sourdough discard, carrot cake loaf, homemade carrot cake, homemade carrot cake recipe, homemade sourdough carrot cake, quick bread, sourdough carrot cake bread, sourdough discard, sourdough discard carrot cake, sourdough discard recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. I know that your dad would like that delicious treat to appear magically on our Easter table! 🥕🎂😋

  2. Hi there – Mixing this up today, and just realized you don’t have “sourdough discard” added to the liquid ingredients in the written part off step 4. (I’m assuming that’s where you’d want that.) We’re looking forward to trying this in a few hours!😉

  3. I made this loaf this weekend. Divided it between three smaller pans, added pecans and they turned out awesome. Thank you.

  4. I made this loaf tonight and used coconut oil as my neutral oil. My loaf is only 2.5″ high at the center. I followed the recipe to a tee. Any thoughts or tips I should try?

    1. I just made this recipe this morning, actually and it worked out with a normal rise. Is your baking powder and baking soda expired? That’s what I would double check. If the middle didn’t rise high enough, make sure you aren’t opening the oven door during the baking and bake at a higher temperature for the first 10 minutes to encourage that rise.

      1. Any possibility of making ahead or should it be made same day ? Have multiple things to attend -so want to do some pre-baking

      2. I would bake it ahead of time, let it cool and then freeze it. Then you can take it out and frost it when you’re ready and let it defrost. It should work really well

  5. Would it work to ferment this? I do better health-wise with sourdough recipes that have ferment time. If so, how would you recommend doing it?

    1. I think you can do that. I would probably mix up the batter and then let it rest in the fridge for a day or two. If you are comfortable doing a room temperature fermentation, you could probably let it rest overnight (or mix the flour, oil and discard together and let rest overnight before adding the other ingredients).

    2. Hey, I mixed the flour, discard, oil (I used olive oil) and yogurt and leave it to ferment over the counter for 4 or 5 hs. Then I added the rest of the ingredients and baked it. Also I reduced the amount of sugar to 150 gr and it turned good! Hope it helps

      1. I did the same but I added the sugar and it is in my fridge over night. We shall see how it turns out.

  6. 5 stars
    This is OUTSTANDING, made it for Easter dessert, we only ate half but the leftovers still tasted amazing 2 days later 10/10, Will definitely be making again!!!

  7. We loved the taste! The only issue is how do you keep it from falling apart when cutting?

    We let it cool off before cutting.

    1. I haven’t had that issue. Mine always seems to cut into fairly sturdy pieces. Maybe it needed to be baked a little bit longer?