Spiced Carrot Crumb Cake

This simple, no fuss spiced carrot crumb cake is moist and delicious. The crumb topping makes it a delightful mix between a coffee cake and traditional carrot cake. Serve this at brunch or bring it out for Thanksgiving dessert!

loaf of spiced carrot crumb cake with two slices and crumbs on table

One of my all-time favorite desserts is carrot cake with cream cheese icing. But when I’m baking for myself at home, it’s nice to whip up something a little less fussy than a layer cake. Loaf cakes are an excellent option when you’re in the mood to whip something up quickly and easily. Also, it’s very easy to wrap up and pop in the and freezer! 

This spiced carrot crumb cake is loaded with fall spices, walnuts nuts, and raisins. Feel free to substitute any dried fruits or nuts you have on hand. Finally, it’s topped with a gorgeously thick layer of crumb topping before going into the oven.The addition of crumb topping transforms this into a coffee cake/carrot cake hybrid. Which means it’s a perfect addition to breakfast or brunch. 

Tips for Achieving the Best Spiced Carrot Crumb Cake

  • High ratio of brown to white sugar: I opted for a high ratio of dark brown sugar to white sugar. The extra molasses from the brown sugar does a lot of heavy lifting in regards to moisture and richness of flavor.  If you don’t have dark brown sugar, feel free to use light instead! The flavor will just be a slightly more subtle. 
  • Finely grated carrots: Carrots that are finely grated are more easily dispersed into the batter. I suggest using the fine side of a box grater. No need to lug out the food processor. Nobody has time for that assembly and cleaning! Remember, we are trying to keep this as painless as possible. 
  • Chunky crumbs: To get those large, crunchy crumbs, I always take the time to use my hands and press the mixture together into large pieces while placing it on top of the batter. Once it bakes, those chunks become browned and caramelized. It’ll be impossible to resist picking the crumbs straight off the top of the cake. 


overhead photo of spiced carrot crumb cake loaf with slice and bowl of walnuts
loaf of spiced carrot crumb cake with two slices and crumbs on table

Spiced Carrot Crumb Cake

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes


Crumb Topping

  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Carrot Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baing soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup carrots, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins


Make the Crumb Topping

  • In a medium bowl, use a fork to mix together the sugars, cinnamon, and butter. Then stir in the flour. Set aside.

Make the Carrot Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×5" loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, applesauce and vanilla until incorporated. Then stir in the finely grated carrots. 
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Use a spatula to fold in the walnuts and raisins.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan and top with the crumble topping. Use your fingers to press the topping together to create big chunks! 
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, with a few moist crumbs. If cake is browning too much during baking, tent it with a piece of foil. 
  • Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

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