With all of the elements of carrot cake, this Bourbon Carrot Bread is a simple way to get all that flavor, with not all the work! Bourbon soaked raisins and carrots cooked in bourbon join toasted walnuts and sweetened chunks of cream cheese to form a moist perfect union.
This is the recipe I recently entered in the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center’s Blue Ribbon Country Fair. The entry category was “Variety Breads” and I really wanted to do something other than the typical banana or zucchini bread. This is an adaptation, to bread form, of my Bourbon Carrot Cake and it garnered a third place (white ribbon) in the event. I was thrilled.
If you love the typical carrot cake, with cream cheese icing, you’ll love the simplicity of this bread and the fact that all of the elements you love are present in moist, delicious bread. No muss, no fuss, just delicious carrot cake flavor in a single pan. Of course, I had to booze it up, but the alcohol is cooked out of it, leaving you with the subtle essence of aged Kentucky Bourbon. I hope you’ll try it.
- 1 cup golden raisins, soaked in bourbon (for a day)
- ½ cup bourbon
- 1½ cups carrots, grated
- ½ cup butter, melted (cool slightly)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup turbinado sugar (or white crystal sugar)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- 4 ounces cream cheese, diced
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons sanding sugar
- In a small bowl, add the raisins and bourbon and cover for a day to plump the raisins.
- In a small skillet, pour any remaining bourbon off the raisins and saute the grated carrots just until the bourbon evaporates.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter, brown sugar and sugar.
- Add eggs and beat until fully incorporated.
- Stir in the sauteed carrots and raisins.
- In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest and stir until well mixed.
- In a small bowl, toss the cream cheese chunks with the powdered sugar until the chunks are all coated.
- Toss the coated powdered sugar creamed cheese into the dry ingredients.
- Add the walnuts to the flour mixture.
- Stir all of this mixture into the butter/egg/carrot/raisin mixture until just mixed.
- Pour the batter into a greased 9" loaf pan.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Put the loaf pan in the center of the preheated oven.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing from the loaf pan to cool on a wire rack.