One of my favorite Easter traditions in our family was every year, one of our family friends had a backyard with shrubs cut in a maze that made for the ULTIMATE Easter egg hunt setting. But a maze of bushes was too easy, so to add a level of difficulty it turned into a flashlight Easter egg hunt aka in the dark. As I’ve gotten older, it has become a weekend for me to go back home, spend quality time with the whole family, and bake up a new recipe to share with the masses. Though this year won’t involve me going home unfortuately, the baking continues on. If you’re quarantined like the rest of the world, this holiday may involve less people but it doesn’t have to involve less flavor or delicious food.
Taking a note from the Easter bunny himself, this carrot-cake inspired loaf invites a few other friends over like zucchini and walnuts for a dense and delicious bread. No need to get grossed out by vegetables in this loaf as they add texture more than anything. The bread itself would be great for a morning slice with your coffee, but what’s carrot-anything if not with cream cheese?! An easy, tangy cream cheese frosting spread on top with shredded carrots, crushed walnuts, and toasted coconut flakes finishes this treat off for the perfect mix of crunch with creaminess.
Whether you are gathering virtually or painting plastic eggs because all the regular eggs are sold out this year (who knew scrambled eggs would be a luxury during a pandemic?! ), grab your apron and create a beautiful, tasty Easter brunch even if just for one :).
Carrot Zucchini Walnut Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups gluten-free 1:1 baking flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 2 large carrots shredded (1 packed cup)
- 1 medium zucchini grated (1 packed cup- see note)
- 3/4 cup walnuts crushed
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 3-4 cups organic powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes
- Preheat the oven to 375° F
- Spray an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the coconut oil, brown sugar, vanilla, and maple syrup until smooth.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Fold in the carrots, zucchini, and 1/2 cup of walnuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Loosely tent the pan with foil and bake for about 1 hour, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Transfer the bread to a rack to cool for 30 minutes, then turn it out and let cool completely.
- While the bread is cooling, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until a smooth frosting forms.
- Spread cream cheese frosting on top of loaf. Sprinkle coconut flakes, a few carrot shreds, and remaining crushed walnuts. Enjoy!