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Citrus Scented Carrot Cranberry Loaf Cake


This Citrus Scented Carrot Cranberry Loaf Cake is dotted with dried cranberries, grated carrots everywhere and has a subtle tanginess and fresh flavors from orange juice and zest.

Slices of Citrus Scented Carrot Cranberry Loaf Cake

How is the weather in your neck of woods? We are quickly saying goodbye to fall and entering in to the winter phase. We have already had two snowfalls…even before thanksgiving. This is what changing climate looks like people. Anywho, I love all four seasons and enjoy the transition (if there is). We are almost saying goodbye to citrus right now but have plenty of pomegranates (recipes here and here), winter squash (recipes here and here), sweet potatoes (recipe here), Brussel sprouts (here) etc. Though I love all (mostly) seasonal produce, all kinds of citrus and pomegranates top my list. The recipe that I am sharing today was a happy accident. “Citrus scented cranberry and carrot loaf cake”. Sounds pretty fancy, right? Ha ha.

Jump to Recipe

Actually, I fiddled with the idea of calling it orange, carrot and cranberry loaf, or citrified carrot cranberry bread etc…Are you not relieved that I chose Citrus scented cranberry and carrot loaf? I am. The name actually fits perfectly. The bread is lightly scented with citrus notes from orange and lime adding a delicate tanginess and moisture to the bread. Cranberries add a surprising freshness that is scattered throughout the loaf. And carrots add nutrition and robustness. The color is beautiful. This citrus scented carrot cranberry loaf is a perfect snack to go with tea or a slice for breakfast serves just right.

Citrus Scented Carrot Cranberry Loaf Cake

Can we please talk about nutrition of this “dessert” please? Vitamin C and thiamine are plentiful in oranges along with folate and some potassium as well. Cranberries add fiber and are also a great source of Vitamin C along with manganese and Vitamins K and E. They are loaded with bioactives, antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. What can I say about carrots – my kids love to munch on carrots, such a great snack. Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene (adds that beautiful color), Vitamin K, potassium, fiber and antioxidants. They have been linked to better eye health and are a weight loss friendly food. So, I told you – this is a recipe of a nutritionally dense dessert.

Few important notes first.

Use sweeter oranges for this recipe. I have used mandarins and tangerines in the past. As always, I highly recommend using room temperature unsalted butter and eggs. Do not over-mix the batter, otherwise your bread will not turn out the same. This is not a very sweet cake/loaf.

Few years ago, when I first made this bread and posted it on Facebook, a friend asked for the recipe. I clicked a picture of my kitchen notes and sent it to her. I still go look back at that picture to make this recipe. Today, that shall change..hah! Now I will have a more organized source for my own recipe. This is what my blog is all about. So, without further ado –

Here is the handy dandy printable
Slices of Citrus Scented Carrot Cranberry Loaf Cake
5 from 11 votes

Citrus Scented Carrot Cranberry Loaf Cake

This Citrus Scented Carrot Cranberry Loaf Cake is dotted with dried cranberries, grated carrots everywhere and has a subtle tanginess and fresh flavors from orange juice and zest.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Loaf Cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Cooling time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 10 slices
Author Vaishali


  • 1 3/4 cups All purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated about 2 cups
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest see notes
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries see notes


  1. PLAN AHEAD - take the butter and eggs out of the refrigerator. Peel and grate the carrots.

  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C. Prepare a loaf pan (I used 9 X 5) by greasing it with butter and sprinkling some flour over it. See Notes

  3. Set a sieve over a deep mixing bowl and sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. If you do not want to, skip the sifting and just whisk these ingredients together.

  4. In a separate bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer (like my Kitchenaid) fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together till light and creamy, about 1 minute on medium speed.

  5. To the sugar and butter mixture, add eggs, one at a time, and mix them in.

  6. Once the eggs, butter and sugar mixture is smooth and creamy, add in freshly squeezed orange juice, lime juice and vanilla and mix on low speed. Your mixture might look curdled but do not worry about it. It's OK - I promise!

  7. With the mixer running on very low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and grated carrots. Stir until just combined. With help of a spatula, gently fold in the dried cranberries.

  8. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth out the surface with a spatula.

  9. Bake at 350/175 for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. The time might vary according to your oven. I would suggest that you start checking the middle of the loaf with a toothpick at the 40 minute mark.

  10. Take the loaf out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes (Hah good luck with that!). Loosen the sides of the loaf cake with a knife and carefully remove loaf from pan. Let cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!!

Recipe Notes

Use the zested orange to squeeze fresh orange juice. 1 medium size orange will yield 1/4 cup OJ.

If you cannot find dried cranberries where you live, you can use golden raisins or dried cherries too.

The wrapping paper of butter stick makes a good tool to spread butter in the loaf pan to grease it.

Slices of Citrus Scented Carrot Cranberry Loaf CakeI hope you give this loaf cake a try and enjoy the cranberries and carrots this fall in this simple, yet super flavorful Citrus Scented Carrot Cranberry Loaf Cake. It is yummilicious!

Love – Vaishali.

Tools Used:


Kitchenaid Stand Mixer: Mixing Bowls:

Box Grater: Measuring cups:

Measuring Spoons: Loaf Pan:




  1. Patricia-Ann Que

    November 16, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    5 stars
    now you got me craving ! the combination of citrus and cranberry is just perfection! now all I have to do is bake, yikes!

  2. Tara Pittman

    November 16, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    Sounds like a delicious recipe. I like that there is cranberries in this bread.

  3. Jessica Joachim

    November 16, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    5 stars
    Oh my goodness this looks absolutely delicious! I am a sucker for citrus, and just everything in this loaf cake just makes me so happy!

  4. Joan

    November 17, 2018 at 1:19 am

    Oh yum love this, looks so zesty and delicious I could have th is for my breakfast actually.

  5. Kathryn at QuestFor47

    November 17, 2018 at 9:32 am

    5 stars
    Carrot and cranberry is such an interesting combination! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  6. Echo

    November 17, 2018 at 11:42 am

    5 stars
    This looks so beautiful! I bet it smells and tastes as delicious as it looks! I need to make this!

  7. Marysa

    November 18, 2018 at 6:54 am

    This bread sounds delicious! We have made some breads, but nothing like this one. I love the combination of carrots and citrus – I’ll have to try your recipe. It would be good for breakfast or school lunch too.

  8. Surekha Busa

    November 18, 2018 at 10:10 am

    These looks yummy and very delicious too. I love the twist you’ve done on this recipe and combining carrot from cranberry is a unique one to have. Great recipe and thanks for this.

  9. Summer Mitch Ryan

    November 18, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    This would be a great alternative for our usual sliced bread. Could I replaced Cranberries with something else though?

    1. Vaishali

      November 19, 2018 at 10:09 am

      Thanks. Yes, you can add raisins or dried cherries/currants if you like.

  10. David Elliott

    November 19, 2018 at 12:49 am

    5 stars
    Cranberries oranges and carrots. I am sure all of them would be very sweet with a bit of a tart twist to the cake. It does sound like a unique flavor combination but I’d love to try it out.

  11. Mommy Sigrid

    November 19, 2018 at 7:04 am

    5 stars
    Hmmm citrus scented…I am trying to imagine the aroma and taste… and I am getting hungry. I wish I have the patience to bake this. This looks pretty good.

  12. Lindsey

    October 10, 2022 at 9:46 am

    This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it! Look forward to more recipes!!

    1. Vaishali

      October 10, 2022 at 9:55 am

      Thank you so much Lindsey. I hope you enjoy it

      1. Kevin Foodie

        October 10, 2022 at 10:58 am

        5 stars
        Your carrot cranberry loaf looks festive and appealing. It is a perfect holiday sweet treat. But for me it will be the pefect everyday snack. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Love the citrus flavor note.

        1. Vaishali

          October 12, 2022 at 1:19 pm

          Thanks Kevin. My husband will agree…he likes to snack on this cake all the time.

  13. Audrey

    October 10, 2022 at 9:57 am

    5 stars
    Wow, what a unique recipe! I love the different types of citrus used in this recipe, and the fact that you add the zest. Zest really makes any citrus flavor pop. I will definitely have to try this for Thanksgiving!

    1. Vaishali

      October 12, 2022 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks Audrey. I 100% agree. Hope you and your family enjoy it on Thanksgiving!

  14. Kirsten Smith

    October 10, 2022 at 10:28 am

    Looks great!

  15. Shella

    October 10, 2022 at 10:44 am

    5 stars
    This looks like the perfect fall dessert. I am always looking for ways to use cranberries. I can’t wait to try it.

    1. Vaishali

      October 12, 2022 at 1:15 pm

      Thanks! Cranberries are such a delight

  16. Eva

    October 10, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    I will be making this too! Love the ‘Jump to recipe’ button!

    1. Vaishali

      October 12, 2022 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks Eva. Yeah, great when you are in a hurry and want to look at the details.

  17. Jenna from Heavenly Spiced

    October 10, 2022 at 5:07 pm

    5 stars
    This Citrus Scented Carrot Cranberry Loaf Cake looks so moist and delicious! I can smell it through the screen! Thank you for sharing another amazing recipe. ☺️

    1. Vaishali

      October 12, 2022 at 1:22 pm

      Ha ha…thanks Jenna! We need smellovision!

  18. Marisabel

    October 10, 2022 at 8:14 pm

    This recipe is the perfect way to start your day during Fall season!! I cannot wait to make it!!

    1. Vaishali

      October 12, 2022 at 1:25 pm

      I agree. This is great with coffee/tea

  19. Andrea

    October 11, 2022 at 10:16 pm

    5 stars
    Looks yummy, I’ll have to try it

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