Gluten-Free Carrot Bread with Chai Spices
I've got a lovely tender tea bread recipe for you- a gluten-free carrot bread fragrant with chai spices and studded with juicy sweet raisins. Ever since I baked those happy, sunny carrot muffins I've been pondering carrot bread. I wanted to create a new gluten-free bread recipe that featured several whole grains, including (gasp!) brown rice flour. Shocking, I know. Long time readers will confirm I'm not the biggest fan of rice flours. I almost never bake with them. And yet. There I was. Standing in the Whole Foods check out line. Buying a bag of Bob's Red Mill organic brown rice flour. On impulse. Because it just sounded good to me.
Wholesome. Nutty. And friendly to carrots.
Which is important in a gluten-free recipe. The friendliness. You want all your ingredients to get along. You want your flavors co-mingling in savory-sweet bliss. Supporting one another's strengths. Forgiving each other's weaknesses. No single gluten-free flour is perfect on its own, as you well know. Going solo doesn't work. It needs a supporting cast. It needs to find balance and achieve harmony via relationships. Give and take. That's what it's all about in the crazy game of gluten-free baking.
Kinda like love.
Carrot Bread Recipe with Raisins and Chai Spices
This carrot bread recipe is flexible. If you don't care for raisins, try dried cranberries, or currants. If pecans aren't your favorite nut, leave them out- or use walnuts. If coconut milk isn't your thang, use almond or rice milk. Make it like you like it, Babycakes. (See notes below for more substitution ideas.)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 9-inch ceramic loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper that extends up over the top of the two long sides (this makes it easy to grip and lift the loaf out of the pan).
Mix together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl:
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch or potato starch (not potato flour)
1/4 cup coconut flour or almond flour
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 cup organic light brown sugar
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large organic free-range eggs or Ener-G Egg Replacer (1/4 cup liquid, mixed)
1/2 cup light olive oil or organic grapeseed oil
1/2 cup coconut or non-dairy milk (more as needed, up to 3/4 cup)
1 cup finely grated carrots (I use a box grater)
1/2 cup raisins- dark or golden
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (may omit)
Whisk the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl- flours through spices.
Add in the eggs or egg replacer, oil, and half cup coconut milk. As you beat the liquid ingredients into the dry mix, keep an eye on the batter. It should be smooth and slightly thick, close to a muffin batter. If it is too stiff or dry, add in more coconut milk as needed, a spoonful at a time to achieve a creamy-thick batter. I ended up using 3/4 cup total coconut milk, but you may need less liquid if you live in a more humid climate.
Stir in the grated carrots, raisins and nuts by hand and mix to distribute. Scoop the batter into the parchment lined ceramic bread loaf pan and smooth out the top with a silicone spatula.
Bake in the center of a pre-heated oven for one hour. (If you use a thinner metallic pan, you may have to adjust baking time as it may cook faster- especially around the edges.) The loaf should feel firm to the touch, and a wooden pick inserted into the center of the loaf should emerge clean.
Remove the pan from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool. When the loaf has settled and is cool enough to handle, use a thin knife to loosen the two ends from the pan, and carefully lift it out of the pan using the parchment paper on either side of the loaf. Note- the loaf is fragile while warm, so don't try to slice it right away.
When cool, slice the carrot bread with a sharp bread knife. Serve with your favorite vegan buttery spread, or whipped cream cheese.
Cook time: 1 hour
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
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For readers who ask about substitutions for the coconut milk- you can use the non-dairy choice you prefer- from rice milk to orange juice. (Note: A plus for egg-free bakers, orange juice helps the loaf rise higher.)
For flour subs:
Use medium weight gluten-free flours to sub medium weight flours like sorghum (jowar) flour, and brown rice flour. Coconut flour is it's own kinda animal, but I'd guess almond flour might work if you don't care for coconut flour. Sub tapioca starch with other starches, such as cornstarch, potato starch or arrowroot starch.
In place of raisins you might try dried cranberries.
Leave the nuts out if you prefer.
Wrap leftover slices in foil, bag and freeze to preserve "just baked" texture.
For more tips see my Gluten-Free Baking Tips post and my Baking Substitutions Help page.
Shirley's ABC Muffins at Gluten-Free Easily
Elana's Gluten-Free Carrot Banana Muffins at Elana's Pantry
For substitution help, please see my guide to baking with substitutions here.