Leave this country loaf unfrosted for a home-spun look or top it with a light coat of luscious
cream cheese icing for company. Like most quick breads, this bakes one large or two smaller loaves: one to freeze or give away.
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, melted, or canola oil
¼ cup fresh orange juice
2½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
2½ teaspoons cinnamon
Pinch of cloves
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup shredded zucchini (unpeeled)
½ cup plumped yellow raisins
1 cup finely diced, peeled apples
½ cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
CREAM CHEESE DRIP FROSTING (optional)
½ cup cream cheese, softened
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
2 to 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
Orange juice, as required
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans or one Bundt pan. (This recipe can also
make 18 to 24 muffins.) Place pans on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet.
In a mixer bowl, blend the sugar, butter or oil, eggs, orange juice and vanilla. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet batter along with the shredded carrots, zucchini, raisins, apples and walnuts. Spoon into prepared pan(s).
Bake until done, about 1 hour, or until loaves spring back when gently touched with fingertips.
Cool to room temperature before icing.
To make the Cream Cheese Drip Frosting, place the cream cheese, butter and most of the confectioners’ sugar in a food processor or mixer bowl. Blend, adding more of the confectioners’ sugar and drizzling in a bit of orange juice to make a soft, fluffy topping. Add more confectioners’ sugar if required (or orange juice to loosen, if necessary). Frost top of loaf or cake (if the frosting is soft enough, it will drip down the sides), and garnish
with shredded carrots and a dusting of cinnamon before serving. Makes 8 to 12 servings.