This is exactly what spring dreams are made of. It’s the perfect dish to bring to an easter brunch or have as a Sunday treat. This fluffy, sweet, naturally fermented focaccia dough is topped with shredded carrots, candied walnuts, and then drizzled with a smooth cream cheese icing.

❤️ Why You’ll Love Carrot Cake Focaccia

The simplicity of tasty focaccia dough is something to be admired. I’ve really been in to sweet flavored breads this season, and this carrot cake version of focaccia bread checks all the boxes. It’s easy to make, and will for sure please a whole crowd. This is perfect to bring to an easter brunch, or spring garden party.

🍲 Ingredients

Sourdough Starter – This is the leavening agent of the focaccia dough. Feed your starter 6-8 hours before you plan to put together your dough.

Flour – I love the flavor that comes when combining all-purpose + whole wheat flour in bread.

Water – Filtered water is best.

Honey – While savory focaccia uses olive oil in the recipe, I use honey in this sweeter version of focaccia bread.

Salt – we use pink Himalayan salt for our recipes, but use what you have.

Candied walnuts – you can use premade candied walnuts, but I listed how you can make your own.

Cream Cheese icing – use whatever cream cheese icing you like, I have listed my favorite. It’s not too sweet, but if you like it sweeter you can add powdered sugar.

👩‍🍳 How to Make Carrot Cake Focaccia

  • In the morning, feed your sourdough starter
  • In the afternoon, when your starter has doubled and is at peak, assemble your dough by whisking together the starter, water, and honey until the starter is dissolved and a milky liquid forms.
  • Add the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and salt to the bowl and mix together until a shaggy dough forms. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, pull the sides of the dough up and towards the middle, rotating the bowl each time until a semi – smooth dough forms.
  • Cover and let rest for another 30 minutes.
  • Perform two more sets of stretch and folds, 30 minutes apart. This will strengthen the gluten and create a smooth dough.
  • Cover with a damp bowl cover/ tea towel and let rest on the counter overnight for 10 – 12 hours.
  • The next morning your dough should have doubled in size with visible bubbles. This is a sign of good fermentation!
  • Pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the bottom of your cast iron pan or baking dish and transfer your focaccia dough directly on top. Turn your dough over so it is evenly coated in a light layer of olive oil. Lightly stretch the dough out so it touches the sides of the pan and cover with a damp tea towel.
  • Let your focaccia dough rest for 1-2 hours until it’s puffy and has doubled in size. While it’s resting, make your candied walnuts.
  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  • When the dough has doubled in size, add the shredded carrots and candied walnuts directly on top of the dough. Lightly oil the tips of your fingers and dimple the top of the dough, while your dimpling finish stretching the dough so it is flush with all sides of the pan.
  • The carrots and walnuts should be evenly distributed across the surface of the dough.
  • Bake at 425 for 25 minutes.
  • While the focaccia is baking, make the cream cheese icing.
  • Let the focaccia cool for 10 – 15 minutes, then pour the cream cheese icing directly over the top.
  • Remove the focaccia from the pan and onto a large cutting board, let cool for 10 more minutes before slicing.
  • Enjoy with coffee at breakfast, or as a dessert! There is no wrong way to eat this dish.

🪄 Bakers Schedule

  • 8 am: feed your sourdough starter.
  • 6 pm: assemble your dough.
  • 6:30 pm: stretch and fold.
  • 7 pm: second stretch and fold.
  • 7:30 pm: last stretch and fold.
  • cover and leave to ferment on the counter overnight
  • 8 am: turn your dough over onto the oiled pan
  • 9 am: make candied walnuts
  • 10 am: top the focaccia and bake
  • 10: 30 am: finished
  • TIP: don’t top your focaccia with the cream cheese icing until right before you’re bout to serve it.

🗒 Variations

Focaccia is fun because you can literally top it with anything. I’ve done a lot of wild flavor combinations when it comes to sourdough, all the way from caramelized onion and goat cheese, to cinnamon roll focaccia.


🗒 Substitutions

This focaccia bread is pretty straight forward, but if you wanted to leave out the whole wheat flour, you can substitute for all bread flour or all- purpose flour.

You can also add raisins to the top with the carrots and walnuts if you like your carrot cake that way.

  • whole wheat flour – bread/ all purpose flour
  • brown sugar – maple syrup (candied walnuts)


🗒 Best served with

  • Cup of coffee
  • Brunch
  • Dessert and coffee
  • Spring dishes

👝 How to Store Leftovers

The best way to store this focaccia when it’s already been topped with cream cheese icing, is in an air tight container in the fridge for 3 days. If you have focaccia that hasn’t been topped with the cream cheese icing yet, you can store it on the counter in a Ziplock bag or air tight container.

🤔 Common Questions

I need this later in the afternoon and want it to be fresh, what do I do?

After coating the dough in oil, and before you add your toppings, put it in the fridge. While your oven is preheating, take the focaccia out and let it come to room temperature.

4.50 from 6 votes

Carrot Cake Focaccia

Print Recipe
This is what spring dreams are made of. It's the perfect dish to bring to an easter brunch or have as a Sunday treat. It's a fluffy, sweet, naturally fermented focaccia dough topped with shredded carrots, candied walnuts and then drizzled with a smooth cream cheese icing.
Prep Time:2 hours
Cook Time:25 minutes
Fermenting time:12 hours

Equipment

  • Large Cast Iron
  • food scale
  • Sauce pan
  • immersion blender
  • dough whisk
  • bread knife

Ingredients

Focaccia Dough

  • 100 grams bubbly, active starter
  • 360 grams filtered water
  • 20 grams honey
  • 475 grams all purpose flour
  • 25 grams whole wheat flour
  • 8 grams salt
  • ¾ cup carrots shredded

Candied Walnuts

  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbs butter
  • cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 4 oz cream cheese half of a block
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup heavy cream or half and half

Instructions

  • In the morning, feed your sourdough starter
  • In the afternoon, when your starter has doubled and is at peak, assemble your dough by whisking together the starter, water, and honey until the starter is dissolved and a milky liquid forms.
  • Add the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and salt to the bowl and mix together until a shaggy dough forms. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, pull the sides of the dough up and towards the middle, rotating the bowl each time until a semi – smooth dough forms.
  • Cover and let rest for another 30 minutes.
  • Perform two more sets of stretch and folds, 30 minutes apart. This will strengthen the gluten and create a smooth dough.
  • Cover with a damp bowl cover/ tea towel and let rest on the counter overnight for 10 – 12 hours.
  • The next morning your dough should have doubled in size with visible bubbles. This is a sign of good fermentation!
  • Pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the bottom of your cast iron pan or baking dish and transfer your focaccia dough directly on top. Turn your dough over so it is evenly coated in a light layer of olive oil. Lightly stretch the dough out so it touches the sides of the pan and cover with a damp tea towel.
  • Let your focaccia dough rest for 1-2 hours until it's puffy and has doubled in size. While it's resting, make your candied walnuts.
  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  • When the dough has doubled in size, add the shredded carrots and candied walnuts directly on top of the dough. Lightly oil the tips of your fingers and dimple the top of the dough, while your dimpling finish stretching the dough so it is flush with all sides of the pan.
  • The carrots and walnuts should be evenly distributed across the surface of the dough.
  • Bake at 425 for 25 minutes.
  • While the focaccia is baking, make the cream cheese icing.
  • Let the focaccia cool for 10 – 15 minutes, then pour the cream cheese icing directly over the top.
  • Remove the focaccia from the pan and onto a large cutting board, let cool for 10 more minutes before slicing.
  • Enjoy with coffee at breakfast, or as a dessert! There is no wrong way to eat this dish.

Candied Walnuts

  • In a small pan over medium low heat, melt the butter and brown sugar together until the sugar has dissolved. Add in the chopped walnuts and stir continuously for 4-5 minutes until the walnuts are covered in the sugar and slightly toasty. Set aside.

Cream Cheese Icing

  • In a small sauce pan, add in the cream cheese, maple syrup and heavy cream until the cream cheese is soft. With an immersion blender, blend all the ingredients together until smooth and set aside.

Notes

If you like your carrot cake with raisins, or any other inclusions, scale the shredded carrots and walnuts down to a 1/2 cup so there is enough room on the dough. 

Nutrition

Serving: 10g | Calories: 379kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 378mg | Potassium: 180mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1916IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Carrot Cake, Focaccia, Sourdough
Servings: 10
Calories: 379kcal

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