As the coronavirus quarantine drags on I’ve been doing a lot of baking. There’s something about a fresh-baked breakfast that helps get the day started right. One of my all-time favorite breakfasts has been a carrot cake banana bread recipe that I’ve been working on.
I am a huge fan of carrot cake. Combining it with banana bread is a great way to get more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet! This recipe uses fresh carrots, bananas, and unsweetened applesauce.
You can easily turn this recipe completely vegan with a few small changes. It’s a simple recipe to change to fit many other dietary differences as well.
Carrot Cake Banana Bread Recipe
You can change these ingredients to match your family’s dietary needs. However, I always recommend staying with natural and fresh ingredients whenever possible. This helps to decrease unwanted sugar, sodium, and other side effects of heavily processed foods.
Ingredients Needed for the Banana Bread
2 C all-purpose flour
1/3 C old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp apple pie spice
1/8 tsp salt ( I use this one for baking)
1/2 C brown sugar
1 C mashed ripe banana ( about 2 larger bananas)
1/4 C natural unsweetened applesauce
1 C shredded carrots
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla ( I use this one)
1/4 C milk ( or a non-dairy milk substitute)
Ingredients Needed for the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 C powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla
This carrot cake banana bread has so many fresh ingredients that it comes together in a breeze. The longest part of this entire recipe is the baking. It is bread though, there’s just no quick way of baking bread.
Combine the dry ingredients of the bread in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
I like to use a sifter to add a little bit of extra air into my flour. It’s also a good idea to use a whisk to lightly combine your dry ingredients. This will help get a little more air into the mix.
Mash the bananas using a fork or special mashing tool. (I always just use a fork but having a special tool can be fun too!)
It’s best to use bananas that have started to get little brown spots in them. Some think that they have more flavor at this stage. For me, they are just a little bit softer and easier to mash to a smooth consistency.
You can mash them down to an almost smooth paste or you can leave small pieces of banana. This is completely up to you and your personal preferences.
Carrot Cake Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Banana Bread
- 2 C all-purpose flour
- ⅓ C old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp apple pie spice
- 1 pinch salt
- ½ C brown sugar
- 1 C mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium bananas)
- ¼ C unsweetened applesauce
- 1 C shredded carrots
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ C milk
For the Frosting
- 4 oz cream cheese
- ½ C powdered sugar
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Sift the dry ingredients for the banana bread in a medium mixing bowl and use a whisk to stir lightly until just combined.
- Mash the bananas using a fork or other mashing tool.
- Add the applesauce, egg, and vanilla to the mashed bananas and stir until combined.
- Add the shredded carrots and maple syrup to the mashed banana mixture and fold together until combined.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mashed banana mixture and stir until just combined.
- Transfer the bread dough to a parchment paper-lined loaf pan and bake for about 45-55 minutes. ( Be sure to watch your bread those last 10-20 minutes as oven times can vary)
- Let the bread cool completely before icing.
- When your bread has cooled completely you can begin to make your icing by combining the cream cheese and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed.
- Add the cinnamon and vanilla extract to the bowl of the stand mixer and continue blending until everything is smooth and fully combined.
- Use a spatula to apply a layer of the icing to the top of the banana bread and chill for about 1 hour to allow it to set completely.