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healthy carrot cake banana bread sliced

Carrot Cake Banana Bread with Thick Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Delicious healthier carrot cake banana bread that tastes just like a cross between moist carrot cake and your favorite banana bread. This easy carrot cake banana bread recipe is lightened up with applesauce, dairy free milk and coconut sugar, and topped with an incredible cinnamon cream cheese frosting!

Course Banana Bread, Bread, Breakfast, Cake, Healthy, Quick Bread, Snack, Whole Grain
Cuisine American
Keyword carrot cake banana bread, healthier carrot cake banana bread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 210 kcal
Author Monique Volz of AmbitiousKitchen.com

Ingredients

  • Dry Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat flour)*
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Wet ingredients
  • 2 medium very ripe banana, mashed (¾ cup mashed banana)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons melted and cooled coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 heaping cup shredded carrots (about 2 large carrots)
  • 1/3 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
  • Optional add-ins:
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • For the frosting:
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened (reduced fat if you'd like)
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together whole wheat pastry flour, quick oats, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; set aside.

  3. In a medium bowl, mix together together mashed banana, coconut sugar, egg, and vanilla until well combined and creamy. Add in applesauce and almond milk, then fold in carrots. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined -- DO NOT OVERMIX. Gently fold in melted coconut oil and 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans.
  4. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean with a few crumbs attached. Mine took about 55 minutes in an 8x4 inch loaf pan. If you use a 9x5 inch pan, you may need to check the bread at 40 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and place pan on wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan and place on wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  6. To make cinnamon cream cheese frosting: Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon together on medium speed for a minute or until smooth. Spread over cooled bread. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans. Cut into 10-12 slices and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

* Feel free to use a mix of 3/4 cup all purpose flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour instead of whole wheat pastry flour.

To make vegan: Use dairy free cream cheese and a flax egg instead of a regular egg.

To make gluten free: I haven't tested it but I would suggest a 1:1 gluten free all purpose flour.

Bread can be made a day or two ahead of time, just wrap in plastic wrap to seal in moisture and frost before you serve. Banana bread is always best the next day.

You can make this recipe into muffins/cupcakes. You'll need to adjust your baking time, but I suggest checking them between 15-18 minutes.

Feel free to add in other favorites such as: shredded coconut flakes, raisins, walnuts instead of pecans, or pineapple.

Nutrition Facts
Carrot Cake Banana Bread with Thick Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 210 Calories from Fat 68
% Daily Value*
Fat 7.5g12%
Saturated Fat 3.7g23%
Carbohydrates 33.2g11%
Fiber 4.6g19%
Sugar 14.9g17%
Protein 4.3g9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.