Carrot Cake Banana Bread

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Christina Ross
Christina Ross
I'm a human being on planet earth. I've lived hundreds of lifetimes. In this incarnation I'm here to advance medicine.

Despite it being the second day of Spring, New England is on the brink of yet another snowstorm. I’m savoring a slice of this cake/bread hybrid as I go between typing and glaring out at the menacing gray sky. Yep, I am 100% done with winter, but at least I have a delicious snack to help me bear an additional foot of snow on the ground.

This dessert-worthy, (but breakfast-appropriate), loaf is the perfect marriage of banana bread and carrot cake. It’s just sweet enough, warmly spiced with cinnamon, flecked with carrots, and crowned with a creamy maple syrup-sweetened frosting. I’ve said it here before and I’ll say it again: I prefer my carrot cake simple and unadulterated; but if you like walnuts, coconut flakes, and/or pineapple in yours, feel free to toss whatever you want into the batter.

This bread would be perfect as part of an Easter breakfast spread, as an afternoon snack alongside a cup of coffee or tea, as a healthy dessert… or enjoyed throughout the day as I’ve been doing!

Carrot Cake Banana Bread

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients (1 loaf)

For the Bread:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour, or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup mashed overripe bananas (about 3 medium-sized bananas)
  • 1/3 cup neutral-flavored vegetable oil (I used safflower oil)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg, preferably organic
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed shredded carrots (about 1 large carrot)

For the Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt (any fat %)
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup (or more, to taste)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with unbleached parchment paper, leaving a bit of overhang to aid in removing the bread.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, oil, coconut sugar, 2 Tbsp maple syrup, egg, and vanilla extract until well-combined. Stir in the grated carrot.

Add dry ingredients to wet and stir just until combined.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a wooden tester (or toothpick) inserted into the center of the loaf comes out mostly clean. Let sit in pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While the bread cools, make the Greek yogurt cream cheese frosting: combine softened cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and 2 Tbsp maple syrup in a mini food processor and process until smooth (you can also do this in a bowl with a spoon, but it will take longer). Taste, and add an additional 1-2 Tbsp of maple syrup if desired. Spread on cooled loaf. Refrigerate the frosted bread for 1 hour to allow the frosting to set.

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