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
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.