This One Bowl Carrot Cake Banana Bread is made without butter or oil, but so tender and flavourful that you’d never be able to tell it’s healthy! Greek yogurt, bananas, and shredded carrots keep it moist, while a sweetened cream cheese frosting makes it feel extra decadent.
There was a time in my life where I wouldn’t even entertain the possibility of putting vegetables in my desserts. Carrot cake was a definite no-go. Chocolate zucchini anything was fine as long as you left out the zucchini part. And something like sweet potato brownies would have had me crying blasphemy until I got a real dessert.
Granted, this was also the time in my life where the only vegetables I would actually eat were potatoes, corn, raw carrots, and sometimes peas if I was bribed with the promise of dessert. My foray into healthy eating didn’t start until I was somewhere in my early 20’s, and I’m at the point now where I’ll happily chow down on veggie-ladden desserts and probably ask for seconds while I’m added. Especially when it comes to carrot cake…
Ok, ok. So this isn’t 100% real carrot cake, but it’s got carrots and cream cheese frosting, so it’s basically the same thing.
What we’re technically looking at here is carrot cake banana bread, which is like carrot cake and banana bread getting together and creating a perfect hybrid love child.
It’s got the best qualities of both parents (subtle spice, banana flavour, a suuuuuuuuper tender crumb, cream cheese frosting… uhm… vitamin A?), and it’s a nice little transition into spring baking.
Speaking of spring… anyone else not really the biggest fan? Because I don’t know what spring looks like in your neck of the woods, but here it’s wet and cold and DIRTY aaaaaand… I’m not going to complain because it’s also warmer and sunnier and one step closer to summer and all the fresh fruit it brings.
But until then, we have carrot cake [banana bread]…
Like most of my other banana bread recipes, this one is based off my much-loved Greek yogurt banana bread. I mean… if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Only I have fixed it a few times since then. And again for this particular variation.
I was a little worried about the extra moisture the carrots would add, so I left out one of the eggs, cut back on the flour, and added some oats for heartiness and texture. The result is healthy quick bread made without any butter or oil that’s still super soft, tender, and full of flavour. It’s subtly spiced with just the right amount of banana-ness, and the whole thing is topped with a cream cheese frosting that takes it to a whole new level of deliciousness.
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For the bread:
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup (115 g) plain 2% Greek yogurt
- 2 medium-size, ripe bananas, mashed (200 g or 1 cup)
- 6 tbsp (90 ml) maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (60 g) quick oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup (150 g) whole wheat pastry flour*
- 1 cup (115 g) shredded carrots, about 2 large
For the frosting:
- 4 oz (112 g) low fat cream cheese
- 1/3 cup (40 g) powdered sugar*
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF (176ºC), and lightly grease a 9 x 5 (23cm x 13cm) bread pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg just until the yolk breaks apart. Whisk in the yogurt, bananas, maple syrup, and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Stir in the oats, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- Spoon in the flour and gently fold it in until just combined. Gently stir in the shredded carrots, taking care not to overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, spreading it out evenly. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Once the bread is cool, prepare the frosting by beating the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl. Spread it on top of the cooled cake prior to slicing. Store the bread in a covered container in the fridge for up to 7 days, or freeze it (unfrosted) for up to 3 months.
* You can also use all purpose flour or a mix of 3/4 cup (90 g) all purpose and 1/2 cup (60 g) of whole wheat flour.
Keywords: banana bread, carrot cake, healthy, recipe
Looking for more healthy banana bread recipes? Try one of these!
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