1 part your favorite banana bread, 1 part the best-ever carrot cake, and all parts delicious. This banana carrot bread is incredibly flavorful and topped with a drizzle of cream cheese icing.
Banana bread and carrot cake are both delicious on their own. But when you combine them together you end up with a quick bread recipe that’s tender, dense and comforting like banana bread, and packed with flavor like your favorite carrot cake. This banana carrot bread is delicious for breakfast, afternoon tea, or a less sweet dessert.
The Best Banana Carrot Loaf
I wanted this loaf to combine all my favorite things of both banana bread and carrot cake. It needed to be
- Tender and moist
- Dense without being hard
- Super flavorful and packed with spices
- A mild banana flavor – but taste more so of carrot cake
- And have a little cream cheese frosting. Because that’s definitely the best part of carrot cake 😉
It’s basically a classic, easy banana bread recipe only we’re adding in 1 cup grated carrots. We’re using brown sugar, vanilla extract, and warm spices for tons of flavor. Oil keeps the bread moist without being too heavy (don’t worry – you definitely won’t taste it) and eggs add tenderness. The mashed banana makes the loaf incredibly moist and soft, in addition to adding flavor and sweetening the bread.
Tips for Making this Carrot Banana Bread
- Your bananas should be brown for more flavor and moisture – you’ll need 2-3 bananas total for 1 cup of mashed bananas.
- Do not skip the spices, they’re necessary for the flavor.
- Gently fold in the dry ingredients by hand. Whenever making quick breads, you don’t want to mix the batter too much, otherwise, they can get tough.
- The batter will be thick and slightly lumpy – this is what you want.
- Adding in chopped walnuts or pecans is recommended, but totally optional. I love that they add more texture and flavor.
- Make sure to use a 9×5 inch loaf pan (mine is actually a 9.25 x 8.25 inch pan). An 8×4 inch loaf pan is too small for this recipe. Your loaf can end up overflowing, or it can rise too high on the edges and sink in the middle because the pan is too small.
- The bake time is long. If you notice the top of the loaf brown already, but the middle is nowhere near done, tent a piece of aluminum foil over top of the pan and continue baking.
Tender, flavorful, easy to make, and combines 2 of the best treats around. This banana carrot bread just might be replacing some of your old favorite recipes.
For more quick breads and loaf recipes, be sure to try:
Banana Carrot Bread
Banana Carrot Bread
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil or canola oil
- ¾ cup light brown sugar*
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup mashed bananas about 2-3
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
Cream Cheese Icing
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar or more as needed
- 1-2 tablespoons milk or cream
Banana Carrot Bread
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) degrees.
- Line the bottom of a 9x4 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, and grease and flour the sides.
- In a large bowl whisk together the oil and sugar until no sugar lumps remain.
- Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract, then stir in the grated carrot and mashed bananas.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
- Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, carefully fold the flour mixture into the banana mixture about ½ at a time.
- Once almost mixed, fold in the chopped walnuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-65 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the top gently springs back if you touch it with your fingers. If the top of the bread is already golden but the middle isn't cooked through yet, tent a piece of aluminum foil over top and continue baking.
Cream Cheese Glaze
- Whisk the cream cheese until smooth (you could use a whisk, fork or electric mixer).
- Mix in the powdered sugar, followed by 1 tablespoon milk.
- Add in a little more powdered sugar or milk as needed until the desired sweetness and consistency is reached.
- Once the cake is cooled, invert the pan to release the loaf. Then drizzle the cream cheese glaze on top, or spread it on with a knife.