Carrot Cake Banana Bread made with sweet ripe bananas, warming spices, and brown sugar, then covered in a delicious cream cheese frosting. This delicious bread is one of a kind and perfect for Easter or any time of year.
Gluten Free Carrot Cake Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting
Few things are better than a really good banana bread and this gluten free carrot cake banana bread is no exception to that rule. It has the best of both worlds; the delicious flavor of classic carrot cake and the familiar cozy banana bread flavor you know and love.
This bread is filled with all the best things like brown sugar, ripe banana, carrots, chopped nuts, and plenty of warming carrot cake spices. It won’t take you too long to put together and it’s perfect for an Easter brunch or just to enjoy all year long.
Carrot Cake Banana Bread Ingredients
This is an overview of the main ingredients in this recipe. See the recipe card for full ingredients and instructions, below.
- Butter: I have included instructions on using coconut oil, if you prefer, below.
- Banana: be sure to use bananas that are nice and ripe. They should be soft and have plenty of brown spots.
- Applesauce: the addition of unsweetened applesauce adds a tender moistness to the bread without adding any additional sweetener.
- Shredded carrot: for the best results, you’ll need to use a box grater to grate your carrot. If you use store-bought shredded carrots they will be a bit too tough and crunchy for the bread.
- Chopped walnuts: nuts are always optional in breads like this, of course, so feel free to leave them out if you prefer. If you do not like walnuts, you could use chopped pecans instead.
- Brown sugar: this recipe uses dark brown sugar for that extra depth of delicious flavor.
- Gluten free flour: to keep this recipe gluten free, it uses a measure for measure gluten free flour. This brand is my favorite.
- Vanilla extract: you cannot have a banana bread or carrot cake without a heavy dose of delicious vanilla extract.
- Spices: various spices like warm cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg all come together to give the bread that classic carrot cake flavor.
My Favorite Tools to Use for Making This Bread
Delicious Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream cheese: use full-fat cream cheese for the best and tastiest results.
Vanilla Extract: adds that delicious vanilla flavor to the frosting.
Cinnamon: a little cinnamon adds even more warming spice to the bread and plays off the flavor of the spices in the bread.
Powdered sugar: this adds sweetness to the frosting.
Almond milk: this helps thin out the frosting a bit and makes it easier to spread.
How to Make This Carrot Cake Banana Bread Recipe
See the recipe card for full ingredients and instructions, below.
Step One: To a large mixing bowl add the melted butter, mashed banana, applesauce, dark brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir all of the ingredients together until well combined.
Step Two: Next, add the gluten free flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and salt to the wet mixture. Stir until everything is well combined.
Step Three: Once everything is well combined, fold the shredded carrots and walnuts into the batter.
Step Four: Transfer the banana bread batter to a 9×5 pan that has been lined with parchment paper.
Step Five: Bake the bread at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the bread to a wire rack and let cool.
Step Six: While the bread is cooling make the cream cheese frosting. Add the room temperature cream cheese, powdered sugar, cinnamon, room temperature almond milk, and vanilla extract to a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to whip until smooth and creamy.
Step Seven: Once the bread has cooled completely, spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the bread. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Ways to Top Your Bread
While the cream cheese frosting is a delicious topping all on it’s own, feel free to add an extra sprinkle of chopped nuts, cinnamon, or even finely shredded carrots to the top of your banana bread.
Can I Use Almond Flour or Coconut Flour?
No, this recipe will not work if you use almond flour or coconut flour as a one-to-one replacement for the gluten-free flour.
Can I Use All-Purpose Flour?
Yes! If you would like to use regular all-purpose flour instead of gluten free flour in this recipe it will work.
Can I Use Coconut Sugar?
Yes! If you would like, you can substitute the dark brown sugar in this recipe for coconut sugar.
Can I Use Honey or Maple Syrup Instead of Brown Sugar?
No. Using a liquid sweetener like honey or maple syrup will change the texture of this bread.
Can I Use Coconut Oil?
Yes. However, unless you use refined coconut oil, it will give the bread a coconut flavor. If you do choose to use coconut oil in this recipe, be sure to measure the coconut oil when it is solid and then melt for use in the recipe.
What Can I Use Instead of Applesauce?
If for some reason you do not want to use applesauce, I would recommend using extra banana in the same amount.
Tips and Tricks for the Best Bread
- Be sure to use fresh baking soda to ensure that your bread rises properly.
- To prevent sticking, line your loaf pan with parchment paper before adding the batter. You can use a bit of oil to help the parchment paper stick to the loaf pan. Using parchment will also make it easier to remove the bread from the pan.
- I like to turn the bread halfway through cooking to ensure that it cooks evenly.
- You can insert a wooden skewer into the center of the bread to check on its doneness. Once it comes out clean the bread should be done.
- When making the cream cheese frosting be sure that the cream cheese and almond milk are room temperature before mixing. This will help to avoid any lumps in your frosting.
How to Store
You can store your banana bread on the counter, tightly wrapped, for 3-4 days. If you need it to keep for a bit longer, I recommend storing the bread in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.
How to Freeze
Yes! If you want to freeze your carrot cake banana bread, here are a few of my favorite tips.
- Wait to frost the entire loaf if you know you will be freezing some or all of the bread. You can make the cream cheese frosting and serve it drizzled over a slice instead of the entire bread.
- I recommend slicing the bread before freezing unless you know you are going to serve and eat the entire loaf at one time.
- To freeze the bread, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place the wrapped bread in a freezer safe storage bag. When you are ready to eat, remove a slice of bread, or the entire loaf, from the freezer and let it thaw on the counter top.
- If you would like, you can reheat a slice of banana bread in the oven at 350 degrees, wrapped in foil, for a few minutes.
More Quick Bread Recipes I Know You’ll Love
Gluten Free Brown Butter Banana Bread
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana Bread
Double Chocolate Banana Bread
Gluten Free Pumpkin Banana Bread
Gluten Free Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread
Brown Butter Sweet Potato Bread with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
I hope you give this Carrot Cake Banana Bread a try! It’s the perfect spiced loaf and the cream cheese takes it over the top!
If you do give this recipe a try, I want to know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on Instagram. Your reviews help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you know and love.
Recipe by: Ashlea Carver / All the Healthy Things | Photography by: Casey Colodny / THE MINDFUL HAPA
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons almond milk
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- To a large mixing bowl add the melted butter, mashed banana, applesauce, dark brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir all of the ingredients together until well combined.
- Next, add the gluten free flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and salt to the wet mixture. Stir until everything is well combined.
- Once everything is well combined, fold the shredded carrots and walnuts into the batter.
- Transfer the banana bread batter to a 9×5 pan that has been lined with parchment paper.
- Bake the bread at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Once cooked through, transfer the bread to a wire rack and let cool.
- While the bread is cooling make the cream cheese frosting. Add the room temperature cream cheese, powdered sugar, cinnamon, room temperature almond milk, and vanilla extract to a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to whip until smooth and creamy.
- Once the bread has cooled completely, spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the bread. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
- Use a box grater to shred the carrot by hand for the best results.
- Let the almond milk and cream cheese come to room temperature before making the frosting.
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