This vegan carrot and banana cake with healthy vegan cream cheese frosting is loaded with veggies and fibre making it a perfect snack or dessert you and your family can enjoy any day of the week.
When I was still pregnant and waiting for the arrival of my little baby O, I was batch cooking like a mad woman so I could make sure I had enough food to hold me over when the postpartum hunger hits. I knew that I wanted a sweet treat at the ready when I needed one, but I couldn’t decide whether or not to make a big batch of carrot cake or banana bread. So I thought – why not just save myself the stress and combine the two? So if you’re wondering what would happen if carrot cake and banana bread had a baby – this Vegan Carrot and Banana Cake is your answer.
Maybe It’s a dietitian thing (or mom thing), but I just love to add veggies and/or fruit to my baking any way that I can. This carrot cake banana bread is no exception. Not only do the carrots and banana add an extra nutrition boost, but the bananas give it natural sweetness and moisture, while the carrots provide that soft texture we know and love about carrot cake. Not to mention, we got some amazing vegan cream cheese frosting to top it all off which is an absolute MUST! You cannot have carrot cake without cream cheese IMO (and just because you’re plant based doesn’t mean you need to miss out).
key ingredients for making this carrot and banana cake
Whole wheat pastry flour – I really love the natural nuttiness this adds to the cake.
Ground flaxseed – Whenever I am baking, flaxseed is always invited to the party! Not only does it up the fibre content but it also adds some healthy omega 3 fats.
Banana – We want some very ripe bananas for this recipe (like almost going black but not all the way). This will add some natural sweetness and moisture.
Shredded Carrots – I use my food processor to quickly shred carrots fine. Just make sure to use a fine grater or grating plate for this recipe.
Vegan Butter – This gives the cake a delicious buttery flavour that we all love about a good dessert.
Unsweetened Oat milk – I am loving oat milk these days, especially in my baking because it adds such a lovely nutty flavour. But any plant-based milk (or dairy milk if you’re not making this vegan) will work!
Vegan Cream Cheese – In opinion, carrot cake just isn’t carrot cake without some glorious cream cheese icing on top. So yes, some vegan cream cheese is absolutely necessary but you can also use regular cream cheese if you’re not dairy free.
Non-dairy Plain Yogurt – This helps to make the vegan cream cheese EXTRA creamy, but you can use regular plain yogurt if you are not dairy fre.
Toppings – I use crushed banana chips, toasted coconut chips, and hemp hearts for this recipe, but feel free to leave it as is, or add whatever you like (chocolate also is great).
tips for making this Healthy snack cake
It’s very important that you do two things for this recipe. One, us really ripe bananas – if they’re not speckley, they won’t give you any sweetness or enough moisture. And two, squeeze the excess liquid out of your carrots. If you’ve got too much moisture, you’ll end up with a soggy batter. We want MOIST carrot and banana cake, not soggy.
faq about this recipe
is this bread gluten free?
I use whole wheat pastry flour for this recipe, so for this reason its not gluten free. I personally prefer to use whole wheat pastry flour for cake recipes like this one because it gives it a very tender and nutty flavour. However, if you are gluten free you can definitely substitute this for a gluten free flour instead.
CAN I MAKE THIS WITH DAIRY IF WE’RE NOT DAIRY FREE?
Definitely! Feel free to use regular butter, yogurt, and milk for this recipe.
can I freeze this carrot and banana loaf?
Oh yes! When I was pregnant, I made sure to make a big batch to hold me over for when baby came. You can simply wrap it in foil and put it in a freezer bag for up to 6 months. When you’re ready to eat, simply thaw and enjoy! If you’re going to frost it before you freeze it, I suggest freezing it “naked” on a baking tray until the frosting is solid, then wrapping it (otherwise, it may may a mess).
what other fruit or veggies can I add to this cake?
I’d say any sweet fruit or neutral tasting veg can work well with this recipe. I liked the idea of combining a classic banana bread with a carrot cake to create a yummy hybrid of both, so you can totally take the same approach with other veggie breads that you love like zucchini bread with banana, for example.
is this cake kid friendly?
Yes absolutely! Big Boy E gobbled this cake up REAL fast so I can confidently say that its a hit with little ones. I also love that this cake is nutrient and veggie packed, so its definitely something you can feel good about serving your kiddo.
Do you have any other carrot cake inspired recipes on the blog?
Carrot and Banana Cake
- 1 ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground salt
- 1 2/3 cup mashed very ripe banana about 4 medium
- 1 cup finely Shredded Carrots water squeezed out
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ½ tbsp melted vegan butter
- 1/3 cup unsweetened oat milk
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 1 L (8.5”) loaf tin with piece of parchment paper across the width. Grease with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, flax, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- In another bowl, mash the banana and mix with the shredded carrots, maple, vanilla, butter and oat milk. Mix the wet into the dry until well combined. Transfer to the loaf tin.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in comes out clean. Allow to fully cool.
- Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese with the yogurt, maple, vanilla and lemon juice until smooth. Spread onto the cake and top with banana chips, coconut and hemp hearts. Enjoy!
Updated on September 1st, 2020
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian (RD), regulated by the Ontario College of Dietitians. She is a mom, YouTuber, Blogger, award winning cookbook author, media coach specializing in food and nutrition influencers, and a frequent contributor to national publications like Healthline and on national broadcast TV shows.