Vegan Banana Carrot Bread with Cashew Cream Cheese Icing
Vegan Banana Carrot Bread with Cashew Cream Cheese Icing- banana replaces egg in this recipe for a lighter take on carrot cake with irresistible flavor. Whole grain, refined sugar-free and dairy-free!
Do you ever wonder how all of the American holiday traditions began?
Like the Easter Bunny. I’m pretty sure he had nothing to do with the origin of Easter yet somehow he became the main icon for the holiday, along with dying eggs and eating copious amounts of candy. Isn’t interesting how religious holidays have evolved to modern day times?
These are the things I think about.
I haven’t died eggs in over 20 years (yup, I’m that old) but I still make a point to eat carrot cake every year. Because let’s be real, even though I associate Easter with getting sick on sugar cookies, carrot cake will always be the real star of the show.
I do have a bangin’ recipe for a gluten-free Carrot Cake on my site but it’s nothing of the vegan variety. Which we need. Obviously.
So this version features pure maple syrup to sweeten, banana as the binder, and whole grain spelt flour for extra nutrition. I tried to make it gluten-free with a combo of sorghum and almond flour but the results weren’t nearly as good. However, you could probably use your favorite gluten-free all purpose flour in place of the spelt flour.
Side note: because the banana acts as the main binder and they can vary in size, I recommend mashing it in a measuring cup to assure that you have a full 1/2 cup for the recipe.
The resulting flavor is just like carrot cake with a hint of banana and it tastes amazing with the cashew cream cheese icing. No one will ever never know it’s made without dairy or refined sugar!
Vegan Banana Carrot Bread with Cream Cheese Icing
Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15
Cook Time: 45
Total Time: 1 hour
- 1 and 1/2 cups spelt flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- 1 and 1/2 cup shredded carrots (about 4 large carrots)
- 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 large banana)
- 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
Cashew Cream Cheese Icing
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked*
- juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup, see notes)
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1-3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F then lightly grease a loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine the spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, coconut, and chopped nuts. Sift together. Add the shredded carrots to the bowl (without stirring) then set aside.
In the bowl of a blender, combine the banana, pure maple syrup, vanilla extract and milk. Blend on high until smooth. Alternatively, you can mash the banana by hand and combine the ingredients in a bowl. Try to get it as smooth as possible if not using a blender.
Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry. Add the melted coconut oil last then stir everything together just until combined. Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes.
Meanwhile make the icing by combining all of the ingredients (starting with just 1 tablespoon milk) in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Scrape down the sides in between blending. Add more milk, as needed, to thin and more salt or sweetener as desired.
Allow the loaf to cool for 30 minutes to an hour. Once cool, spoon the frosting on top. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and coconut, and enjoy!
*Soak cashews in a large bowl covered with a few inches of water for at least 6 hours or up to overnight. For a faster option: boil a pot of water, remove it from the heat and add the cashews to soak for 30 minutes. Strain excess water and rinse before adding to the blender. Depending on the size of your blender container, you may have to double the recipe to get it to blend properly.
**1/4 cup lemon juice might be overpowering for some. If you think that might be the case for you, try starting with 1 teaspoon at a time and tasting it as you continue to blend.