A hearty Carrot Cake Protein Banana Bread, minus the high calories due to using apple sauce instead of oil, is my version of breakfast heaven. Or dessert. Or snack. With 11g protein and just about 235 calories per slice, you can have this whenever you like and feel good about it. Plus of course a high fibre content due to carrots, oats and wholewheat flour.
Why You Want to Make This
Always looking for high protein snacks, desserts and breakfast, I really wanted something sweet. Looking into my freezer and seeing the stacks of frozen bananas, it clearly had to be banana bread. Wanting to add more veggies, I remembered this Carrot Cake Banana Bread. I made it before and loved it, but it was missing the protein content I needed and I wanted to see if I could lower the calories without compromising on flavour. So that’s what I’m adding here. Basically a nutrient dense breakfast with the flavour of Carrot Cake! Who wouldn’t want that?
Apart from the goodness of veggies and protein, this is super easy to make. Basically just mix the wet, stir the wet into the dry, fold in the carrots and you are done. The Lemon icing is optional but delicious and I feel it rounds up the cake from just a banana bread to utterly delicious.
Great use for frozen Bananas
I don’t know about you, but I always have some bananas that get a bit overripe on my counter, so I tend to freeze them for later use. I often use them for Nice-Cream (let me know if you would like a recipe for my Chocolate Nice Cream), banana bread like this or my warm Tiramisu Oats.
I’ve made this both as one large loaf of Carrot Cake Protein Banana Bread or lots of cute small ones, for ease of freezing. You could also make muffings from this dough. Just bake them a little shorter. My Mini Breads took about 25 minutes, which will be similar for muffins.
Now if you ever had grated carrots and apples with just a hint of lemon juice and sugar, you’ll know how well these two work together, so I had my answer for the lower calorie version: The use of apple sauce replacing part of the coconut oil lowers the calories but keeps it moist. No dairy either, but juicy carrots and spices, which add irresistible flavour and bite.
The sugar was replaced by Cinnamon Danish flavoured Protein Powder from my favourite brand “MyProtein” (not sponsored or affiliated, though I wish it would be!) which adds sweetness and emphasizes the spices, of course raising the protein content, transforming it into a Carrot Cake Protein Banana Bread. I’m using the same technique here as in my Banoffee Protein Mousse Pie and Apricot Almond Protein Oats, by pre-mixing the protein into the wet ingredients, to completely dissolve it without adding clumps. This gives the cake more structure and adds flavour, while replacing the sugar you would usually need.
Apart from that it has nutrient dense rolled oats with all their benefits and great hearty texture, part whole wheat flour for nutty flavour and keeping you fuller for longer, Almonds for crunch and an egg for both protein and of course cake structure. A bit of baking powder, for the rise too.
You could swap the almonds for pecans or walnuts if you prefer, for a more classic Carrot Cake flavour.
I’m using some malted wheat flakes here, but if you don’t have them, just use more oats. I love them as they add malty flavour and some nice chewy bits, but using oats or flour instead will give you a more tender Carrot Cake Protein Banana Bread.
For some juicy fruit I added raisins, but I know this one is controversial. So if you are one of the raisin haters, leave them out.
Swapping the high calorie cream cheese frosting for a light lemon glaze means it tastes fresher and has about half the calories of the classic version. It’s simply made of icing sugar and lemon juice, which most of you will have at home as pantry staple.
Pre-heat your oven to 350°F/175°C.
Grease either a large loaf tin or small mini bread tins with some melted coconut oil. Alternatively line your muffin tin with paper cases.
Grate the carrots and mash the banana.
Mix all the wet ingredients either in Blender or with a whisk, so no protein lumps remain.
Stir in the dry: Add all your dry ingredients to the wet in a large bowl and fold in just until no dry bits remain. Don’t overmix, to avoid developing the gluten from the flour, which will lead to a tough cake.
Fold in the grated carrots and raisins.
Transfer your dough to your preferred baking tin.
For a large loaf bake for about 40-45 minutes for the mini loaves or muffins about 18-23min. Check with a toothpick. One it comes out clean, your cake is done.
Let them cool while you prepare the lemon glaze by slowly adding lemon juice to the icing sugar, stirring thoroughly before adding more. It will look too dry first, but the sugar dissolves and if you add too much too fast, it’ll just run off your cake.
Once the Carrot Cake Protein Banana Bread is cooled, use a pastry brush or spoon to spread the glaze evenly over the top.
When to have this?
This Carrot Cake Protein Banana Bread makes a fantastic healthy breakfast option and an equally good dessert with a cup of coffee or tea. And while the ingredients look nearly too healthy to be good, this was approved as very nice carrot cake by rather non-health-conscious friends, so you can serve this to your guests, and no one will ever suspect you snuck some veggies, protein and fibre into their diet.
If you’d like to prepare this ahead of time, as I often do, you can leave either all or half of it unglazed and freeze it like that, adding the glaze after it has come to room temperature again.
For the mini loaves, I tend to freeze them in portions, to take out and re-heat in the air fryer.
Or you could just dust it with icing sugar, as I have done with half of it. The bread has plenty of flavour and moisture, to enjoy it on it’s own.
Now I’d like to hear from you in the comments: Did you make this recipe? Did you enjoy it? Do you have questions?
What other recipes would you love to see?
Carrot Cake Protein Banana Bread
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted and cooled
- 2 medium bananas mashed.
- 2 scoops protein powder I used “MyProtein- Speculoos for added sweetness and flavour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¾ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup malted wheat flakes Optional, substitute more oats
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup wholewheat flour
- 1 cup grated carrots about 2 medium. Squeezed over a sieve to remove some moisture
- 1/2 cup raisins optional
- ½ cup chopped toasted almonds (Optional. toast in the oven at 175 degrees/350F for about 5-7 min until fragrant and golden on the inside)
- ¾ cup icing sugar
- 2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Preheat your oven to 175°C/350°F, grease a loaf pan and line with baking parchment.
- In a large mixing bowl or blender, whisk together the egg, unsweetened apple sauce, mashed bananas, protein powder, and vanilla until well combined. I’ve used a blender here, to make sure, there are absolutely no protein powder lumps left.
- In a bowl add the wholewheat flour, rolled oats, malted wheat flakes, baking powder, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and kosher salt to wet ingredients. Stir until all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet mixture.
- Gently fold in the grated carrots and chopped toasted almonds.
- Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and spread it evenly. Or divide between muffin cases or small bread pans.
- Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 40-45 minutes for a large loaf or 18-23min for muffins/mini loaves, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- While the bread is baking, prepare the frosting by slowly adding the lemon juice to the icing sugar, stirring after each spoonful. Mix until smooth and creamy, but not too liquid.
- Once the bread is fully baked, remove it from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once the bread has cooled, drizzle the prepared frosting over the top.
- Slice and serve the Carrot Cake Protein Banana Bread as a delicious and guilt-free treat!
Calories: Approximately 229-245
Fat: Approximately 6-7 grams
Protein: Approximately 11-13 grams
Carbohydrates: Approximately 35-38 grams
Fiber: Approximately 4-5 grams
Sugar: Approximately 13-15 grams