Banana Carrot Bread

Carrot Banana Bread

As a baby I had carotenaemia. Daily, my parents fended off incessant inquiries from prying cashiers and worried neighbors. Every conversation eventually led to a reluctant explanation of why their chubby little baby was orange. I liked carrots – well, carrot baby food. I liked it so much so the elevated levels of carotene in my blood turned my skin a delightfully comedic shade of orange.

A few years later and my carrot-tone skin had disappeared though my love for the root persisted. My parents, all too familiar with my obsessive need for daily carrot fixes, learned to dedicate an entire drawer in the fridge for the orange stuff. Soon that wasn’t enough. Chicken scratch handwriting magically appeared on shopping lists requesting baby carrots, carrot soup, carrot cake, carrot juice and anything else that has the word carrot in it.

The story behind my love for the banana is very similar. My life became a whirlwind of nonstop carrot and banana eating.

Then one day, when I was about eight years old, a neighbor brought over homemade banana bread. The reason escapes me – I can still remember the genuine surprise that washed over my parents face as they took the small loaf though. Politeness was preached above all else in my family and since this was a gift to my parents, I wouldn’t let my self beg them for a slice. Instead I stared my little eight year old hazel puppy eyes up to my mom and waited. Thirty seconds later I was sliding a fork into my first ever slice of banana bread.

For months after that day I begged my parents to make banana bread. Every saturday morning I’d run into my parents’ bedroom, wake them up and insist that baking a loaf of banana bread was on the docket. And every Saturday, until I tired of the sweet, dense, moist cake, my parents obliged.

Today, the treat I most often gift to a friend in need or new neighbor is banana bread, or some variation on it. Delicately wrapped in parchment paper, complete with a twine bow, I deliver these little edible gifts with the hope that I too will rouse the same surprised joy from my friends that my parents experienced nearly 20 years ago. This recipe yields two loafs: one for you and one for a friend.

Banana Carrot Bread: While moderately high in sugars, this bread (which is really much closer to a cake than anything else) is loaded with nutrients. Vitamin A (beta-carotene), various B vitamins, vitamin C, antioxidants, fibre, maganese, potassium and a handful of minerals all make an appearance. The moist, dense nature of this banana carrot bread gives it a longer shelf life than most cakes and can last three or four days stored in an airtight container at room temperature. The added carrots in this banana bread give it a little extra sweetness and a hint of that character carrot taste.

If you like pecans or walnuts in your banana bread, you can easily add 4 ounces of either nut, chopped, at the end. Be sure to carefully fold them in to not deflate the egg whites.


Carrot Banana Bread

Yield: 2 loafs

Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

Stand Mixer: Optional (paddle & whisk attachment)

2, 9×4″ loaf pans
Fine grater
4 Large bowls
Wooden spoon

1 pound unpeeled bananas, very ripe
6 ounces finely grated carrots
1 teaspoon lime juice, plus a couple drops
8 ounces whole wheat pastry flour
7 ounces all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
14 ounces sugar
1 ounce maple syrup
4 ounces melted butter
2 egg yolks
4 egg whites


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the loaf pans and set aside.

2. Mash the bananas in a bowl with the back of a spoon or fork. Grate the carrots into the bowl. Add the lime juice and mix everything together. Set aside.

3. Mix together the whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.

4. Add the sugar, maple syrup, melted butter and egg yolks to the banana and carrot mixture. Mix (on medium-low) until evenly blended.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until the batter just comes together.

5. Whisk the egg whites with a drop or two lime juice until firm peaks form. Carefully fold the egg white mixture into the batter.

6. Evenly spread the batter between the two loaf pans.

7. Bake immediately for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

8. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a cooling rack.





AUTHOR - Russell van Kraayenburg

Founder of Chasing Delicious, and author of Haute Dogs, Russell's works have been featured in Southern Living, Men's Fitness, Redbook, TRADHome, and Real Simple magazines and on various sites including Lifehacker, Fast Co., Business Insider, The Kitchn, Live Originally, Quipsologies, Explore, and Fine Cooking. Follow Russell on Twitter @rvank and Instagram. Get more delicious @chasedelicious.


  • Brian @ A Thought For Food

    Too funny, Russell. I’d love to see a baby picture! :-)

    I’m a fan of carrot cake AND banana bread, so I know I’d just go nuts over this.

  • Stephanie

    Funny, I don’t think I ever asked my mom to bake/cook anything. I ate whatever was given to me. You’re so lucky!

  • Beth {local milk}

    I would love to make carrot banana pancakes using this flavor profile! I actually hated bananas until very recently (I just started eating them plain & raw this year!) but I always liked banana bread… somehow it fell out of the scope of my bananaphobia. It tastes like warm.

  • Lynn

    I recently posted about the best banana bread I’ve ever made. I wasn’t planning on trying any more recipes, but this sounds really good. I’m sure the egg whites add a nice lightness to the cake. I’ll have to do a side by side taste test.
    PS: I had no idea carotenaemia was a thing – I just thought orange people were buying cheap self tanners. I will stop judging them now.

  • Melanie @ Nutritious Eats

    I just made banana bread last week to give to our neighbors. Why? Because everyone loves banana bread! I have done carrot bread (with raisins) but never paired the banana and carrot. Great idea and it looks beautiful! I always make mine with whole wheat pastry flour too. :)

  • Nessie @ baking=love

    Love it! I chuckled imagining this little orange cherub. I second Brian, where are the baby photos?? :P Am intrigued with the combo of carrot and banana. Must make the loaf amazingly moist. Loving the vintage look to the photos too.

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.

    I am totally making this!

  • Cassie

    I love your stories Russell, it’s so fun learning the history of my blogger friends. And carrot + banana is not a combination that I would have ever thought of but I love the sound of it now that you have done it – and the photos are stunning!

  • Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out

    I’m not sure what I love more: this recipe, your gorgeous photos of it, or your funny story. Winners all around!

  • Nisrine

    How very lovely. Your photos are so beautiful.

  • Amanda

    Gorgeous Russell!! Sounds like the perfect combination :)

  • Jiric

    Wooow~ you had combined my two favorite things into a loaf! That’s awesome and inspired.

  • Reem | Simply Reem

    Growing up I think I was a very demanding child, my mom is not much of a cook/baker so I always felt left out whenever all those kids in school got these delicious goodies… I always demanded home made stuff but ended up with one from fancy bakery… I know my parents loved me a lot but they were juts not good baker…LOL
    May thats the reason I am always ready to bake even at midnight whenever my boys ask me…
    This looks delicious! I will make this on weekend and will let u know…

  • Jeanette

    What a fantastic combination – banana and carrots! Love the idea of one loaf for me and one for you.

  • Sommer@ASP

    Russell, I love the story behind the bread and the idea of bananas and carrots together. Bravo honey!

  • Ronja @ a dash of faith

    I love the story! Banana bread and carrot cake are both my favourites, and the combination of the two sounds just wonderful.

  • thelittleloaf

    I think all recipes should come with the quantities to create ‘one for you and one for a friend’. It’s what baking is all about. Lovely post :-)

  • RecipeNewZ

    Gorgeous bread, and the recipe is so simple! Love it. pinned

  • Franklin Orosco

    I have one question, Russell: How much time do you spend shopping for all the wonderful, colorful accessories like the string, wrapping paper, napkins and all? It seems like you must have a small warehouse of items. It inspires me to do a better job at the final preparation stage. It doesn’t matter how good it tastes if it doesn’t look appealing from the start. I love your photos. Well-prepped and executed.

  • Betty Bake

    sounds positively delicious! :)

  • dassana

    beautiful photos as always russell

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    I keep staring at this thinking “why didn’t I think of that”?! This is brilliant!!

  • Katie

    Such a cute story! I love that you secretly added things to your parents’ shopping list… works sometimes! This looks like a great combo of flavors.

  • Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies

    Awesome story! I have a banana-loving kid, and he also loves carrots, although he’ll only eat them cooked.
    Just curious… can carrot banana bread count as a salad too?!

  • Mallory

    I too have turned myself orange, I however was 23 years old. It happens! I just love them…but now I have to watch the quantity in which I eat them. This cake looks delightful!

  • Riley

    That cake looks delightful, not to mention its wrapped so pretty, you could pass that off as a birthday present!

  • Carolyn

    Okay, the bread is great and all, but can I say how much I love how you matched the paper on the bread to the yellow and white gingham napkin? Most excellent food styling, my friend!

  • ceecee

    Mmmm, looks amazing but I will be adding a little banana cream cheese frosting to mine!


  • Stephanie

    Ha! My brother’s nose turned orange as a baby too from too many sweet potatoes.

    This bread sounds amazing.. I love quickbreads but definitely don’t make them enough.

  • Jacqueline @How to be a Gourmand

    How funny! I guess there are far worse things to be addicted to :-)
    Beautiful story and a novel way to include carrot and banana in the recipe. Bet it’s deliciously moist!

  • erinn johnson

    What a great combo. I will have to give this a try, we will soon have lots of garden carrots coming our way.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  • Michael Toa

    I’d love to see a baby picture :) (OK, that perhaps sounds weird). I love both cake separately, though I prefer banana if I had to choose only one.
    Combining the two is such a brilliant idea. Too much of a good thing can be wonderful, right?

  • Sandy @ tinytinyfork

    Holy delight! Even the wrapping is gorgeous. If only I could buy a store bought loaf and wrap it up this nice and have it taste the same. Probably not. Lovely though!!!

  • Sukaina

    You have just combined my two most favorite cakes in the world. I would love to get one of these edible gifts from you.

  • TidyMom

    lol……I want to see a baby picture!!

    Carrot banana bread? now WHY didn’t I ever think of that! I bet it’s incredible…….and as always, I’m in love with your pictures Russell

  • kitchenriffs

    Really good story. The recipe and photos (as always!) are good too, but this week the story is the star. Thanks.

  • Meeta

    I’ve seen many babies with that orange tone too. I can kind of imagine you as a baby all orange and cute. I think banana bread is a lovely creation and you take it up a notch by adding carrots to it.

  • Kaitlin

    What a sweet tradition! Your mom sounds like an amazing person.

    This bread, too, sounds quite amazing. I never would have thought to pair bananas and carrots, but I bet I would love it!

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  • Maria

    The best of both worlds! Love this bread!

  • Weekly Digest: July 20, 2012 « The Adventures of Honey Jar

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  • the fatty chalupa

    I love, love, love the story behind this recipe

  • JulieD

    I loved banana bread growing up too. It started when our teacher in 3rd grade (I think) made it for us. This variation looks awesome, Russell!

  • thyme (Sarah)

    All I can is, dear Russell, we are neighbors (of sort). There. Period. I’ll be expecting my loaf of banana bread…or carrot bread (I’m not picky). And…I would like ti wrapped in that adorable yellow checked paper…and you can throw in the sweet smiley yellow mug too…but I’m not particular…

  • Kiran @

    Ah, this post brought back so many sweet memories, growing up.

    Love banana bread and never thought of adding carrots into it :)

  • Rose Taylor

    Oh my gosh… Your bread recipe is amazing. And photos are amazing too. :) I will have to try it once…

  • Weekly Digest: July 27, 2012 « The Adventures of Honey Jar

    […] Carrot Banana Bread needs to be in my oven and then in my […]

  • susan

    I love the idea of combining banana and carrot. I have needed a new combo for very ripe bananas and this is certainly it!

  • Francesca

    Carrot banana bread… my favourite!

  • ally

    haha love the childhood story :) this cake looks absolutely delicious and the pictures are so amazing I think I will have to include them in my next article for online magazine
    thank you

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    I love your presentation of this bread – what a thoughtful housewarming gift! Smart idea to fuse carrot cake with banana bread. I too need a daily carrot fix and my fridge can never be without a bag!

  • Emily @ She Makes and Bakes

    I love the banana and carrot combo!

  • Julie

    I like the way you packed and you decorate your creations !!

  • {September} « cocoprogetto

    […] and…baking- one of my favorite things to do at home (time permitting). Here’s a recipe for Carrot Banana Bread I can’t wait to try […]

  • Martta

    Hi Russell!

    You solved my problem: now I don’t have to decide whether to make a carrot cake or a banana bread for my friends 30th birthday!

    My plan is to make a layered cake and now I’m wondering what kind of filling would be most delightful. What do you (or any of you reader mates!) think? Basic cream cheese sweetened with maple suryp would definetely suit well, or maybe a hint of coffee… I want it to be perfect (which for me means not too sweet and with stylish character.

    Thank you for your sunny yummy blog!

  • Diana

    I usually only make banana bread when strictly necessary (in other words, when I discover a pile of blackish brown, previously forgotten bananas on my counter). But after trying this recipe today, I might have to be more intentional about banana bread. It had the perfect texture and sweetness–not at all spongy and sickly sweet, like so many quick breads. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  • 30 Best Banana Recipes | TidyMom

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  • Fa's Kitchen

    Bananas and Carrot, doesnt that solve my problem of feeding my kids the healthy way.. Great post, Russell.. Coupled with amazing photography.. I am still drooling

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