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Healthy Oatmeal Carrot Cake Bread

Healthy Carrot Cake Bread made with oats instead of flour! Lower in sugar and fat than standard carrot cake for a health conscious treat. Enjoy a thick slice with your morning coffee or afternoon tea! Gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free!

Slice of carrot cake bread on a plate with the rest of the loaf in the background.

Carrot cake lovers, I have what may just be your new favorite quick bread recipe!

Made with whole grain oats and all wholesome ingredients, this healthy carrot cake bread includes all the trappings of classic carrot cake but is lower in sugar and fat in loaf form.

The end result is a moist and fluffy bread that is loaded with carrot cake goodies, and isn’t overly sweet.

My Almond Flour Carrot Cake is one of my favorite dessert recipes on this site; however, I also enjoy coming up with recipes I’m happy to enjoy every day rather than feeling like I need to wait for a special occasion.

This healthier quick bread recipe is the perfect celebration of that. A less sweet treat I’ll gladly keep on constant rotation. 

If you follow a low-carb diet, make my Low-Carb Carrot Cake Bread for a grain-free and sugar-free version.

Loaf of carrot cake bread cut into slices.

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for carrot cake bread.

Ingredients for Carrot Cake Bread:

Quick Cooking Oats: Quick oats get blended into a flour to replace regular all-purpose flour. I love this approach for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, oats are a great source of whole grains and are a slow-burning carbohydrate.

They don’t spike blood sugar in the same way white flour does. I also enjoy the flavor and texture of oats, which brings a natural nuttiness and heartiness to the bread.

Rolled oats, old-fashioned oats, and instant oats all work. I use gluten-free sprouted oats.

Eggs: A couple large eggs allow the bread to rise and bring a fluffy texture. I haven’t tested an egg-free version using flax eggs or any other egg replacer yet, but my suspicion is that the absence of starch will produce a very dense result.

For this reason, I don’t recommend using an egg replacer unless you’re okay with a dense texture or a little experimenting.

Unsweetened Applesauce: Used to bring moisture to the bread without adding excess fat, a little unsweetened applesauce is helpful to create a delightful texture and also a little natural sweetness. 

Pure Maple Syrup: Rather than using refined sugar like granulated cane sugar, I like using pure maple syrup. 

Grated Carrots, Shredded Coconut, Raw Pecans or Walnuts, Raisins: The additions to classic carrot cake that make carrot cake a carrot cake. We use shredded carrots, unsweetened shredded coconut, chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts, and raisins.

Save some time by using pre-shredded carrots.

Avocado Oil: The fat portion of the recipe that generates a moist crumb. I like using avocado oil because it is a great source of omega 3 fats and it has a neutral flavor. 

Vanilla Extract: Pure vanilla extract adds a lovely warm flavor to the bread. If you don’t have any on hand, no worries! Simply skip it.

Baking Powder: The leavening agent here, we use baking powder to help the bread rise and ensure it holds together nicely when sliced.

Sea Salt, Ground Cinnamon, Ground Ginger: The seasonings! Sea salt is a big flavor enhancer, so be sure you don’t skip it for the best tasting results.

Cinnamon and ginger are warming spices that also contribute to traditional carrot cake flavor.

Recipe Customizations:

  • If raisins or nuts don’t appeal to you, you can leave them out. 
  • Use melted butter or melted coconut oil, or olive oil instead of avocado oil. If using melted butter, use 5 tablespoons instead of 4. Vegetable oil or canola oil works too but it isn’t my favorite because of the omega 6 content. 
  • If you don’t enjoy shredded coconut, skip it and add an extra ¼ cup of oats.
  • You can replace the applesauce with 2 ripe mashed bananas if you’d like. If you go this route, you can also reduce the amount of pure maple syrup if you’d like.
  • If you’d like to add some white sugar or brown sugar to increase the sweetness of the bread, feel free to do so! I’d recommend 1 to 3 tablespoons.
  • ​For a more decadent treat, make some cream cheese icing to spread on top of the carrot loaf. 
  • Bake the carrot cake batter in a cake pan rather than a loaf pan. For a 9-inch cake pan, bake for 30 to 40 minutes. 
Sliced carrot cake bread in a plate and more carrot bread in the background.

Now that we’ve covered the list of ingredients, let’s bake a loaf of carrot bread!

How to Make Carrot Cake Bread:

Use a box grater (also known as a cheese grater) to grate the large carrots. Measure out 2 cups of grated carrot and set it aside. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a 9” x 5” loaf pan with parchment paper.

Transfer the oats to a high-powered blender or food processor and blend for 60 seconds, or until a flour forms. Add the baking powder, sea salt, ground cinnamon, and ground ginger to the blender and blend for a few more seconds to combine the rest of the dry ingredients.

Dry ingredients in a blender, ready to be made into bread.

Add the eggs, applesauce, pure maple syrup, avocado oil, and pure vanilla extract to a large bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients together until they are well-combined.

Mixing bowl full of wet ingredients for carrot cake bread.

Mix in the oat flour mixture to the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until a smooth batter forms.

Mixing bowl of carrot cake batter with shredded carrot, shredded coconut, chopped pecans and raisins ready to be mixed in.

Add the grated carrots, shredded coconut, nuts, and raisins to the mixing bowl. Mix until everything is well-distributed throughout the batter.

Carrot cake bread batter in a mixing bowl.

Pour the carrot cake bread batter into the prepared loaf pan and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 50 minutes.

Remove the loaf pan from the oven and bake for another 15 to 25 minutes, or until the bread is baked through.

Loaf pan of carrot cake bread batter ready to go into the oven.

The best way of knowing whether or not a bread is fully baked is by taking the internal temperature, similar to meat.

Insert a digital thermometer into the center of the bread. Bread is considered fully cooked once it reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit, and the texture is best between 190 and 210 degrees Fahrenheit.

I love using this tool rather than going by an exact bake time since there are many factors that determine the outcome, including elevation and oven calibration.

Allow the bread to cool completely to room temperature before slicing and serving. While you can slice the bread while it is still warm, it won’t hold together as easily and will crumble. So for the best results, I recommend waiting until the bread is no longer warm to slice it.

Serving the bread warm, however, is a great idea! Simply place a slice on a plate and microwave for 10 to 30 seconds or until it reaches your desired level of heat. I always love a pat of butter on top of my moist carrot cake loaf, too!

How to Store Leftovers:

If you’d like to store the bread at room temperature on the counter, cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap and store it for up to 2 days at room temp.

Transfer the remaining loaf to a zip lock bag or an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. You can also freeze bread in a freezer bag or large ziplock for up to 3 months.

Sliced carrot cake bread on a sheet of parchment paper, ready to serve.

And that’s it! This easy healthy quick bread recipe is your solution to enjoying all the classic flavors of carrot cake using better-for-you ingredients. 

This delicious carrot cake bread is a lovely sweet bread with a the same great flavor of carrot cake. It’s a great recipe for putting on repeat to have a perfectly sweet treat on hand whenever the craving strikes no matter the time of year.

If you love quick bread recipes, also try these reader favorites.

More Healthy Quick Breads:

Have your cake and eat it too!

Sliced carrot cake bread on a sheet of parchment paper, ready to serve.

Healthy Carrot Cake Bread

Healthy flourless carrot cake bread made with whole grain oats! This wholesome quick bread recipe is loaded with goodies for a lower sugar version of classic carrot cake.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
1 Loaf

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Use a box grater (also known as a cheese grater) to grate the large carrots. Measure out 2 cups of grated carrot and set it aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a 9” x 5” loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • Transfer the oats to a high-powered blender or food processor and blend for 60 seconds, or until a flour forms. Add the baking powder, sea salt, ground cinnamon, and ground ginger to the blender and blend for a few more seconds to combine the rest of the dry ingredients.
  • Add the eggs, applesauce, pure maple syrup, avocado oil, and pure vanilla extract to a large bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients together until they are well-combined.
  • Mix in the oat flour mixture to the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until a smooth batter forms.
  • Add the grated carrots, shredded coconut, nuts, and raisins to the mixing bowl. Mix until everything is well-distributed throughout the batter.
  • Pour the carrot cake bread batter into the prepared loaf pan and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 50 minutes. Remove the loaf pan from the oven, remove the foil and bake for another 15 to 25 minutes without foil, or until the bread is baked through.
  • The best way of knowing whether or not a bread is fully baked is by taking the internal temperature, similar to meat. Insert a digital thermometer into the center of the bread. Bread is considered fully cooked once it reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit, and the texture is best between 190 and 210 degrees Fahrenheit. I love using this tool rather than going by an exact bake time since there are many factors that determine the outcome, including elevation and oven calibration.
  • Allow the bread to cool completely to room temperature before slicing and serving. While you can slice the bread while it is still warm, it won’t hold together as easily and will crumble. So for the best results, I recommend waiting until the bread is no longer warm to slice it.

Notes

*You can also use 1 ¾ cups of gluten-free all-purpose flour or oat flour.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice (of 10)Calories: 327kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 7gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 368mgFiber: 6gSugar: 20g
Course: Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: carrot bread, gluten free quick bread recipes, healthy carrot cake bread, healthy quick breads, oatmeal recipes
Servings: 1 Loaf
Calories: 327kcal
Author: Julia

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Recipe Rating




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V Newbery

Saturday 18th of May 2024

This was the best carrot cake recipe I've found this far. Moist and sweet enough so I don't need to make frosting. Yummy!

ChefMoms

Thursday 28th of March 2024

Fantastic texture, not too dense Grest to add a healthier spin on a favorite

Julia

Thursday 28th of March 2024

I'm so thrilled to hear you enjoy the bread! Thanks so much for sharing! xo

Helen

Sunday 17th of March 2024

I'm going to make this for my wedding anniversary this week because a) it's much healthier than a store bought carrot cake and b) buying a nice cake from a bakery is CRAZY expensive!! I don't have any maple syrup on hand as it's quite hard to come by here in New Zealand, so will instead be making a brown sugar syrup... I'm not into overly sweet cakes and loaves, so do you think 1/4 cup brown sugar would be enough? Thank you for the great recipe!

Julia

Sunday 17th of March 2024

Hi Helen! Aww congratulations on your wedding anniversary! I'm thrilled to hear you're planning on celebrating with this recipe!

I would honestly stick with 1/2 cup of brown sugar. The recipe doesn't turn out very sweet as it is so I'd be concerned 1/4 cup wouldn't be enough. If you want to experiment, you could try it using 1/4 cup and only bake a small amount in a ramekin or muffin pan to see if it tastes sweet enough. If not, you can always add more, and if the 1/4 cup works for you then you could proceed forth. Whatever you end up trying, I hope you love the result! Congrats again! xo

Chris

Wednesday 6th of March 2024

Be sure to get oats not contaminated with chlormequat or glysophate. Both can cause you harm

Kathy

Sunday 14th of April 2024

@Chris, Is there a brand you'd recommend? Thank you.

Michele

Tuesday 5th of March 2024

Will definitely try this! I love using organic baby carrot food for my carrot cake muffins. My family thinks it’s just spice cake 😉

Julia

Thursday 7th of March 2024

LOL I love it! It's those simple tricks in life, right?! :)

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