Banana and carrot cake loaf

Oct 22, 2019

One recipe that never fails to impress our Menorcan Retreat guests and friends and family is my banana and carrot cake loaf – gluten free, so tasty, and always guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face! 

If I was to pick my two favourite cakes, it would be carrot cake and banana cake. I’m always torn when I go to a cafe when it comes to deciding whether to go for the carrot or banana cake option, so if I’m with a girlfriend or Tom, we’ll often pick one of each and split them 50/50, so we get to enjoy both!

For the last couple of years, banana loaf has always been a part of my batch cooking weekend routine – there’s always a loaf or two sitting in our freezer for when a friend pops over for a cuppa or we have friends or family staying. We use it as a quick grab and go breakfast, it comes in really handy for pop up high teas when you haven’t got a fresh cake on the go, we put it in a tupperware dish for when we go on hikes and enjoy it with fresh mint tea on one of the pitstops, but more often than not, we eat banana bread when we want a sweet something that’s healthy.

Last year when I was on autopilot making three lots of banana bread to go in the freezer, I had some carrots that needed using up in the fridge. I thought to myself “why not grate them up and pop them into the banana bread?”. So I did.

And it worked out just as I had hoped. Perfection.

With the ground nuts, banana, carrots, cinnamon, nutmeg, flaxseeds, eggs, lemon juice and local honey, the recipe is naturally full of fibre, B vitamins and magnesium, as well as flavour.

It’s so so easy to make, tastes delicious and is packed with fibre, B vitamins (for energy) and nothing but good for you ingredients, which you’ll likely have in your cupboards/fridge already.

One slice never feels enough, so it’s lucky it’s extremely healthy!

I’ve given it to my friend’s kids when they come over and they enhale it, so it’s totally child approved. If Tom and I have kids, it’ll be one of those recipes that they’ll be seeing a lot of in their lunchboxes!

Here’s the recipe so you too can enjoy the delicious smells in your kitchen:

Makes 1 banana and carrot cake
300g of ripe banana, mashed (approximately 3 medium bananas)
1 medium banana, cut in two or three strips from top to bottom, for decoration
2 carrots, grated
30g of butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey (or more if you like it sweeter)
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (I use 2-3 drops of my vanilla extract as it’s very strong)
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
juice of half a lemon
220g ground almonds, pecans or hazelnuts (or a combined mix of either of these nuts)
30g ground flax seeds (I use Linwoods ready ground flaxseeds/linseeds)
Sea salt
0ptional: a handful of goji berries / chopped walnuts/cacao nibs

  1. Preheat oven to 170C and line a 900g/2 pound loaf tin with baking paper, lightly grease the tin and baking paper with coconut oil or butter. Dimensions may vary slightly, but a loaf tin should be approximately 23 x 13 x 7 cm (9 x 5 1/2 x 3 inches).
  2. Throw all the ingredients except the grated carrots and extra banana into a food processor, and blend together.
  3. Once blended, add in the grated carrots and mix with a wooden spoon so the grated carrots are distributed amongst the wet mix.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and place 2-3 long strips of banana on top of the cake mix, lightly pressing it down with your fingertips. 
  5. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
  6. The bread is ready when the skewer comes out clean. If the top starts to get too brown after 30 minutes cover with tinfoil until cooked. 

This recipe doesn’t require any extra toppings although if you wanted to enjoy the cake as an indulgent dessert, you could add a scoop of your favourite ice cream on the side!

It will keep for about a week covered in the fridge. It also freezes really well and makes a great breakfast straight from the freezer to the toaster.

Top tip: Slice the entire loaf up into slices. Individually wrap each piece with baking paper and put the slices into a tupperware dish. Keep in the freezer, so you then have an instant banana and carrot loaf to eat throughout the week – all you need to do is pop it in the toaster for 2-3 minutes to thaw it out like you would prepare regular frozen bread.

We hope you enjoy the addition of banana and carrot cake in your household as much as we enjoy it.

Let us know in the comment box below once you’ve made it or share your photos on Instagram with us using the hashtag #jessntom

Jess 🙂

We’re Jess & Tom! A husband and wife team, sharing workouts & nutrition made simple from our island home in Menorca. Our mission? To help people get and stay in shape, and enjoy the journey along the way. We love to travel, hike & bring together inspiring people.