Monday, April 21, 2014

Carrot Cake Banana Bread

Hello and welcome to my favorite part of spring: Carrot cake everything.

When I was growing up, I actually hated spring time cakes because they were usually full of coconut (Coconut Cream Pie) or too much nutmeg or allspice (Carrot Cake) or more coconut (German Chocolate) and I just hated every spring time cake except lemon.

But a couple of years ago, I was working at a hotel as a waitress, and I got to try a slice of carrot cake from the restaurant we ordered it from. Holy delectable carrot pieces, batman. It was delicious. I was impressed and shocked and shocked that I was impressed. I've had that particular restaurant's cake several times sense then, and have always enjoyed a piece.

One thing I am peculiar about when it comes to carrot cakes is what ingredients go inside of it. I find it quite odd, actually, that people bake pineapple in their carrot cake! What?! That's humming bird cake! I also am not a fan of raisins in my cake. What I DO love is walnuts in my carrot cake. Not pecans, but walnuts. They've got a nuttier flavor and add a depth to the cake that I don't think pecans can do.

Anyways, back on track, because this is not carrot cake. It's not banana bread. It's carrot cake banana bread. Whaaaaaa?!

Yes, ladies and germs, you read that right. Carrot cake banana bread with a cream cheese frosting! It's  beautiful medley of the spice of a carrot cake with a naturally sweetened flavor of classic banana bread. So moist and dense, so spicy and delicious. I ate an entire half a loaf by myself.

Another great thing about this recipe is that it's two bowls and no mixer required! I used a medium bowl and a large bowl and a rubber spatula. I was done in less than 15 minutes, and it only took that long because I grated my own carrots in my food processor. (What an over achiever!)

So with that, my only two tips are this:

1. Use an aluminum or paper loaf pan you can cut open. You don't have to make a mess in your personal loaf pan if you use one you can throw away! You might be able to see in some photos that my loaf pan was made of corrugated cardboard, and all I did to photograph it was that I ripped it open and sliced it out. It's a lot easier to cut and serve as well! I highly recommend a disposable loaf pan!

2. Don't over mix! If you do, your bread will be super dense and come out all flat and wonky! Once you mix the wet ingredients with the dry, fold and stir only as necessary. You'll yield in a taller and lighter bread! Yum!

Here are two more delicious breads that I love to make!

1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 C vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C granulated sugar
1 C mashed bananas
1 1/2 C finely grated carrots, packed
1/3 C finely chopped walnuts or pecans
Cream Cheese Frosting -
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
4 oz butter, softened
2 C powdered sugar
1/4 chopped walnuts or pecans for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 9" x 4" (approximate) loaf pans.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, oil, vanilla, sugar, and banana. Pour wet into dry and mix until just combined.

4. Fold in carrots and walnuts or pecans until just combined.

5. Pour battre into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out cleans. Let cool before frosting.

6. To make the frosting - Cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. Frost cooled loaf with frosting and sprinkle walnuts or pecans on top. Store in the fridge in an air tight container.

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