Apple Carrot Bread — This apple carrot bread tastes like carrot cake that’s been infused with apples. It’s a no mixer recipe that goes from bowl to oven in minutes!
Apple Carrot Bread Recipe
This is carrot cake that’s been infused with apples and baked as a loaf. So it’s not cake anymore. It’s bread. Therefore you can have more and definitely can have it for breakfast.
Baking with both carrots and apples not only adds chewy texture and natural sweetness, but they also add so much moisture that it’s impossible to have a dry loaf. I adapted the basic ratios from my Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread, a personal and fan favorite, to make way for grated carrots and apples.
I grated the carrot and apple by hand using the coarsest blade on a box grater. It literally takes two minutes and I’d spend much more time washing food processor parts than quickly doing it the old-fashioned way.
It’s an easy, no mixer recipe that goes from bowl to oven in minutes. The batter is very thick and that’s by design. The carrots and apples release juices while baking and if you start with a thin batter, it’ll turn too soupy during baking.
It’s soft, tender, uber-moist, dense enough to be satisfying, but still light. The cinnamon and nutmeg really shine and add so much wonderful, rich, depth of flavor to the carrots and apples. The carrots dominate and the bread has a more pronounced ‘carrot cake’ taste than apple.
It was so flavorful and moist that I didn’t even need butter. Although a browned butter glaze can do no wrong if you’re so inclined.
What’s in Apple Carrot Bread?
For this carrot apple bread recipe, you’ll need:
- Light brown sugar
- Coconut oil
- Granulated sugar
- Sour cream
- Vanilla extract
- Gound nutmeg
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder and baking soda
- Grated apples
- Grated carrots
Can I Substitute the Coconut Oil?
I used melted coconut oil so there’s no butter to cream and no mixer to dirty. Oil keeps bread softer and springier than butter, and I prefer the taste.
Coconut oil adds a nearly imperceptible undertone that’s sweeter and more fragrant than canola or vegetable oil, but substitute with them if you’d like.
What Are the Best Apples for Apple Bread?
Any apple will work for this carrot apple bread recipe! I used a large Fuji apple, but Gala and Honeycrisp would work as well.
How to Make Carrot Apple Bread
This carrot apple cinnamon bread couldn’t be easier to make! Simply whisk together the egg, sugars, melted coconut oil, sour cream, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then fold in the remaining ingredients.
Turn the batter into a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan and bake until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Once the bread is out of the oven, let it rest in the pan for about 15 minutes before removing it to finish cooling on a wire rack.
Can I Make This in a Smaller Loaf Pan?
I baked the bread in a 9×5-inch pan because I was concerned that the moisture-heavy ingredients crammed into an 8×4-inch pan would take forever to cook through and a larger pan felt safer. In retrospect, an 8×4-inch would probably have been fine. The shorter height of the bread didn’t effect our inhaling of it in one day.
Can I Double This Recipe?
Yes, simply double the ingredients and bake in two loaf pans. I’ve also had readers report success doubling the recipe and baking it in a metal 9×13-inch pan or a metal bundt pan.
Can I Freeze Carrot Quick Bread?
Absolutely! This apple carrot bread recipe is great for freezing. Wrap in a few layers of plastic wrap and a layer of foil, then freeze for up to three months.
Tips for Making Carrot Loaf Bread
When mixing together the batter, make sure the sour cream and egg are at room temperature. If they’re both still cold, the melted coconut oil will partially resolidify and you’ll wind up with chunks of oil running through the batter.
When baking the bread, you may need to tent the pan with a sheet of foil draped loosely over it at the 35-minute mark if you feel the tops and sides will become too browned before center cooks through.
Baking times will vary based on moisture content of carrots, apples, climate, and oven variances. You need to bake the carrot bread until done; watch your bread, not the clock and don’t worry if it takes longer to bake than the baking estimates provided.
When serving this apple cinnamon bread, I highly recommend slathering it with Homemade Honey Butter or Cinnamon-Sugar Butter, or drizzling it with a Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze. It’s delicious as is, of course, but these extra toppings really take it up a notch.
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- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup liquid-state coconut oil (canola or vegetable may be substituted)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cup sour cream (lite is okay; or Greek yogurt may be substituted)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch salt, optional and to taste
- 3/4 cup grated carrots (about 1 large peeled and trimmed carrot)
- 3/4 cup grated apples (I used 1 medium unpeeled Fuji; try Gala, Honeycrisp or similar)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray one 9×5-inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside. (I haven’t tried the recipe in an 8×4-inch pan and cannot comment on how long it will take to bake, but use an 8×4 pan if you prefer a taller loaf.)
- In a large bowl, add the the first eight ingredients, through nutmeg, and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, optional salt, and fold with spatula or stir gently with a spoon until just combined; don’t overmix.
- Add the carrots, apples, and fold gently to combine.
- Turn batter (it’s very thick, this is what you want) out into the prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
- Bake for about 45 to 52 minutes (I baked 50 minutes) or until the top is golden, the center is set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.*
- Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.**
*Tip: Tent the pan with a sheet of foil draped loosely over it at the 35-minute mark if you feel the tops and sides will become too browned before center cooks through. Baking times will vary based on moisture content of carrots, apples, climate, and oven variances. Bake until done; watch your bread, not the clock and don’t worry if it takes longer to bake than the baking estimates provided.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 195Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 118mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 16gProtein: 2g
More Easy Quick Bread Recipes:
Cinnamon Spice Applesauce Bread with Honey Butter — Applesauce keeps this bread so soft & moist! It’s like apple spice cake, disguised as ‘bread’ so you can have extra!
Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread — Eating your vegetables via soft, moist bread is the best way! My favorite way to eat sweet potatoes!
Apple Fritter Bread — The bread tastes as decadent as the apple fritters of my childhood, no deep frying required and it’s more like cake disguised as bread.
The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread — This pumpkin chocolate chip bread is truly the best homemade pumpkin bread you’ll ever make. It’s moist, packed with chocolate chips, and tastes like fall!
Blueberry Zucchini Bread — This blueberry zucchini bread is a quick, no-mixer recipe that’s sweet, but not too sweet. Each bite is bursting with fresh blueberries!
Pumpkin Banana Bread — Soft, moist, fluffy and so much better than another loaf of plain banana bread.
Snickerdoodle Bread — Between the cinnamon-sugar on top, cinnamon in the batter, and the cinnamon chips, the bread is full of wonderful and prominent cinnamon flavor without being overpowering.
Originally published November 9, 2014 and republished on Friday, March 13, 2020 with updated text.