This is a little different from other banana bread recipes because the bananas are sliced rather than mashed. There were supposed to have been dried apricots in the recipe, but as seems to happen to me often with various ingredients, the day I needed dried apricots there were none to be found. I used dried plums instead. To begin, apple juice (and I love that organic unsweetened apple juice was recommended), grated carrots, halved dried plums in my case, and honey were combined in a saucepan and brought to a boil. The pan was removed from the heat, and it was left to rest for 30 minutes. Spelt flour, grated unsweetened coconut, baking powder, ground ginger, and salt were sifted together. There’s a note that cinnamon is nice here as well, so I added some. The carrot and apple juice mixture was added to the flour mixture, beaten eggs were stirred in, and last the banana slices were folded into the batter. The cake baked for about 50 minutes.
I tasted the batter just before transferring it to the baking pan. I thought it tasted not sweet enough and worried the cake would be bland. But, it didn’t occur to me that I was tasting plain batter with no banana in it. Once the cake was baked and sliced, and the banana slices were evenly distributed and found their way into each bite. They added just enough extra sweetness. I loved the texture with the carrots and all the fruit, and I wouldn’t change a thing the next time I bake it. Now, if we can just get moved, I can wait to start breaking in my new, roomier kitchen with lots of baking.
Carrot Banana Cake
Recipe reprinted with publisher’s permission from Home Baked.
Oh, delicious. Look, I figured: I love carrot cake, I love banana bread, why don’t I throw the two together and combine them into a single thing I love? The cake doesn’t contain any sugar, butter, or wheat, so it’s pretty healthy. But by adding the apricots, banana, apple juice, and carrot, it ends up being pretty sweet anyhow. If you can’t get spelt flour, you can of course simply use wheat flour, I won’t stop you. Bake this cake and bring a thick slice to work. It’s the perfect snack.
for 1 cake, prep 25 min., inactive 30 min., bake 50 min.
wheat-free, lactose-free, refined sugar–free
1 cup (250 ml) unsweetened organic apple juice
1 1/4 cups (150 g) grated carrot
2/3 cup (100 g) unsulphured dried apricots, halved
2 to 3 tbsp honey or agave syrup
2 cups plus 2 tbsp (250 g) light spelt flour
1/2 cup (50 g) grated unsweetened coconut
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground ginger (cinnamon is nice too)
pinch of salt
3 eggs, beaten
2 bananas, sliced
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180°C). Position a rack in the center. Thoroughly grease a 1 1/2-qt (1.5-L) loaf pan, or any other pan with approximately the same volume. I use some melted coconut oil, but baking spray or olive oil also works fine.
In a saucepan, bring the apple juice, carrot, apricots, and honey to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Let cool until the mixture is nearly at room temperature. I usually spoon the mixture into a large dish to make sure it cools faster.
Meanwhile, combine the flour with the coconut, baking powder, ginger, and salt. Then spoon in the carrot mixture. Stir in the beaten eggs and finally the banana slices. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 50 minutes or so. The cake is done when a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan, then turn out onto a rack. Once cooled off, the cake will be slightly firmer.
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