Fruit-Sweetened Carrot Cake Loaf

Fruit-sweetened carrot cake loaf, just in time for Easter. This loaf is incredibly moist and naturally sweetened with dates and applesauce. Have it for breakfast, snacks or dessert!

Yes, I’m a little last-minute sharing an Easter recipe, but on my defense, these cookie dough mousse cups were meant as an Easter recipe as well.

Are you doing anything exciting for the long Easter weekend? Shaun and I are in Calgary to visit family and I’m so excited for a second weekend away (after visiting Nelson last weekend). We’re there for 4 days, spending time with family, exploring the city and hopefully stopping in Banff on the way back for a little hike. We haven’t been there since last summer when we drove across Canada and I’m so happy to be going back. Banff was definitely the highlight of our trip last summer, so it should be fun.

I won’t be cooking much this weekend, but I did bring a carrot cake loaf with us. I’ve been testing it all week, which means we have a lot of it in the fridge. I suppose I could share a little.

The best part about this carrot cake loaf? It’s healthy enough for breakfast or a snack, yet sweet enough for dessert.

Unlike my favorite banana bread, this carrot cake loaf is sweetened with dates, applesauce (and pineapple if you’d like), which makes it sweeter. It’s insanely moist thanks to all the fruits and a touch of oil. I love it best when served with sunflower seed butter for a little boost of protein and extra flavor. It’s the best combination, trust me! Plus, this way, you’re combining carbs and protein for a healthier breakfast or snack.

For a real treat, you could serve it as a cake with cream cheese frosting or maybe some coconut whipped cream or nice cream. Whichever way you decide to go, it will be delicious.

Watch How to Make the Recipe:

Looking for more last-minute sugar-free Easter desserts? Here are some of my favorites:

Fruit-Sweetened Carot Cake Loaf
Print Pin
4.88 from 8 votes

Fruit-Sweetened Carot Cake Loaf

This carrot cake loaf is sweetened with dates and applesauce and is made high in fiber thanks to whole wheat flour. Healthy enough for breakfast and a snack, yet sweet enough for dessert. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup applesauce (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup carrots, finely grated
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • Pinch of clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Walnuts and raisins (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a loaf pan using butter or oil.
  • In a food processor, add dates, applesauce, oil and vanilla. Process until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Don’t worry if you have small pieces of dates. Add the grated carrots and pulse a few times. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Transfer the date mixture to the bowl as well as the eggs. Stir it all together until combined.
  • Transfer to the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Wait 10 minutes before slicing.

Notes

Add raisins and walnuts if desired. I haven’t tried it as I prefer it as is, but add your quantity of choice.
The loaf was a little overly moist using spelt flour, but I still loved it. If you love extra moist (almost lightly undercooked) desserts, you can try it using spelt. Whole wheat flour resulted in a dryer, but still very moist loaf. I used whole wheat bread flour.
I haven’t tried it, but melted coconut oil or a light tasting oil should work too.
I use a spoon and level method for measuring flour.

If you try this recipe, make sure to tag your photo #unsweetenedcaroline on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Don’t forget to also tag me @unsweetened.caroline on Instagram so I can see your creations!

24 Comments

  • Em

    I didn’t have any applesauce or dates, but I do have two bags of carrots and two bunches of bananas, both at the end of their rope. So I crossed my fingers and switched the applesauce and dates for two cups of mashed bananas (and made muffins instead of bread in case they were a little soft) and this has turned out quite well! Now I’m eager to get to the grocery store and try this as it was meant to be.

    It’s quite difficult to find “sugar free” baking recipes where sugar isn’t just replaced with honey or maple syrup, so I’ve really been enjoying this site!

    • Unsweetened Caroline

      Hi Em, thank you so much for your sweet comment! I’m so glad it turned out well, even with the substitutions. I’ll have to try it myself too! I hope you’ll enjoy the original recipe as well. 🙂 Happy weekend!

  • Carol-Ann

    I tried it twice and both times it was so wet that it was unedible yet the outside was brown. So upset that I wasted all those ingredients. Straight into the green bin.

  • Posy

    This is delicious!!! I’ve been looking for whole fruit sweetened dessert recipes for a long time, and they’re definitely few and far between. Thank you for this site! I’m excited to try your other recipes. I made a few modifications to the carrot loaf: used 1 whole apple instead of applesauce (chopped and whirred with dates), 1/3 c olive oil for a slightly richer crumb, and doubled the ginger for a little more spice. Yum!!!

  • Faaiza

    Hi!
    I’ve just come across your blog & loving all your recipes. This carrot cake recipe is just what I was looking for. I wondered what your thoughts on rye flour for this recipe are? Would it work?
    I tend to bake with spelt/rye/grain free flours, I’m no expert in that but it’s because I try to avoid wheat for health reasons.

    I hope you can let me know what you think!

    Thanks

    🙂

    • Unsweetened Caroline

      Hi Faaiza, thank you so much! To be honest, I’ve never used rye flour myself (other than buying rye bread), so I can’t be sure. However, I have tried the recipe with spelt flour and it was delicious! If you try it with rye, let me know! Otherwise, I hope the spelt gives you an option. 🙂

  • Joanna

    I enjoyed making these with a few substitutions. I omitted ginger, nutmeg, and clove, ’cause I didn’t have them. I added a few tablespoons of almond flour, and some water because whenever I bake with whole wheat flour, the finished product turns dry and dense. Taste-wise, it’s good. Would you know how many calories are there in one slice?

    • Unsweetened Caroline

      I’m happy you liked the taste of it! I’m sorry you gave it a 4 star review though as you didn’t exactly follow the recipe. It might be a little misleading for others looking at doing the recipe. Thank you for explaining your substitutions though. I don’t calculate the calories for the recipes on my blog at this time, but it’s something I’m hoping to do in the future. Sorry for the inconvenience! Have a great weekend. 🙂

  • Rachael

    I just made this, and I’m trying to not eat the whole batch in one sitting! So delicious! I added walnuts and dark chocolate chips for a more “dessert” kind of feel, and it’s absolutely fabulous. And quick to pull together too! Thanks Caroline!

  • Victoria

    I am in love with this recipe and how “sweet” it tastes with no sugar! It has been the perfect pick-me up treat. Thank you!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.