Spiced Carrot Bread (Guilt-Free!)

The recipe I adapted this bread from was originally meant to be a cake. Let me give you a little back story to tell you why I changed it…

I went to the gym yesterday (yay #1!) and discovered from a personal trainer assessment that my BMI and muscle weight is actually pretty good. (yay #2!) This really encouraged and motivated me to lose those last pounds that have been driving me crazy for awhile now. So while I really and truly CANNOT tame my passion to bake, I CAN lighten everything up and give away to co-workers and friends what I don’t need to help meet my goal. 🙂

This cake-turned-bread was actually pretty guilt-free to begin with, but with the couple of tweaks I made, it turned into something really pretty healthy. I eliminated about 1/2 the sugar, swapped out the vegetable oil for applesauce, and added more shredded carrot. This made the cake heartier and more savory, prompting me to now call it a bread!

Spiced Carrot Bread

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart


  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • Scant 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Scant 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 – 1 1/2 (your preference) cups finely shredded carrots, packed (about 2 medium)
  • Cinnamon glaze*, or confectioners’ sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a bread pan or 8-inch square pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk eggs, sugars, yogurt, and applesauce until smooth. Gently mix egg mixture into dry ingredients until moistened; mix in carrots.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes (if browning too quickly, tent cake with aluminum foil).

Cool in pan, 15 minutes. Turn out of pan onto a rack and cool completely, right side up. Apply glaze, or dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Don’t do what I did and pour the glaze on after it’s cool. Pour it on – using a cookie sheet under the rack to catch any drips – while it’s still hot. That way you’ll have a consistent glaze over the whole thing.
*Cinnamon Glaze
  • 1/2 powder sugar
  • 2 tsp. water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Whisk all ingredients together and pour over cake while still warm.

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