Whole Wheat Apple Walnut Carrot Bread with warm spices, fiber-rich oats, and no refined sugar. Enjoy this ultra-moist, healthy apple carrot bread for breakfast, snacks, or even dessert.
Why You'll Love this Apple Carrot Bread
This moist, healthy quick bread is made with wholesome ingredients like oatmeal and maple syrup, and filled with warm fall spices. I like to think of it as the love child of apple pie and carrot cake--offering all the cozy goodness for a much more desirable nutrient profile.
Prep a loaf for the week and enjoy each slice warm with a smear of butter or nut butter. It lasts for DAYS at room temperature, which means you can enjoy it on repeat for breakfast or snacks. Even kids will love its tender texture and maple-imbued sweetness. (And what better way to sneak in extra fruits and veggies?!)
I'm sure this healthy apple bread will become as household staple. Once the crisp autumn temperatures arrive, I personally can't help but bake it on REPEAT. It's also perfect for gifting to neighbors, family, and friends as a token of (homemade) love.
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:
- Carrots: One of the stars of this quick bread is fresh grated carrots. Carrots make the loaf naturally sweet, keep the batter moist, and their flavor is naturally enhanced by the maple syrup. Plus, carrots are rich in eye-healthy vitamin-A, and blood pressure-supporting potassium. Trust me, carrots for breakfast has never been tastier.
- Applesauce: Another key ingredient that adds warm fall flavor and moisture is applesauce. I use unsweetened applesauce to have better control over the sweetness of the bread. You can use store-bought, or make your own while apple picking is at its peak.
- Flour: To maintain a tender crumb while adding the health benefits of whole-grains, my go-to flour is whole-wheat pastry flour. This flour yields basically the same texture as all-purpose would, but has the benefit of added fiber and B-vitamins.
- Oats: To further up the ante of whole-grain goodness, I also love adding quick oats to the batter. Quick oats are pre-cooked, dried, and then rolled and pressed slightly thinner than rolled oats. Their quick-cooking capability allows them to soften and expand right into the batter. This helps create the loaf's super tender texture.
- Sweetener: This apple carrot bread uses a mix of coconut sugar and maple syrup for light, yet dynamic sweetness. Plus, the flavor of maple syrup is incredible paired with the warm spices.
- Spices: To really achieve the "carrot cake meets apple pie" flavor, I look to apple pie spice and ground ginger. Together, it's a classic of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger for warmth and rich, deep flavors. (Note: you can also use pumpkin pie spice, which has a very similar spice profile to apple pie spice.)
- Oil: Because this healthy apple bread leans heavily on applesauce for moisture, you only need ¼ cup oil. I prefer using coconut oil for its neutral flavor, however you can also use vegetable or canola oil.
- Walnuts: Walnuts (or pecans) add a nice crunch and savory complement to the sweet flavors in this bread. Bonus: walnuts are brimming with heart-healthy omega-3 fats, which make the bread even more satiating.
Step 1: Combine the Wet Ingredients
In a large bowl, combine carrots, applesauce, coconut sugar, maple syrup, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. Use a whisk to stir all the ingredients until they're well-combined.
Step 2: Combine the Dry Ingredients
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, quick oats, baking soda, apple pie spice, ginger, and salt. Use a whisk to stir well ingredients until they are well-combined.
Step 3: Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients
Transfer the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir until JUST combined. (Note: It's important to NOT over-mix, which could create a denser, tough bread.)
Step 4: Transfer to a Loaf Bake and Bake
Grease a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and line with a sheet of parchment paper for easy removal. Pour the batter into the loaf pan, and scatter the walnuts overtop. Bake the bread in a 350ºF oven for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
Step 5: Let Cool Completely Before Slicing
Place baked apple carrot bread on a cooling rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Next, use the parchment paper to easily remove the bread from the pan, and let cool completely. When the bread is cool, use a serrated knife to slice into and enjoy!
Serving, Storing, and Reheating Apple Carrot Bread:
- For serving, I love a slice warmed up with a smear of almond butter and sprinkle of flaky salt. It's also incredible with a smear of grass-fed butter or ghee, which just melts into the bread. Alternatively, you can crumble a slice over a bowl of Greek yogurt with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon for a protein-rich breakfast.
- To Store. Store leftover apple carrot bread in an airtight storage container or ziptop bag at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- To Freeze. Place bread in an airtight storage container or ziptop bag in the freezer for up to 2 months. I also love to wrap and freeze individual slices for on-demand breakfast portions.
- To Reheat. Let the bread thaw overnight at room temperature before reheating. Place bread on a baking sheet or wrap in foil, and warm in a 350ºF or toaster oven for about 10 minutes or until warmed through. You can also reheat individual slices in the toaster!
Recommended Tools to Make Apple Carrot Bread:
- Box Grater: For grating the carrots, I use this box grater, which makes for effortless, efficient grating.
- Loaf Pan: This is my absolute favorite loaf pan for quick breads. (It also comes in a 9x5-inch!)
- Mixing bowls: I love that this set comes in different sizes for all your mixing needs. They're also dishwasher and microwave-safe.
More Healthy Quick Bread Recipes to Try:
If you give this recipe a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!
Whole Wheat Apple Walnut Carrot Bread
- Mixing bowls
- Loaf pan
- 1 cup finely grated carrots
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup melted and cooled coconut oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups (180 grams) whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup quick oats
- 2 tsp. apple pie spice (sub pumpkin pie spice)
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ⅓ cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine carrots, applesauce, eggs, coconut sugar, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla; stir with a whisk until combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, apple pie spice, ginger, baking soda, and salt; stir to combine. Add dry ingredients to the bowl with wet ingredients and stir until JUST combined (do not over-mix).
- Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan and sprinkle walnuts overtop. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. (If you're using a 9x5 inch pan, check the bread closer to 40-45 minutes.) Transfer pan to a cooling rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Remove bread from pan and let cool completely before slicing into.
This is delicious and a forgiving recipe! I made a handful of subs (sugar for coconut sugar, canola oil for coconut oil, whole wheat flour for ww pastry flour, normal oats for quick), and accidentally added the nuts in the batter instead of on top. It’s delicious and feels like a treat. Wishing I had doubled the recipe! I added a sprinkle of turbinado sugar on top which gave it a nice sugary crunch bonus.
This bread is so good!! I followed the recipe pretty much to a T (but used regular whole wheat flour), and baked it for about 45 minutes. It's moist, flavorful and just sweet enough to be a treat. I was going to freeze half but my boyfriend and I can't stop eating it 😉
Hi Siobhan, I'm so thrilled you enjoyed the bread! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a review!
I'm pleasantly surprised how great this was as I did not think I would like apple associated with bread. Loved it. 5/5.
Just made this and it smells so good! I added some Orange zest (about 2 teaspoons) to give it some more power. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
Yay! I hope you enjoyed it, Marit. Loved that you added orange zest, too--sounds incredible!
It was delicious! I may have added a little bit too much Orange zest but it was a nice touch!