Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Bread with Cream Cheese Icing

Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Bread is a lightened up and completely delicious version of the Carrot Cake we all know and love! Drizzled with the best cream cheese frosting you will love this recipe!

Made with whole wheat flour and greek yogurt, this is such a delicious and moist quick bread!  If you are like me and love carrot cake and the warm spices that are so satisfying try Carrot Cake Cupcakes, Carrot Cake Donuts, or Frosted Carrot Cake Cookies.

Whole wheat carrot cake bread slices.

Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Bread

I am super excited to share my lightened up and totally delicious carrot cake bread recipe with you!  As many of you know, I am trying to eat healthier lately, without cutting out food groups and still being able to enjoy food.  This time of year is so great.  As it is warming up, and me and my family are outside more, getting more active, and eating better.  Now, let me just stop here and say, I cannot give up bread!  So, I have to find ways to lighten it up. The first trick I have learned is to tweak ingredients to make the things I love with less fat and calories.  In this whole wheat carrot cake bread I use wheat flour and Greek yogurt to replace white flour and more fattening ingredients.   Plus, I loaded it with shredded carrots and was able to add less oil than most recipes.

This carrot cake bread is so hearty and filling and by adding fresh orange zest, it really brightens the flavor. I added orange zest to both the bread and the icing in this recipe and I highly recommend not skipping that.  This bread is soft and moist and the flavor will remind you of carrot cake, but instead you are eating a much healthier slice of bread.  I love to enjoy it with my coffee in the morning or even for an afternoon snack.  This was a huge hit with my husband and he even asked me to make more so he could take some to a work event.  Trust me, this is a recipe you will not regret trying out!

Carrot Cake Bread Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat flour: Using whole wheat will not only add more nutrition, but also a great nutty flavor to these cupcakes.
  • Warm spices: Ground ginger, cloves, and cinnamon give these cupcakes a great depth of flavors.
  • Salt: Salt will bring out all the flavors in this dynamic cupcake!
  • Baking soda and baking powder: These ingredients are for leavening and give the cupcakes the perfect shape!
  • Sugar: The sweetness of the sugar is the perfect balance in this cupcake.
  • Canola oil: This oil will keep your cupcakes moist.
  • Greek yogurt: I use non-fat and plain
  • Vanilla: Use high quality vanilla, not imitation.
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange: This is what makes these cupcakes so special! The fresh citrus taste makes these cupcakes pop!
  • Egg: The egg will give these cupcakes structure so they won’t crumble.
  • Egg white: The extra egg white gives the extra leavening and structure the cake needs to balance out the grated carrots.
  • Grated carrots: Very fine, small pieces of carrot so that the cupcake will still hold together.

Orange Cream Cheese Icing

  • Fat free cream cheese: Soften first for easy blending and smooth icing.
  • Powdered sugar: This super fine sugar keeps your icing from being to gritty.
  • Grated zest of 1/2 an orange: I love California Navels for zesting, their skin is thick and very flavorful!
  • Fresh orange juice: The orange juice gives this icing a blast of extra orange flavor!

How to Make Carrot Cake Bread:

  1. Preheat oven: Set to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, baking soda and baking powder; set aside.
  3. Combine sugar with wet ingredients: In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, yogurt, vanilla, orange zest, egg and egg white and mix until smooth.
  4. Gradually stir together ingredients: Add the dry ingredients and the grated carrots to the wet ingredients and stir together until just combined.
  5. Bake: Pour batter into a 9×5-inch loaf pan that has been greased and lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated oven for about 47-48 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely and then top with Orange Cream Cheese Icing.
  6. Make Icing: For the Orange Cream Cheese Icing: Mix together softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and orange zest until combined. Stir in enough orange juice to reach desired icing consistency. Drizzle over cooled bread.

Whole wheat carrot cake bread slices.

Some Healthy Tips:

  • Why whole wheat? Whole wheat flour has more protein and fiber making it easier to digest than white flour.
  • Go nuts! Add nuts and seeds when you can for more nutrients. Chopped walnuts are always popular in a bread like this one. And lately, I have been adding chia or flax seeds to every bread that I make.
  • Plan ahead!  Feel free to freeze for later! Then, when a craving hits, you have this healthier option ready to grab.  To freeze: Allow them to cool completely after baking, then store in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, microwave a slice for 45 seconds-1 minute or until warm. I suggest freezing without the the glaze and simply adding the icing when you’re ready to enjoy them.  (The icing will also freeze well for up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature and mix well before using).
  • Egg-less:  To make these without the egg, replace the egg with a flax egg by combining 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal and 3 tablespoons of water.
  • Topless:  Instead of the glaze, sprinkle the bread with cinnamon and coarse sugar.
  • Pro Tip: Line your pan with parchment: Place your pan on a large sheet of parchment paper. Trace the bottom of your pan with a pencil to cut the perfect size piece. Grease the pan and the parchment paper to prevent any sticking.

More Irresistible Bread Recipes to try:

Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Icing

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings 12 Slices
Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Bread is lightened up and completely delicious! Made with whole wheat flour and greek yogurt, this is such a delicious and moist quick bread! Drizzled with the best cream cheese frosting you will love this recipe!
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Keyword carrot cake bread, cream cheese icing, orange cream cheese icing, whole wheat carrot cake bread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup non-fat plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • grated zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 3/4 cup grated carrots

Orange Cream Cheese Icing

  • 2 ounces 1/3 less fat or fat free cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • grated zest of 1/2 an orange
  • fresh orange juice

Instructions

Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Bread:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, baking soda and baking powder; set aside.

  2. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, yogurt, vanilla, orange zest, egg and egg white and mix until smooth.

  3. Add the dry ingredients and the grated carrots to the wet ingredients and stir together until just combined.

  4. Pour batter into a 9x5-inch loaf pan that has been greased and lined with parchment paper.

  5. Bake in a preheated oven for about 47-48 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely and then top with Orange Cream Cheese Icing.

Orange Cream Cheese Icing:

  1. For the Orange Cream Cheese Icing: Mix together softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and orange zest until combined. Stir in enough orange juice to reach desired icing consistency. Drizzle over cooled bread.

Recipe Notes

Updated on April 20, 2020

Originally Posted on January 9, 2017

Nutrition Facts
Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Icing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 167 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 16mg5%
Sodium 208mg9%
Potassium 107mg3%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 1359IU27%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. Do you have any gluten free versions? We have two Celiacs in my house and one of them loves carrot cake but I haven’t found a good gluten free recipe.

    1. My SIL is Celiac, and she’s fallen in love with the Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 flour. You use it as an even exchange just like regular flour in any recipe. I have to say, she’s been bummed about some of the baking she’s done since her diagnosis (and she’s a GREAT baker), but this 1-to1 mix is awesome. It was lovely to have her cut out cookies again this Christmas! Good luck!

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