Dang Good Break­fast Loaf

Makes one 9½ by 5‑inch loaf

I have to admit, I test­ed this recipe more than ten times until I was thrilled with it. Although this is Andi’s favorite recipe in the book, she told me to (pret­ty please) stop mak­ing it! I want­ed it to strike the per­fect bal­ance of moist (cringe) and fluffy, sweet yet still break­fast-appro­pri­ate and some­what healthy with­out tast­ing too healthy” for kids. Well, now that my fam­i­ly nev­er wants to look at anoth­er break­fast loaf again, I hope you and your fam­i­ly enjoy it, because it sure is dang good! I usu­al­ly make a dou­ble batch so I have one to freeze for a rainy day. We switch it up every time by toss­ing in choco­late chips, wal­nuts, dates, or coconut, and some­times we throw in zuc­chi­ni for the car­rots and pump­kin for the apple­sauce, depend­ing on what we have on hand that week. As you know, I love a base recipe with lots of options to change it up by using what you have on hand — and now that I’ve made this loaf a mil­lion times, I can assure you that it’s per­fec­tion, any way you slice it!

Cook­ing spray or neu­tral oil for greasing

3 large eggs

¾ cup unsweet­ened applesauce

¼ cup pure maple syrup

¾ cup gran­u­lat­ed sugar

¼ cup neu­tral oil (avo­ca­do, light olive, or canola oil)

1 tea­spoon vanil­la extract

1 cup whole-wheat flour

½ cup almond flour

¼ tea­spoon kosher salt

½ tea­spoon bak­ing soda

1 tea­spoon bak­ing powder

2 tea­spoons ground cin­na­mon, plus more for dust­ing, divided

2 medi­um car­rots (no need to peel), coarse­ly grat­ed on a box grater (about 1 cup)

Option­al add-ins: ½ to 1 cup of any com­bi­na­tion of wal­nuts, choco­late chips, chopped dates, shred­ded coconut, raisins, and sug­ar for dusting

But­ter, for serving

  1. Pre­heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9½ x 5‑inch loaf pan lib­er­al­ly with oil. Place a strip of parch­ment paper across the width of the pan, leav­ing some over­hang. This will help you remove the loaf more eas­i­ly after baking.
  2. In a medi­um bowl, whisk togeth­er the eggs, apple­sauce, maple syrup, sug­ar, oil, and vanil­la until com­plete­ly smooth. In a sep­a­rate medi­um bowl, mix togeth­er both flours, the salt, bak­ing soda, bak­ing pow­der, and 1 tea­spoon of the cin­na­mon. Add the flour mix­ture to the wet ingre­di­ents and mix just until smooth and incor­po­rat­ed. Fold in the car­rots and any add-ins you’d like.
  3. Pour the mix­ture into the pre­pared loaf pan and sprin­kle the remain­ing 1 tea­spoon cin­na­mon on top. Swirl with a knife to make the top look pret­ty. Bake on the cen­ter rack for 50 to 55 min­utes, until a tooth­pick insert­ed into the cen­ter of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool slight­ly, then top with addi­tion­al cin­na­mon and option­al sug­ar to make it look extra pret­ty and invit­ing. Slice and serve slathered in butter.

Hot Tips

  • You can also make these into muffins. Pour the bat­ter into a muf­fin tin lined with cup­cake lin­ers (I love using sil­i­cone bak­ing cups) and bake them for 25 to 30 min­utes, until fluffy and cooked through.
  • If your loaf pan is nar­row­er, bake for an addi­tion­al 10 min­utes or so, test­ing with a tooth­pick for doneness.
  • Zuc­chi­ni bread fan and hap­pen to have a zuc­chi­ni on hand? Nix the car­rots and add 1 cup of grat­ed zuc­chi­ni (1 medi­um zuc­chi­ni) instead. Wring out the grat­ed zuc­chi­ni (use a sal­ad spin­ner, clean kitchen tow­el, or nut milk bag here) to remove some of the mois­ture and add it to the batter.
  • Pump­kin bread fan? Swap out the apple­sauce for canned pure pump­kin puree and switch out the cin­na­mon for pump­kin pie spice. Before bak­ing, add more pump­kin pie spice on top and swirl into the batter.
  • Every­one loves banana bread— and by gol­ly, this is our favorite way to enjoy it. Swap in mashed bananas for the apple­sauce (about 2 small bananas) and add in wal­nuts, coconut, or choco­late chips if you like. YUM!

Pho­to cour­tesy of the publisher

From Prep + Ral­ly by Dini Klein. Copy­right © 2022 by Dini Deliv­ers LLC. Inte­ri­or Pho­tog­ra­phy © 2022 by Ren Fuller. Reprint­ed by per­mis­sion of Har­vest, an imprint of Harper­Collins Publishers.

Dini Klein is a food host, founder of Prep + Ral­ly, a fam­i­ly meal-prep sub­scrip­tion ser­vice, and the author of Prep + Ral­ly: An Hour of Prep, a Week of Deli­cious Meals. Dini has worked with brands such as Wal­mart, Star­bucks, Weight Watch­ers, Pop­sug­ar, and Bar­il­la, and has appeared on nation­al tele­vi­sion from CW to Hall­mark Chan­nel and Access Hol­ly­wood. Prep + Ral­ly is Dini’s solu­tion to get­ting a whole­some din­ner on the table on those busy week­nights when jug­gling mom­my-ing and work life feels almost impos­si­ble. She shares her cre­ativ­i­ty in the kitchen to help moms all over the world.