Applesauce Carrot Bread with Pecan Streusel

November 21, 2013

Each Thursday, Emily Vikre (a.k.a fiveandspice) will be sharing a new way to love breakfast -- because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day. It's also the most awesome.

Today: A genius breakfast cake, born of indecision. 

Applesauce bread from Food52

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I’m going to come clean about this bread (which really is more cake than bread, but that’s purely semantics, right?). This is a breakfast treat born of indecision. I wish I could say that in a moment of creative genius I had intentionally thought of how applesauce cake and carrot cake are cut of the same cloth and that the amalgamation of the two would yield something really wonderful because, in fact, this is true. But, really I just couldn’t decide if I wanted to make applesauce bread or carrot bread.  

I waffled back and forth about it for a full two weeks because these are the types of decisions that cannot be made lightly. And then when I finally had an hour to bake and I still couldn’t decide between the two, I decided to try using both applesauce and carrots. And add a pecan streusel while I was at it because, why not? Turns out indecision can occasionally generate brilliance. Of course applesauce and shredded carrots have always been meant to find each other and to settle down with cinnamon and ginger and plenty of brown sugar and pecans in one absurdly moist (downright squidgy), richly spiced, brilliantly autumnal bread-cake.  Of course.  

I accidentally took my loaf out of the oven a little too soon, so part of the middle was not quite done (hazards of absurd moistness). My mother, who was over to help watch the baby while I baked, snuck some bites before I had a chance to put the bread back in the oven, and she declared that even half-baked it was one of the best things she’d ever eaten. I decided to take all the credit.


Applesauce Carrot Bread with Pecan Streusel

Makes 1 loaf

Pecan streusel

1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cold, salted butter, cut into small chunks

Applesauce carrot bread

2 cups all-purpose flour (using part or even all whole wheat also works)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup coarsely shredded carrot 

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Emily Vikre

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I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (, where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.


Mary-Claire F. June 4, 2015
I just found this recipe and it looks like it will make great muffins, which I'm going to try out later today!
glenfrank November 28, 2013
I'm making this today for the second time this week! It's great!
fiveandspice December 4, 2013
wendy G. November 24, 2013
So glad I clickec on this and found your blog. Love the recipe and your humor. I'm a fan, keep them coming!
fiveandspice December 4, 2013
Thank you!!! :)
Alice G. November 22, 2013
I must let you know that it was torture allowing this to cool completely, but is was great for breakfast and very moist. I think next time I'll add some rolled oats to the streusel. I can pretend I'm having oatmeal for breakfast that way - also oats are delicious.
fiveandspice November 22, 2013
That's a great idea!
Cristina S. November 21, 2013
Perfect post-Thanksgiving breakfast? (Besides pie, obviously. Second breakfast?) I think so.
Kenzi W. November 21, 2013
Or a hostess gift! I'd totally bring this to someone's meal as a thank you. (After I baked one for myself, obviously.)
fiveandspice November 22, 2013
Yes and yes! I think it would be great for both purposes.