These Carrot Cake Bars are soft, deliciously moist with grated carrots, maple syrup and a dairy-free cream cheese frosting. They are so easy to make in just one bowl with simple pantry-friendly ingredients you can easily find in your kitchen. Vegan, gluten-free, paleo-friendly and refined sugar free.
Updated February 2021
A Healthy Carrot Cake Bar Recipe
Love carrot cake but don’t want to make an entire cake? These Carrot Cake Bars are soft, tender, fluffy and you can whip up the carrot cake batter in just one bowl. Plus, it’s made with basic pantry ingredients that you can easily find in your kitchen.
It’s packed with all the classic carrot cake spices to give it the richest flavor, and you can also add in nuts or raisins if you’d like.
Topped with a smooth and velvety dairy-free cream cheese frosting that ties it all together. And not only are these carrot cake squares supremely moist and delicious, they are also dairy-free, g gluten free, paleo, and they can be made keto with a few simple substitutions.
Why we love this easy snack cake recipe
We’ve made this healthy carrot sheet cake recipe a dozen times and it has become a family favorite. You would never even know that these carrot cake bars are healthy, grain-free, gluten-free, vegan, paleo-friendly, dairy-free and refined sugar free.
In fact, my husband loves having a piece for breakfast with his morning cup of coffee and it’s also the perfect snack cake and you’ll want to eat it all day long.
The great thing is you can make a double batch and store the rest in the refrigerator to enjoy throughout the week. It tastes delicious warm from the oven, at room temperature or chilled, straight from the fridge for those hot summer days!
Ingredients you need
For the gluten-free carrot cake batter
The best carrot cake bar recipes usually call for a combination of all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, butter, brown sugar and oil. For these paleo carrot cake bars, we are going to be using:
- Flax Eggs – combine ground flaxseeds with water until thickened. May sub with 2 room temperature eggs if not vegan.
- Coconut sugar or golden monk fruit sweetener for keto carrot cake bars
- Pure maple syrup or Lakanto sugar free maple syrup (OR you can also try swapping with honey, brown rice syrup OR agave)
- Melted & cooled coconut oil, or your favorite neutral flavored oil
- Vanilla extract
- Superfine blanched almond flour
- Coconut flour
- Baking powder
- Spices: cinnamon, ground nutmeg and cloves
- Fine sea salt
- Finely grated carrots
For the vegan dairy-free cream cheese frosting
Classic carrot cake buttercream recipes use butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar. For our healthier carrot cake bars, we use:
- dairy-free cream cheese (We like Kitehill or Miyokos Creamery) – you can also sub with your own homemade cashew cream cheese
- softened refined coconut oil (you can also sub with vegan butter)
- maple syrup – you can also swap with powdered
- vanilla extract
- Add chopped chocolate or vegan chocolate chips
How to make Carrot Cake Bars
Healthy Carrot Cake Loaf
Single-Serving Carrot Mug Cake
These Carrot Cake Bars are soft, deliciously moist with grated carrots, maple syrup and a dairy-free cream cheese frosting. They are so easy to make in just one bowl with simple pantry-friendly ingredients you can easily find in your kitchen. Gluten-free, paleo-friendly and refined sugar free
- 2 flax eggs mix 2 Tbsp ground flaxseeds + 6 Tbsp water + let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, until thick and jelly. May also sub with 2 large eggs - not vegan
- 1/4 tbsp maple syrup , or sub with Lakanto sugar free maple syrup or favorite liquid sweetener for keto
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar or golden monk fruit sweetener
- 1/4 cup melted and slighlty cooled coconut oil , or other neutral flavored oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup superfine blanched almond flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 2/3 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/3 cup finely grated carrots
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts optional
- organic raisins, no sugar added optional
- 8 oz softened dairy-free cream cheese can use regular if not dairy-free
- 3 tbsp softened refined coconut oil can use butter if not dairy-free
- 3-4 tbsp maple syrup or Lakanto sugar free maple syrup
- 2/3 tsp vanilla extract
- chopped pecans or walnuts for garnish
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang.
In a medium bowl, make the flax eggs by adding the ground flaxseeds with water. Let that sit for 5 minutes, until thickened and turns to a jelly texture.
Whisk in maple syrup, coconut sugar, coconut oil and vanilla & mix until combined.
Place a large mesh sieve over bowl and sift in almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, spices & salt. Stir until well combined with no lumps.
Stir in your grated carrots and nuts or raisins, if you choose to use them. Then, transfer the batter to your lined loaf pan.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread the batter evenly using a spatula or back of a spoon.
Bake at 22-25 minutes, or until set and a toothpick comes out clean. When done, allow to cool completely before frosting.
Beat together all the ingredients for frosting and use an offset spatula to spread over cooled loaf. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.