Healthy Carrot Cake Bars

These healthy carrot cake bars are made with almond flour and sweetened with coconut sugar. They’re moist, fluffy and absolutely delicious topped with a cream cheese frosting. Gluten-free + grain-free.

If you have a carrot cake lover in your life, you have to try these carrot cake bars.

I would happily serve them “naked” as a dessert, but the frosting definitely makes them more decadent and cake-like. They do not disappoint.

An over head view of carrot cake bars topped with vanilla icing and walnuts.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • They’re moist and not too sweet with the perfect amount of carrots and raisins.
  • They’re made with almond flour, so are grain-free and gluten-free.
  • This recipe is simple enough to make for a weeknight dessert, but also fancy enough to be served for special occasions like Easter!
Several squares of carrot cake bars spread around. The center bar has a bite removed.

Lexi’s Clean Kitchen Cookbook

When I received a copy of my friend Lexi’s cookbook, Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, and saw this recipe for Carrot Cake Bars, I knew they had to happen.

Her cookbook is HUGE and absolutely stunning! She has 150 paleo-friendly, clean recipes and in true Lexi’s Clean Kitchen fashion, each recipe has a gorgeous photo.

The cookbook includes a ton of nutritious, healthy meals from breakfasts to soups, hearty salads (yay!) and main course dinners. And then there is a section for sweet desserts and treats, which is where these carrot cake bars come in.

Ingredients measured out to make carrot cake bars: almond flour, coconut sugar, applesauce, carrots, raisins, eggs, walnuts, ginger, cinnamon, homemade frosting, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and sea salt.

Carrot Cake Bar Ingredients

  • almond flour – I like using Bob’s Red Mill blanched almond flour. Make sure you are getting almond flour and not almond meal as the texture is finer and better for baked goods.
  • coconut sugar – I love using natural sweeteners like coconut sugar in baked goods. If you don’t have coconut sugar on hand, granulated sugar or cane sugar will work as a substitute.
  • baking powder, baking soda and sea salt– three baking essentials.
  • ground cinnamon – you can’t have carrot cake bars without cinnamon! 
  • eggs – another key ingredient in these bars. The eggs help the bars rise. 
  • unsweetened applesauce – this helps to keep the bars moist and tender. 
  • vanilla extract – just to add a little vanilla flavor.
  • ginger – this ingredient is optional, but it adds a nice flavor! You can either grate fresh ginger or use ginger powder.
  • grated carrots – the star of the show here! You can use store-bought shredded carrots or peel and grate carrots yourself.
  • chopped raw walnuts – feel free to sub in a different nut like pecans or almonds or skip the nuts all together if you need these bars to be nut-free.
  • raisins – I love the hint of natural sweetness the raisins add to these bars.  
  • dark chocolate chips – This ingredient is optional, but if using I’ve been loving Lily’s chocolate chips lately but Enjoy Life is also a great option if you need diary-free chips. 
  • vanilla buttercream frostingI used the classic frosting recipe in Lexi’s cookbook (on page 288), but if you don’t have the cookbook yet, you can find a similar frosting recipe here or my healthy cream cheese frosting would also be delicious! Feel free to also go the store-bought route. My favorite healthier store-bought frosting is Simple Mills vanilla frosting.
Flour photos showing making the batter for carrot cake bars, and baking the batter, before and after in a pan.

How to Make Carrot Cake Bars

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper.

Step 2: In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt until well blended. Whisk in the eggs, applesauce, vanilla and ginger, if using, until smooth.

Step 3: Fold in the shredded carrots, walnuts, raisins, and chocolate chips, if using.

Step 4: Pour the batter into the baking dish, smooth out the top, and bake for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

Step 5: While the cake is baking, make the frosting and set aside. You will want to bake the cake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Step 6: When the cake is done, let it cool completely in the pan before frosting or cutting. Once completely cool, spread the frosting evenly across the top of the cake and garnish with extra chopped walnuts, if desired. Cut into 9 to 12 bars to serve.

A carrot cake bar close up.

Notes + Substitutions

  • Almond flour I don’t recommend using a different flour as this recipe has been tested specifically for almond flour.
  • Coconut sugar – If you don’t have coconut sugar on hand you can use cane or granulated sugar instead.
  • Walnuts I prefer chopped walnuts, but you could play around with other nuts! I bet almonds or pecans would be delicious.
  • Raisins – If you aren’t a raisin fan, you can use chopped dates or skip them all together.
  • Vegan – I haven’t tested this recipe without eggs, so I’m not sure how a vegan substitute like flax seed eggs or chia seed eggs would work, but let me know in the comments if you decide to try it! Also, make sure to use a vegan frosting and vegan chocolate chips, if using.
A carrot cake bar topped with vanilla icing. A bite has been taken from the bar.

How to Store Carrot Cake Bars

Store any leftover bars in an airtight container on the counter at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days. For longer storage, you can store these bars in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you’re storing these in the freezer I would recommend storing them unfrosted. The day before you’re ready to serve, let them thaw in the fridge then frost and decorate as desired!

More Carrot Recipes to Try

More Almond Flour Recipes

Be sure to check out all of the popular almond flour recipes as well as the dessert recipes here on EBF!

Healthy Carrot Cake Bars

5 from 23 votes
Healthy carrot cake bars made with almond flour and sweetened with coconut sugar. They’re moist, delicious and perfect for the carrot cake lover in your life. Gluten-free and grain-free.
A carrot cake bar topped with vanilla icing. A bite has been taken from the bar.
Print RecipePin Recipe
Prep Time 10minutes
Cook Time 25minutes
Total Time 35minutes
Servings 9bars

Ingredients

  • 1cupblanched almond flour, I used Bob’s Red Mill
  • cupcoconut sugar
  • 1teaspoonbaking powder
  • ¼teaspoonbaking soda
  • ¼teaspoonground cinnamon
  • teaspoonfine sea salt
  • 2large eggs
  • ¼cupunsweetened applesauce
  • 1teaspoonvanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoonsgrated fresh ginger or ½ teaspoon ginger powder, optional
  • cupgrated carrots
  • cupchopped raw walnuts, plus more for garnish
  • ¼cupraisins
  • 3Tablespoonsdark chocolate chips, optional

Frosting

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F and line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: almond flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt until well blended.
    Whisking together almond flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.
  • Whisk in the wet ingredients: eggs, applesauce, vanilla and ginger, if using, until smooth.
    Adding eggs, applesauce, vanilla and ginger in the bowl.
  • Fold in the carrots, walnuts, raisins, and chocolate chips, if using.
    Carrots, walnuts and raisins folded into mixture.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, smooth out the top, and bake for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
    Carrot cake bar batter poured into a parchment lined baking pan.
  • While the cake is baking, make the frosting and set aside.
  • When the cake is done, let it cool completely in the pan before frosting or cutting.
    Freshly baked carrot cake bars in a parchment lined baking pan.
  • Spread the frosting evenly across the top of the cake and garnish with extra chopped walnuts, if desired. Cut into 9 to 12 bars to serve.
  • Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • Frosting – I used my healthy cream cheese frosting, but Lexi recommends using the vanilla buttercream frosting from her cookbook (page 288). Feel free to also go the store-bought route. My favorite healthier store-bought frosting is Simple Mills vanilla frosting.
  • Almond flour I haven’t tested this with another flour, but if you want to experiment, let me know in the comments below how it turns out!
  • Coconut sugar – If you don’t have coconut sugar on hand you can use cane sugar instead.
  • Walnuts – I prefer chopped walnuts, but you could play around with other nuts! I bet almonds or pecans would be delicious.
  • Raisins – If you aren’t a raisin fan, you can use dates or skip them all together.
  • Vegan – I haven’t tested this recipe without eggs, so I’m not sure how a vegan substitute like flax or chia eggs would work, but let me know in the comments if you decide to try it!

Nutrition

Serving: 1 bar (without icing)Calories: 191kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 6gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 132mgPotassium: 153mgFiber: 3gSugar: 13g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy carrot cake bars
Web Story: https://atrivialmindatwork.com/web-stories/healthy-carrot-cake-bars/

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    28 comments
    1. Ruksheen
      April 28, 2022 AT 2:02 pm

      5 stars
      Absolutely amazing recipe . My 4 and 6 yr old who are very picky eaters give it a 5 star rating. Easy to make and just yum! Thank you

      Reply
      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 29, 2022 AT 8:23 am

        Yay! Love when picky eaters love recipes I share. Thanks for sharing with me, Ruksheen! I really appreciate it.

        Reply
    2. Kim
      April 18, 2022 AT 2:25 pm

      5 stars
      Absolutely delicious! I made the bars per the recipe. They were devoured in one day, I had to make more. I also made a batch as cupcake/muffins. They were also a big hit. Such a quick and easy recipe!

      Reply
      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 19, 2022 AT 8:11 am

        Woo! So glad this recipe was a hit, Kim. THank you so much for sharing, I really appreciate it 🙂

        Reply
    3. margeaux
      April 14, 2022 AT 12:41 pm

      How would it work to replace the coconut sugar with maple syrup? Should you then omit the applesauce?

      Reply
      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 15, 2022 AT 4:44 pm

        Hi, Margeaux. I do think that would work fine, however, I haven’t experimented with it before. I do know in another recipe, using maple syrup instead of coconut sugar definitely changed the moisture of the recipe and it took more time to bake.

        Reply
    4. Margeaux
      April 14, 2022 AT 10:13 am

      Can you sub out the granulated coconut sugar for maple syrup?

      Reply
      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 15, 2022 AT 7:56 am

        Hi, Margeaux! I haven’t tried it yet, but switching out granules for a liquid sweetener may change the overall texture of the bars. Let me know if you try it and how they turn out!

        Reply
    5. Pat Martin
      April 13, 2022 AT 3:10 pm

      Made the cake, mine for some reason was crumbly, double-check the recipe, not sure what I did wrong,

      Reply
      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 14, 2022 AT 9:28 am

        Hi, Pat. I’m sorry to hear that! Did you change anything about the recipe? Changing the kind of flour used could change the texture.

        Reply
Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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