Carrot Cake Bars

Gluten-Free   /   Paleo   /   Vegan

Vegan Carrot Cake Bars | ourfourforks.com

There is a table in my office that is a dessert depository;  leftover birthday cake, unfinished batches of cookies, candy someone bought and decided not to finish. Usually, I’m pretty good about ignoring this spot until recently someone left carrot cake and I couldn’t keep myself from trying a piece. My obsession with carrot cake was born in my hometown of Southampton, New York. I grew up on Tate’s Bakeshop carrot cake, which I’ve requested for every birthday since I grew out of my Carvel ice cream cake phase many years ago. After all this time, I’m still convinced there is no better carrot cake in existence.

 

There is, however, healthier versions of carrot cake. And in celebration of Easter, I decided to pay homage to the carrot cake by making these carrot cake bars, topped with a vegan cashew cream cheese frosting. Gluten-free, vegan, and paleo, they are a decadent and filling dessert, snack or quick breakfast on the go.

 

Vegan Carrot Cake Bars | ourfourforks.com //WHY THEY’RE HEALTHY// Carrot cake bars are gluten-free, vegan and paleo and are made with natural sugar from figs and raisins. Walnuts are full of healthy fat, are a vegetarian source of omega-3s, and contain essential amino acids. Dates and raisins are condensed energy sources, also high in essential vitamins and minerals. Unlike refined sugars, dates are good for digestion because of their fiber content. Dates are also relatively high in iron, potassium, and magnesium, which help with metabolism, muscle contractions and maintaining strong bones and teeth. The vegan cashew cream cheese frosting is made with cashews, which are also full of healthy fats particularly oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Cashews are also  great for hair, skin and bone health due to their copper and magnesium content.//

 

In the spirit of carrot cake, here are some other great healthy carrot cake inspired recipes from some of my favorite bloggers:

 

Vegan Carrot Cake Bars | ourfourforks.com Vegan Carrot Cake Bars | ourfourforks.com Vegan Carrot Cake Bars | ourfourforks.com Vegan Carrot Cake Bars | ourfourforks.com

Carrot Cake Bars
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Carrot Cake Bars are vegan, gluten-free & paleo no-bake bars topped with a decadent vegan cashew cream cheese frosting. A perfect healthy dessert or snack.
Author:
Serves: 6-12
Ingredients
For the carrot cake base:
  • ½ cup packed pitted whole dates, Medjool or soaked overnight
  • ⅓ cup raisins
  • 1 cup raw walnuts (plus more for garnish, optional)
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened, dried shredded coconut
  • ⅓ cup grated carrots
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
For the vegan cream cheese frosting:
  • ¾ cups raw cashews, soaked at least 4 hours
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk (or water)
  • 2 tablespoons liquid sweetener (I used honey)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
For the carrot cake base:
  1. Line a small pan or tupperware container with parchment paper (I used a 7 x 5 in glass container).
  2. Add walnuts to a food processor and blend until finely chopped (but not paste-like).
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until the fruit is finely chopped and blended and the mixture begins to stick together. This should take a couple of minutes and you may need to scrape the sides with a spatula occasionally.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly in the parchment lined container and place in the freezer until set, about an hour.
For the vegan cream cheese frosting:
  1. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender (I used my Vitamix) and blend until very creamy.
  2. Spread mixture evenly on top of carrot cake base, sprinkle with chopped walnuts and cinnamon (if desired) and put back into the freezer another hour.
  3. When set, remove from freezer, allow to thaw for a couple of minutes and cut into desired shape. Keep the bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks or freezer for up to 3 months.

 

 

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Comments

  1. says

    I’ve read a lot of bloggers talking about bringing deserts into work and leaving them for happy bypassers to snaffle. Is this an American thing? I’ve never heard of ANY workplace in the UK doing that, it would have to be a special occasion or the birthday of one of the employees… sounds like a nice tradition if you ask me!:P I love carrot cake. These look absolutely delicious:)

    • Sarah says

      My workplace does this. We always bring in snacks or sweets for various reasons. “I tried a new recipe!”, “I just got back from vacation and brought goodies”, “It’s my 1 yr anniversary at the company”, etc. 250 happy employees. :D

    • says

      Hi Shonalika and Sarah – yes there is always a reason to bring in baked goods! I actually can’t think of a week since I began my job that nothing was brought in. I think a lot of the time people try to pawn off desserts they make at home so they’re not tempted to eat them all themselves… which is both good and bad for the rest of us!

    • says

      Hi Amie,

      Thanks for the question – soak the dates and cashews (no need to soak the walnuts) in water overnight or at least 4 hours. Then discard the water and use the wet dates and cashews for the recipe. Hope this helps!

    • says

      Anna – thanks for pointing this out. Question for you – are you on a desktop or mobile device? On a desktop, the pictures should have a PinIt Button when you hover over the images. You can also use the “Share” button that allows you to share across all social media platforms. This should work on a mobile device. Let me know if you are having trouble because I’d like to make sure others are not experiencing the same problem.

  2. Sferd says

    I wonder if nuts other than walnuts can be used? For example, almonds? Or, perhaps a seed could work? I’ve never been a fan of walnuts or pecans.

  3. Sarah says

    It always makes me laugh to read ‘will keep for 3 weeks in the fridge’…..not in my house, – 3 minutes max!!

    • says

      Hi Hazel, so glad you like them! I don’t calculate calories, sorry! But inputting the ingredients to a site like myfitnesspal.com and then dividing by the number of squares should give you a good idea.

  4. Helenehhelenestenhaugh says

    If i understand correct i dont need to soak overnight if using medjool dates? Im gonna make these tomorrow! :-)

      • Helene says

        Thanks! I have made this cake three times now. Very good! But i think i need to get a kitchen weight since it taste a bit different every time :-p I wonder how many dates 1/2 cup is apprx? Thanks for a wonderful blog!

        • says

          Hi Helene,

          So glad you like them! It depends on the size of the dates! I find that about 5 Medjool dates fit into a 1/2 cup when pushed down. I often soak regular dates (instead of Medjool), which are smaller, and just pack them into a 1/2 cup measuring cup. Hope this helps!

  5. Angie says

    These are delicious! We made them to have on hand as Paleo breakfast ars but we keep wanting to eat them at night too!

  6. Jodi says

    Made a batch last night and they are delicious! I want to eat the whole lot but have already given some away so I don’t. I used maple syrup in the cashew icing and it worked perfectly. Will be making these again. So easy! I only soaked the dates for 20 mins at the m ost and they were fine. Also I soaked the cashews for only 2 hours and that was also fine as long as you have a good blender. Thanks so much for this recipe!

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