These healthy No Bake Carrot Cake Breakfast Bars are packed with protein and a well-rounded meal to kickstart your day! Thick, chewy and with a fudgy texture, these breakfast bars are naturally gluten free, vegan, dairy free, refined sugar free and come with a tested paleo and grain free option!
I think it’s safe to say, we all have that one friend who ponders over the slightly more obscure things…and continue to do so.
Like the distribution of carrots within a cake.
Around this time last year, I was having lunch with my friend in the East Village, Manhattan. We decided to just get coffee and cake because we were going to a comedy show that night (included in the comedy show ticket price was unlimited pizza).
We decided to share two cakes- Carrot and coffee pecan crumble.
After digging into the cakes, my friend randomly brought up the daily recommendation of vegetables for different age groups. This ventured into carrots and our cake we were enjoying.
“How many carrots need to go into the batter and THEN distributed amongst the slices, before it could be considered a serving of vegetables?”
“Um…this cream cheese frosting is epic.”
“No seriously. Let’s say they put 5 carrots in it, cut the cake into 12 slices, that would be just under half a carrot per slice. If they were big carrots, we could technically say 2 servings per slice. If they were baby carrots, then we’d be eating…maybe 1/6th of a serving. What do you think?”
I’m pretty sure I gave him the ‘Chloe’ face in the hopes of him stopping.
“Well, at one stage, tomato sauce on pizza, was counted as a vegetable. If I ate 5 pizzas a day, I wonder if I would go over my vegetable quota?”
Thank goodness he didn’t bring it up again at the comedy show that night when we had pizza.
He questioned what lured rats into the subway.
So while today’s recipe won’t count towards your daily vegetable quota (unless you ate the whole thing, in which case, be my guest!), it’s still one to warrant a healthy halo.
These healthy no bake carrot cake breakfast bars are an easy, quick and fuss-free breakfast, snack or even healthy dessert option! They are also perfect frozen as individual portions, which are perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast! Unlike traditional breakfast bars, these require no baking. They also contain no butter, oil, flour or granulated sugar (or grains, if you opt for the paleo option!), but you’d never be able to tell!
Can we highlight the texture for just a second- Thick, chewy and depending on when you enjoy it, can be ridiculously fudgy or ‘just’ firm. Depending on which option you choose, these breakfast bars are naturally gluten free, vegan, dairy free, refined sugar free, paleo and grain free!
HACK! Let’s talk frosting for a moment! As usual, I share a couple of tried and tested methods below. If you want a more ‘traditional’ carrot cake bar, use the cream cheese option. If you want a protein packed frosting (much less traditional tasting), go for the option using protein powder (I always use this vegan protein powder, this casein protein powder, and this paleo friendly protein powder). For a cheat’s way, you can simply use a thickened coconut cream blended with a dash of cinnamon and sweetener.
Or just leave it frosting-less.
Make these healthy no bake carrot cake breakfast bars and the next time your ‘friend’ starts instigating random conversion, put on your royal outfit and…
Give your best Chloe look.
- 3 cups gluten free oat flour OR 2 cup coconut flour (Paleo option)
- 1 cup vanilla protein powder (optional)
- pinch sea salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sweetener of choice
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce OR carrot baby food
- 1/4 cup grated carrots
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (can sub for brown rice or honey if no diet restrictions)
- 1/2 cup drippy almond butter (can sub for any nut or seed butter)
- pinch vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup + milk of choice*
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (see tested recommendations under 'shop')
- 1-2 T granulated sweetener of choice (optional)
- 1-2 T nut butter of choice (optional)
- Milk to form batter
- 1/2 cup coconut butter, melted
- 2 T coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 serving (8 oz/250 grams) of cream cheese of choice, softened (dairy free if necessary)
- pinch cinnamon
- 2 T granulated sweetener of choice***
- Line a 8 x 8 baking dish or loaf pan with parchment paper or aluminium foil and set aside- For thicker bars, use a loaf pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, protein powder, cinnamon, sea salt, granulated sweetener of choice and mix well. Add in the applesauce/carrot baby food and shredded carrots.
- In a microwave safe bowl or stovetop, melt your almond butter with maple syrup. Whisk in the vanilla extract and pour into the dry mixture. Mix very well until fully incorporated.
- For a more soft and fudgy carrot cake bar, add milk of choice until a relatively thick batter is formed. For a firm and chewy bar, add milk of choice only if needed to desired thickness. Transfer to lined baking tray and press firmly in place.
- Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, or until firm. Once firm, add frosting of choice and refrigerate for another 30 minutes to firm up before slicing.
- Combine all ingredients and mix well until a thick frosting is formed. Cover the carrot cake bars and refrigerate for a further 10-15 minutes, for frosting to firm up. For a thick cream cheese frosting, use the full 8 oz tub. For a thinner frosting, use 1/2 to 3/4.
- * Adjust dairy free milk accordingly- Depending on the flour or protein powder combination, you may need more- Especially with coconut flour.
- ** I prefer using full fat cream cheese as it has a much thicker and tastier texture. I also found I needed much less sweetener VS a low fat/fat free cream cheese. Dairy free cream cheese needed more sweetener regardless of fat content.
- *** Adjust accordingly- For a sweeter frosting, feel free to add more.
- Breakfast bars are best kept refrigerated. They are also freezer friendly too.
Do you have ‘that friend’ or even better, are YOU that friend? Let’s hang out.
How many servings of vegetables do you usually eat in a day? I have a sneaky suspicion most readers here go above and beyond 😀