Carrot Cake Bars

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5 from 525 votes
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Turn to these chewy, lightly-spiced carrot cake bars when you need an easy no-bake recipe guaranteed to please. Made with carrots and pumpkin puree and topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting, it’s addictive from the first bite!

no bake carrot cake bars.

I know I shouldn’t play favorites, but carrot cake has to be my favorite type of cake. Whenever I have extra carrots, I love to use them to make these carrot cake bars with cream cheese frosting. 

If you love carrot cake and dessert bars, pair the two together to make these decadent bars. They’re the perfect sweet treat to make at a moment’s notice, and they’re full of delicious flavors everyone will love.  

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe highlights
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make carrot cake bars
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Storage instructions
  6. Frequently asked questions
  7. More dessert bar recipes to try
  8. Carrot Cake Bars (Recipe Card)

Recipe highlights

  • Relatively healthy. Like my sugar cookie bars, these carrot bars are filled with wholesome ingredients, yet they taste as decadent as can be. 
  • Gluten-free. These bars are made without gluten-derived ingredients (or egg, for that matter) and can easily be made vegan and sugar-free with a few simple swaps. 
  • Great for making ahead. These bars taste just as good fresh as on day one or two, so you can make them the night before you need them. 
  • Versatile. You can add mix-ins or enjoy them with or without frosting. 
healthy carrot cake bars.

Ingredients needed

This recipe uses straightforward pantry staples. Here’s what you’ll need for the bars:

  • Coconut flour. Gives the bars a cakey texture and chewy bite. 
  • Sea salt. Just a touch to elevate the other ingredients. 
  • Spices. I kept it simple and just used cinnamon, but you could add nutmeg or ground ginger if you prefer.
  • Sugar. I used granulated white sugar, but you could use light brown sugar or a sugar-free sweetener if preferred. 
  • Pumpkin puree. Look for puree and not “pumpkin pie filling,” which will have sugar and spices added to it. Here’s my tried and true recipe for making your own
  • Grated carrots. To put the carrot in carrot cake, of course! Make sure they’re grated and not chopped.
  • Maple syrup. To add sweetness and bind the dry ingredients together. 
  • Almond butter. Provides a rich, nutty flavor and makes the bulk of the bars. Make your own or use a store-bought smooth, drippy almond butter with no added sugar. Not a fan of almond butter? I’d recommend either cashew butter or peanut butter. If you have a nut allergy, use sunflower seed butter or tahini. 
  • Vanilla extract. To amplify the rest of the ingredients. 
  • Milk. I used unsweetened almond milk, but you can use any dairy or dairy-free milk of your choosing. 

For the frosting:

  • Cream cheese. I recommend using full-fat cream cheese, as the texture of low-fat cream cheese won’t quite cut it. For vegan carrot bars, use plant-based cream cheese. 
  • Cinnamon. To tie in with the cake bars. 
  • Sugar. I used white sugar, but you could also use powdered sugar. 

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How to make carrot cake bars

Step 1- Prep work. Line an 8×8-inch baking dish or baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray.

Step 2- Combine dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, sea salt, and sugar. Fold in the pumpkin puree and shredded carrots. 

Step 3- Combine wet and dry ingredients. In a microwave-safe bowl or stovetop, melt the almond butter and maple syrup. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then pour the almond butter mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. 

Step 4- Shape. For a soft, fudgy cake bar, add milk until a thick batter is formed. For a firm and chewy bar, add milk only if needed to reach your desired thickness. Transfer the carrot cake batter to the prepared pan and press firmly into place. Refrigerate the bars for at least 10 minutes.

Step 5- Make frosting. Mix all frosting ingredients in a medium bowl. For a thicker cream cheese frosting, use a full 8-ounce container of cream cheese. For a thinner frosting, use ½-¾ of the container. 

Step 6- Frost. Once the bars are firm, add the frosting and refrigerate for another 30 minutes to firm up before slicing. 

carrot cake bars.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Prefer thicker bars? Use a loaf pan instead of a square baking dish. 
  • Skip the sugar. To make sugar-free carrot bars, I recommend using granulated allulose and keto maple syrup. You can either skip the frosting or make it with my keto powdered sugar
  • Use a food processor. If you don’t mind dirtying an extra dish, I find using a food processor to grate the carrots more convenient than grating them with a box grater.
  • Use other flours. I’ve tested this recipe with oat flour and blanched almond flour, and both work great. But plan on needing a little extra flour as they don’t absorb moisture as well as coconut flour. 
  • Slice with a warm knife. My #1 tip for potentially sticky bars is to slice them using a warm (and sharp) knife. I like to run the blade under hot water, then dry it and slice the bars. 
  • Add mix-ins. When I’m feeling fancy, I like to fold raisins or chopped walnuts into the batter. 
  • Color the frosting. I like to keep it simple and use plain cream cheese frosting, but if you’re making this for Easter or want to go the extra mile, add a few drops of orange food coloring or make carrot designs with orange and green frosting. 

Storage instructions

To store: Leftover carrot bars can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. 

To freeze: Store leftover carrot bars in a freezer-safe container and freeze them for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy the bars again, let them thaw overnight in the fridge. 

carrot cake bar recipe.

Frequently asked questions

Can I bake these?

I wouldn’t recommend baking these bars as they will dry out and become brittle.

Can I omit the frosting?

Yes! These bars are perfect on their own, so skip the frosting if you desire.

More dessert bar recipes to try

carrot cake bars recipe.

Carrot Cake Bars

5 from 525 votes
Turn to these chewy, lightly-spiced carrot cake bars when you need an easy no-bake recipe guaranteed to please. Made with carrots and pumpkin puree and topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting, it’s addictive from the first bite!
Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes

Ingredients 
 

For the cream cheese frosting

Instructions 

  • Line a 8 x 8 baking dish or loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside- For thicker bars, use a loaf pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, sea salt, sugar, and mix well. Add in the pumpkin puree 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 until a relatively thick batter is formed. For a firm and chewy bar, add milk of choice only if needed to the desired thickness. Transfer to a 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.
  • To make the frosting, 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 the frosting to firm up.

Notes

TO STORE. Leftover carrot bars can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. 
TO FREEZE. Store leftover carrot bars in a freezer-safe container and freeze them for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy the bars again, let them thaw overnight in the fridge. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1BarCalories: 235kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 10gFat: 12gSodium: 346mgPotassium: 118mgFiber: 12gVitamin A: 1059IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 75mgIron: 1mg
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Recipe originally published August 2016 but updated to include new information for your benefit.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    If I follow all the “omit the sugar” steps entirely with your suggested alternatives how low would the carbs be?

  2. 5 stars
    In the baking instructions on #2 it says to add protien powder, but there is no protein powder listed in the ingredients for the bars. How much do you add? Also, I had to add way more than 1/2 cup milk to get my bars to stick together–1 cup plus. Otherwise, these bars taste very good.

  3. I am going to try this… Do you know if I could use almond flour instead of coconut (my husband is allergic to coconut).

  4. Hello, if you are still answering questions on this recipe, I’d like to know if you do include protein powder in your batter. The instructions say to “combine flour, protein powder, cinnamon, sea salt, granulated sweetener of choice and mix well.” But there is no protein powder in your list of ingredients. Thanks for clarifying, I’d like to make this!