Carrot cake protein bars are a high protein snack that has all the flavors of a delicious carrot cake! Made with easy and healthy ingredients, these no bake carrot cake protein bars are vegan and gluten free!
I ALWAYS have a batch of homemade protein bars on hand, especially with all the snacking I tend to do. Whether it is between meetings, before a workout, or when I can’t last until dinner, homemade protein bars have been a savior!
These carrot cake protein bars taste like dessert, but they are secretly healthy. Packed full of protein, fiber, and even a dose of veggies too, they are ridiculously quick and easy to make! I’ve been snacking on them between meals, or whenever I need a boost before a workout. They are super compact too, so I have no issues packing a couple in my bag to snack on during the day!
How to make carrot cake protein bars
- Oat flour– Simply ground up oats! You can easily make your own or buy store bought. Be sure the oats are certified gluten free (if you follow a gluten free diet!).
- Coconut flour– Helps keep the carrot protein bars having a cakey and doughy texture, without crumbling. You can omit this and increase the oat flour.
- Protein Powder– Vanilla protein powder of choice. Be sure it is a brand that you enjoy the taste of. I recommend vanilla brown rice protein powder or vanilla casein protein powder.
- Granulated Sweetener of choice– Optional, but recommended if your protein powder is unsweetened. I used erythritol, but you can use any zero calorie sweetener of choice.
- Cinnamon- Adds a light cinnamon flavor.
- Almond butter– Smooth and drippy almond butter, with no added sugar. You can also use peanut butter or a nut free alternative, like tahini or sunflower seed butter.
- Maple syrup– Adds sweetness, but also holds the bars together. You can also use agave nectar or brown rice syrup.
- Carrot Puree– Works much better than shredded carrots. Simply steam the carrots and blend or process them until smooth.
- Milk– To thin out the thick batter. I used unsweetened almond milk.
Start by mixing together your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a microwave safe bowl or in a small saucepan, heat up your almond butter with maple syrup until warm. Whisk together, until combined. Add it to the dry mixture, along with the carrot puree and mix well, until a thick, crumbly batter remains. Slowly add the milk until the batter is thick but smooth. Transfer the batter into an 8 x 8-inch pan lined with parchment paper and press into the pan. Refrigerate for at least an hour, to firm up. Once firm, add the optional frosting and cut into bars.
Healthy Frosting Ideas
- Protein frosting– Mix together 1 cup vanilla protein powder and cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of sweetener. Slowly add either milk of choice or non-fat yogurt until a thick batter remains. Spread over the tops of the protein bars.
- Cashew cream cheese frosting– Make a simple cashew cream cheese frosting in the blender!
- Coconut butter– Easy and simple! Drizzle coconut butter over the tops of the protein bars, and let it harden in the refrigerator.
Storing and Freezing Tips
- To store: Carrot cake protein bars, when frosted, should be stored in the refrigerator at all times. Be sure that they are covered, or in a sealable container. They will keep well for up to 4 weeks.
- To freeze: Place leftover carrot bars in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
More easy protein bar recipes
- Peanut Butter Protein Bars
- Chocolate Protein Bars
- No Bake Protein Bars
- Keto Protein Bars
- Cookie Dough Protein Bars
Carrot Cake Protein Bars
For the bars
- 2 cups oat flour
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ½ cup protein powder
- 2 tbsp granulated sweetener of choice optional * See notes
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup almond butter can sub for any nut butter
- ½ cup maple syrup can use brown rice syrup or agave nectar
- 1/2 cup carrot puree cooked carrots blended until smooth
- 1/4 cup milk of choice ** See notes
- Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, protein powder, granulated sweetener and cinnamon and mix well.
- In a microwave-safe bowl or small saucepan, combine the almond butter and syrup and heat until melted. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix well. Add the pureed carrots and mix until combined- The batter should be crumbly. Using a tablespoon, add the dairy free milk of choice one spoonful at a time until a thick, firm batter is formed.
- Transfer to lined baking dish and press firmly. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Once firm, frost with frosting, if desired.
For the frosting
- In a small mixing bowl, add the vanilla protein powder, cinnamon and sweetener and mix well. Using a tablespoon, add dairy free milk of choice until a thick batter is formed. Spread on protein bars and refrigerate until firm.
** Depending on the flour/protein powder combination, you may need more or less. I used up to 3/4 cup with my protein powder.