Carrot Cake Bars (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
How many carrot cake lovers are out there? Anyone? For some reason I don't think of carrot cake when I think about desserts I crave, but whenever I have a great slice, I remember how much I love it! I'd order a piece of chocolate cake in a heartbeat, but I usually forget about carrot cake, and I feel bad about it because it's just the best.
Carrot cake reminds me of birthdays with my family, and springtime, which is when my brother's and dad's birthdays are. And what says spring better than fresh carrots? And these are chock-full of them!
Heavy on flavors of nutmeg and cinnamon, with juicy, sweet pockets of raisins and the crunch of earthy walnuts, these carrot cake bars boast all of your favorite carrot cake goodness into little personal-sized bars that would be great as a sweet treat.
I will say that they're not too sweet because there's so little added sugar! In the whole recipe there's just over a tablespoon, which keeps the sugar content very low. The sweetness really comes from the fresh carrots and the raisins, which are natural forms of sugar (and my favorite types of sweetener!). The sugar that is added is coconut palm sugar, which is low-glycemic, which means your blood sugar won't spike as much as with regular cane sugar or other sweeteners. But you could easily swap in maple syrup, honey, or date paste as your sweetener if you prefer.
I made these as bars using a square treat pan, but they would work just as well in a regular muffin tin to make them into muffins instead. If you have a square baking pan, I think they would work well in there as well (if you wanted to make a large square that you could cut into smaller brownie-like pieces), but you may have to play with the recipe a bit (you may have to double it -- let me know if you try this and if it works!).
It took me a couple of tries to get these right, and I'm glad I kept at it, because they are SO good!
And of course, they are gluten free and dairy free, which is great for those of us for food sensitivities. Can't beat a gluten free carrot cake bar, and these will knock your spring socks off!
Let me know in the comments below if you give these a try this spring!
- 1/2 cup shredded carrot
- 1/2 cup almond flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
- 1 tbsp coconut flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp coconut oil melted and cooled
- 1 TBSP + 1 tsp coconut sugar (leave out the extra tsp to make them a little less sweet)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 TBSP unsweetened shredded coconut
- Pinch of sea salt or real mineral salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 350° F.
- In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients except for raisins, walnuts, and shredded coconut (almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, coconut sugar, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, salt)
- Add in the wet ingredients, mixing until everything is well-combined.
- Fold in the raisins, walnuts, and shredded coconut.
- Lightly spray or wipe a square treat pan (or muffin tin) with avocado oil or coconut oil (or you can use standard parchment baking cups if you're making muffins). NOTE: Make sure if you use oil, you wipe the pan after so that there really is very little oil left -- you want just enough to help remove them from the pan, not enough to make them soggy.
- Pour batter evenly into six bar or muffin slots (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup in each slot).
- Bake at 350* F for 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin.
- Eat immediately or store in the refrigerator.