Healthy No-Bake Carrot Cake Bars
Healthy No Bake Carrot Cake Bars- made with wholesome ingredients and naturally sweetened, you’ll be shocked at how much these taste like a slice of carrot cake. No food processor required!
If you like carrot cake then there’s a strong chance you’re going to love these no-bake bars. When I wrote up the recipe I had a feeling they would be good but they actually turned out way better than I expected.
The best part is the ingredient list is about as wholesome as it gets. Oatmeal, walnuts, almond butter and shredded carrots make for a satisfying treat that will also give you a nice boost of energy. Plus, if you cut them into sixteenths then they’re the perfect little bite size snack.
Although, if I’m being completely honest, it’s very hard to stop at just one. I may have eaten two or three in one sitting. But who’s counting? Not me. :)
What You Need To Make These Bars
- Quick Cooking Rolled Oats– While you could technically get away with using regular rolled oats, I highly recommend sticking with quick cooking oats for best results. Quick oats are partially cooked and rolled thinner which makes them perfect for no-bake recipes. As with all of my oats, Bob’s Red Mill is my go-to brand because I love that they’re certified organic and gluten-free. That means you don’t have to worry about sharing them with friends or family that have celiac disease! Bob’s makes sure to prevent cross contamination that often occurs with standard processing procedures.
- Shredded Carrot- This ingredient is obvious but I like to shred carrots myself rather than buy pre-shedded carrots because you want them to be soft and finely shred. Pre-shredded carrots often get dried out and are in long thick pieces that won’t pair well with the texture of these bars.
- Chopped Walnuts- Make sure you’re using finely chopped walnuts so that they blend nicely with the other ingredients.
- Unsweetened Shredded Coconut- While the coconut doesn’t add much for flavor it does wonders for the texture so I don’t recommend leaving it out.
- Ground Cinnamon and Ginger- Two must haves for that classic carrot cake flavor.
- Almond Butter- You could probably get away with substitutions here but almond butter really is the best option, in my opinion. That said, if you’re not an almond butter fan, cashew butter would be the best replacement because of it’s mostly neutral taste.
- Pure Maple Syrup- Maple syrup naturally sweetens the bars and the frosting. Make sure it’s pure maple syrup though, not pancake syrup.
- Vanilla Extract- Vanilla really enhances the flavor of these bars so please don’t skip it!
- Raw Cashews- Cashews make an incredible creamy base for non-dairy cream cheese frosting. They will need to be soaked prior to blending but it only takes 3o minutes if they’re soaked in super hot (almost boiling) water. My favorite blender for the frosting is the NutriBullet because it allows for much smaller batches compared to the Vitamix.
- Lemon Juice- Just a few tablespoons of lemon juice gives the blended cashews a tartness that’s reminiscent of cream cheese.
How to Make Them
- First we’ll combine the dry ingredients (oats, carrot, walnuts, coconut, cinnamon, and ginger) in a large bowl.
- Then we melt together the almond butter and maple syrup with the vanilla extract.
- Pour the wet ingredients (almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and flax egg) in with the dry and mix until everything is evenly coated.
- Spread the mixture into a lined baking dish and press down until flat.
- Refrigerate while you prepare the frosting. Combine the frosting ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate the frosting for at least an hour then spread on the bars. slice and serve!
I know there are a lot of varying opinions about carrot cake ingredients so if feel like something is missing (such as raisins) then feel free to mix things up!
- You could probably get away with adding 1/4 cup raisins without affecting how well they hold together.
- You could also sub the walnuts for finely chopped pecans if they’re more your style.
- Ground cardamom would be a delicious spice to add! Or possibly a pinch of nutmeg.
Want More No-Bake Treats?
Check these out:
- Healthy No-Bake Brownie Bites
- Healthy No-Bake Strawberry Lemon Cake Bites
- Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut Bites
- Chocolate Avocado Pudding
- Easy Strawberry Pie
Healthy No Bake Carrot Cake Bars
For the Carrot Cake Bars
- 2 cups quick cooking oats
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- ½ cup finely chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ cup almond butter
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon ground flax, + 3 tablespoons water
- pinch of salt
For the Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked in very hot water for 30 minutes
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper then set aside.
- In a small bowl, add the ground flax and water. Stir to combine then set aside to thicken.
- In a large bowl, combine the quick oats, shredded carrot, finely chopped walnuts, coconut, ground cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Stir to combine.
- In a small saucepan, melt together the almond butter and maple syrup. Stir until well combined. Remove from heat then stir in the vanilla extract.
- To the large bowl with the oats, pour in the melted almond butter syrup mixture and the flax egg. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients together with the wet until evenly combined. Make sure all of the oats are nice and saturated so that the mixture sticks together when pressed between your fingers. Transfer the mixture to the lined baking dish then use the spatula to press it down into an even layer. If you have a pastry roller you can use that to make the top as flat and even as possible. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set (or up to overnight if covered).
- Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Combine the soaked (drained and rinsed) cashews to a blender with the lemon juice and syrup. Start with 1 tablespoon of water then blend until smooth. If it's having trouble blending, scrape down the sides and add another tablespoon of water the blend again. Be careful not to add too much water or it will be too thin. Add just enough to get it moving but still maintain a thick consistency. Transfer the frosting to a sealed container and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- Lastly, spread the frosting on top of the bars in an even layer. Cut into 16 squares then serve and enjoy! Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
This post was created in partnership with a brand that I have worked with for years, Bob’s Red Mill. As always, all opinions and text are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make it possible for me to bring you quality content. For more delicious recipes and a coupon for $1.00 off any product, please visit Bob’sRedMill.com.
Yum!! I can’t wait to try these. Going to get the ingredients this weekend. Might have them stashed in the freezer for some middle of the night breastfeeding snacks. Thanks for sharing, Sarah!
Delish! And so easy to make! Kids couldn’t believe how tasty and moist these are. I didn’t make the frosting (didn’t want the extra calories) and they were excellent even without it.
I’m so glad to hear they were a hit! Thanks for the review, Rachel!
Looks very good..I will try it..
Camryn and I made this into a “pie”. My 8×8 dish was being used already so we shaped it into a 9″ pie pan. She loved that it’s “pie” haha. The taste is great! Next time I definitely want to make them into the squares. I tried to make them into balls but they were falling apart hence the pie pan…anyway the taste is great! Super easy and will definitely make again.
I’m surprised they didn’t hold together as balls…it seems like that would work but I only tested them as squares. I’m glad you still liked them though!
My frosting turned out tan /beige in color. What did u do to make it white?
I didn’t do anything special! It could be that your cashews were darker for some reason. Also, if you use dark maple syrup that will darken it.
Not for me.Bars are too dry. Impossible to get the cashews made into frosting and I make sauces from cashews all the time.
Sorry I wasted my ingredients.
Hey Charlotte, it sounds like something went wrong for you because these are not dry at all. Did you add the flax egg?
What is flax egg?
1 tablespoon ground flax combined with 3 tablespoons water.
I am genuinely impressed with this recipe and I do recommend. I am 12 years old and like to create all kinds of foods, and this was simple and fun! I altered the recipe slightly and put it in the freezer for faster hardening, and it still tasted great! Try it yourself :)