Last year I made these Carrot Cake Muffins with the most amazing maple walnut streusel for spring and I just knew I had to do another carrot cake recipe this year! Maybe we should make it an annual thing?
Well, I'm also a firm believer that carrot cake hits the spot any time of year...
Regardless of when you decide to enjoy a slice (or two) of carrot cake, you HAVE to try this healthy version! My recipe for Healthy Carrot Cake Bars is easy to make, only needs one bowl, and has no refined sugar in it.
In fact, I even developed a recipe for a healthy cream cheese frosting too. Why yes, my friend, you CAN have your cake and eat it too!
(I'll let you in on a little secret too - I originally developed this recipe for my exclusive Lactation eCookbook and decided it was too delicious not to share for free with the entire internet. It's that good!)
I'd be lying if I said my favorite part was the cake. It's definitely the greek yogurt frosting! It's perfectly creamy and just sweet enough, but secretly full of protein thanks to some healthy swaps:
They're made with no refined sugars: thanks to unsweetened applesauce, coconut sugar, Stevia, and vanilla protein powder, these carrot cake bars are perfectly sweet without any added or processed sugars. The frosting also uses Stevia instead of powdered sugar.
They're made with clean eating ingredients: so, quite literally, you can have your cake and eat it too!
They're packed with protein: a whopping 14g of protein per serving! That's incredible! The major sources of protein are the almond butter and almond flour, protein powder, eggs, and greek yogurt.
They're low calorie: each slice is only 250 calories, including the frosting! Thanks to a few healthy swaps, there's no guilt for having more than once slice of this carrot cake.
THE GREEK YOGURT FROSTING: it's the frosting that seals the deal for me! NO butter, NO sugar, just creamy goodness with a hint of maple. It's literally the best.
They're lactation-friendly: this means that if you're a breastfeeding mama, these healthy carrot cake bars will naturally boost your milk supply! Key ingredients like almonds, flaxseed, protein powder, and oats have all been proven to increase milk supply for your baby. Now, if you're not a breastfeeding mama (or you're a man), does this mean you will spontaneously make milk? Nope! So never fear, if you make this carrot cake recipe as a healthy lactation snack, you can share it with everyone in your house.
Yes! It is made with almond flour, as well as protein powder, flaxseed, and oats. If you're sensitive to gluten, be sure to use certified gluten free protein powder and oats.
Unfortunately not. The eggs help keep this recipe moist and tender, so I don't recommend substituting them, and I use the combination of cream cheese and greek yogurt to boost the protein.
If you're looking for a great vegan carrot cake bars recipe, check out this one from Paleo Running Momma!
I think cashew butter could work in place of the almond butter, but I have not tested this recipe with other grain-free flours (like coconut flour or oat flour).
If you need a different gluten-free/grain-free flour, check out this recipe from Feasting on Fruit!
Up to 4 days at room temperature in an airtight container (preferably glass). You could also store in the fridge for up to one week. I do not recommend freezing these bars.
Yes! This recipe has a great balance of heart-healthy fats, protein, and complex carbs, so it is a great option for a quick, healthy breakfast. There's also no sugar, so you can feel good about eating cake for breakfast.
Of course! Just use a 9x13 baking dish instead of an 8x8. You should note that if you use a glass baking dish at all, the carrot cake bars will bake faster and you'll have to keep an eye on them.
Ideally I recommend using two 8x8 aluminum pans, but I know that's not always an option. If you only have a 9x13, opt for ceramic or aluminum before glass. This brand is my favorite for all bakeware! It's high quality and durable but also affordable.
You are going to DIE over these Carrot Cake Bars! There's no gluten, no refined sugar, and 14g of protein per bar. They're absolutely delicious and you might get addicted. Just saying.
And, if you're a breastfeeding mama, this healthy dessert will also boost your milk supply! It's a win-win!
Please leave a star rating and review below if you try the recipe so other readers know how you liked it or if any modifications worked for you. Your reviews also help other people find my recipes!
Easy to make and incredibly delicious, these Healthy Carrot Cake Bars are the perfect healthy dessert for spring! This carrot cake recipe is also naturally gluten-free, low-carb, and refined sugar-free with a delicious greek yogurt frosting.
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