Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Indulge in moist & delicious gluten-free carrot cake bars with a light whipped cream cheese frosting naturally sweetened with maple syrup. They’re made with fresh carrots, apple sauce, plump raisins, and shredded coconut!

best recipe for gluten free carrot cake bars with cream cheese frosting that are naturally sweetened with maple syrup

If you love carrot cake but want a healthier, fresher version, my carrot cake bars recipe is for you! It’s gluten-free with almond flour and excludes white flour or processed white sugar. It’s low on the glycemic index and won’t induce a sugar headache; assuming you only eat one or two bars 🙂

The cream cheese frosting is made with whipping cream making it light and fluffy. It’s also naturally sweetened with maple syrup and is the perfect creamy compliment to the fresh flavors in the carrot cake bars.

YouTube video

Why You’ll Love This Carrot Cake Bar Recipe:

  • It’s naturally sweetened without any processed sugar.
  • All the ingredients are easily digestible for a gentle tummy.
  • It has all the flavor of a traditional carrot cake without all the processed white sugar.
  • The simple ingredients are affordable and easy to find.

How Do You Make My Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting?

Step 1. Prep The Raisins

Pour 1/2 cup of raisins onto a cutting board and chop them into smaller pieces. Dump the chopped raisins into a bowl, cover with hot tap water, and set aside. Cutting them smaller will make a cleaner cut through your baked bars after they’re cooked. And soaking the raisins allows them to plump and soften before being baked.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Step 2. Chop the Coconut & Carrots

Pour 1/4 cup of shredded coconut into a food processor or chopper cup and pulse until blended into smaller pieces and set aside.

Peal 3 medium carrots and chop them into 1″ pieces. Then drop into a food processor or chopper cup and pulse until finely chopped.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.
Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Step 3. Combine the Wet Ingredients

Combine the eggs, maple syrup, unsweetened apple sauce, milk, oil, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract, and almond extract in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk until eggs are well-blended.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Step 4. Add the Dry Ingredients

Add the almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, dried ginger, and salt to the mixing bowl. Gently stir with a spatula until the ingredients are combined.

Step 5. Add the Prepped Ingredients

Drain the water from the soaking raisins. Gently stir the shredded coconut, carrots, and drained raisins into the mixing bowl.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.

Step 6. Pour And Bake

Pour the mixture into a parchment-lined 8×8″ baking pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.

Step 7. Make the Whipped Cream

Pour 1 cup of whipping cream into a bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.

Step 8. Prep the Cream Cheese

Dump an 8-ounce block of room-temperature cream cheese into a separate mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and salt to the bowl and whisk until blended.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.

Step 9. Combine the Creams

Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixer and gently mix until smooth.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.

Step 10. Frost the Cake

Spread the whipped cream cheese frosting onto the cooled cake.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.

Step 11. Toast the Coconut and Pumpkin Seeds

Melt one teaspoon of butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Drop 1/4 cup of shredded coconut into the pan. Stir the coconut continuously until lightly toasted.

Repeat for toasted pumpkin seeds.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.

Step 13. Decorate the Squares

Shred 16 strips of carrot using a vegetable peeler for carrot rosettes.

Place a small mound of toasted coconut in the center of the square.

Roll up a carrot slice, starting with the wider edge, and place it on top of the mound of coconut.

Place three toasted pumpkin seeds on the outside of the carrot rosette.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.

Step 14. Serve & Enjoy!

Place carrot cake bars on an attractive serving platter and proudly share it at your next special event!

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.

Sugar Comparison with Traditional Carrot Cake

A slice of traditional carrot cake has roughly 64 grams of sugar and is made with white flour and processed white sugar. A square of my carrot cake bars has roughly 12 grams of sugar and is sweetened with maple syrup; a natural sweetener.

best recipe for gluten free carrot cake bars with cream cheese frosting that are naturally sweetened with maple syrup

Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Gluten-Free diet-friendly recipe
Indulge in moist & delicious gluten-free carrot cake bars with a light whipped cream cheese frosting naturally sweetened with maple syrup. They're made with fresh carrots, apple sauce, plump raisins, and shredded coconut!
5 from 4 votes
Servings 16
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Equipment

  • 1 Food Processor or Chopper Cup

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut

WET INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup milk I use almond milk
  • 1/4 cup oil (light olive oil is my fave)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

DRY INGREDIENTS:

  • 1-1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • Pour 1/2 cup of raisins onto a cutting board and chop them into smaller pieces. Dump the chopped raisins into a bowl, cover with hot tap water, and set aside. Cutting them smaller will make a cleaner cut through your baked bars after they’re cooked. And soaking the raisins allows them to plump and soften before being baked.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of shredded coconut into a food processor or chopper cup and pulse until blended into smaller pieces and set aside.
  • Peal 3 medium carrots and chop them into 1″ pieces. Then drop into a food processor or chopper cup and pulse until finely chopped.
  • Combine the wet ingredients including eggs, maple syrup, unsweetened apple sauce, milk, oil, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract, and almond extract in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk until eggs are well-blended.
  • Add the dry ingredients including almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt to the mixing bowl. Gently stir with a spatula until the ingredients are combined.
  • Drain the water from the soaking raisins. Gently stir the shredded coconut, carrots, and drained raisins into the mixing bowl.
  • Pour the mixture into a parchment-lined 8×8″ baking pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Pour 1 cup of whipping cream into a bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
  • Dump an 8-ounce block of room-temperature cream cheese into a separate mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and salt to the bowl and whisk until blended.
  • Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixer and gently mix until smooth.

Carrot Square Decoration

  • Spread the whipped cream cheese frosting onto the cooled cake.
  • Melt one teaspoon of butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Drop 1/4 cup of shredded coconut into the pan. Stir the coconut continuously until lightly toasted.
  • Repeat for toasted pumpkin seeds.
  • Remove the cooled cake by lifting the sides of the parchment paper. Cut the frosted carrot cake into 16 squares.
  • Shred 16 strips of carrot using a vegetable peeler for carrot rosettes.
  • Place a small mound of toasted coconut in the center of the square.
  • Roll up a carrot slice, starting with the wider edge, and place it on top of the mound of coconut.
  • Place three toasted pumpkin seeds on the outside of the carrot rosette.
  • Place carrot cake bars on an attractive serving platter and proudly share it at your next special event!

Video

YouTube video

Nutrition

Calories: 224kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 3gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.002gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 181mgPotassium: 172mgFiber: 2gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 2362IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 121mgIron: 1mg
Keyword carrot cake, carrot cake bars, cream cheese frosting, gluten free
Did you make this recipe?Please let me know in the comments below how it turned out 🙂
5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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