These are the most moist, soft, and delicious secretly vegan carrot cake bars ever topped with the fluffiest cream cheese frosting! Naturally vegan, gluten free, and dairy free, these healthy carrot cake bars are the perfect Easter dessert or Mother’s Day brunch treat for all eaters!
Vegan Carrot Cake Bars
- 1 cups (90 g) grated carrots, about 1 large carrot or 2 medium-sized carrots
- 1 3/4 (220 g) cups oat flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp all spice
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 3/4 cup (180 mL) dairy free milk plus 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, room temperature
- 2/3 cup (130 g) brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar or coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup (75 g) unsweetened applesauce or dairy free yogurt, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (57 g) salted vegan butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Optional: 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1/2 cup (113 g) vegan cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup (113 g) vegan butter (room temperature)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp dairy free milk
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F, and grease and line an 8″ square baking pan with cooking oil and parchment paper. Make sure the carrots are grated, and mix together the dairy free milk with the apple cider vinegar.
- Prep the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, and leavening agents. Set aside.
- Make the carrot cake batter: In a large bowl with a whisk, whisk together the vegan butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until combined. Then add in the applesauce, vanilla extract, and carrots. Whisk until combined. Sift in the flour, leavening agents, and spices in about 3 increments, alternating between pouring in the vegan dairy free milk mixture as well. Whisk just until there are no more dry streaks. Be careful not to over mix.
- Bake: Pour the batter into the cake pan, and spread the batter to touch the edges of the pan. Bake the carrot cake bars for about 28-32 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool: Allow the cake to cool in its pan for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer them to cooling rack to fully cool. Do not frost until the cake is cool to touch, and there is absolutely no heat coming from it. This will take about 30-40 minutes.
- Make the vegan cream cheese frosting: To prepare the frosting, cream together the vegan butter and cream cheese with a stand mixer or using a hand mixer and a large bowl. Sift in the powdered sugar in increments of 1 cup, beating the mixture between each cup until combined. Add in the vanilla extract, and 1-2 tbsp dairy free milk if needed to achieve a smooth texture.
- Assembly: Spread the frosting onto the top of the baked carrot cake bars, reserving about 1/3 cup of frosting each for the orange and green frosting (if you’d like to pipe the carrots on top of the carrot cake bars). For the carrots, I used a Wilton Decorating Tip 4 and a Wilton Open Star Decorating Tip 18.
- Slice and serve! Store any leftovers in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Not gluten free? Swap in all purpose flour for oat flour for an equal amount.
Keywords: carrot cake bars, vegan carrot cake bars, gluten free carrot cake bars, healthy carrot cake bars