Healthy Carrot Cake Bar (GF, V)
Spring has sprung and hands down one of my favorite Spring time desserts (Okay, anytime desserts) is carrot cake. I made these super decadent AND nutritious carrot cake bars using few ingredients, and it turned out to be one of my favorite recipes so far. This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar-free. Details below...
For Carrot Cake:
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups gluten-free rolled oats, blended into flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp sea salt
2 cups shredded carrot
1 cup walnuts, chopped (plus more for topping)
For Cashew "Cream Cheese" Frosting:
1 cup raw cashews, (boil for 15 minutes until soft)
¼ cup water
1 tbsp honey
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
¼ tsp nutritional yeast (Optional but adds a "cheesy" flavor)
Juice of ½-1 small lemon
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 9×9” baking dish or line with parchment paper. Add the coconut milk, applesauce, coconut sugar, and vanilla extract to a small bowl and whisk well.
Combine the oat flour, baking powder, spices, and salt into a separate large bowl and whisk together. Pour in the wet ingredients, and stir to mix until no clumps remain. Fold in the carrots and chopped walnuts, then spread the batter evenly into the baking dish.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake. Let cool completely before frosting or slicing.
To make the cashew cream cheese frosting, add all frosting ingredients to a high-speed blender and processing until smooth. Add water in slowly, blending until thick and creamy-- (you may need to use more or less water depending on your blender).
Frost the cake, top with more chopped walnuts, and cut into 12 pieces and serve. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Hope you enjoy!