- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup sugar (110 g)
- ½ cup milk of choice (120 g)
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce (113 g)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups gluten-free flour* (290 g)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- ⅔ cup dark raisins (90 g)
- 1 cup shredded carrots (83 g)
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (57 g)
For the Cream Cheese Frosting (optional)
- ¼ cup cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar (110 g)
- 1 tablespoon milk of choice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mist an 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with nonstick spray. For easy removal of the cake, you can also line the pan with foil leaving a little extra hang over the edges. Mist the foil with nonstick spray.
- In a small bowl, place the raisins and enough hot water to cover; set aside while you mix the batter.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the eggs and sugar. Add the applesauce, 1/2 cup milk, and vanilla; whisk together.
- Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and salt; stir together. Drain the raisins and fold the raisins into the batter along with the shredded carrots and walnuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
- For the optional frosting: In a medium bowl, place the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Using a hand mixer or wooden spoon, blend ingredients together. Add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add the remaining ½ cup powered sugar and 1 tablespoon milk; mix until the frosting is thick and smooth. Gently spread the frosting over the cooled bars. If desired, garnish with extra chopped nuts, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and/or shredded fresh carrot.
* You can substitute regular all-purpose flour for the gluten-free flour; use 2 cups (~290 g). For gluten-free flour options, we like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-for-1 Baking Flour, and King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure-for-Measure Flour Blend.
To make these bars vegan (dairy free and egg free):
- For the carrot cake bars:
- Use non-dairy milk in the batter
- Substitute ‘flax eggs’ for the eggs. To make enough to substitute for 2 eggs, whisk together 2 tablespoons ground flax meal + 4 tablespoons of warm water, let set for 3-5 minutes to thicken, then add to the batter.
- Add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
- For the frosting:
- Use vegan butter, non-dairy milk, and vegan cream cheese (such as Tofutti dairy-free cream cheese) for the frosting.
To store: Cool the bars completely, place in a container with a lid, and store unfrosted at room temperature for up to 3 days, or (if frosted) store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To freeze: Cool unfrosted bars completely, place in a freezer-friendly container with a lid, and freeze for up to 3 months. Frost after the bars have been thawed.
The Nutrition for Carrot Cake Bars WITHOUT the Frosting is (Per bar): 144 calories, 3 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 22 mg cholesterol, 26 g carb (3 f fiber, 11 g sugar), 141 mg sodium, 22 g protein
- Serving Size: 1 bar with frosting
- Calories: 193
- Sugar: 19
- Sodium: 153
- Fat: 5
- Saturated Fat: 2
- Carbohydrates: 34
- Fiber: 3
- Protein: 4
- Cholesterol: 27