Healthier Carrot Cake

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Healthier Carrot Cake

If there's one thing that will make my knees weak, it's carrot cake. I would take carrot cake any day over chocolate. Okay, so maybe not any day. I would still gladly accept chocolate any time.
But there's just something about carrot cake.
This recipe is a spin on a traditional favorite! Made with a carrot, date and walnut base, this delicious cake is topped with a silky, cashew, coconut frosting that's surprisingly healthy and good for you.
Is it a low calorie carrot cake? No. This carrot cake is healthy in the sense that it’s highly nutritious. It’s not diet food (if there really is such a thing). There are no “empty calories” here.
Because it IS possible to make a much healthier version and enjoy the classic flavour and essence of traditional carrot cake without all the refined sugar and refined flour.
This recipe does just that, plus this one is really easy to make.
This is a sweet treat that nourishes with a whole host of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, all drawn from nuts and natural fruits – and carrots of course.
This is what you get when you combine wholesome ingredients like carrots, sultanas, dried apricots and pineapple, coconut, orange zest, honey and cinnamon with almonds and dates.
This cake is moist, dense and full of flavor. So much flavor! Maybe it's the carrots. Maybe it's the coconut. Maybe it's the sweet cinnamon-y flavour. Or maybe it's that sweet, sweet lemon, vanilla frosting. Whatever it is, this is what carrot cake dreams are made of! 
This carrot cake is fast, healthy and delicious - I decorated mine with a tropical fruit and nut mix to jazz things up a notch or two.
Carrots are great for your immune system with Vitamin C and A, even a little Vitamin K and some Vitamin B.  Walnuts contain protein and good fats including omega 3, yes please!
Also Vitamin E, another vitamin important for a good immune system, along with other minerals and vitamins. Coconut is delicious too, oh yay and is healthy! It has good minerals and fibre and best of all good fats as in medium-chain triglycerides(MCT) that give us ENERGY!
Spices (including vanilla extract) are power houses that we can use to improve our health using their volatile oils, spices are packed with antioxidants and minerals!
This carrot cake recipe is so versatile, if you would like a new power/bliss ball recipe, use this recipe but form into balls instead and roll in shredded coconut.
There’s so much to love about this healthy, highly nutrient dense, and delicious dessert/snack/breakfast.  Yep, these are healthy enough to eat for breakfast or a snack. And I most certainly have!
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Healthy Clean Eating
Keyword healthier carrot cake, healthy carrot cake no bake, no bake carrot cake bars, raw carrot cake
Servings 16

Ingredients

Carrot Cake

  • 2 large large carrots, peeled and diced (at least 2 cups)
  • 2 cups walnuts or almonds, or a mix
  • 1 cup dates, soaked 30 minutes and drained
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup dried pineapple
  • 1/4 cup sultanas or raisins
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)

To Decorate

  • Dried fruits and nuts of your choice. Or grated carrot or shredded coconut. I used a tropical fruit mix which added more color, texture and flavor.  

Cashew Cream Frosting

  • 2 cups cashews, soaked 3+hours and drained
  • 1 13.5 oz can coconut cream full fat (solid part only) *see note below
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1-2 lemons, juice and zest (depending on how lemon-ey you like it)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Carrot Cake

  • Note: Place the can of coconut cream or milk in the fridge or freezer for at least 1-2 hours before making this cake to allow coconut cream to separate.
    Line an 9 x 9 square or 8-9 inch springboard or round pan with parchment paper on the bottom and sides leaving some overhanging to act as a handle to get the cake out easier for cutting.
    Place carrots and walnuts into a food processer and process until broken down. Add dates and coconut continue to process until mixture is well combined.
    Add apricots, pineapple, sultanas, orange zest and cinnamon and pulse or blitz very briefly until just combined. You want these ingredients to be less processed so be careful not to over process as its nice to have some texture variance and different sized “bits” in your finished cake.
    Press the mixture into the bottom of your pan or dish evenly. Refrigerate while you prepare the frosting.

Cashew Cream Frosting

  • Open chilled can and scoop out the cream that has separated and set hard on the top. Save the remaining coconut water to use in a smoothie, drink, or discard.
    Place all frosting ingredients, cashews, coconut cream, coconut oil, honey, vanilla, lemon juice and zest into the food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Depending on the power of your blender this might take a few minutes.
    Stop blending to scrape the sides if necessary and continue to blend until very smooth. Taste test and add more honey or lemon if you think it needs it.
    Pour the frosting on top of the chilled cake and spread evenly with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Decorate as you like gently pushing the preferred toppings into the frosting so they don’t fall off when eating.
    Place back in fridge until frosting is firm and set.
    Remove and slice into 16-20 bars or squares depending on what size you prefer.
    Store in fridge for up to one week or 3 months in the freezer.
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If you are looking for more delicious, healthy, no bake desserts and treats to help you reach your health, wellness and fitness goals, you will love my collection here: Blended Bites 

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