Carrot Cake Bars

Things are ramping up around here in terms of our new house. I get to spend two days off working on laying flooring that Tony hasn’t been able to do. To be fair, very few people can lay the Trafficmaster laminate floor from Home Depot. It doesn’t like to click together and it’s kinda flimsy. That’s what you get for 49 cents per square foot.

This week I wanted something classic for a dessert. There’s nothing more classic than carrot cake. I love carrot cake in all its forms, with or without nuts and with or without raisins. I wanted to make bars, since that seems to be the best way to do cake for us these days. I’m starting with a recipe from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt for Carrot Cake Bars. These bars look great, especially with a cream cheese swirl. I like that better than making a sugar free frosting. The calories are a bit high with the cream cheese and sugar. However, I think with a few swaps this will fit the bill.

Here are the original stats:

Here’s what I changed:

  • I swapped out the all purpose flour with almond and coconut flour to make this low carb and gluten free.
  • I replaced the sugar with a sweetener substitute.
  • I replaced the butter with unsweetened applesauce to lower the calories and saturated fat.
  • I replaced the cream cheese with a vegan variety to make this dairy free.
  • I increased the servings from 9 to 12 to lower the calories.

Here are the final stats:

Here is the final recipe:

Carrot Cake Bars

Makes 12 bars

Carrot Cake Bars

  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup light brown sugar substitute packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded carrots

Cheesecake Swirl

  • 4 ounces vegan cream cheese at room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sweetener
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8 baking pan with non-stick spray and set aside. You can also line the pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with nonstick baking spray.

Carrot Cake Bars

  • In a medium bowl, add the applesauce and brown sugar. Mix to combine.
  • Stir in the egg and vanilla extract.
  • Add in the flours, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Stir until completely combined.
  • Fold in the shredded carrots. Set aside.

Cheesecake Swirl

  • In a medium bowl, add in the vegan cream cheese and sweetener. Beat with a hand mixer until smooth.
  • Add in the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and creamy.


  • Add about half of the carrot cake batter into the pan and spread it out with an off-set spatula.
  • Add half of the cheesecake batter to the carrot cake batter. Do this by dropping dollops of batter over the carrot cake batter. Don’t swirl yet.
  • Add the remaining carrot cake batter on top of the cheesecake batter and around the cheesecake batter.
  • Add the remaining cheesecake batter by adding dollops on top of the carrot cake batter.
  • Using a knife or skewer, swirl the batters together. Swirl as much or as little as you like.
  • Bake for about 35-40 minutes until the edges are golden brown. There will be very little jiggle to the center.
  • Cool completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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