This refined sugar-free carrot cake is soft, creamy, vegan, gluten-free, and incredibly delicious! It’s a moist no-bake dessert for Easter, but can be enjoyed on any other day! Surprise your loved ones with these carrot cake bars that will literally melt in your mouth!
Creamy Vegan Refined Sugar-Free Carrot Cake
Easter is around the corner, so I had to create another carrot cake recipe. In my opinion, it’s best to celebrate Easter with a deliciously moist carrot cake. Don’t you agree? My baked carrot cake is one of my favorites, but this time I made refined sugar-free carrot cake bars with a cashew cream frosting.
The carrot cake recipe is not only vegan (eggless, dairy-free) and gluten-free but also refined sugar-free and no-bake.
Healthy Dessert Or Breakfast Cake
This sugar-free carrot cake is great for breakfast because it contains lots of healthy fiber and carbs from oats, carrots, and dates. The recipe contains 2 1/2 cups of finely grated carrots. I am sure you know that carrots contain lots of beta-carotene which is a powerful antioxidant and very good for us.
But this eggless carrot cake also contains healthy fats and proteins from nuts, which means you will stay full for a longer time. I also love to eat this vegan carrot cake as a delicious dessert in the afternoon, as we all know the cravings for sweets that kick in around 3 pm (or is it just me?).
The Ingredients & Substitutes
As I wrote before, this healthy carrot cake contains mainly oats, dates, and carrots, but I also added the following ingredients:
- Unsweetened shredded coconut: It makes the cake moist and soft. You can use ground nuts of choice, such as almonds, instead.
- Walnuts: They are the perfect match for a carrot cake, in my opinion. But feel free to choose other nuts or seeds of choice, such as hazelnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
- Spices: Cinnamon, ginger (I prefer fresh, but ground ginger is fine too), allspice, and a little salt.
The cashew cream contains:
- Cashews: They are just perfect for creamy no-bake desserts, as they turn into a smooth cream when blended with some liquid. You might try pine nuts or even sunflower seeds as a substitute, however, cashews work the best!
- Coconut milk: I prefer canned coconut milk for a rich and creamy frosting.
- A liquid sweetener: Such as maple syrup. Any other liquid sweetener will work fine too.
- Cornstarch: To thicken the cream. Arrowroot flour is okay too.
- Coconut oil: I don’t recommend a different oil because coconut oil is solid when chilled.
- Vanilla powder: Adds a lovely flavor. Vanilla extract is fine too.
- Granulated sweetener: Use organic sugar or a low-carb (or keto) sweetener such as Erythritol (e.g. Swerve).
For the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information, read the recipe card below.
If you prefer a grain-free recipe you could try almond flour instead of oat flour, however, since I never tried that, you will need to experiment with the measurements. I definitely do not recommend coconut flour as it’s very absorbent and dries out every dough.
If you can’t eat nuts, then you could try making the cream layer with a (soy-based) vegan cream cheese or use soaked sunflower seeds instead of cashews.
How To Make Sugar-Free Carrot Cake
- Soak the cashews for at least one hour in hot water. To speed up this process, you could also boil them for about 15 minutes until they are soft. However, if you have a powerful Vitamix, then soaking isn’t really necessary.
- Line a 7×7-inch (18x18cm) square pan with parchment paper. A round springform is fine too. You can use a bigger pan, but the bars won’t be as thick.
Make the carrot cake dough
- Add the walnuts and unsweetened shredded coconut to a food processor (or blender) and pulse for about 10 seconds. Also, add the oat flour and spices and pulse again.
- Next, add the shredded carrots and soft dates and process again until the ingredients are all combined. Please make sure to not over-process the dough. However, it should stick together when you press it between your fingers. If it’s too dry, process a bit longer or add more dates or a little oil.
- Press half of the dough into the prepared pan and transfer it into the freezer while you make the cream.
Make the cashew cream
- Add the coconut milk, cornstarch, and granulated sweetener to a saucepan. Whisk to combine (there shouldn’t be any lumps), then bring the mixture to a boil. Let simmer for a minute until it’s thick, like pudding. Set aside.
- Add the other ingredients for the cream into a high-speed blender. Now add the pudding and mix until the cream is completely smooth and lump-free. Depending on your mixer/food processor, this might take a few minutes.
- Pour half of the cream on top of the dough and put the pan back into the freezer until the cream layer is quite firm (about 1 hour). Then place the other half of the dough on top, press it down, and finally add the remaining cream on top. Put the pan back into the freezer for at least 2-3 hours (or until set). Check the recipe tips below for an easier version.
- Once you unmold the cake, let it thaw until softened and cut it into 8-12 bars.
Recipe Tips And Variations
- Make it easier: Even though it looks lovely, there is no need to make 4 layers of this cake. Feel free to make just two layers, which will also speed up the whole process.
- Soak the dates: It’s important to use dates, that are very soft and moist. If yours aren’t, then simply add them to a bowl and cover them with hot water for about 20 minutes, or until softened.
- Make carrot cake cupcakes: Don’t have a square or round pan? You can use a muffin tin to make gluten-free carrot cake cupcakes that look even cuter!
- Marzipan carrots: If you were wondering how I made those “fancy” looking carrots on top – well, I used homemade marzipan and colored them with a little beetroot and turmeric powder. You can definitely use store-bought marzipan carrots instead. 🙂
How To Store Carrot Cake Bars?
You can store leftovers of this vegan carrot cake covered in the fridge, there is no need to freeze the bars because they will stay firm and don’t melt.
But you can, of course, also freeze them (for up to 3 months) just make sure to let them thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes before you eat them.
Please leave a comment below if you make this delicious sugar-free carrot cake. You can also make a photo of it and post it on Instagram (or send me a DM). Please don’t forget to tag me in the caption + photo with @elavegan and use the hashtag #elavegan.
Other Vegan Carrot Recipes
- Vegan Carrot Cake
- Carrot Cake Donuts
- Carrot Fries | Baked or Air Fried (Low-Carb)
- Creamed Peas And Carrots
- Creamy Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup
Sugar-Free Carrot Cake (Vegan)
- 2 1/2 cups (225 g) carrots finely grated
- 2 cups (220 g) oat flour gluten-free if needed
- 1 cup small soft (150 g) dates pitted (see notes)
- 1/2 cup (45 g) shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup (30 g) walnuts or other nuts/seeds of choice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1 Pinch of salt
Pudding for the cream layer:
- 1 cup (240 ml) coconut milk canned
- 2 1/2 tbsp (20 g) cornstarch or arrowroot flour
- 2 tbsp Erythritol or sweetener of choice (see notes)
- Vanilla powder to taste
Other cream ingredients:
- 1 cup (150 g) cashews
- 3-4 tbsp (70 g) maple syrup or any other liquid sweetener
- 3 tbsp (40 g) coconut oil melted
- Soak the cashews for at least one hour in hot water (better overnight). If you are in a hurry you could also boil them for about 15 minutes until they are soft.Also, line a 7x7-inch (18x18cm) pan with parchment paper. You can use a bigger pan, but the bars will be less thick.
Make the dough
- Pulse the walnuts and unsweetened shredded coconut in a food processor for about 10 seconds. Add the oat flour and spices and pulse again.Even though the video shows a blender, I definitely recommend using a food processor, since it works so much better.
- Next, add the carrots and dates and process until the ingredients are combined. Don't over-process, but the dough should stick together when you press it between your fingers.If it's too dry, process a bit longer or add more dates or a little oil.
- Press half of the dough into the pan and transfer it to the freezer while you make the cream.
Make the cream
- First, you will need to add the coconut milk, cornstarch, and Erythritol (or any other granulated sweetener) to a saucepan (whisk to combine) and bring the mixture to a boil. Let simmer for a minute until it's thick, like pudding. Set aside.
- Add the other ingredients for the cream into a high-speed blender, also, add the pudding, and mix until the cream is completely smooth. Depending on your blender this might take a few minutes.
- Pour half of the cream on top of the dough and transfer the pan back to the freezer for about 1 hour (or until the cream layer is quite firm). Then place the other half of the dough on top, press it down, and finally add the remaining cream on top. Transfer the pan back to the freezer for at least 2-3 hours (or until set).
- Once you unmold the cake, let it thaw until softened and cut it into 8-12 bars. Enjoy the carrot cake bars thawed and store leftovers in the fridge!
- Watch the video in the blog post for visual instructions.
- Sweetener: You can use any granulated sugar of choice, for example, Erythritol, Monk Fruit, or even regular organic sugar.
- Soak the dates: It's important to use dates, that are very soft and moist. If yours aren't, then simply add them to a bowl and cover them with hot water for about 20 minutes, or until softened.
- Total time doesn't include chill time.
- Read the blog post for ingredient substitutes.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically
i made these and they are delicious! I overdid it a little bit with the cinamon (my fault) so the dough is a bit strong but I will definetly makes these again! The cream is soo incredibly yummy! Thanks Ela!
You are so welcome, Susi! Happy you like them. 🙂
Hey Ela, thanks for posting such amazing recipes. I decided to take the cake part of this recipe and turn it into energy ball. I rolled them in toasted coconut. They turned out fantastic. A healthy carrot cake fits for me. Thanks!!!
Sounds amazing, Cynthia! Love the idea of energy balls. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
I made this today and my cake mixture was soooooo dry 🙁 I ended up using some agave syrup to bring it together. I used very juicy medjool dates so I don’t know what went wrong. Next time I’ll use about 180gr of flour only I think. Maybe my carrots weren’t juicy enough? I also went for a lazy frosting option with just vegan cream cheese and sour cream whipped with some sugar and coconut butter. tastes amazing thank you for the recipe! Can’t wait to give it another try after I’ve finished up this one
Hello Maret, I am glad it tastes amazing! Yes, it might be the carrots. If you grate them very finely, they will release more juice. Adding less oat flour is also fine though.
Happy weekend! 🙂
Can you sub the shredded coconut with (chickpea)flour or oats? And can you sub the cornstatch with something else than potatostartch? Also, do you have to store them in the freezer or is the fridge OK?
Hey! You can use any ground nuts instead of shredded coconut (please do NOT use chickpea flour). You can use arrowroot flour or tapioca flour instead of cornstarch. Storing in the fridge is fine! 🙂
Thanks! So do I use the same amount of ground nuts when dubbing shredded coconut?
Hi Marte, you can use the same amount in grams. 🙂
Im fall in love with this cake… I need to taste it!
But what is date?? Please ????????????
Next, add the carrots and dates and process until the ingredients are all combined. Don’t overprocess, but the dough should stick together when you press it between your fingers
You can simply make GOOGLE PICTURE SEARCH to find out what dates are. 🙂
Hope this helps!
Is it possible to skip or substitute the dates? They seem pretty hard to get in my area, especially with the lock down going on and such limited groceries. Can I also use carton coconut milk instead of can? It’s all I currently have. I don’t have sugar substitutes and only use brown sugar, is that ok to use? Thanks in advance!!
Hey! I think these would be too many subs that would completely change the recipe and the cake would not turn out very well. Therefore, I would recommend that you try out a different recipe, like this one: https://elavegan.com/vegan-gluten-free-carrot-cake-recipe/ 🙂
I am allergic to oats. Can I sub for a different flour?
You could try coconut flour. I would add just 1/2 cup and increase to max. 1 cup, if the mixture is too sticky.
Looking forward to making this today for our lock down Easter dessert! Thank you for sharing!
I hope you will love it! 🙂
My dear Ela….you are pure genius!!! That’s it that’s all! Your recipes are truly amazing. Thank you that you exist and that you are so generous and pure to share this masterpieces with the rest of the world! I feel very bless that I found your website so I can find the delicious and healthy recipes for myself and my family! We all enjoy it very much. ,Thank you!!!????❤????
Aww, thank you so much, Ema. I am very glad you love my recipes! Happy to share them with people who appreciate them. 🙂
Ema, thank you so much for sharing with this lock-down and my birthday around the corner, this will be helpful. Thank you for sharing
No worries, Miranda! I hope you will enjoy the cake. 🙂
Thank you for the receipe. I made the icing with a can of whole fat coconut milk. We added more than a cup of water to allow the milk to mix better with the starch. I think if I had used a coconut milk beverage instead, I could’ve followed the recipe exactly.
Thanks for your helpful comment, Rissa! 🙂
Can it be made nut free? What could be substituted?
You could make the frosting of this cake: https://elavegan.com/vegan-coconut-cake/
What i Nice cake!
I will try to make it mezelf.
How long can i keep it en do i have to keep it in the fridge?
I would keep them in the fridge, Shirley! 🙂
Hello. I just wanted to know how much calories in a slice and what can be a substitute for the vanilla powder
You can use vanilla extract instead. 🙂 I haven’t had time to calculate the calories yet.
Do you think I could use carrot pulp instead of grated carrots?
Do you mean the pulp after juicing? If yes, then I believe the cake might end up too dry and not moist.
Loved it! I will try the cake, from Brazil ??
So happy you loved the recipe, Kamla! Thanks for your feedback! 🙂
Can’t wait to try this recipe! Looks deliscous!! how did you make the little carrots on top? thank you!! xx
I used marzipan and colored it with red/yellow superfoods. 🙂
Thanks so much for sharing this Ela! I can’t wait to try it as I adore carrot cake! Love your page/blog too!
Thank you, Kendra! 🙂