10 minutes and 1 bowl are all you need to whip up these healthy No-Bake Carrot Cake Energy Bites! They’re nut-free, gluten-free, vegan, and taste like soft and doughy poppable bites of carrot cake!
Confession: I’m not really the biggest carrot cake fan.
In fact, it’s the only instance I can think of where I’d choose frosting over cake. Normally I’m a cake-over-frosting kind of girl, but carrot cake is one exception to that rule… which might have something to do with the fact that I kind of love cream cheese frosting and would happily just eat it by the spoonful. Who knows.
And it’s not even that I think carrot cake tastes bad — I just have some weird prejudice against putting vegetables in desserts.
The same goes for zucchini, although in that case it’s a strong prejudice against zucchini in general. So if you ever try feeding me some kind of chocolate zucchini loaf, just don’t tell me it’s in there… The list of veggies I don’t like isn’t overly long, but zucchini is definitely near the top. Along with eggplant. Nasty, squishy things.
But all prejudices aside, I do enjoy the occasional slice of carrot cake… when I actually get around to eating it. The problem is that if there’s chocolate and I see the chocolate, you better believe that I’m going straight for the chocolate. Which isn’t exactly a problem, per say, but you get what I’m saying. Chocolate trumps all, in my mind.
And while I’d be perfectly content with eating nothing but chocolate for the rest of my days, it never hurts to expand one’s horizons. I mean… how else would I have discovered that I adore these carrot cake energy bites?
They’re soft and doughy. They’re sweet and lightly spiced. And while I can’t claim that they taste exactly like a slice of carrot cake, neither do they contain all the added fats and refined sugars. They’re also vegan, nut free, and gluten-free as long as you use certified GF oats. Oh, and they only require 10 minutes and 1 bowl to clean up, as opposed to the 4+ hours and kitchen disaster zones that cakes involve. Just saying.
These balls are a lot lighter and fluffier than most of my other bites, probably because the base is made up of oats and coconut flour as opposed to the usual dates and nut butter — perfect for the warming temperatures and the coming of spring.
I didn’t include any protein powder in this recipe simply because I didn’t have any on hand, but you could probably get away with subbing out the coconut flour for a scoop of protein powder and calling it a day.
- 3 large Medjool dates, pitted (~40g)
- 4 dried apricots (~26 g)
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) unsweetened applesauce
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup (80 g) rolled oats
- 1/4 cup (28 g) coconut flour
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamon
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 cup (115 g) shredded carrots
- unsweetened shredded coconut, for garnish
- Into the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender, add dates, apricots, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, processing until dates and apricots have broken down into smaller pieces and ingredients are well combined
- Add oats, coconut flour, spices, and shredded carrot, continuing to process until ingredients are well combined and the mixture sticks together easily.
- Add generous amount of shredded coconut to a shallow bowl. Using a heaping tablespoon, roll dough between your hands before rolling it in the coconut to coat. Set aside on a plate and repeat with remaining dough. Store balls in an airtight container in the fridge for best results, or freeze for longer periods of time.
Looking for more healthy no-bake bites? Try one of these!
Cake or frosting?
Are there any veggies you don’t like?