When I was young, I HATED carrot cake. I mean, who wants to eat a healthy dessert?? But as I get older and (theoretically) wiser, carrot cake has really sprouted roots and grown on me (bad puns ALWAYS intended).
Having said that, I was VERY surprised by this recipe. It was originally supposed to have a think layer of fudge, but while I was making it Austin, my fiance, asked me, “Why are you putting on so much frosting?” I began to explain to him the nuances of raw cakes and the philosophical and scientific rational of a two layered cake, but I began to realize that the “just enough sweetness” quality is what makes carrot cake so appealing. Especially for those of us who are sensitive to sweetness.
These bars are:
Sweet- but not too much!
Full of spices-I love the flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg in the fudge frosting- they just make the absolute perfect combination.
Healthy- get all the beta carotene your little heart desires
A classic- I love putting a new spin on classic recipes
I also planned on sprinkling these with some cinnamon and topping with walnuts, but I honestly just could not wait any longer to eat them. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!
- 2½ cup shredded carrots (about 3-4 large carrots)
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 8 pitted medjool dates
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- Optional: additional ½ tsp of jamaican allspice
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight (or in boiling water for 15 minutes)
- ¼ cup water
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tbsp of lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- ⅓ cup of melted coconut oil
- ½ tsp of cinnamon
- ½ tsp of nutmeg
- walnuts and extra cinnamon for finish
- Line an 8 x 4 inch pan with parchment paper, make sure the paper is hanging over the edges.
- Blend walnuts and dates together in food processor until blended and mostly smooth.Add coconut, spices, and salt and blend.
- Add carrots and pulse until mostly blended, scraping down the sides. Depending on your preference you can blend more, I occasionally like a small chunk of carrot in my carrot cake. But, if you want it smoother feel free to continue blending.
- Place cake mixture in pan and place in freezer.
- For the frosting, place drained cashews, water, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and lemon juice in food processor. Blend until extremely smooth, consistently scraping down the sides. I also like to blend for 2 minutes, let the mixture settle for 1 minutes, then blend again for 2 minutes. After this I test the mixture to see how smooth it is, if there are still chunks of cashews I repeat those blending steps.
- Add coconut oil and spices, blend one last time! Pull cake mixture from the freezer and pour frosting over the top. Place back in freezer.
- Let freeze for at least 3 hours. Take outside of freezer to thaw 20 minutes before serving.
- Feel free to add walnuts and cinnamon for decoration!