Learn how to make these incredible carrot cake bars from scratch! They’re simple to make and perfect for Easter! They have the same sweet spiced flavors as traditional carrot cake and the extra fudgy texture of brownies, even with no refined flour or sugar… And they’re 61 calories!
During my sophomore year of college, I lived off campus in an apartment with three other girls. It sat directly across the street from a major grocery store, so we loved how easy it was to walk over and grab whatever we needed for meals and snacks… Especially on those occasions where we ran out of something in the middle of cooking dinner!
A few times throughout the year, we also headed over to pick out celebratory treats after sets of particularly difficult midterms, papers, or finals. The supermarket must have realized how many college students did that because they set up their bakery section at the very front of the store, immediately greeting you with all sorts of sweets the moment you passed through their glass doors.
Although just about everything looked so tempting — cookies, cupcakes, cheesecake, donuts, even palmiers! — we usually gravitated towards the refrigerated display of single cake slices. They cost very little, and the built-in portion control helped, especially compared to the full-sized cakes and two-dozen tubs of cookies!
With the store’s wide selection of flavors, we always had plenty to choose from: vanilla, chocolate, German chocolate, red velvet, spice, funfetti, carrot… You name it! But as huge chocoholics, we picked out slices of that for our first celebratory dessert.
Yet when we grabbed forks back at our apartment, I felt so disappointed. The other girls enjoyed their pieces, but I found the chocolate cake tasted bland, more like an over-sweetened, much too sugary, only chocolate-ish cake… Whereas I was hoping for a deep, rich, decadent, intense chocolate flavor.
At least the creamy chocolate ganache frosting in the center was good!
After that first experience, I picked out an oversized chocolate brownie from the bakery a few weeks later. It had the perfect texture — exceptionally moist and extremely fudgy — and a much richer chocolate flavor… But the bakery had also added espresso power to the batter. I absolutely despised the taste of coffee back then, so I only took a single bite before giving the rest to my roommates.
So finally, on my third trip, I headed back to the original display and reached for a slice of carrot cake. It looked so moist and dense, just the way I love my carrot cake to be, and it was topped with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting. And when I arrived back at our apartment and cracked open the container…
It tasted perfect! Sweet, comforting, so many cozy spices… I slowly savored every bite, and I always looked for the same carrot cake slice for my celebratory treats after that!
So when I spotted individual carrot cake slices sitting right next to trays of brownies at the grocery store last week, I smiled as those college memories floated through my mind… And then a light bulb went off in my head.
What if I combined the two??
So that’s exactly what I did with these Healthy One-Bowl Carrot Cake Bars! They have the same sweet, spiced, oh so irresistible flavors of carrot cake… And the same supremely fudgy texture as brownies!
This fun carrot cake dessert recipe is also really simple to make and perfect for Easter — or any time you’re craving carrot cake! (Which could be almost daily, if you’re like me… ) And even better? These healthy bars have no refined flour or sugar and 61 calories, including the cream cheese frosting!
Continue reading & see the rest! ›› Healthy One-Bowl Carrot Cake Bars