Vegetables and desserts rarely go well together, though carrot cake is a notable exception to this rule. Carrots have a subtle sweetness that pairs well with other common dessert flavors like cinnamon, and their high water content is a great way to add moisture without sacrificing texture.
While we’ll always love a good old-fashioned carrot cake (especially if it’s covered in cream cheese frosting), sometimes we’re in the mood for something a bit healthier. Fortunately, some creators have found ways to incorporate the flavors of carrot cake into nutritious and delicious treats that are every bit as good as the real thing.
Carrot Cake Energy Balls
Traditional cake isn’t exactly known for its portability, so when we’re in need of a snack on the go, we love these carrot cake energy balls. They’re made with fresh, wholesome ingredients like shredded carrots and walnuts and sweetened with dates instead of traditional sugar. Leave them bare or roll in shredded coconut for flavor and additional healthy fat.
Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
Start your day right with this carrot cake-oatmeal hybrid by Minimalist Baker. Along with grated carrots, it contains all of the classic add-ins like walnuts and raisins for a sweet breakfast treat that’s 100% vegan. We love to eat ours warm with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
Carrot Cake Smoothie
We’ll never say no to a smoothie, especially one that’s made to taste like dessert. This recipe by Foxes Love Lemons is a filling option with plenty of fiber from walnuts and two whole carrots. Vanilla Greek yogurt and a touch of honey round it out with some sweetness, while traditional carrot cake spices like cinnamon and nutmeg add a bit of warmth.