These Paleo Sweet Potato Carrot Cake Bars are a healthy spring dessert recipe; perfect for Easter morning brunch, weekends with the family or prepped as a dessert for the week. These carrot bars are Paleo, nut free, made with sweet potatoes and low in added sugar.
Last year I made some Vegan Carrot Cake Bars... and oh my! They were SO good!
That was when I realized my love for carrot cake runs deep.
But, honestly, I'm not surprised at all. When your list of favorite foods includes carrots and cinnamon...how could you not like carrot cake?
These healthy carrot cake bars are unique in the fact that they contain sweet potato. These bars are also:
- nut free
- grain free
- dairy free
- low in added sugar
- super moist
- have a healthy Paleo "buttercream" frosting
Ingredients in Sweet Potato Carrot Cake Bars
To make these gluten free carrot cake bars, you're going to need the following ingredients:
- sweet potato (I recommend Japanese sweet potato)
- raw carrots
- honey (or maple syrup)
- vanilla extract
- cassava flour
- baking soda
- non-hydrogenated shortening
- maple syrup
- tapioca flour
One thing I love about these bars is that they aren't super sweet. I relied mostly on the sweet potato and carrot for flavor, rather than added sugar. Plus, the frosting adds quite a bit of sweetness. That being said, you may add additional honey (or maple syrup) to the batter if you want a more decadent bar.
I used cassava flour in this recipe. However, any gluten free flour blend (like THIS one) should work. Just be sure to substitute by weight.
How to Make Sweet Potato Carrot Cake Bars
These sweet potato bars are made in a food processor. A high powered blender would work as well. You may even make them in one bowl, mixing by hand. Just note, the batter won't be as smooth if you mix by hand.
The directions are pretty basic. Meaning easy! 😉
Prep Sweet Potato
First, you'll need to prep the sweet potato. This includes washing, chopping and then steaming the sweet potato (I used a steamer pot) until tender. There's no need to remove the sweet potato skin, but you may do so if you wish.
After the sweet potato has been steamed, you must let it cool to room temperature. Cooling overnight (in the fridge) works as well.
Make Carrot Cake Batter
Next, preheat you oven to 350 degrees F.
Make the batter by combining the sweet potato, grated carrot, eggs, honey and vanilla in a food processor. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
Then, add in the remaining ingredients: cassava flour, spices, baking soda and water. Again, blend until the mixture is smooth. You'll need to stop a few times to scrape the edges of the food processor so that the batter is fully mixed.
Bake the Cake
Once the batter is ready, place it in a lined 8" x 8" glass baking pan. The batter is thick, so you'll need to use a spatula to smooth the batter out to the edges of the pan.
Place the pan in the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes. Once done, the cake should be slightly browned and cooked through.
Remove the carrot cake from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes to further set. Then, transfer to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
Frost the Cake
Lastly, make the frosting! This needs to be done once the cake has fully cooled to room temperature (or been set in the fridge overnight).
To make the frosting, whisk together the shortening, maple syrup and vanilla. (I find that in the cooler months, the shortening is hard and doesn't mix well. Simply heat it in the microwave for 5 seconds to soften.)
Add the tapioca flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and whisk until smooth.
Spread the frosting over the bars and add any additional toppings. For these, I added pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and bee pollen.
How to Store Sweet Potato Carrot Cake Bars
These healthy carrot cake bars must be stored in the fridge. They will last at room temperature for a few hours, but are too moist to be kept out longer than that.
You may freeze them as well! I just recommend cutting them prior to freezing. Then, let them defrost a bit or warm them in the microwave prior to eating.
More Paleo Recipes Using Carrots
For more Paleo recipes using carrots, check out these reader favorites:
- Vegan Carrot Cake Bars
- Carrot Cassava Flour Muffins
- Roasted Cilantro-Lime Carrots
- Carrot Cake Plantain Bread
Sweet Potato Carrot Cake Bars (Paleo, Nut Free)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 8" x 8" pan 1x
These healthy Sweet Potato Carrot Cake Bars are nutritious enough for breakfast or enjoyed as a healthy dessert. They are Paleo friendly, gluten free, dairy free and nut free.
For the Cake
- 1 cup mashed sweet potato (250g)*
- 1 cup grated carrot (100g)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp honey (or maple syrup)**
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup cassava flour (53g)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground clove
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup water
For the Frosting
- ⅓ cup non-hydrogenated shortening
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 Tbsp tapioca flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Make the Cake: Combine mashed sweet potato, grated carrot, eggs, honey and vanilla in your food processor or high powered blender. Blend until mixture is smooth.
- Add in remaining ingredients. Blend, stopping ever so often to scrape the sides, until the batter has a smooth, thick texture.
- Scoop batter into a parchment lined 8" x 8" glass baking pan. Use a spatula to spread the batter to the sides of the pan, creating an even, level layer.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, transfer to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature.
- Make the Frosting: In a small bowl, whisk together shortening, maple syrup and vanilla*** Whisk in tapioca flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Whisk until smooth.
- Spread the frosting over the cooled cake.
- Cut and serve.
- Best stored in fridge up to one week.
*For the mashed sweet potato: wash sweet potato (I used Japanese sweet potato) and cut into cubes (no need to remove skin). Place in a steamer pot and steam until tender. Cool to room temperature (or overnight in the fridge) prior to using.
**These bars are mildly sweet. Feel free to add an extra 1-2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup for a sweeter taste.
***If the shortening is too hard/thick, then slightly warm it in the microwave. Just 5 seconds should do it!
Keywords: sweet potato, nut free, dessert, Paleo, carrot cake, carrot bars, gluten free, dairy free, easy
Made this today and the family loved it! I used honey instead of maple syrup. Super yummy! Thank you!
Oh that's wonderful! Thank you for sharing 🙂
Can I use butter instead of palm shortening for the frosting?
Yes, butter will work.