These No-Bake Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Bars are a healthy twist on carrot cake- no oven required! Guaranteed to please a crowd at your next party or gathering.
*originally published 4/2017. Updated 1/2024*
As far as dessert goes, carrot cake can be a bit of a polarizing topic, am I right? First of all, are you willing to eat a dessert with vegetables in it? Do you like nuts? How do you feel about raisins? What about coconut?
There’s a lot to unpack there and everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but it’s MY opinion that you should give these no bake carrot cake cream cheese bars a try!
Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Let’s be clear that these bars are not a replacement for actual carrot cake. If that’s what you want, try this incredibly moist carrot cake or this carrot cake recipe. But if you’re looking for an alternative, these bars may be the answer.
They’re made with a simple crust of nuts, dates, carrots and spices and then topped with a mix of cream cheese and Greek yogurt for an easy frosting. If you’re feeling wild, you can add some shredded coconut on top!
I’m not a fan so I opted for a sprinkle of cinnamon and some shredded carrots. You could also put some chopped nuts on top or mix them into the frosting.
Healthy No-Bake Carrot Cake Bars
Here’s exactly what you need to make these bars:
- Nuts– I use a mix of pecans and walnuts. You could also try adding almonds to the mix.
- Dates– Soft medjool dates with the pits removed.
- Shredded carrots – You’ll shred them first and then add them to the food processor so they get chopped up even smaller
- Spices- A simple mix of cinnamon and ginger
- Greek yogurt- plain greek yogurt makes up the majority of the frosting
- Cream cheese – we add some cream cheese for flavor and to help it thicken
- Maple syrup – to sweeten the frosting
- Vanilla extract
How To Make Easy No-Bake Carrot Cake Bars
To make these bars, just follow these simple steps:
- Add nuts and dates to the food processor and process until well chopped. (Cuisinart food processors are my favorite – aff link)
- Add carrots and spices and pulse again.
- Press the mixture into a 9×5 loaf pan (I like this one from Wilton– aff link)
- To make the frosting, mix softened cream cheese with yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla.
- Spread on top of the bars and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Easy Carrot Recipes
Want more easy carrot recipes and don’t mind turning on the oven? Try one of these:
- Zucchini Carrot Apple Muffins
- Carrot Applesauce Muffins
- Banana Carrot Muffins
- Carrot Oat Bars
- Frosted Carrot Cookies
No Oven Carrot Cake Recipe
This recipe is adapted from Kylie @ Yeah Imma Eat That who guest-posted and shared this recipe on my blog years ago!Print
No-Bake Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Bars
These No Bake Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Bars are a fun twist on carrot cake, no oven required! Guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.
- Yield: 8 bars 1x
- Category: Dessert
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup pecans (or almonds)
- 1 cup dates, pitted (~8 dates)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup carrots, grated
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- ½ cup 2% or full fat Greek yogurt, plain
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- shredded coconut
- chopped walnuts or pecans
- cinnamon and shredded carrots
- Add nuts and dates to a food processor and process until well chopped.
- Add shredded carrots and spices and process until a ball of dough forms.***
- Press dough into a parchment paper lined 9×5 loaf pan.
- In a bowl, use an electric mixer to combine Greek yogurt, cream cheese, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix on high speed until smooth.
- Spread frosting over pressed-out dough. Sprinkle with toppings if desired.
- Allow bars to set in the fridge for at least 1 hour before slicing into 8 bars.
- These are best eaten off a plate with a fork vs trying to hold them in your hands because the crust isn’t super firm.
***You may want to put the shredded carrots in a paper towel and give them a quick squeeze first to remove excess moisture. If your dough doesn’t form a ball, add 1 Tbsp of water.
Are you drooling yet?
No Bake Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Bars FAQs
What are some alternative nuts that can be used as the base layer of No Bake Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Bars?
I really like the combination of pecans and walnuts. You could also try replacing half the nuts with almonds. Using all almonds will make a bit of a firmer crust. Using all walnuts will make the crust even softer. I would not recommend using peanuts as it will change the flavor of the recipe.
Will No Bake Cheesecake melt?
These bars need to be stored in the fridge. The cream cheese helps thicken the frosting as it sets but if you take them out and let them sit at room temperature the frosting will begin to get a little runny.
Can I substitute dates with another dried fruit in this recipe?
I wouldn’t recommend it. Dates really are the best option for the crust of these bars.
How long do the No Bake Carrot Cake bars need to set in the fridge before serving?
Let the bars set in the fridge for at least an hour. The cream cheese in the frosting needs time to thicken again after being softened to keep the frosting from sliding off the bars.
Can I use a different sweetener instead of maple syrup in the frosting?
You could try substituting honey but it might alter the flavor a little bit.
What additional toppings can I add to these bars for variety?
The original recipe called for shredded coconut. I prefer mine with an extra sprinkle of shredded carrots plus some cinnamon. If you like nuts, try mixing some chopped walnuts into the frosting before spreading or sprinkling some on top.
What are the best ways to store these No Bake Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Bars?
These bars need to be stored in the fridge. I like to cut them and place them in a flat single layer in a glass storage container with a lid and keep them in the fridge until I’m ready to eat.
Are there any dairy-free alternatives for the cream cheese in this recipe? How can I make this recipe vegan-friendly?
Could these be considered healthy no-bake carrot cake breakfast bars?
I would absolutely serve these for breakfast! You can always decrease the maple syrup in the frosting a little bit!
Need more no-bake carrot cake recipes?
Try one of these:
- Creamy No-Bake Carrot Cake
- Raw Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
- Healthy No-Bake Carrot Cake Bars
- No-Bake Carrot Cake Bars
Get my free Table Talk email series where I share bite-sized nutrition information about carbs, protein, and fat, plus bonus information about snacks and sugar!