Move aside zoodles and all you other low-carb recipes, these Zucchini Carrot Cake Bars are the real reason we love our veggies!
I pinky promise this easy treat tastes nothing like veggies but more like a spiced carrot cake minus the frosting. It’s so so good and simple to whip up on any given day. Think of it as banana bread but for cakes.
So go ahead, set those ovens to 350F and while it preheats let’s talk cake.
How to Make Carrot Cake Bars
I love how easily this recipe comes together. Just watch:
If you have a cheese grater, grab it because you’re going to need it for this recipe. The cake requires about 1 ½ cups shredded carrots and a cup of shredded zucchini. I like my veggies to be finely shredded, so they bake right into the cake for a perfectly dense and uniform texture.
You can swap the cheese grater with a food processor, for a much easier grating technique. Attach the grater plate, add the veggies, and let it go! You’ll have perfectly grated shredded veggies in no time.
Next, it’s time to make the batter.
1. Sift the flour with baking powder and baking soda.
2. In a separate large bowl, combine the eggs, ginger, grated carrot and zucchini, brown sugar, raisins, melted butter, honey, and vanilla. Give it a good whisk and…
3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir to combine, making sure there are no clumps.
4. Pour the batter into a prepared 9×13-inch cake pan and bake for 22 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
While this recipe is impressive all by itself, you can kick the decadence up a notch by frosting it with a batch of homemade cream cheese frosting. It’s one step closer to a carrot cake and we know how good that tastes!
Carrot Cake Bars Ingredients
Are carrot cake bars healthy? These are! Thanks to the abundance of carrots and zucchini, this cake doesn’t need excessive amounts of butter or oil for moisture. They give this cake the moist, dense texture we all adore.
The shredded carrots and raisins also add wonderful flavor and sweetness, so we don’t need as much brown sugar or honey.
While this recipe uses regular all-purpose flour, you can swap it with gluten-free 1:1 flour without sacrificing any of the flavor or texture.
Carrot Recipes for Kids
Carrots contain both vitamin A and antioxidants, which are beneficial to our health, plus they make an easy side dish for weeknight dinners. Here are a few more healthy carrot recipes for the kiddos:
A note of the Veggie Mac & Cheese- it’s made with pureéd carrots and cauliflower, so it’s entirely dairy-free and a genius way to enjoy your veggies.
Often, when kids don’t like a particular vegetable or food, it’s not so much the flavor but the texture or color, which is where recipes like this come in handy.
Instead of serving those problem foods traditionally e.g. baked or steamed, in these recipes the veggies are baked/cooked into the food and introduced in an appealing way, in this case, it’s with cake. This method works great for kids who have color or texture problems and I use it on some of my family’s favorite dishes such as Paleo Chili, smoothies, and waffles!
If your picky eaters are not wanting to try carrots because of the food’s color, you might try today’s recipe or even the veggie mac & cheese. If your picky eater has a problem with the texture of the veggies, then turning those raw carrots into familiar-feeling french fries might be the way to go!
How to Find Healthy Snacks for Kids
If you are on the hunt for more fun snack ideas that pack secret, healthy ingredients, and your kids are sure to love check out these 10 healthy snacks for picky eaters. Each recipe is full of healthy nutrients but packaged up in a way that will leave picky eaters asking for more! You’ll find smoothies, brocoli nuggets, breakfast pizza and so much more.
But it all starts today with these epic Zucchini Carrot Cake Bars.Print
Zucchini Carrot Cake Bars
All the flavors and moist texture of carrot cake, but they’re much lighter and better for you.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 22 – 25 minutes
- Total Time: 27 – 30 minutes
- Yield: 24 squares
- Category: Baked treats
- Cuisine: Baking
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, (optional)
- 1 ½ cups shredded carrot, about 2 large carrots
- 1 cup packed shredded zucchini, about 1 medium zucchini
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup golden raisins, (optional)
- ½ cup butter, or coconut oil
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons flax seed meal, (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a large 13×9 inch baking pan.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In another large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add in the ginger, carrot, zucchini, brown sugar, raisins, butter or oil, honey, and vanilla.
- Combine the wet mixture into the flour mixture until you have a cohesive batter.
- Pour the mixture inside the greased baking pan and bake, for 22-25 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool.
- Once cooled, cut into 24 squares.
After shredding your carrots and zucchini, lightly pat them dry with a paper towel if they seem too damp.
To make this recipe gluten free, replace the regular flour with 1:1 Gluten Free Flour from Bob’s Red Mill!
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 114
- Sugar: 9.7g
- Sodium: 29.6mg
- Fat: 4.6g
- Saturated Fat: 2.6g
- Carbohydrates: 17.3g
- Fiber: 0.8g
- Protein: 1.7g
- Cholesterol: 25.7mg
Keywords: carrot cake, cake bars, healthy cake bars
Can I substitute egg beaters for real eggs?
MOMables - Laura
Hi Brenda, I have not tried this recipe would egg beaters but I would recommend using flax eggs instead. For two eggs, combine 2 tablespoons of ground flax with 1/3 cup water. Allow it to rest until the mixture forms a gel-like consistency. Use in the recipe as directed. Hope this helps!
These are great! Now the true test will be when my 5 year old gets out of school :) In case anyone is wondering, I split my flour 50/50 white /wheat and they still came out light and fluffy. I was wondering if anyone has ever added cinnamon?
If I sub W/GF flour, guessing I should add xantham gum? Also, can I use flax eggs since we have egg allergy?
I would suggest an allpurpose gluten free flour for baking. I haven’t tried it with flax eggs but I don’t see why it shouldn’t work!
Any chance there is a variation to this without honey? I have a 20 month old and his dr said no honey until he’s 2….Thanks!
Yes, you can use pure maple syrup.
Anyway you can use a different flour to make them gluten free?? They look absolutely delicious though.
you can use a good gluten free baking mix for this recipe.
anyone know if these could be frozen….makes too much for our family and don’t want to waste them
Susan, they sure can! slice up and freeze on a tray. After an hour or so, transfer to a freezer bag. To enjoy, simply thaw and warm for about 10 seconds.
In the oven as we speak! Can’t wait to try them. The batter was very oatmeal like! I hope they weren’t too wet. I tried to pat dry the carrots and zucchini but they were SO wet I didn’t know how dry they needed to be!
I made these with all whole wheat flour, 1 egg & 2 egg whites, applesauce instead of oil and just a squirt of honey. They were delicious!
So glad you enjoyed them!! I often times switch up the flours yet it’s delish!
so glad you liked them!
Rachele @ Messy Kids
Has anybody tried these with pureed veggies? My kids are too smart for their own good and won’t eat them because they could see the green and orange. My son kept trying to pick the carrots out. My friends kids (younger) all liked them though! I thought they were great too.
If not, I’ll give it a try and let you know how they turn out!
Pureed veggies can be substituted instead of the canola oil -mostly. use 1/2cup pureed veggies +2TB canola oil. let us know how they come out!
Oh Yum – these look so good, can’t wait to make these as a nice treat for my co-workers as we head back to school :-)
We make carrot goodies all the time and zucchini ones, so now we’ll have to try this recipe that combines the two.
If you choose to remove excess moisture from the carrots or zucchini, I prefer to wrap them in a clean tea towel or paper towel and wring the excess moisture into a resealable container. Then you can reuse that vitamin-filled water in soups or crockpot dishes, instead of plain water for cooking rice, for baby food purees, etc.
In fact, any time you steam or boil something (even noodles!) and it tells you to drain and discard the excess water, save it instead! Should last at least a few days in the fridge.
Corey @ Family Fresh Meals
YUM! These look awesome!
Hi! This recipe looks great. I was wondering if anyone has tried it with whole wheat flour? If so, do the wet ingredients have to be adjusted?
yes, with up to 50% whole wheat… otherwise it’s really dense.
Looks delicious and i love how healthy it is! :D Definitely going in the kids’ lunchboxes! Thanks! :D
Bibi @ Bibi's Culinary Journey
This is perfect for school lunches :)
they sure are!
Oh man, do I wish I had carrots right now!
Sounds delicious!! :)