Keto carrot cake bars are an easy sugar free treat for carrot cake lovers. With a delicious swirl of cream cheese, they will disappear before your eyes!
Carrot cake deliciousness in a blondie style dessert bar – how fun is that? These keto carrot cake bars are so moist and tender, with a rich swirl of cream cheese baked right in.
What’s not to love?
And if you’re a carrot cake fanatic, don’t miss my Mini Keto Carrot Cake, as well as the Keto Carrot Cake Scones. Just in time for the Easter holidays.
Are carrots keto friendly?
There are many ways of practicing the keto lifestyle and it’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition.
I know not everyone will agree with me, but I am of the mind that a small amount of carrots is acceptable on a keto diet. Particularly in keto dessert recipes, which only take a little bit of shredded carrot as it is.
Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?
1 cup of shredded carrot has 10.5g grams of carbs. This pan of carrot cake bars takes only ¾ cup of shredded carrots. The recipe serves 16 people. Which means that each bar has only 0.5 grams of additional carbs.
That’s unlikely to kick anyone out of ketosis. Hence, these keto carrot cake bars are definitely keto friendly.
Carrot Cake Bars Inspiration
Carrot cake is delicious any time of year, but it tends to be quite popular around the Easter holidays. Is that because we associate carrots with the Easter Bunny? Or is it because carrots are planted in the spring?
Regardless, I recently spotted a conventional recipe for carrot cake bars on Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt. They were just begging for a keto makeover.
I love that the cream cheese was swirled in, rather than frosted on top. It makes the bars super tender and extra moist. You’ve got to try it!
How to make carrot cake bars
Ready for an easy keto dessert bar that tastes like your favorite cake? Here are my best tips for getting it right:
Prep the filling
You want to make the cream cheese swirl first so it’s ready to go when the batter is ready. Make sure your cream cheese is properly softened so that it doesn’t clump up.
Whisk the wet ingredients
This is a little different than many of my keto blondie recipes. For these carrot cake bars, you want to whisk the melted butter and the Swerve Brown first, to help dissolve the sweetener.
Brown sugar replacements like Swerve can clump up a bit so use a fork to break up those clumps before proceeding.
Stir in the dry ingredients
You can add these all at once, there is no need to stir in each one at a time. The spices are key to making any kind of carrot cake. I particularly like the flavor of a little cloves in spice cakes like this.
Stir in the shredded carrot
Shredded carrot is added last and you will find that it adds a fair bit of moisture. The batter should be easily stirred but not pourable.
Spread in the pan
To start, spread only two thirds of the batter in the bottom of a greased pan. Then spread on the cream cheese mixture. Dollop the remaining batter over the top and swirl everything together with a knife.
Sprinkle with chopped nuts
Or not! That’s entirely up to you. Personally, I love chopped walnuts in my carrot cake.
Look for the jiggle
You don’t want these bars to be completely set during baking. The sides should be set and the center should jiggle just slightly when you shake the pan.
Chill the bars
Don’t dig in right away, as tempting as that may be! These carrot cake bars need to cool first, and then set up in the refrigerator for a few hours. Otherwise they will be too messy and soft to cut into slices.
Can you make keto carrot cake bars in advance?
Absolutely! Since this is a dessert that is best refrigerated, you can make these bars a day or two in advance.
They should freeze well too.
Can you make these dairy free?
You can easily make a dairy free version of these keto carrot cake bars. I made a batch for my next door neighbors with some dairy free cream cheese and some coconut oil. They were a hit too!
More delicious keto dessert bars
- Keto S’mores Bars
- Salted Caramel Butter Bars
- Keto Magic Cookie Bars
- Sugar Free Keto Tagalong Bars
- Sweet Keto Key Lime Bars
- Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars
Keto Carrot Cake Bars
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ⅓ cup powdered Swerve
- 2 tablespoon whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup butter melted
- ⅔ cup Swerve Brown
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup shredded carrot
- ¼ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325F and grease a 9×9 inch metal baking pan well.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth, then beat in the sweetener. Add the cream and vanilla and beat until well combined.
- In another large bowl, whisk together the butter and sweetener, breaking up any clumps. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Add the almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Stir in the shredded carrot until well combined.
- Spread about two thirds of the carrot cake mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan, then spread on the cream cheese mixture. Dollop the remaining cake mixture overtop and swirl lightly with a knife.
- Bake 35 to 45 minutes, until the edges are set but the center still jiggles slightly. Remove and let cool, then chill at least 1 to 2 hours to firm up.
I do not have a metal baking pan 9×9. Is it OK to use a glass or ceramic baking pan?
It will bake very differently and likely take much longer so please keep your eye on them.