14 Carrot Cake-Inspired Recipes You’ll Want to Make ASAP

March 18, 2024

Carrot cake is most known for its delicious flavor and moist texture, making it the perfect inspiration for many different dishes. Whether you’re hankering for a two-bite carrot cake-flavored snack or a satisfying breakfast inspired by the classic dessert, we’ve got you covered with these mouthwatering recipes. Make our Carrot Cake Overnight Oats for the perfect start to your day or our Carrot Cake Cheesecake for a fun take on the fan-favorite dessert.

Carrot Cake

Carrots give carrot cake a health-halo effect–people think it’s health food, but it’s usually very high in fat and calories. But our version has about 40 percent less calories and 50 percent less fat than most. First, we use less oil in our batter. Then we skip the butter in the frosting (don’t worry, it’s still light and smooth). To ensure the cake is moist, we add nonfat buttermilk and crushed pineapple.

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

Photographer: Robby Lozano, Food Stylist: Catherine Jessee, Prop Stylist: Josh Hoggle

Carrot cake for breakfast? We say yes! These carrot cake overnight oats taste just like the classic dessert—complete with a frosting-like layer—but with far less added sugar. We like layering some of the frosting in between layers of oats, but you can just dollop it all on top if you prefer.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Bars

Photographer: Brie Goldman, Food Stylist: Lauren McAnelly, Prop Stylist: Gabriel Greco

Enjoy these delightful carrot cake oatmeal bars, perfect for a snack or dessert alongside a steaming cup of coffee. Made with a blend of shredded carrots, oats and a hint of brown sugar, these easy bars capture the essence of carrot cake, while offering a boost of fiber and less sugar than cake. Portable and convenient, these bars can be enjoyed on the move. To make these bars gluten-free, opt for gluten-free oats.

Carrot Cake Energy Bites

These no-cook energy bites keep well in the fridge or freezer and are easy to grab on the go for a healthy snack.

Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins

Carrot cake meets muffins in this healthy breakfast recipe. Whole-wheat pastry flour along with plenty of carrots and toasted walnuts add fiber while applesauce keeps the muffins moist and helps cut back on sugar.

Vegan Carrot Cake

Photographer: Stacy K. Allen. Food Stylist: Ana Kelly, Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

This vegan carrot cake recipe with almond flour is packed with carrots, raisins and pecans, which add wonderful texture. Vegan butter and vegan cream cheese combine with rice flour to create a creamy, tangy frosting. Letting the frosting chill in the fridge is crucial so it thickens, giving it a more spreadable consistency.

Carrot Cake Cheesecake

Will Dickey

This orange-scented carrot cake cheesecake has a wonderfully moist and flavorful carrot cake shell which holds the creamy cheesecake portion. The swirl effect of dollops of cheesecake batter is a fun and festive way to round out this rich dessert.

Breakfast Carrot-Cake Oatmeal Cakes

Sara Haas

Enjoy all the classic flavors of carrot cake in these healthy oatmeal cakes. Shredded carrot, raisins and walnuts are packed into each bite. Chopping the raisins helps distribute them throughout the batter. These oatmeal cakes are perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast, but also make for a great snack.

Carrot Cake with Miso Cream Cheese Frosting

Rick Poon

Cookbook author and cooking teacher Sonoko Sakai extends her passion for miso to this cake recipe. She explains, “When I moved to Los Angeles from Tokyo, my mother took us to a diner where she ordered us carrot cake for the first time. She was always encouraging us to try things, but a vegetable cake? I was skeptical at first, but when I took the first bite, I fell in love. Soon, I began making my own. I’d never baked with any of these ingredients before, so I felt a little more American every time. Later in my life, the Japanese in me wondered about adding miso to the frosting—after all, mochi sweets are often flavored with miso. I found it offsets the sweetness and gives it a punch of umami. I like to use both white and red miso. Since the flavor of miso varies, start small, taste and adjust to suit your palate.”

Carrot Cake with Candied Carrot Curls

Our 30th anniversary deserved a cake, and what cake better represents EatingWell than one with vegetables? While many homemade carrot cakes include pineapple in the batter, we made a jammy filling with it instead to tuck between the layers.

Diabetes-Friendly Carrot Cake

With this luscious take on an all-time favorite, you can fit this low-added sugar cake into your eating pattern.

Carrot Cake Bars

Photographer / Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist / Kay Clarke, Food Stylist / Emily Nabors Hall

Classic carrot cake flavors abound in these easy bars. They’re rich like brownies, but their cake-like texture helps keep them light. A yogurt and cream cheese-based frosting topped with nutty walnuts completes this crowd-pleasing dessert. If you’re avoiding gluten, look for gluten-free oat flour or make your own by processing gluten-free oats into powder in your high-speed blender.

Vegan Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting

Classic carrot cake goes vegan in this easy recipe, and gets covered with coconut whipped cream to replace the traditional cream cheese frosting. A mixture of flax and water makes a sturdy substitute for eggs in this vegan cake. Plus, sweet crushed pineapple helps to make this cake delicious with less added sugar.

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

Will Dickey

These chewy and moist carrot cake sandwich cookies are packed with carrots, crunchy pecan pieces and chewy raisins and filled with an orange-scented cream cheese frosting. They are rich and satisfying and would pair perfectly with a hot cup of coffee.

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