carrot cake bitesThese raw carrot cake bites taste just like a carrot cake – slightly sweet, cinnamony, moist, and tender. Compared to a layered carrot cake, carrot cake bites are much faster to prepare. The recipe is vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, and refined sugar-free.

You’ve probably heard of energy balls, protein balls, bliss balls, power bites, etc. They’re all pretty much the same thing – bite-size treats made from energy-boosting ingredients. They are typically raw, almost always no-bake, and come in endless combinations. You will often find them shaped into balls, but energy bars and energy squares are also very popular.

A slightly newer, but no less popular, are cake bites. 

As the title suggests, cake bites are essentially a spin-off of raw cakes. Any raw cake can be turned into cake bites. I have done it with these raw carrot cake bites, but brownie bites, banana bread bites, pumpkin pie bites, lemon poppy seed bites, or even triple chocolate bites are all a thing.

carrot cake bites recipe

Tips for Making Carrot Cake Bites

Ingredients

These carrot cake bites are essentially a raw carrot cake in a bite-size form. The ingredients are nearly identical:

  • Carrots: since this recipe is raw, the flavor of carrots is quite prominent, and their natural sweetness really shines through. So, my most important tip is to freshly grate whole carrots at home. Do not use packaged pre-shredded carrots because they are hard and dry. 
  • Dates: I used dates to naturally sweeten the carrot cake bites and bind all the ingredients together. Medjool dates work the best here because they are soft and juicy. They also have caramel undertones, which pair so well with the carrots. Yes, carrot caramel is actually a thing.
  • Pecans: I go back and forth between pecans and walnuts. Both pecans and walnuts have a wonderfully rich, nutty flavor, but pecans are sweet, while walnuts have a slightly bitter aftertaste. The soft, almost buttery texture makes these nuts perfect for this recipe. If you’re looking for a nut-free substitute, sunflower seeds will work the best. 
  • Coconut: desiccated coconut adds a slightly sweet flavor and a chewy texture. If coconut isn’t for you, leave it out or replace it with chopped nuts or raisins.
  • Spices: carrot cake bites are only good if they’re spiced, in my opinion. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger are all warming and aromatic spices frequently used in carrot cakes, pumpkin pies, fall (Starbucks) lattes, etc. Ensure the spices are fresh because spices are what you’ll taste the most in these cake bites. For the most flavor, you can grind the spics yourself.

carrot cake bites ingredients

How to Make Carrot Cake Bites

Even though this recipe requires a few steps (and a food processor), it’s quick and easy. 

  1. Grate the carrots. You can either use a food processor or a grater. I prefer the grater (using the finest holes) because it makes the carrot pieces finer. The finer the carrots, the more evenly distributed they will be. Squeeze out any excess juice from the carrots. If the carrots are wet, they make the carrot cake bites too dense.
  2. Process the rest of the ingredients. Add the pecans to a food processor bowl fitted with an S blade and pulse until the nuts are coarsely ground. Be careful not to over-process the nuts; they should retain some texture. Add the dates, coconut, lemon juice, lemons zest, vanilla extract, and spices to the food processor and process until all the ingredients begin to stick together. The mixture will be tender and slightly crumbly, but it should be sticky enough to hold together when you press it between your fingers. Be careful not to over-process the mixture. Both walnuts and coconut turn into nut-/coconut-butter if processed for too long. 
  3. Fold in the carrots. Finally, add the carrots and pulse a few more times until the carrots are just incorporated. 
  4. Roll the mixture into balls. Using a 2-Tbsp./30-ml cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop out the mixture and roll it into a ball. Place the ball onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the mixture is used up. Roll in extra coconut, if desired.
  5. Chill. Transfer the carrot cake bites to the refrigerator to firm up, for about 20 minutes. I highly recommend waiting at least 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and develop and the texture to become firmer and chewier. 

carrot cake bites in a Vitamix blender

Carrot Cake Bites Variations

Raw cake bites are one of those recipes that are very customizable. To introduce some variety into the carrot cake bites, you can fold in some raisins, swap some of the walnuts for rolled oats, or drizzle the balls with coconut butter (instead of rolling them in shredded coconut). Just maintain the ratios in the original recipe and chop any mix-ins to a small size so the balls still hold together.

You can also turn the bites into carrot cake bars by pressing the mixture into an 8 × 8-inch/20 x 20-cm baking pan and then cutting it into bars.

How to Store Carrot Cake Bites

  • Refrigerating: transfer the carrot cake bites to an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 1 week.
  • Freezing: transfer the carrot cake bites to an airtight container, separating each layer with parchment paper so the balls don’t stick together, and freeze them for up to 1 month.

carrot cake energy balls

More Raw Energy Balls Recipes

If you like bite-size snacks, you might enjoy other energy balls recipes.

  • Almond butter energy bites: looking for energy bites high in protein? These almond butter energy bites taste more like a dessert than a healthy protein bite. They are sweet, chewy, and tender, and contain 6 g of protein per serving.
  • Nut-free energy bites: these nut-free energy bites provide the right energy boost, whether first thing in the morning or midafternoon. They have the perfect sweet and tart flavor and a tender, slightly crunchy texture.

If you try any of these recipes, please, leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.

carrot cake bites
4.34 from 6 votes

Carrot Cake Bites

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 24 bites
These raw carrot cake bites taste just like a carrot cake - slightly sweet, cinnamony, moist, and tender. Compared to a layered carrot cake, carrot cake bites are much faster to prepare, though.

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups (218 g) pecans
  • 2 cups (400 g) Medjool dates, , pitted
  • 1 cup (80 g) unsweetened desiccated coconut, *
  • 1/2 cup (56 g) coconut flour
  • 1/2 (1/2) lemon, , juice and zest
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. (4 g) ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. (1.8 g) ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. (0.55 g) ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups (240 g) carrots, , finely grated

Instructions
 

  • Process the ingredients. Add the pecans to a food processor bowl fitted with an S blade and pulse until the nuts are coarsely ground. Be careful not to over-process the nuts; they should retain some texture. Add the dates, coconut, lemon juice, lemons zest, vanilla extract, and spices to the food processor and process until all the ingredients begin to stick together. The mixture will be tender and slightly crumbly, but it should be sticky enough to hold together when you press it between your fingers.
  • Fold in the carrots. Add the carrots to the food processor and pulse a few times until the carrots are just incorporated.
  • Roll the mixture into balls. Using a 2-Tbsp./30-ml cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop out the mixture and roll it into a ball. Place the ball onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the mixture is used up. Roll the balls in extra coconut, if desired.
  • Chill. Transfer the carrot cake bites to the refrigerator to firm up, for about 20 minutes.
  • Store. Leftover carrot cake bites keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. For longer-term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Notes

*I use Bob's Red Mill shredded coconut because it's almost as fine as desiccated coconut.
**Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please, feel free to make your own calculations.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 24, Calories: 142kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 9g, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 9g
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keywords: bliss balls, carrot cake balls, carrot cake bites, carrot cake bites recipe, energy balls, energy balls recipe