Oil-free Carrot Cake Protein Bars

Kevin and I had such a great time camping this weekend. It’s exactly what we needed.

There were many good eats to be had (including these high protein, gluten-free, homemade protein bars) naps, and long, long roads to venture down.

We had planned to stay at the campsite until this morning, but decided to head home a day early to beat the long weekend rush. There’s nothing worse than closing off a relaxing trip by being stuck in a 300km traffic jam with every other camper and their dog… literally. We enjoyed a warm dinner by the fire last night, then leisurely made our way home.

Today, we have every intention to nurture our relaxed mood until we head back into the office tomorrow morning. A big pancake breakfast is definitely in our future, followed by a long walk with the puppies, and perhaps; in keeping with camping tradition, we may treat ourselves to a nice long nap this afternoon. Sure sounds a lot better than trudging through traffic!

One of the items I prepared in advance for our trip were these protein bars. As much Kevin would love to live on a diet of hot dogs, roasted marshmallows and potato chips while we’re camping, that just wont fly with this girl!

In planning this recipe, I wanted to create a snack for us that:

  • could be squished in a cooler and still taste good
  • portable
  • mess-free
  • low in sugar
  • high in protein

Kevin’s version was raisin-free, mine was raisin packed. We make a good team he and I!

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4.0 from 6 reviews
Oil-free Carrot Cake Protein Bars
Recipe type: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Nut-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 bars, 8 servings
Gluten-free protein bars filled with carrot cake flavor! Less than 250 calories with over 13 grams of protein.
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed banana or ¾ cup unsweetened apple sauce *see note
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoon non-dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract or flesh from 1 vanilla bean
  • ¾ cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 375F and line an baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl with a hand or stand mixer.
  3. Whisk dry ingredients in a small bowl. Once incorporated, add to the wet mix and mix until smooth.
  4. Add shredded carrots and raisins. Allow to sit for 1-2 minutes to thicken up.
  5. Scoop approximately ⅓ cup at a time into your hand. Shape into a bar and place on prepared baking sheet. You can also shape the bars on the baking sheet, I found that was easiest.
  6. Bake bars for 22-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean, the bottoms of the bars or golden, and the tops are cracking slightly.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack
  8. Once cooled completely, top with a drizzle of coconut butter.
I tried one batch with banana and the other with apple sauce. Both yield a similar bar, but Kevin and I liked the banana one a bit more. We found that the banana made the bar sweeter, naturally. Any type of rice protein or combined vegan protein should do the trick. If you use hemp protein, you may have to reduce the amount as hemp protein is quite dry. To keep grain-free and paleo, choose a protein powder that’s not made from rice. If you don’t want to use protein powder, you could try almond flour instead. STORING INSTRUCTIONS - The bars will keep in the fridge for about 5 days. They also freeze well. Wait until the bars are completely cooled and coated with coconut butter. Place them in an air-tight container and stick in the freezer. No wrapping of individual bars needed. When you want to eat, just take out of the freezer and allow to thaw for 30 minutes or so.

Begin by lining up your ingredients.

In two separate bowls, combined wet ingredients in one, and dry in the other. Be sure to give the dry ingredients a good whisk so that everything is fully combined.

Add dry to wet and blend with a hand blender or spatula. Allow the mixture to sit for a couple of minutes to thicken up. Don’t be concerned if the mix is too wet at first, coconut flour will do it’s magic if left for just a couple of moments.

Add your carrots and raisins…

Stir until combined, then start shaping into bars!

Throw in the oven, clean up your messy kitchen… and await the awesomeness that is about to be your favorite homemade protein creation!

Do you enjoy camping?

If so, do you find it challenging to eat healthy when you’re camping?

Struggling to lose weight


  1. Hello…you know I am going to ask…
    How can I make this egg free? Chia Egg? Psyllium? How can you make a Great Lakes Beef Gelatin egg?

    • haha hey Chris! Are you on a candida diet, or just allergies? I think I should start adding a Chris-friendly section to my recipes ;) I’ve tried to be better with the notes later to help you!

      I’m not sure these bars would work egg-free. I tried them once and they were a hot mess. Coconut flour doesn’t do well without eggs. Have you seen my chai granola bars? You could add protein to those and then get way better results (subbing out the banana for extra almond butter or coconut oil). I’ve never heard of a Great Lakes Beef Gelatin egg…. tell me more!

      • Allergies!!!!! Yes, a Chris-friendly section would be nice :)
        I’ll have to try your other bars. Not sure how much protein powder to add.
        I read it online. Great Lakes Beef Gelatin is a gelatin that can be used for thickening like jello, etc. I have also read a little about agar whip eggs, but I have no idea how to use them in recipes.

        Do you have a grain free, egg, free, soy free, dairy free, gluten free (ha ha pancake recipe? Now there’s a challenge!


        • Interesting… I think I’ll have to dig into this gelatin thing a bit more when I have a second. It sounds really interesting!

          Have you heard of socca? Add some cinnamon to it and you have yourself a pancake free of ALL that stuff!

      • I just made these with pumpkin instead of apple sauce or banana and they cam eout really well. A little moist but they are still cooling:)

  2. Love these. Make them as cupcakes and freeze them. Pop one out every morning and have as a late morning snack. Great for keeping me balanced! Thanks!!

  3. Hello Leanne, I just found your website a few days ago and have tried a few recipes.. absolutely loved them so far and can’t wait to try more. Love your combinations and all the options of gluten free, vegan, etc. Always looking for creative healthy food to make. So.. I put together this carrot cake bar recipe exactly as you specified and I could not get the mix to thicken. There was no way I could shape them into bars (they were a thin gooey mess) and poured them into a shallow pan and cooked them that way instead. They are absolutely delicious.. but what do I have to do to make them thicker so that I can form them into bars?

    • That’s strange… I’ve never had that issue with this recipe. Is your coconut flour fairly old? Have you checked to see if it’s rancid or not? To check, just taste test it. If it’s bitter, it’s rancid. If not, perhaps you used larger eggs than normal? When you make them again, you could add an extra tablespoon of flour to see how that goes. Sorry this recipe didn’t work out for you! Glad the others you’ve made have been winners :)

      • I agree with Shelley~my batter was not thick at all as pictured above. I Followed the recipe exactly, although I did add coconut palm sugar instead of the maple syrup.

        • Hi Terry – did you leave it to sit for 5 minutes or so? Coconut flour sometimes takes awhile to suck in the moisture. What brand of coconut flour did you use? What brand of protein powder did you use? Sorry for all the questions, just trying to see what went wrong. I’ve made this recipe countless times and never had an issue, but would like to get to the bottom of this!

          • Hi Leanne!
            Thanks for your quick response! First of all, I wanted to bake a special valentine for my husband without refined sugars and flour and this recipe hit the alternative. I did let it sit for about 2 min. as the recipe described, and I used “Let’s Do….Organic Coconut flour. I also used whey protein powder ( I didn’t have access to the protein powder in the recipe). Oh yes….as stated above, for sweetener I used coconut palm sugar. Well Leanne, it sure doesn’t look like I followed the recipe exactly huh? :/ With all that said, the flavor in these bars are outstanding! Delicious! I sure would like them to come out as pictured above, your bars appear to have a slight crunch externally and moist in the middle! :) Again, much thanks to you for your immediate response, and for sharing your absolutely healthy great tasting recipe!

          • Hahaha oh Terry, often when people say that the recipe didn’t turn out, they have changed it just slightly and didn’t know it. It’s all good! I bet it was the use of whey protein instead of rice. The rice protein acts a lot like flour, stiffening up the dough. If you end up making them again (how sweet of you to make them for your hubby!) try adding 1 tablespoon more of coconut flour. Have a great weekend!

  4. Thanks for the recipe! I’ve made these twice now, both times with apple sauce. In the first batch I’ve forgotten the baking soda and I’ve like the result a lot better. They came out all flat and moist and delicious. The batch with soda turned out puffy and kinda dry, with all the other ingredients unchanged. I think I’m going to leave out soda from now on.

    • Oh interesting, I’ll have to give it a try. I’ve made these a billion times and never thought to omit the baking soda. Glad you like them!

  5. These sound so wonderful. Except, I’m vegan…. Has anyone tried making them using an egg sub like a “flax egg’?

    • Hi Vicki – I haven’t tried to make this recipe vegan and haven’t heard from anyone on any successes either. A lot of attempts though. What you may want to try out are these carrot cake bites and just add some protein powder. Hope that helps!

  6. We loved these (even the picky husband and 10 yr old)! Perfect – gluten free, nut free, portable, tasty protein for breakfast or snacks (or even saying yes to dessert)! I’m thinking with a few modifications, you could make multiple versions of these – apple cinnamon, pumpkin pie, lemon poppyseed, banana, blueberry?… What do you think?

    • That’s awesome news, Jasmine! I’ve had countless readers tell me that they’ve switched up the flavor combos. I love the idea of apple cinnamon… yum!

  7. Womderful recipe! I Added extra baking powder and put these in mini loaf tins. Delicious!

    • Great idea. I’ve made this recipe a bunch of times and never thought to bake them in loaf tins!