These no-bake carrot cake energy balls are the perfect little bite-sized treat. All the sweetness and spice of carrot cake, but made with good-for-you ingredients. These are naturally sweetened and a good source of fiber and healthy fats.
Wanting an easier and healthier way to enjoy the classic flavors of carrot cake? Then you need to try these no-bake treats. These little balls of goodness are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth and carrot cake cravings.
A mixture of dates, carrots, nuts, and coconut make up the "cake" portion. Typically carrot cake is topped with cream cheese frosting, but for a healthy twist I use a coconut butter glaze. The glaze is tangy and slightly sweet and is the perfect compliment to all the flavors in these bites.
A delicious healthy treat without all the added junk. Ideal for spring, but perfect all year round! For more healthy no-bake recipes, try my peanut butter oat bars, chocolate coconut balls, chocolate bark, and chocolate protein bars.
Why You'll Love These
- These are refined sugar free and made with all clean eating ingredients.
- Paleo, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, with an option for making nut free.
- And the best part.... this recipe is easy to make and these little bites are ready in under 30 minutes.
A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below. Here are some specific notes and substitutions.
CARROTS – I used pre-shredded carrots, but you can shred your own as well.
WALNUTS/CASHEWS – I like the combination and the creaminess the cashews provide, but you could use all walnuts, all cashews, or even almonds.
SHREDDED COCONUT – Make sure you are using unsweetened shredded coconut.
DATES – I prefer medjool dates. They are softer and have a more caramel like taste. However, Deglet Noor dates can also be used.
ALMOND MILK – Used for the glaze, but if you don’t need these to be dairy free, you can use cow’s milk as well.
COCONUT BUTTER - This is used for the glaze. If you skip the glaze, you won't need the coconut butter.
How to Make Carrot Cake Balls
Step 1: In a food processor, pulse the shredded carrots a few times to grind them down. Then remove carrots from food processor and set aside.
Step 2: Add dates, cashews, and walnuts to food the processor. Blend on high until only small pieces of nuts remain.
Step 3: Add remaining ingredients (carrots, coconut, almond flour, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg).
Step 4: Blend on high until ingredients start to naturally stick together and a “dough” is formed; this should take about 45 seconds.
Step 5: Using about 1 ½ tbsp. of mix, roll into evenly sized balls. You should get 12 balls. Place the carrot cake energy balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Step 6: Make the glaze (the glaze is optional, but highly recommended). Place coconut butter in a microwave safe bowl and cook in the microwave for 20 seconds or so to soften. Add the pure maple syrup and milk and whisk until combined and a thick (but spreadable) glaze has been formed.
Step 7: Using a spoon, spread glaze over the tops of each carrot cake ball.
Step 8: If desired, sprinkle each ball with additional shredded coconut.
Recipe Variations and Add-ins
Making nut free - In place of the walnuts and cashews use sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or both. In place of the almond flour you can use oat flour.
Spices - Play around with adding in some traditional carrot cake spices like ginger, cloves, or even all-spice (start with ¼ tsp., taste, and adjust to your liking).
Add some protein - To make your carrot cake bites more filling and nutritious, you can add a scoop of your favorite protein powder. If the mix is too dry with the addition of the protein powder add a few tablespoons of water.
Nutrient boost - For an extra dose of nutrients, add in ¼ cup of hempseeds, chia seeds, or flaxseed meal. I love adding in any/all of these to pretty much anything I can!
Raisins - Adding raisins to your recipe will give your bites an extra burst of sweetness and texture. Make sure to use unsweetened raisins to keep the recipe healthy.
If your dates seem dry or too hard to blend, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes to soften them up.
Try rolling the finished balls in shredded coconut if you decide to skip the glaze.
Chilling the mixture for at least 30 minutes before forming the energy bites can make it easier to roll them into balls and smooth out the surface (not needed, but you may find this helpful).
While chocolate doesn't typically go along with carrot cake, you could drizzle some melted chocolate over these (instead of the glaze) for a rich chocolaty flavor.
Coconut butter is the pureed meat of a mature coconut. It contains all ingredients found in coconut meat (compared to coconut oil which just extracts the oil from the meat). It has a thick texture (not so much like regular butter) and a strong coconut flavor. It's great for using to create glazes for baked goods and treats while using real ingredients and keeping dairy free.
Nope! These are naturally sweetened with dates. Each ball has roughly 10 grams of natural sugar. If adding the glaze, that will add 1 gram of additional sugar to each ball.
That depends on the ingredients you are using. These carrot cake energy balls are naturally sweetened from the dates and are a good source of healthy fats and fiber. The optional glaze adds a trivial amount of added sugar, but only about 1 gram per ball. So all in all, in my opinion, these are healthy.
Yes, all ingredients used in this recipe are naturally gluten free.
Fridge: These should be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. They will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Freezer: These can also be frozen in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. You can thaw in fridge overnight or at room temp for about 2 hours. They are also delicious frozen!
More No-Bake Treats
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Eat Clean.Be Healthy!
Carrot Cake Energy Balls
- 1 food processor
Ingredients for the Carrot Cake Balls
- ¾ cup grated carrots
- 1 cup pitted dates (about 10 dates)
- ¾ cup walnuts
- ¾ cup cashews
- ½ cup almond flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Ingredients for the Glaze (optional)
- ¼ cup coconut butter
- 2 tsp. pure maple syrup
- 3 tsp. non-dairy milk
- Add carrots to the food processor and pulse a few times to grind down carrots. Remove carrots from food processor and set aside.
- Add dates, walnuts, and cashews to food processor and pulse until only small pieces of nuts remain.
- Add remaining ingredients (almond flour, shredded coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla), plus the shredded carrots, to the food processor. Blend until all ingredients are combined and mixture naturally starts to stick together.
- Using about 1.5 tablespoons of mixture, roll into individual balls. You should get 12 balls total.
Instructions for Glaze (optional)
- Place coconut butter in a microwave safe bowl and put in the microwave for 20 seconds or so to soften. Add the pure maple syrup and milk and whisk until combined and a thick (but spreadable) glaze has been formed. Add additional milk and/or maple syrup to thin if needed.
- Using a spoon, spread glaze evenly over each ball.
- If your dates seem dry or too hard to blend, soak them in HOT water for 10 minutes to soften them up.
- If not needing these to be Paleo or dairy free, you can use regular cow's milk for the glaze.
- The glaze is optional, but highly recommended 🙂 If skipping the glaze, you could roll each ball in shredded coconut.
These carrot cake balls are phenomenal! The glaze is just out of this world!
These look sooo ah-mazing!! I'll be gathering my ingredients and making these soon. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
They are ah-mazing 🙂 Enjoy!
Favorite flavors in something other than a cake, total game changer!
Thanks for sharing!
Omg, carrot cake-like but no need to bake?! It turned out amazing and definitely remaking this again!!!
Glad you found a new favorite recipe 🙂
These things are so good, even before you dip them in glaze! My whole family LOVED them!