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These raw carrot cake bites with cashew cream cheese frosting are vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free for a wholesome and delicious dessert everyone can enjoy. A fan-favorite, I think you’re going to love them.
Today we are going to explore the world of RAW desserts.
Back when I started this blog, I became a bit of a raw dessert connoisseur. Raw desserts can be a bit intimidating for beginners. I know this first hand; I used to be terrified of them. However, as anyone will tell you, they are surprisingly simple to make.
In 2012 I started experimenting with raw desserts and I was amazed at how a few simple ingredients could create endless flavor combinations with the most decadent and delicious tastes and textures. Better yet, there is quite a lot of room for trial and error since you can test and taste as you go. This is obviously different than most baking allowing even beginners to make incredible raw desserts.
Throughout the years, my raw desserts have been some of my most popular recipes. Such as:
But my most popular raw dessert recipe to date (and the 2nd most popular recipe on this blog next to my vegan blueberry muffins) are these Raw Carrot Cake Bites. Made with a base of walnuts, carrots, and dates, these cake bites are packed with flavor and nutrients for a dessert we can feel GREAT about biting into.
Recommended Ingredients and Equipment
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Medjool Dates – Make sure to use Medjool dates over regular dates; they are juicier and sweeter than normal dates giving this cake both a deliciously moist texture while sweetening naturally.
- Unsweetened Shredded Coconut – This is sometimes called desiccated coconut. Make sure to use unsweetened.
- Spices – You will need a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt
- Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting – This is a combination of raw cashews, raw agave nectar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, salt, and coconut oil.
For this recipe, I highly recommend a Vitamix. These blenders can be pricy, but my Vitamix is, by far, the most used gadget in my kitchen. Most other blenders are simply not powerful enough to create a cream out of cashews.
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
How to make Raw Carrot Cake Bites
Like I said earlier, raw desserts can be quite simple to make. There is a lot more room for trial and error and there is a seemingly endless combination of flavors and textures with just a handful of basic ingredients.
Step One – Shred the Carrots
By hand or in your food processor, shred the carrots. You want 2 1/2 cups of shredded carrots for this recipe which is about 3 large carrots.
Step Two – Carrot Cake Base
To make the carrot cake, start by blending together the dates and walnuts in your food processor. Blend them until the walnuts and dates have broken down into a uniform crumb; it should sticks together when pressed between your fingers.
Once we have our base, we add the carrots, coconut, spices, and salt. Process again until all the ingredients are well incorporated into a uniform cake.
At this point the cake base will be quite soft; it sets up in the freezer. Transfer the cake to a prepared cake pan and freeze.
Step Three – Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting
To make the cream cheese frosting, throw everything into the blender, liquids first, except the coconut oil. Blend until silky smooth and then, with the motor running, slowly add the coconut oil until it is completely incorporated.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have a high-powered blender, you can soak the cashews for about 6 hours ahead of time and they will blend up fairly well.
Step Four – Frost the Cake
The cream cheese frosting will be quite pourable at this point. Pour it onto your chilled cake. Using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top then wrap the cake plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours to let the cake set up.
Serving and Storing
Serving – Keep the cake in the freezer for at least 2 hours before serving. When you are ready to serve, pull the carrot cake out and let it thaw 10-20 minutes (depending on how frozen it is) before slicing. Slice with a sharp hot knife, cleaning it off between each use for clean cuts. The cake should be served immediately. It will soften if left out too long at room temperature.
Storing – The uneaten cake should be stored in the freezer. Tightly wrap it in plastic wrap and store it for up to 2 months.
More Raw Dessert Recipes
- Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake Bars
- Mint Chocolate Ice Cream
- Coconut Cream Pie
- 3-Ingredient Pecan Pie Tartlets
Raw Carrot Cake Bites
Cashew Cream Frosting
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tbsp maple syrup or raw agave nectar*
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- walnuts and extra cinnamon, for finish
- Line an 8×8 baking dish (or equally sized pan) with parchment paper letting the edges hang over the sides of the pan.
- By hand or with a food processor using the grating attachment, shred the carrots. Place them in a large bowl and set aside. Clean out the food processor and switch to the blade attachment. Blend together the walnuts and dates into a uniform crumb; it should sticks together when pressed between your fingers. Add carrots, coconut, spices, and salt and blend again, scraping down the sides as needed, until the carrots are fully incorporated.
- Press the cake into the prepared pan, smooth over the top, and place in the freezer while making the cream cheese frosting.
- To make the cream cheese frosting, combine cashews, water, agave nectar or maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice in a high-powered blender. Blend until silky smooth. Add coconut oil and blend to combine. Pour onto the chilled cake and smooth the top. Cover in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, remove the cake from the freezer. To release it from the pan, pull up the sides of the parchment paper. Top with walnuts and dust with cinnamon. Let it thaw 10 minutes at room temperature.
- With a hot, sharp knife cut cake into 2 x 2-inch pieces. If the cake is very frozen, let it thaw an additional 15 minutes before serving.