Frosted Carrot Cake Quinoa Bars

Frosted carrot quinoa bars- gluten-free
Frosted carrot quinoa bars. Gluten-free. Dairy-free.

Gettin' Fancy

My intrepid husband slash sous chef was craving a carrot cake style quinoa bar for a mid-morning snack. To be exact, he said, Hey. I'm craving a carrot cake style quinoa breakfast bar. You know. For breakfast. To which yours truly replied, Look who wants to get fancy. My chocolate chip quinoa breakfast bars aren't good enough for you? Now you need frosting? To which said long suffering husband replied, Frosting makes everything better.

Who am I to argue with that?

Frosted carrot cake bars - gluten-free
Need a snack with your café con leche? I've got one for ya.

Carrot quinoa bars with vegan frosting
Vegan cream cheese frosting makes these gluten-free bars dairy-free.

Karina's Frosted Carrot Quinoa Bar Recipe

Posted March 2012.

We love chopped walnuts in our carrot cake, not to mention most muffins and tea breads, but if you prefer pecans, darling, knock yourself out. Nut-free? Add raisins instead.


1 cup quinoa flakes
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch or tapioca starch
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
3 free-range organic eggs, beaten or Ener-G Egg Replacer
1/4 cup pure maple syrup or agave nectar
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice


1 cup grated carrots
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (or raisins)


Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a 9x12-inch baking pan with parchment.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flours and dry ingredients.

Add in the melted coconut oil, eggs or egg replacer, maple syrup, vanilla and lemon juice. Beat until the batter is smooth and sticky.

Stir in the grated carrots and chopped walnuts.

Spread the batter evenly in the baking pan.

Bake in the center of the oven for about 22 minutes until firm to the touch.

Cool on a wire rack.

Frost with vegan cream cheese icing- find my Maple Cream Cheese Icing recipe here.

Chill frosted bars before wrapping, to set the icing. These freeze beautifully. Remove wrap before defrosting to keep the icing from sticking.

Makes 24 small bars.

Cook time: 22 minutes

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xox Karina


sophie said...

what a BEAUTIFUL looking treat!

you're great!

sophie said...

can you please tell us how you got the edges to be so angular/clean on the frosting?!?!?

Kristi said...

Three eggs... what would be the best substitute in this recipe for the eggs? This looks heavenly, but after breaking out in hives this past weekend from coming into accidental contact w/ eggs, I need some guidance on replacement!

jobethfun67 said...

Quick question. I have a hard time finding quinoa flakes here, unless I go to a gourmet grocery. Can I substitute something for the quinoa flakes? This sounds utterly lovely, but can't find the flakes.


Shelly said...

If I have uncooked quinoa, can I blend it into a flour and use that instead? Also, I don't have coconut there another flour I can use?

Jo said...

These look gorgeous, and I love the sharp edges you managed to get (my edges never get that sharp!!) I have been having a quinoa episode recently- hence my most recipe Quinoa Chickpea Burger blog post, and I am very keen to now make something along these lines and veganise it...will let you know how it goes if I do!

Sunala said...

Should this say 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1tsp baking powder?

Karina Allrich said...

Thanks, Sophie- Before cutting I chill the frosted cake in the freezer, just long enough to set the frosting.

Kristi- I have made quinoa bars, and various carrot cakes using Ener-G Egg Replacer. In this case, for the third egg I might also add flax gel or an extra tablespoon honey for the sticky factor. See my extensive substitution post for all kinds of help on subbing eggs etc.

jobethfun67 and Shelly- Quinoa flakes are unique- not a flour. So grinding raw quinoa seeds will not be a good sub. The closest to quinoa flakes would be gluten-free rolled oats. But not everyone can handle oats, gluten-free or not. Look for quinoa flakes in the hot cereal section. Amazon sells them, as well.

Jo- Thanks!

Sunala, The recipe is as written. Only 1/4 teaspoon baking powder. I relied more upon 1 teaspoon baking soda with the lemon juice to activate it.

Thanks, Everyone! xox


Melaina said...

WOW. I didn't even need to read the post after seeing the initial picture. But, of course I read it because your writing makes any picture that much more beautiful and makes the recipe that much more convincing that this WILL be my weekend recipe! Stunning!!!

Annie said...

Wowee Kazowie! Made this recipe this afternoon and it made my taste buds dance. A stellar treat! Thanks, Karina. Your recipes never fail me.

Country Girl said...

These look so delicious! And I was just going to say that Amazon sells Ancient Harvest quinoa flakes but you beat me to it.

Megan Reed said...

Bourbon vanilla? I am already in love with this recipe just with those two little words! Yummy!

Kevyn Holden said...

WOW! this recipe looks amazing! one of my friends is allergic to gluten and loves carrot cake! I will have to make this for her for a special occasion and try some myself! Thank you for the great recipe!

Unknown said...

I can't have almonds, any idea what to substitute?

Unknown said...

I love these and made them without the frosting. The family loved them as well. I might make the frosting with these this weekend. They freeze well. Do you know the nutritional breakdown? Thank you for the wonderful recipes!

Ana said...

Where do you buy all of your different flours and other ingredients?? I'm new at all this..My son and I are Hypothyroid and we're going on a GF and SF diet in hopes to change it. Please help!!

Andie said...

I made these the other week and they are AMAZING, I froze half and have been nibbling my way through it. This is going in my favourite baking file. All of my friends loved it too. Thank you so much for sharing.

Unknown said...

I tried the recipe and I must say it was FABULOUS!
Even my mother and sister who usually don't like gluten-free baking thought it was a pure heaven!
Will definitely do it again. Thank you so much for the recipe :)

Anonymous said...

These are absolutely fantastic. My husband, who isn't allergic to wheat, finally enjoys something I made for myself. Plenty of extras so I'm going to try to freeze the remainder, hope they turn out okay.

Michelle (The Beartwinsmom) said...

If you have to do complete nut-free, what flour do you recommend to substitute for the almond flour?

Eithne said...

I'm dying to try these! what do you suggest as a replacement for the almond and coconut flour? Luca is allergic to both :( If not, I guess I'll have to eat them myself!

Karina Allrich said...

For nut free I would suggest a medium weight flour- like quinoa flour or buckwheat or millet flour. I might even be tempted try subbing ground flaxseed.

Flaxseed can sub for the coconut flour, too.

And if Luca can handle gluten-free oats, I think GF oat flour would work well.

In general, I don't recommend subbing with rice flours as they have an inferior texture and taste.

Thanks so much everyone! xox


Jenny said...

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipes! I have been trying to do gluten free, and egg free recipes for the past year and yours have been the best! You make them rice, corn and soy free, which I am slightly allergic to those, but I'm thankful I now have a resource of what flours to mix to get the perfect texture and be allergy free! I tell everyone with gluten intolerance to check out your blog. I just did it today! They already had found you, but I have to make sure everyone knows of you! I can't wait to try this recipe! I never like store bought carrot cake and I always had to have my mom's homemade carrot cake, now it gets to be your homemade "GLUTEN-FREE!"

SquishyHumanoid said...

As someone who only wanted carrot cake maybe once every five years, I must admit this looked so beautiful that I had to make it. It is heavenly and looks beautiful. This is a big winner in my book, certainly one of the best carrot cake interpretations I have ever had. Thank you for sharing!

I used melted butter instead of coconut oil and honey for the maple syrup. The batter was like a cookie dough but smoothed out nicely and baked up with a nice lightness and crumb that was not expected given the dough stiffness. I like the use of quinoa flakes in this recipe. I am going to have to keep them on hand and try a few more of your recipes with them.

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