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Kid-Friendly Carrot Cake Bars (Gluten-Free Option)

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If your family is bored with all of those typical, everyday desserts you might want to try these Kid-Friendly Carrot Cake Bars (Gluten-Free Option). In addition to being extremely tasty, it’s a great way to add extra nutrition to your diet. 


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Amazing Texture and Flavor

Personally, I love carrot cake but the texture and flavor of these Kid-Friendly Carrot Cake Bars take carrot cake to a whole new level. In addition to shredded carrots, some of the key ingredients that make this recipe a little different are golden raisinsground flax (optional), pecans, pumpkin pie spice, and just a hint of orange. 

Fyi… Rhubarb Custard Dessert Bars are a fabulous springtime dessert. They feature a delicious bottom crust, a gooey custard center, and a creamy whipped topping. Besides all of that, this recipe is also extremely easy to make gluten-free

Fresh out of the oven! 

Another fun fact about this recipe: Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pans with non-stick foil and extend the foil over the edges of the pan. Next, spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Now you are ready to pour the cake batter into the pan.

NOTE: If you’d like the bars to be thinner simply use a jelly roll pan instead of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.


After the cake has baked and cooled you’ll be able to effortlessly lift the entire carrot cake bars out of the pan and onto a cutting surface. This is nice because it’s easy to spread icing on the top and it’s easy to cut it into bars without the pan being in the way.

Peanut Butter M&M Bars are yet another fabulous kid-approved dessert in our home. 

Gluten-Free Option

As I previously mentioned, these Kid-Friendly Carrot Cake Bars are extremely easy to make gluten-free. Simply use all-purpose gluten-free flour in place of regular all-purpose wheat flour.  All of the ingredients are naturally gluten-free. 


Along with being kid-friendly, this fabulous dessert is also freezer-friendly! Just place the bars into an airtight freezer storage container and freeze. The bars freeze well up to one month.

When ready to serve, simply thaw out the number of bars you want to serve. 

Kid-Friendly Carrot Cake Bars (Gluten-Free Option)
Yield: 20 Servings

Kid-Friendly Carrot Cake Bars (Gluten-Free Option)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Kids of all ages will love these easy-to-make snack bars!


  • BARS:
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (GF Option: use all-purpose gluten-free flour + 2 teaspoons xanthan gum - unless flour already contains it)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda (I use pure, aluminum-free baking soda)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups shredded carrots (or 1 (10-ounce) bag pre-shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (GF Option: use a gluten-free brand)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 (8-ounces, each) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • Fresh orange zest for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil; extend foil over edges of the pan. Spray foil with nonstick spray; set aside.
  2. Combine raisins and orange juice in a small bowl. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute. Let stand until raisins are soft; do not drain.
  3. Combine flour, ground flax, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Beat carrots, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and 2 teaspoons vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour and raisin mixtures. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Place pan on a wire rack to cool.
  5. FROSTING: place softened cream cheese and 2 teaspoons vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until well combined.
  6. Spread bars with frosting. Sprinkle with pecans and orange zest.
  7. To serve, use foil to lift uncut bars out of the pan. Place on a cutting board; cut into bars. Serve. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 5 days or freeze for use later.


These bars freeze well for up to one month in an airtight freezer container. When ready to serve, simply thaw the number of bars you want to serve.

I hope that you and your family enjoy this recipe as much as mine does! 


More great ideas: 


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