Carrot Cake Energy Balls
These carrot cake energy balls take minutes to make with just 5 simple ingredients and are vegan, gluten-free, oil-free and nut-free!
If you love the flavour of carrot cake, these are the energy bites for you! They taste delicious and are super easy to make with just a few simple, wholesome ingredients.
Energy balls are perfect for lunchboxes, camping, hiking or any snacking on-the-go. They’re also delicious crumbled over ice cream, yogurt and smoothie bowls!
Enjoy these sweet snacks for a mid-day treat, before the gym, on a long run or road trip, or anytime!
Why You’ll Love Them
- They’re vegan, gluten-free, oil-free and nut-free (they do contain coconut though) so great for those with allergies or other dietary restrictions.
- Budget-friendly ingredients.
- Quick and easy to make with just 5 ingredients. No baking required!
- They store well so are great for meal prepping snacks for the week.
- They’re naturally sweetened with nutritious dates so have no added sugar.
- They make a great portable snack or dessert for kids and are a sneaky way to get some extra veggies in.
- They’re the perfect healthy treat to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- You can customize them with different add-ins and variations.
Complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the printable recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.
- Oats: You can use minute oats, quick oats, rolled oats or old-fashioned oats. Do not use steel-cut oats. The oats can also be mixed and matched with nuts like walnuts, almonds or pecans.
- Dates: You can use any variety of date as long as they’re soft and moist. If your dates are overly dry or you’re not sure, you can soak them in hot water for 10 minutes before using in the recipe.
- Carrot: You’ll need finely grated fresh carrot.
- Coconut: Use unsweetened fine or medium shredded, or desiccated, coconut.
- Cinnamon: Adds that carrot cake spiced flavour. Other spices that can be added are ginger, nutmeg and allspice.
Start by processing the oats into a coarse, grainy flour. They don’t have to totally broken down into a fine flour. About 20-30 seconds should do the trick.
Quick Note: You can substitute up to 1/2 cup of the oats with walnuts, pecans or almonds.
Next, add the rest of the ingredients and process into a thick, sticky dough.
Quick Tip: If the mixture isn’t forming a dough (this can happen if your dates were too dry, add 1 tbsp of warm water and process again. That should do the trick!
Now that you’ve made the dough, it’s time to roll! Use your hands to roll the dough into about 20 balls.
Quick Note: Try rolling each ball in shredded coconut, cinnamon sugar or drizzling with melted coconut butter.
Tips for Success
- It’s important to use soft, moist dates in this recipe. If your dates are dry they won’t bind the dough. Soak dry dates in hot water for 10 minutes and drain well before using in the recipe.
- Use a kitchen scale to measure ingredients for best results.
- Since the carrot will remain raw, use a fine grate on the carrot so you don’t have big, tough chunks in the bites.
If you feel like switching things up, the dough can either be pressed into bars or made into raw granola.
Carrot Cake Energy Bars
To make carrot cake energy bars, line a 7-8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper, press the dough into the pan, place in the freezer for an hour until firm and then lift out and cut into bars.
Carrot Cake Rawnola
Another way to use this recipe is to press and crumble the batter into bits so it resembles chunky carrot cake raw granola.
My favorite way to use this is crumbled over smoothie bowls, into banana ice cream or enjoyed with yogurt or a splash of dairy-free milk. It’s seriously amazing.Rawnola can be stored in the fridge for a week or so.
- Spices: For more carrot cake flavour, add a pinch of ginger and nutmeg to the balls. Allspice also works!
- Vanilla: Add up to 1 tsp vanilla for additional flavouring.
- Seeds: Add up to 2 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds for an extra boost in nutrition.
- Raisins: Add up to 1/3 cup raisins at the end and pulse a few times to mix them into the dough.
- Chocolate Chips: Chocolate doesn’t usually go with carrot cake but you can add up to 1/2 cup chocolate chips if you like! Add them after you blend the dough and pulse a few times to mix them in.
- Maple Syrup: I think they’re sweet enough with just the dates but if you want them a touch sweeter, you can add up to 2 tbsp maple syrup or another sweetener of choice.
Yes. To make these grain-free, you can substitute walnuts, almonds, cashews or pecans for the oats. The instructions are the same. Start by adding the nuts to the food processor and breaking them down into a grainy consistency.
Yes, the recipe is naturally gluten-free, however, make sure you use gluten-free certified oats if needed to avoid cross-contamination.
- Because these have fresh carrot in them, they don’t keep as long as some other energy ball recipes. It’s recommended to store them in the freezer.
- Fridge: Store in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
- Freezer: Store in a sealed container or freeze bag for up to 3 months.
- The balls are ok at room temperature for some time if you’re taking to-go. They’ll just get a bit soft it it’s warm, so try to keep them cool. Freeze before hand for best results!
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- Blend Oats: Add the oats to a food processor and blend briefly to break them down into a grainy consistency.
- Make the Dough: Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until it forms a thick, sticky dough. If it’s not sticking together, add 1 tbsp of warm water and process again.
- Roll: Use your hands to roll the mixture into approximately 20 energy balls. You can use a small cookie scoop to help get them evenly sized. They should be about 1 heaping tablespoon each.
- Serve: You can roll your balls in extra shredded coconut, coconut sugar or drizzle with melted coconut butter to make a “glaze” and enjoy. Store the balls in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
It’s important to use soft, fresh dates in this recipe. If your dates are dry, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes then drain well before using.
Use a kitchen scale to measure ingredients for best results.
For more carrot cake flavour, add 1/2 tsp ginger and 1/4 tsp nutmeg to the mixture.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 94
- Sugar: 14 g
- Sodium: 5 mg
- Fat: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 20 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 1 g
Keywords: carrot cake balls, carrot cake energy bites
Originally published on May 4, 2017.