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About This Recipe
Not to be dramatic or anything…but I can almost guarantee you that these Carrot Cake Blondies are one of the best things you will ever eat.
It’s like a carrot cake and a dense sugar cookie bar had a baby! They’re soooo amazingly delicious and are number 2 of my top 5 favorite recipes from my new Sweets Cookbook: Cookies, Brownies, Blondies, and Bars!
These Carrot Cake Blondies are a perfectly indulgent bite of sweet and spicy carrot cake. They’re thick, dense, and melt right in your mouth, releasing the most delicious flavor.
And paired with creamy cheese cake frosting? INCREDIBLE! But my favorite part? They’re not overly sweet and truly strike the most wonderful balance.
I also love how these Carrot Cake Blondies can be enjoyed any time of the year. They’re a fun (and easier) switch up from traditional carrot cake and are great for the fall and in the summertime. The flavors even are perfect for a delicious Christmas dessert!
And if you love these healthy carrot cake blondies, check out my Apple Blondies with Cinnamon Maple Glaze, Banana Blondies with Cinnamon Brown Butter Frosting or my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies!
Why You’ll Love These Healthy Carrot Cake Blondies
- You get thick, moist, and dense carrot cake flavor with hints of crunchy pecans and cream cheese in each bite!
- Taste just like a carrot cake! Perfectly spiced with subtly sweet.
- All the greatness of a carrot cake in an easy-to-bake batch of blondies!
- Lightened up and less than 200 calories per bar.
- THEY ARE SO FREAKING GOOD!!!
- Carrots – We have to use carrots in carrot cake blondies! Finely grated brings about the best results.
- Protein powder – I used PEScience Vanilla for both the blondies and the cream cheese frosting. Their Snickerdoodle flavor in the blondies is also delicious. It adds another small hint of sweet spice! If you want to use another brand of protein powder, just make sure it is also a whey + casein blend. Not all protein powders bake the same, so make sure you use a protein powder you know bakes well. You can use my affiliate code Laurenfitfoodie to save 10% off your purchase of any PEScience products.
- Flour – I used all-purpose flour for this recipe. If you need to substitute another flour, I recommend using a 1:1 gluten-free flour. Almond and oat flour will likely work texture-wise, but I have not tried them so I can’t say. If you do try another flour, let me and other readers know in the comments!
- Brown sugar – The flavor works really well in these blondies. I used Swerve Brown Sugar. Feel free to substitute a normal brown sugar or another brown sugar alternative.
- Sweetener – While brown sugar adds a lot of dimension, it’s not as sweet as a standard sweetener. This is where a normal “white” sweetener comes into play. I used Swerve Granular Sweetener. You can use whatever sweetener you would like here.
- Baking essentials – You’ll need vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
- Egg – Helps provide structure to our blondies.
- Unsweetened applesauce – For sweetness and a moist texture.
- Light butter – I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light. If you need to substitute something else, use normal butter or oil. Without some fat, the blondies won’t be as gooey.
- Chopped pecans – For a classic crunch! 😉
- Cream cheese – I used fat-free cream cheese. Feel free to use regular cream cheese, reduced-fat, Neufchatel (Greek cream cheese), or vegan cream cheese.
- Confectioner’s sugar – I used Swerve Confectioner’s Sugar. Normal confectioner’s sugar or another calorie-free confectioner’s sugar blend would also work.
How To Make
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper and/or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- For the Carrot Cake Blondies: In a large bowl combine the butter, brown sugar, sweetener, and vanilla; beat with a hand mixer or whisk until smooth. Add the egg and applesauce and beat again, then fold in the carrots. Add in the flour, protein powder, ginger, cinnamon, and salt and whisk just until combined. Fold in chopped pecans. Pour batter into the prepared pan and spread out evenly.
- Bake. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the center is set. Let cool completely in the pan before removing and frosting. Once cooled to room temperature, you can place the blondies in the fridge for an hour until ready to frost, too. You don’t want to rush the cooling!
- Make your frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, add the cream cheese and beat on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add in the protein powder and confectioner’s sugar and beat until the dry ingredients are incorporated and batter is smooth.
- Frost! Once blondies have cooled, add the frosting and spread evenly across. Then place in the fridge, covered, for at least 4 hours before serving. When ready to serve, sprinkle with pecans, if desired, and cut into bars.
Tips For The Best Carrot Cake Blondies
- Let chill over night. For the best results, make the blondies and let them sit in the fridge overnight. They are good when you frost them after they’ve cooled off from the oven, but I promise you they are 10x better when they are chilled and the flavors have had time to come together.
- Finely grate the carrots. Get them as fine as you can. It will result in a more dense and moist texture.
- Don’t over-bake. These blondies actually still bake some when you remove them from the oven. I recommend taking them out when the edges are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. This will result in the most gooey texture! Baking until the toothpick comes out totally clean will result in a more cakey blondie, which is not what we’re going for.
Can I use a different brand of protein powder or omit the protein powder completely?
Not all protein powders bake the same, so just make sure you are using one you know bakes well. If you want to use another brand, make sure it is also a whey + casein OR a plant-based blend. Whey blends don’t bake as well. Or, you can omit the protein powder. Just substitute with an equal amount of more flour (30g or 1/4 cup).
How do I get my blondies to not turn out cakey?
There are a couple reasons your blondies can turn out cakey. If you use different ingredients than the ones listed or over-baking your blondies. Be sure to take the blondies out when a toothpick comes out mostly clean! That will help keep the gooey, blondie texture!
Can I freeze these blondies?
Yes, you can. But freeze them without the frosting. Let blondies cool to room temperature and then cut into bars. Wrap the bars individually in parchment paper, wax paper, or aluminum foil. Then, store in a Ziploc bag. To prevent freezer burn, make sure to remove as much air as possible. If stored properly, bars will stay fresh for 6 months. Frost after you defrost and are ready to eat.
Carrot Cake Blondies:
- 1/2 cup light butter (112g) softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar substitute (96g) or brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granular sweetener (48g) or sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (122g)
- 1 cup grated carrots (100g)
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour (180g) use gluten-free flour if needed
- 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder (30g)
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp chopped pecans (24g)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8- oz fat free cream cheese (226g) softened
- 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder (30g)
- 1/4 cup Swerve confectioners sugar (36g)
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For the Carrot Cake Blondies:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper and/or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl combine the butter, brown sugar, sweetener, and vanilla; beat with a hand mixer or whisk until smooth. Add the egg and applesauce and beat again, then fold in the carrots. Add in the flour, protein powder, ginger, cinnamon, and salt and whisk just until combined. Fold in chopped pecans. Pour batter into the prepared pan and spread out evenly.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the center is set. Be careful not to over-bake!
- Let cool completely before adding frosting or the frosting may melt. You don't want to rush the cooling!
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, add the cream cheese and beat on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add in the protein powder and confectioners sugar and beat again until the dry ingredients are incorporated and batter is smooth. Keep frosting stored in the fridge until blondies are ready to frost.
- Once blondies have cooled, add the frosting and spread evenly across. Then place in the fridge, covered, for at least 4 hours before serving. When ready to serve, sprinkle with pecans, if desired, and cut into bars.
- 162 calories 14.9C | 7.7F | 8.2P
- MFP entry: LFF Carrot Cake Blondies with RF
Nutrition is hand-calculated and accurate. No autocalulations! However, note that values can vary based on the brands you use and if you substitute ingredients.