How drool-worthy do these Carrot Cake Bars look?! I want to shove them in my face! I’m so excited to share this recipe with you because it’s from my friend Lexi’s brand new book, Lexi’s Clean Kitchen: 150 Delicious Paleo-Friendly Recipes to Nourish Your Life! For those of you who don’t know Lexi, she’s awesome. She’s like this pint sized ball of fire with a strong East Coast accent. She drinks like a fish, which is great for people like me, because she’s that friend that makes you feel like it’s acceptable to drink anytime of day because she’ll have one with you. Lexi is so business savvy it’s scary. She literately knows how to do everything. Everything! She’s like, “Oh you’ll just take that .jpg put it into Photoshop, size it, change the font, plug in the picture, code it, read it a bedtime story, put it on Instagram, Snapchat it, use this plug-in on your blog and then you’re done. Easy!” and the whole time I’m like…wait…what? Who are you?!?
I learned more from Lexi about blogging and running a business in 30 seconds, than I have from anyone in 3 years. True story. You know what else I like about Lexi, she is so down to share something with you at a restaurant! I’m totally that person who would rather order like 3 things off the menu so I can try everything and Lexi is always totally down to share it with me so I don’t look like a fat ass.
That’s a good friend and everyone needs a good friend.
So, Lexi’s book hit’s shelves November 8th! I’m so excited to share this recipe with you early! It’s like a teaser and who doesn’t like a teaser?! I sure do. So besides these Carrot Cake Bars, can we also talk about the fact that she has a recipe for French Toast Sticks in her book. Yes, you read that right. The 7-year old in me just jumped for joy and needs to make these in time for Saturday Morning Cartoons. They are French Toast that is in the shape of sticks, that you dip into warm syrup. Are you getting this?! I feel like you aren’t understanding the magnitude of this revelation. You NEED this book!
Here’s some other featured recipes from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen that will get you going: Thai Meatballs, Classic Chili, One-Pan Arroz con Pollo, Maple-Glazed Salmon, and Sriracha Lime Chopped Chicken Salad, with healthier options of your favorite indulgent foods, like Perfect Waffles, Birthday Cake, Easy Sandwich Bread, and more. Lexi is a very talented little chef and photographer. I call her little, because she’s tiny! She’s like 4’11” and 95 pounds soaking wet. When you see her you want to just put her in your pocket! I seriously love Lexi and I’m so excited for her new book!
It’s been such a great season for new cookbooks! My fave’s right now besides Lexi’s are Cassy Joy’s Fed & Fit, Simone Miller’s aka Zenbelly’s Paleo Soups and Stews, which I’ll be sharing a recipe from next. It’s a great time to eat great! In my next blog post, I promise I’ll give you and update on what’s going on with my show (my life) hint: SO MUCH! I just don’t want to steal the spotlight from my homie Lexi and her Carrot Cake Bars! Yes, I just used the word homie, because the 90’s ruled and we must pay homage to that which hath ruled.
- 1 cup sifted blanched almond flour
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger or ½ teaspoon ginger powder
- ⅓ cup grated carrots
- ⅓ cup chopped raw walnuts, plus more for garnish (garnish optional)
- ¼ cup raisins
- Optional: 3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons almond milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt until well blended. Whisk in the eggs, applesauce, vanilla, and ginger, until smooth.
- Fold in the carrots, walnuts, raisins, and chocolate chips, if using.
- Pour the batter into the baking dish, smooth out the top, and bake for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
- While the cake is baking, make the frosting and set aside.
- When the cake is done, let it cool completely in the pan before frosting or cutting.
- Spread the frosting evenly across the top of the cake and garnish with extra chopped walnuts, if desired. Cut into 9 to 12 bars to serve. Store the bars in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the butter for 1 minute.
- Add the sugar and mix on low speed until well blended. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy, another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the almond milk and continue to beat on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until fluffy and lighter in color, adding the additional tablespoon of almond milk (or more) if needed to achieve a spreading consistency. If making the frosting ahead, store in the refrigerator and rewhip before using.