Mar 27

No-Bake Carrot Cake Granola Bites Recipe {Low Sugar & Gluten-Free}


These healthy no-bake granola bites have the flavor of carrot cake, without the calories, fat or sugar. They’re ridiculously good (& also gluten-free)!
No-Bake Carrot Cake Granola Bites Recipe {Low Sugar} #recipe #snack #healthy

I have a condition. It’s called “raid the basket-itis”. It’s not lethal, except to the waistband of my jeans. It is at its worst in the middle of the afternoon on Easter Sunday, after the hot cross buns are consumed, the backyard is pillaged of all Easter eggs and there’s still at least an hour and a half before the ham is pulled out of the oven.

I have two choices at this point. I could either give in to the siren call of the jellybeans and chocolate eggs. Have you ever heard the call of the hard-shelled Cadbury eggs? They’re relentless.

My other choice is to find a replacement for the chocolate eggs. Something that is just as tasty, with a touch of sweetness, but a heck of a lot healthier.

No-Bake Carrot Cake Granola Bites Recipe {Low Sugar} #recipe #snack #healthy

I don’t want to pat myself on the back too hard (after all, I need to save a little arm strength for heaving that ham out of the oven), but these carrot cake granola bites are ridiculously good. To boot, every kid who passed by our house for a playdate the day I made this (and there were many) gave them multiple thumbs-ups.

The bites are in the style of no-bake cookies, but with a lot less sugar than a traditional version. I used almond butter to hold the oats together and added a sprinkling of flax seed for a dose of omega-3s. The carrot cake part comes into play with some classic carrot cake ingredients – chopped pecans, raisins, cinnamon and grated carrots.

So, what’s the difference between choice one and choice two, calorie- and fat-wise? You may want to look away…it’s not pretty.

Cadbury hard shell milk chocolate eggs (12): Calories 190, Total Fat 5g, Saturated Fat 5g, Fiber 0g, Sugars 27g (yikes!)

Butterfinger Nest Eggs (5…only 5!): Calories 210, Total Fat 11g, Saturated Fat 6g, Fiber 1g, Sugars 24g

Jellybeans (12): Calories 129, Total Fat 0g, Fiber 0g,Sugars 25.8g

Granola Bites (1…but this baby will satisfy those munchies): Calories 101.7, Total Fat 6.4g, Saturated Fat 0.6g, Fiber 1.8g, Sugar 4.4g (now that’s some good news)

I’m sorry to put a damper on your basket raiding party, but I promise that these granola bites will satisfy that sweet craving without leading you to the land of regret.

(Reminder: Hop over to Monday’s post to link-up your favorite Easter recipes and crafts. I’ll be highlighting my favorites in a post this Saturday.)

The recipe:

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, pecans and flax seed.

No-Bake Carrot Cake Granola Bites Recipe {Low Sugar} #recipe #snack #healthy

Stir in the almond butter, agave nectar and cinnamon until well combined.

Stir in the grated carrot and raisins.

No-Bake Carrot Cake Granola Bites Recipe {Low Sugar} #recipe #snack #healthy

Using 2 tablespoons (packed) of the mixture for each bite, roll the mixture into bite-sized balls. Using a medium-sized cookie scoop makes this process easier. Also, spray your hands with cooking spray to stop the mixture from sticking.

No-Bake Carrot Cake Granola Bites Recipe {Low Sugar} #recipe #snack #healthy

Place the granola bites on a baking sheet, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve.

Store the remaining granola bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Other healthy snacks:

Healthy Snack Recipes
Cookin’ Canuck’s Low Fat Granola Bars with Bananas, Cranberries & Pecans Recipe
Cookin’ Canuck’s Creamy Curry Hummus Recipes: A Healthy Snack
Cooking Quinoa’s Onion Quinoa Bites
Quiche A Week’s Vegan Raw Crunch Bars
Beth on a Diet’s Roasted Garbanzo Beans with Sea Salt & Goji Berries

No-Bake Carrot Cake Granola Bites Recipe
Prep time
Total time
From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck.
Serves: Approximately 22 granola bites
  • 1½ cups old-fashioned oats
  • ⅓ cups unroasted pecans, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • ¾ cup almond butter
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar or honey
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup (packed) grated carrot
  • ⅓ cup raisins
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, pecans and flax seed.
  2. Stir in the almond butter, agave nectar and cinnamon until well combined.
  3. Stir in the grated carrot and raisins.
  4. Using 2 tablespoons (packed) of the mixture for each bite, roll the mixture into bite-sized balls. Using a medium-sized cookie scoop makes this process easier. Also, spray your hands with cooking spray to stop the mixture from sticking.
  5. Place the granola bites on a baking sheet, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve.
  6. Store the remaining granola bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Calories 101.7 / Total Fat 6.4g / Saturated Fat 0.6g / Cholesterol 0mg / Sodium 3.8mg / Total Carbohydrates 10.1g / Fiber 1.8g / Sugar 4.4g / Protein 2.3g / WW (Old Points) 2 / WW (Points+) 3
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 granola bite Calories: 101.7cal Fat: Total Fat 6.4g / Saturated Fat 0.6g

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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Aggie March 27, 2013 at 5:15 am

I always feel terrible after one of those basket raids. You are smart to prepare us with these awesome little granola bites! And carrot cake flavored too!! Yum Dara!


2 Liz @ The Lemon Bowl March 27, 2013 at 7:01 am

It’s funny growing up my parents never filled our Easter baskets with candy and I always resented them for it. As an adult, I am now so grateful!!! Love this recipe!!


3 Tieghan March 27, 2013 at 7:18 am

This is a great idea and the sound delicious!


4 Jess S. @ Floptimism March 27, 2013 at 7:23 am

I can’t tell you how great it is to see a recipe titled “low sugar” and not find ingredients like splenda, or stevia, etc. Your recipes, when they are low-sugar, are always just naturally low sugar. These look fantastic!


5 Abby @ The Frosted Vegan March 27, 2013 at 7:31 am

Ohh no bake and these are looking like they are vegan, win!


6 Kelly March 27, 2013 at 7:39 am

Oh this is just the recipe I was looking for to add something different to my morning breakfast, LOVE these :)


7 Traci March 27, 2013 at 7:50 am

Thanks for the reality check on those beautiful little Cadbury eggs. :( I love the idea of having these around instead. Will have them to munch on. But only 1?? That might be tough.


8 Ali | Gimme Some Oven March 27, 2013 at 7:51 am

These are super adorable, Dara! I love all things granola bites — especially carrot cake!!

I have some new ones of my own coming up on my blog tomorrow. It’s a granola bite sort of week! :)


9 Barbara @ Barbara Bakes March 27, 2013 at 7:57 am

Looks like a great way to snack without the guilt.


10 Deborah March 27, 2013 at 8:00 am

I need these in my kitchen at all times because I’m a horrible snacker. What a great idea!!


11 Heidi @foodiecrush March 27, 2013 at 8:03 am

Oh man! You’re killing me, especially with a basket of treats sitting here in my kitchen. But a tasty looking alternative and bonus that no oven is required! Happy egg searching!


12 Becky @ Olives n Wine March 27, 2013 at 8:54 am

Wow, those sugar nutritional facts are SCARY!! I love the Cadbury eggs but have managed to avoid them so far this year :) I am going to make these granola bites for a healthy sweet to snack on before Easter dinner this Sunday!


13 Jocelyn @BruCrew Life March 27, 2013 at 9:33 am

I think mine is called “eat all the sugar in sight -itis :-) Although those health stats on each candy is pretty alarming!! Carrot cake is one of my favorites, so I am kind of excited about these bites!!!


14 Brianna March 27, 2013 at 9:36 am

I seriously love this idea!!! I love carrot cake…totally making these this weekend :)


15 Carla @ Carlas Confections March 27, 2013 at 10:32 am

Oh I love those! The pop of orange is so perfect. I definitely need to make this version :)


16 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking March 27, 2013 at 11:07 am

I’m a carrot cake nut and I know these would be a huge hit! Great recipe, Dara!


17 kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts March 27, 2013 at 12:26 pm

What an unusual recipe, Dara, that I bet tastes just great. I love carrot cake, and I get the munchies, so this is right up my alley.
I admit the basket-raiding isn’t as fun when you’ve got 2 in braces and there’s no jelly beans . . .
It’s easy to sneak jelly beans, but the kids count the chocolates and know what *should* be in there.


18 Laura (Tutti Dolci) March 27, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Absolutely love these, Dara! Great flavors, and perfect for breakfast or a snack on the go!


19 Becky at Vintage Mixer March 27, 2013 at 3:15 pm

love all of the energy bites posted lately!! My go-to energy bite recipes are chocolate date, and coconut almond!!


20 Cassie | Bake Your Day March 27, 2013 at 3:19 pm

These are awesome, Dara. Maybe they will satisfy my carrot cake craving without hurting my diet!


21 Gerry @ Foodness Gracious March 27, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I love that they’re raw. You reminded me I have to go buy Creme Eggs for Sunday 😉


22 Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust March 27, 2013 at 5:15 pm

I LOVE this recipe. I also that that condition, daily. These would be a great snack right now, actually… :)


23 Jeanette March 27, 2013 at 7:56 pm

I love these healthier Easter treats – going to have to stay away from those Cadbury eggs!


24 Maureen March 27, 2013 at 11:06 pm

How did you know I lived in “the land of regret” ? I must make these for Sunday! My days of regret might be over :)


25 ashley - baker by nature March 28, 2013 at 5:41 am

These look like the perfect snack for road trips! I might have to whip up a batch of these little bites before we hit the road tomorrow! Happy Easter weekend 😉


26 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective March 28, 2013 at 6:47 am

I love this–it sounds like it would satisfy the need for sweetness, without the damage.


27 claire @ the realistic nutritionist March 28, 2013 at 8:25 am



28 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar March 28, 2013 at 9:07 am

Mmm what a fabulous treat! I would love these for a hike :)


29 Sharyn March 28, 2013 at 9:09 am

Holy Batman! Going to make these right now! I don’t have any pecans, but I do have almonds on hand…worth a try.


30 Jess S. @ Floptimism March 28, 2013 at 10:07 am

By the way – I should have thought to mention this in my last comment – would you be interested in sharing this recipe with my blog readers? I’m hosting a healthy recipe link-up to celebrate the end of National Nutrition Month and I would love to have you stop by and share this post (or, really, any of the other delicious, healthy recipes you post on your blog)! If you’re interested, here is the link:


31 Julia March 28, 2013 at 11:03 am

Fantastic! I have a carrot spice granola recipe that is very good, but our oven is out of commission right now. These no-bake treats are just what I should make!


32 Kankana March 28, 2013 at 6:47 pm

That is a lovely treat and I visited here at the right time. I was just wonderring what different could I do with the carrots :)


33 dessertfortwo March 28, 2013 at 8:09 pm

I love these, and so will my carrot-cake obsessed hubby! Thanks for sharing :)


34 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen March 28, 2013 at 10:48 pm

“Have you ever heard the call of the hard-shelled Cadbury eggs? ” *sigh* yes I am all too familiar with it’s siren call. 😉


35 Nutmeg Nanny March 29, 2013 at 8:47 am

There is something so appealing about a no-bake recipe to me :) they look yummy and I love that you thought of a healthy option for Easter day, so smart!


36 Mercedes March 29, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Do you think I can use chia seeds instead of flax?


37 Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen April 3, 2013 at 11:03 am

This idea is inspired! They look absolutely delish :)


38 Sally April 3, 2013 at 11:34 am

This is one of my favorite new snacks. My whole family also likes them! Thanks for sharing this one, Dara. Love the low sugar, also.


39 Sophia April 17, 2013 at 9:16 am

When i was 9 my mother became Diabetic. that year for Easter, since she couldn’t have candy, our baskets were filled with fruits and nuts! This was also the year we learned to begin to enjoy Unsweetened Orange Juice, Cranberry Juice, and to enjoy Tuna Salad on top of Cottage Cheese, stuffed in a Tomato on a lettuce leaf. So, your granola bites are right up my alley!!
BTW, she also taught us to give her shots in case of an emergency situation. she gave needles, and showed us how to extract from apples and oranges, and how to inject the needles. For years i could promise a shot in times of emergency, but i couldn’t promise it wouldn’t hurt, but you would live!
Now i am diabetic due to my genes, but i know how to give a good shot, and i dont have an issue with the foods!


40 Carrie Vaughn May 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Is it okay to eat raw oat?


41 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Hi Carrie, I’ve never had any problems eating raw oats. If you’re concerned you could toast them in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes. Here is an article from tat talks about the safety of raw oats:


42 Karen May 23, 2013 at 9:44 am

I’m preparing these in advance. Are they ok to stay in the refrigerator for a couple of days or can they be frozen? I’m looking forward to trying them!


43 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Hi Karen. Yes, I have refrigerated these for up to 3 days (they are usually gone by then). I haven’t tried freezing them.


44 Cheap Recipe Blog May 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm

These look sooo yummy! Do they taste like carrot cake batter at all?


45 Blair July 17, 2013 at 7:22 pm

My five year old daughter and I absolutely LOVE these!


46 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) July 18, 2013 at 7:07 am

Blair, that makes me so happy to hear! These are always a hit with my kids, too.


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Fantástico , esta receita vamos fazer para bota na mesa do café da manhã , da pousada… Obrigado pela dica


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51 janet September 25, 2013 at 9:27 pm

I’m allergic to almonds and thus can’t have almond butter. I think peanut butter would not taste right. What would you recommend?


52 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) September 26, 2013 at 9:06 am

A cashew butter would be a great substitution, Janet. Anything that gives a subtle nuttiness should do the trick.


53 Sarah October 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm

I pinned these quite some time ago but finally got around to making these after seeing someone else pin them & I’m disappointed it took me so long to make them! I did add a few pinches of nutmeg (half my love for carrot cake comes from the spices) and a few tablespoons of chopped up white chocolate chips (the other half of my love comes from the frosting & white chocolate was the closest ‘frosting’ element I could think of to add to these!). At first I wasn’t too sure how well these would go over with everyone but after seeing my three year old take 3 balls before I could even finish rolling them all out I knew these were going to be great (and they are!) I know the white chocolate somewhat overrides the health factor on these but a tablespoons or two when chopped up really goes along way and sort of completes it, incase. you ever want to try it. thanks for the delicious recipe 😉


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I made these but I used a variety of seeds (sesame, pumpkin, sunflower) instead of the pecans, along with 1/4 cup shredded coconut, I used Mayvers peanut & cacoa (2 ingredient spread) instead of almond butter which is an Australian product and they were really delicious.


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64 Tasha December 17, 2013 at 10:27 am

I’m making these for a Christmas party tonight. Seems like a nice compromise among all the Christmas treats, but they will still look pretty with all the orange carrot bits. I substituted peanut butter, and I think it tastes delicious. The white chocolate chips sound delicious as a bother option. I too love the frosting on a genuine carrot cake!


65 Elaine March 23, 2014 at 6:15 pm

These are amazing! I used maple syrup instead of honey and added a touch of vanilla. These will be breakfast this week. Thank you!!!


66 Leisa April 12, 2014 at 10:58 am

I was just wondering if it would still work if the agave was left out? Do you think the raisins, carrots and nut butter would give it enough sweetness without adding it?


67 Deb July 29, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Any idea how you could make these nut free to allow them to go in school lunch boxes?


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69 Paula S. April 8, 2015 at 12:02 pm

Any ideas on how to make this nut free? What would be a good substitute for almond butter? Thanks,


70 Marissa September 25, 2015 at 7:16 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Wonderful idea to incorporate more veggies into a snack. Just made ’em tonight – turned out great. Used some pitted dates that were in the cupboard instead of raisins and made my own nut/seed butter. Wonderful.


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