February 9, 2016

by Alyssa

Vegan Carrot Cake Quinoa Breakfast Bars

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These vegan carrot cake breakfast bars are a healthy and delicious way to start your day. Simple ingredients, high in protein and naturally gluten-free!

Vegan Carrot Cake Breakfast Bars with quinoa and hemp hearts for added protein!

Who wants a slice of carrot cake for breakfast?  Me, me, me!

When it comes to breakfast, you know by now I'm all about the sweetness. Gimme a slice of cake and I'd be a happy girl, BUT breakfast is also our most important meal of the day, so I know better than to fill my belly with refined sugars and carbohydrates.

Cake for breakfast = recipe for disaster.

Well…unless it's vegan carrot cake comin' at ya in the form of quinoa breakfast bars!

Cake for breakfast? You betcha! This vegan carrot cake is so healthy it's totally breakfast worthy!

But like how can cake be healthy enough for breakfast, right? That's a valid question… because most of the time it can't.

This time though, when it has ingredients as these bars do, carrot cake definitely becomes an acceptable breakfast option.

Here's what we're working with (and why these totally rock):

  • Naturally high in protein
  • No refined sugars
  • Whole fruits + veggies
  • Healthy fats from nuts and seeds

The secret to making this vegan carrot cake healthy? Using quinoa and chickpeas!

The quick secret to share with you about this recipe: it's actually a spin-off my pumpkin chocolate chip bars 🙂

I make a few tweaks so they were a bit more carrot cake friendly, but they still have the amazingly soft and fluffy texture with a super clean ingredient list. Like is it crazy to put chickpeas in your cake? And what about sweetening it with fruits and low-glycemic coconut sugar? OR what about using NO oil whatsoever?

Thing is, that's how I want us to roll around here. Simple, clean, healthy and sometimes just a little surprising.

Plus, as you can see from the picture below, just because we have “different” ingredients, it certainly doesn't affect the texture at all!

Mmmm it's soft, fluffy and totally cake-like!

This vegan carrot cake has the most amazing texture! And you'll never guess what's inside...clean, healthy and simple! [gluten-free]

Now before I let you go, I have to just mention the frosting…

It's hard to have carrot cake without frosting, BUT I didn't want to compromise the integrity of the recipe by topping it with something that's filled with sugar. So instead, I found an amazing paleo frosting recipe that uses coconut butter! I was shocked at how creamy it was; just the perfect topping for this carrot cake.

Of course, you don't have to use frosting, it does make it a bit more decadent. But if you wanted this breakfast bar to serve as either breakfast OR a dessert, then the frosting is totally worthwhile. I also fully stand behind the addition of the walnuts on top. So delicious!

Your turn…

Are you on the sweet or savory side of things when it comes to breakfast? And what is your go-to? I'm always interested to see what others eat for breakfast since I so easily get stuck in my smoothie bowl rut. Luckily carrot cake has been on the menu lately 😉

xo Alyssa

An absolutely EPIC vegan carrot cake recipe that uses chickpeas and quinoa....AND it's healthy enough for breakfast! {vegan + gluten-free}

More Breakfast Bar Recipes to try:

Vegan Carrot Cake Quinoa Breakfast Bars

Vegan Carrot Cake Quinoa Breakfast Bars

Mmmm it's soft, fluffy and totally cake-like!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 16 bars
Calories 79kcal
Author Alyssa Rimmer
Print Pin
Vegan Carrot Cake Breakfast Bars with quinoa and hemp hearts for added protein!
4.37 from 19 votes



  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment and set aside.
  • Whisk together the flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, blend the chickpeas, banana and applesauce in a food processor until completely smooth.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, reserving the hemp hearts, carrot and walnuts. Pour the chickpea puree into the bowl along with the flax egg and mix to combine.
  • Fold in the hemp hearts, grated carrot and walnuts.
  • Dump the batter into the prepared pan. Bake on the center rack for 22 - 26 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool in the pan for 10 - 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting and slicing.
  • Slice into 12 - 16 bars. Store in an airtight container for 2 - 3 days.


*If you can't find vanilla powder, substitute 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and add the vanilla to the food processor while blending the wet ingredients.
** If you don't want to make that frosting, you could also try the frosting I have in this recipe just substitute white sweet potatoes and no turmeric


Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 63mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 690IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.9mg



If I could eat cake for breakfast everyday, I TOTALLY would! That's why I'm loving the ingredient list in these VEGAN CARROT CAKE bars...healthy, clean and high-protein!

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. […] Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Quinoa from Simply Quinoa ~ 3. Vegan Carrot Cake Quinoa Breakfast Bars from Simply […]

  2. […] Carrot Cake Quinoa Breakfast Bars […]

  3. Hi Alissa,
    I made the cake today, but I did not had good results. Even though I am a quinoa lover I found the bitter taste really over powering, I could not taste the carrots or any other flavors. I wonder if I did something wrong. Should the quinoa flour be toasted like you mention in your guide ? If so, how do you toasts it?
    Thanks for your advice , I will like to try the recepie again 🙂

    • Hi Claudia – yes, I would definitely recommend toasting your quinoa flour if you found the flavor to be too bitter. It’s funny because some people’s taste buds are more sensitive to the bitterness, and they won’t know until they try it. So next time around, try it with toasted quinoa flour instead 🙂 Hope you enjoy them!

  4. Hello, I don’t like / est beans or chickpeas – could I sub mashed sweet potato for thé chickpeas ? Tx !!!

  5. Hi Alyssa
    I have to tell you that I love this breakfast was a little sweet for me so I cut back on sugar so I put less sugar.( the first time I forgot the chia and it was fine)
    I have to tell you that I made one again yesterday with LUCUMA powder OMG it’s soooo good that one piece is not enough .
    I love your recipes.

  6. Hi! Where can I find the coconut buttercream frosting recipe? I’ve clicked on it, error database connection keeps coming up! Can you please forward it to me? ????

  7. this looks so good! Any ideas what I could use in place of the banana? Bananas are a huge migraine trigger for me. 🙁

    • Yes, please! Let me know what you do. I don’t eat bananas due to their high GI, so I never have them on hand.

      • I think you could try to substitute with 100% applesauce. Maybe add a tablespoon or two of chia seeds and let the batter rest for a bit so that it has time to come together.

    • Hmm I’m not sure. You could try doing just applesauce, but you might want to add some chia seeds to help bind it together. Or maybe an additional flax egg and half the applesauce. Let me know what you end up doing!

  8. Can’t access the Coconut Buttercream Frosting recipe. It said page not available. It sounds delicious, so could you email me the recipe? Thanks so much!

  9. hi the spunky cocononut link you put is not working, Could you please post the recipie of the coconut butter cream. thanks

    • Hi Karl – for some reason her site seems to be down at the moment and I don’t have access to the recipe either. Hopefully it will be back up soon!

  10. My go to for the past few weeks has been egg nests. Shredded sweet potato baked in nests in cupcake pan. Fill nests with spinach or collard greens and then top with an egg and bake. Easy to make ahead and grab-n-go; super filling and oh so good! I am looking forward to making the carrot cake this weekend for a sweet change. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    • That sounds absolutely amazing! I’ve seen those floating around Pinterest but have never tried them. Totally gotta do it – yum!

  11. Those look great, I will have to try them out! I also have a major sweet tooth and would eat a giant decadent piece of chocolate cake or cheese cake every morning for breakfast if it was healthy. But alas, it is not. So my go-to breakfast is a bowl of oatmeal with fruit and hemp seeds on top. If I’m in a rush, then I’ll grab a few oatmeal bake muffins (either apple cinnamon or coconut lemon). These look like they’d be a nice third in-a-rush option!

    • I hear ya girl! Your breakfast sounds lovely though – filling, satisfying and nutritious. I love the idea of the oatmeal bake muffins! How do you make those?

    • Feel free to substitute a different nut/seed or you could just leave them out completely 🙂 Let me know how it goes! xo

  12. This sounds awesome! I must admit, I haven’t had carrot cake/bars in a very long time… but it’s my grandma’s favorite! I am going to have to try and make this for her 🙂

    • I think she’ll love it! Of course I might be a little biased, but I swear it really does taste like carrot cake 🙂


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