Valentine’s Day has now (thankfully) come and gone. Which means that it’s time for grocery carts everywhere to start glowing orange as we celebrate this most wonderful time of the year — Carrot Cake Season!
I’m pretty sure that I’d be best buds with Bugs Bunny, because I get a little too excited about carrots and carrot cake and anything else that I can make taste like carrot cake. Last year, some of you might remember that I shared back-to-back recipes for the (humbly-named) Best Carrot Cake, as well as a killer Vegan Gluten-Free Carrot Cake. And since I generally test my baking recipes at least a handful of times before posting them on the blog, it’s safe to say that last spring was filled with so much carrot cake. Which was not a problem. :)
This year, though, I thought I’d kick off the season with a slightly healthier spin on the classic — Carrot Cake Granola. It’s naturally-sweetened, naturally gluten-free and vegan, made with real carrots, and perfect for anyone who has ever wanted to sneak a slice of carrot cake for breakfast.
Let’s make some!
I actually had the idea for this granola as I was making a different carrot cake recipe this week (stay tuned), and was trying to figure out what to do with my leftover carrot shavings. I wasn’t quite sure what would happen if I baked them, but I figured it was worth a try to see.
So I tossed them together with some oats, lots of nuts (pecans + walnuts), coconut, maple syrup, coconut oil, and a handful of carrot cake spices.
Most colorful granola ever, eh?
Then I baked them up…
…and afterwards, tossed the mixture with some raisins.
The result? Crazy good.
I was aiming to save the leftovers to share with some friends who are staying with us this weekend, but can’t seem to stop snacking on the stuff. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. It’s packed with protein with those nuts. And it’s the perfect excuse to enjoy the classic flavors of carrot cake all day long.
Stay tuned, because I’m so not off this carrot cake kick yet… :)
This carrot cake granola recipe is easy to make, naturally gluten-free and vegan, and it celebrates the flavors we all love in carrot cake!
2 cups old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats if making this GF)
1 cup grated or shredded carrots
1 cup pecans
1 cup walnuts
(optional) 1/2 cup shaved or shredded coconut
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of cloves (optional)
1/2 cup raisins
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Add the oats, carrots, pecans, walnuts, coconut (if using), maple syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves together in a large mixing bowl. Toss well until combined.
Spread the mixture out evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, pulling the mixture out at the halfway point and giving it a good stir before the final round of baking. Remove and let cool until the granola reaches room temperature. Then add raisins and toss to combine.
Enjoy immediately, or store in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
*If you’d prefer to just use one kind of nuts, you can either use 2 cups of pecans or 2 cups of walnuts. If you don’t like raisins, you can just omit them.
Yes! Ever since you posted try outs of this on Twitter I was hoping to see a recipe soon. Looks absolutely delish!
Oh my word – this is just GENIUS!!! I’m a granola monster, but I’ve never thought to make a carrot cake version – I must have this!!
It is totally time to carrot cake all the things!! I actually just bought carrot cake coffee.
But, it doesn’t take like carrot cake. Sad day.
Good thing I have this for breakfast instead! Pinned!
I love granola! I am definitely going to try this recipe
YAYYY!!! I’m on a quest for no refined sugar recipes and you are totally making my day right now. PINNED!
I need this!! What a great idea.
This is a great idea and I know it would go well with so many things, not to mention to eat as is!! Delicious and nutritious. xo Catherine
Carrot cake is my absolute favorite. I’m going to make this asap because well it’s screaming my name!! I love granola and this sounds heavenly!! Thanks so much for sharing!
Great recipe! I am obsessed with the carrot cake from The Cheesecake Factory. Looks like I might be able to make a healthy swap now :)
Carrot cake is 100% my fav dessert ever so I am obsessed with this way of being able to eat those flavors 24/7.
I love carrot cake, I know I’d inhale this granola!
I so enjoy carrot cake season!! And this granola looks excellent! What a great idea!
Granola is the best! But it’s so fun to mix it up with new, exciting flavors. Love this!
Finally, a really unique, different granola recipe! Looks fabulous!
This looks so delicious! Can’t wait to try it!
carrot cake granola was a genius idea! Yummy!
Wow, this looks so tasty, will have to make a batch-I love carrot cake, and your photos are over the top beautiful!
Mmm, carrot cake is my favourite! How wonderful that you’ve put it into granola form! Now I can have it for breakfast too! Thanks, Ali
Literally having dreams about this granola right now. I made it last night, and it’s so tasty! It was my first homemade granola experience. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to finish it in two weeks, but it’s looking like I won’t have any problems.
I just tried this one out and found it great for breakfast together with plain yoghurt or Greek yoghurt.It takes you thru the half of the day.
I just reduced slightly the maple syrup and added a small amount of honey instead.Thanks Ali! I also added a little bit more carrots and it came out so deliciously.
Thanks for giving it a try, and granola with Greek yogurt is my favorite! Great combo. : )
Did you add cloves? Your ingredients don’t mention them but your instructions did.
Oops, thanks for catching that typo! Yes, cloves are optional — you can add in a pinch if you’d like. Enjoy!
Very unfortunate the nutritional values are not posted on any of your recipes for those of us who are required to know them for a particular disease. Some sound great, but useless!
Hi Vonnie! The reason we currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site is that the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate. We never want to publish anything that might be misleading, especially if someone has a disease. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate.
I made this tonight and it is absolutely amazing! I didn’t have cinnamon in my cupboard (I know, how does that even happen?! ) so I modified and used pumpkin pie spice in place of the recommended spices and it still turned out fantastic. We are excited to use these granola recipes in place of cereal from now on!
Thank you Becky! And we’re so glad to hear it worked well with the pumpkin pie spice! :D
Do you use sweetened or unsweetened coconut?
Hi Tasha! You can use either one, but we used unsweetened. We hope you enjoy!
Most delicious granola I’ve ever made!!!
It was easy to make and it was delicious.
I’ve been making this recipe once a week for months now. We love it, and guests do as well. Thank you.
I love this recipe. I double it and make it every other week.
I love making granola! I put the raisins in the mix and in the oven. They plump when you cook them : )
Terrific recipe. Thank you!
Made it! Cooked it a *bit* too long, but it didn’t look/feel crunchy. Whoops! :) so so excited to have this, thank you so much!!
You are a GENIUS! And this granola is so good, I honestly can’t stop eating it. I added some flax seeds and dried diced pineapple because I always add pineapple to carrot cake and omg I might just eat the entire batch by myself.
Thanks for a great recipe!
I am wanting to add chia to it since I’m suppose to get more into my diet. Should I add it in before I put in oven or after? I dont cook with this seed so I’m not sure
Hi, I’m not the recipe author obviously but I cook a lot with chia seeds and adding them before cooking them in the oven helps form decliously crunchy clumps in the granola since chia seeds are a gelling agent.
This was delicious! To make it a little lower calorie, I used an extra cup of oats and only one cup of nuts, and decreased both the oil and maple syrup slightly. Now, if I can just keep myself from snacking on it and save it for breakfast!
Second time in a month I have made a double batch. Best granola ever. My husband mixes it with vanilla yogurt in the morning. Thanks for a great granola.
I made this this morning. It smelled wonderful. Honest confession- I don’t like raisins, but I still thought I’d give it ago. I added candied ginger. I think next time I’ll swap the raisins for candied pineapple….which I think would be a traditional and acceptable swap. Tha ks for the recipe.
This is the best granola I’ve ever had. My husband even likes it and he’s never tried any that he likes!
Any sub for the oil?
I was in NO WAY a granola person and neither was my husband – but this recipe changed that! He’s eating yogurt now!! Can’t believe it! Thank you so much for this game changer!
I just made this granola and it is wonderful . My husband says I need to keep a jar of it on hand. I only swapped out sliced almonds for the pecans because that is what I had and I chopped my walnuts because I like smaller pieces. It was very easy to make . I would highly recommend
I made this and it was Awesome!
I just made this and I like the taste of the shredded carrot in the granola. Very simple recipe.
I used the sweetened flaked coconut and rinsed it through a sieve a few times to get the sugar out. This was helpful and the unnecessary calories aren’t needed.