Up until a month ago, baby carrots were a staple in my fridge and I never thought twice about them. They have been my go-to healthy crunchy snack ever since college, and I regularly toss them in everything from soups to smoothies to my favorite fried rice. No peeling required. No fuss. No problem, right?!
Wrong. Pretty sure that a small, harmless little bag of baby carrots spawned the closest thing to a “fight” that Kathryne and I had as roommates during our month in Austin. She was aghast that I would buy baby carrots, much less enjoy eating them, and went off on her soapbox about how they are the watered-down, less-flavorful, lower-quality, mechanically-shaped counterpart to their full-sized namesakes. She can tend to be pretty opinionated about her vegetables, so I decided to just let it go. And then do the mature thing and, you know, continue chomping on my baby carrots around the house day after day. ;)
Sure enough, a week or so later I was sitting at the kitchen island baby-carrot-snacking away when Kathryne surreptitiously slid an organic, freshly-peeled, non-baby, whole carrot across the counter and said, “Try this.” I rolled my eyes and took a bite, ready to settle this food bloggers’ argument and prove my baby carrots’ worth once and for all. And…
…the bigger carrot was better.
Ugh. I mean, not by a landslide. It was still totally in the same family as my little babies, and didn’t taste any different. But the flavor was definitely stronger, the texture was crisper, and I felt like Bugs Bunny would have probably preferred it. Darn. Of course, I did not admit defeat immediately. But the next time we arrived home from Whole Foods and Kathryne saw that I also pulled a bunch of organic, whole carrots out of my grocery bag, I had to concede. She was right. (Which I’m pretty sure I will never live down.) ;)
No, she was gracious and happy to have converted me to the world of full-sized carrots. And I was happy that they have made my snacking — and a smoothie like this — all the tastier. So grab some (big) carrots, and let’s make one!
I actually made this smoothie a few times while we were in Austin, and then kept forgetting to share it on the blog. But then I remembered that today is Single Serving Saturday, and with Easter (and carrot cake season!) just around the corner, it seemed like the perfect time.
The inspiration behind the recipe was simple: try to make a healthy protein smoothie that satisfied my (never-ending) cravings for carrot cake! So I gathered up a few of the classic spices, chopped up lots of fresh carrots, froze a banana to thicken the smoothie, added in almond milk and natural sweeteners to keep things healthier (and vegetarian), and then blended it up to see what happened.
It took me a few tries to get the recipe quite right. But once I finally did, the results were delicious.
It’s everything I love about the spicy, fresh-carrot goodness of traditional carrot cake. But of course, made with fresh and healthy ingredients you can feel good about enjoying for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even dessert. And it’s easy to personalize! If you’re a fan of nuts in your carrot cake, you can blend a few toasted walnuts into your smoothie, or use them as a topping. If you love coconut, you can also blend in some shredded coconut into the mix. If you like a super-sweet cake, you can add in more maple syrup to sweeten it.
And the best part for all of my fellow single friends out there? This recipe makes one simple single serving, so no worries about having to freeze and thaw leftovers. Just make a batch for yourself and enjoy every last sip.
I was just about to try to invent my own carrot cake smoothie recipe, but knew the internet would provide. So pleased I’m in the habit of storing diced bananas in the freezer! I was plannimg on using maple syrup anway, but ginger is a new one. Like others, I did some substitutions: cream cheese (left over from the icing I made for my birthday carrot cake) instead of yogurt (which I had just finished off for my breakfast, oops) and I just used regular old cow’s milk as the liquid. Still delicious. Thanks!
Yay, we’re happy you liked this, and your substitutions sound delicious! :)
I tried another carrot cake smoothie and it was horrible. I began searching for another one. I came upon your page. I tried it and I love it. I add double the amount of cinnamon though. This has become my go to smoothie.
Yay, we’re so glad you liked this one Ariel! :D
I had bananas on deck but they wasn’t frozen so I used frozen carrots instead. Also, I used brown sugar, a tablespoon of cinnamon, pinch of ginger, pinch of allspice, pinch of salt and 3/4th cup of vanilla almond milk. It wasn’t that bad. Next time I’ll add some vanilla extract. Thank you for the idea!
We’re glad you were able to improvise with some good results Curtis, thanks for giving the recipe a try! :)
Going to give this a try tomorrow morning with my breakfast :) Can’t wait! Any way that I can eat vegetables (or slurp them) is a win in my book :)
Yay, we hope you love it Michelle! :)
Try with molasses as sweetener. It gives it the best flavor. For health benwfits, add a tsp of tumeric(its a pain reliever.
Thanks for sharing your tips with us Denise!
Omg so delicious. I use fresh ginger and add a small amount of pecans. Its amazing. My eight year old wants it everyday
Awww, we’re so glad you and your kiddo enjoy this Wendy! Thanks for sharing with us! :)
Yay, sounds delicious! :)
I love this recipe! I have been making it all the time and it’s so good – thank you for sharing!
We’re so glad you enjoy it Elyse! :)
Loved this smoothie! My blender in ancient, so I babied it with grated carrots, and it worked great! I used pumpkin pie spice and a little extra cinnamon instead of ginger and nutmeg separately, and threw in a handful of quick-cook oats too. I’ve already got everything prepped to make this again tomorrow morning. Maybe I’ll even remember to get a picture of it before it’s consumed! Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks Avery! We’re happy to hear you enjoyed it! :)
Made again today,My craving for carrot cake is nonstop .lost my leg and I can enjoy this with out the work It also has protein I need!
We’re so sorry about your leg Wendy. :( We’re glad to hear this smoothie is something that’s easy for you to make and something you enjoy though. Thank you for commenting!
Browsing Pintrest for smoothie ideas to cut back on sugar and I LOVE carrot cake. Quick and easy in the Vitamix. Used 3 dates instead of maple syrup and freshly grated nutmeg. It is my dessert for tonight and pretty good too.
Thank you Naomi — we’re so glad you enjoyed this! :)
I can’t get over how delicious this is! You have a winner here. I drink a lot of smoothies, but this one has to be my favorite, by far. Thanks so much for sharing it!! (Plus I get my B vitamins!)
Thank you Delina — we’re so glad you love it! :D
Thanks for the recipe my 2.5 yo and I enjoyed it! We added a tbsp of Chia seeds, some ice and 2 handfuls of spinach. Can’t even taste the greens so they are a must in any of our smoothie recipes! With the add of the spinach it turned it a light green but we didn’t mind. Next time will add more spices. Great recipe to sneak more veggies into our day!
You’re welcome Emily — we’re happy you and your little one enjoy this — and the spinach you add sounds yummy! :)
I looove carrot cake and I loooove smoothies! This is absolutely perfect for me! Just one question, would you happen to have the nutritional facts for this recipe?
Awesome! We hope you love this, Hannah! Unfortunately we aren’t sure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!
Do you have calorie count available?
Hi Suzi! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!
Girl, this is good!!!
Thanks Joan — we’re so glad you enjoy it!
Drinking this right now, so delicious! And I love the color! Such a great change from my usual green smoothie :)
We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Victoria!
hola la zanahoria tiene q estar cocida…no?
No, the carrot does not have to be cooked. We used it raw!
Just tried this, but with low fat milk and honey because that’s what I had on hand. Yum.
We’re glad you enjoyed it!
I stopping by to say this is an amazing smoothie ? I will definitely check out some of your other recipes!
Thank you, Erin — we’re so happy you enjoyed it!
Wow! I’ve never commented on any of your recipes but when u saw this and i saw it was from your site i just had to try it out. AMAZING! It baffles me that carrot cake and smoothie go in the same sentence but it totally worked!! I topped it with toasted coconut and walnuts. This will now be a staple in my kitchen. I used whole organic milk because I’m on a whole foods kick (and i don’t have any almond milk right now). Super rich and believe it or not, so much good fat, it’s healthy!
Hi Regina! Thank you for taking the time to comment — we’re so glad you loved the recipe! :)
Hi,I am going to copy down your carrot cake smoothie recipe and I am going to make it in my magic bullet blender after I buy the rest of the ingredients and I will let you know what I think of your smoothie and how it tastes etc.
I have shredded carrots,natrel milk,protein powder,the spices,but no vanilla yogurt,and no almond milk.
This was ok. It didn’t have as much flavor as I was hoping for. I think it needs much more cinnamon and ginger.
This is great and unique flavor idea for a smoothie. I’ll try your recipe!
I’m not even that big a carrot cake fan, but I’ve been making this on and off since the summer, and it might be my favorite smoothie recipe ever. A great big thank you!
Just made this, and the flavor is DELICIOUS! My only issue was the texture. It reminded me of that ginger dressing that you get at hibachi restaurants with the carrot pieces just kind of suspended in the liquid rather than blended in. That could just be my blender though! I’m wondering if it would change the flavor a whole lot if the carrots were steamed first for a smoother consistancy? I may try it because I will definitely be making this again!
Just made this! I follow the receipt except I added protein powder and it was delicious and thats saying a lot since I’m not a carrot fan. Only thing is my smoothie was a little grainy but That’s Probably because of my blender. Anyway, I will be adding this to my recipes for smoothies.