This Oatmeal Carrot Cake is going to amaze you! Incredible flavor, super simple to make and naturally sweetened! Leave it plain for a simple breakfast or snack or top it with homemade whipped cream for a healthier dessert!

An overhead shot of oatmeal carrot cake topped with whipped cream and decorated with slice oranges and blueberries. A slice is cut from the cake and is on a plate next to the cake with a fork removing a bite.

Oatmeal Carrot Cake

Veggie-loaded cake recipes have been a long time coming here on TNN. People have asked for them for years to help make their kiddo’s birthday delicious, fun and a bit healthier than the sugar-heavy cakes you traditionally serve up at birthday parties.

And while I certainly think there is nothing wrong with enjoying that traditional cake (especially if it is something the birthday boy or girl really wants!), I also get the desire to keep the sugar in little one’s lives mellow. And if you can get veggies and fruit, that is so much winning!

A process shot of how to squeeze moisture out of grated carrots. The first images shows a pile of grated carrots in the middle of a paper towel. The second image shows the carrots wrapped up in the towel and a hand pressing down.

So, and I am finally now getting my act together and bringing veggies to birthday cakes. Don’t ask me what took so long. It’s not like cake isn’t one of my top 5 foods. I should be looking for all the reasons to make all the veggie-loaded cakes.

But, you know, better late than never.

This oatmeal carrot cake was inspired by the contents of my CSA box (so many carrots and oranges!) and is a spin off of my Healthy Zucchini Lemon Muffins. It is seriously it has a lovely sweet flavor while being naturally sweetened with oranges, applesauce and a little honey or maple syrup. Made with good-for-you oats, it can be enjoyed as a healthy breakfast cake, as a fun snack or would make you the star at any brunch you bring it to.

Homemade whipped cream frosting

If you are looking jazz this up for a celebration, I totally recommend homemade whipped cream. It is super easy to make, light in texture and flavor and you can control how much sugar you do (or don’t) add to it.

Homemade whipped cream is pretty much ALWAYS my go-to frost of choice at birthdays here in our house and really compliments this carrot orange cake beautifully!

NOTE: For a dairy-free option, try making whipped coconut cream!

Of course, you can 100% leave it off if you prefer or sub in the classic cream cheese frosting!

A grid of 8 images walking you through how to make an oatmeal carrot cake. The first image shows the wet blender ingredients being poured into the bowl with the dry ingredients. The second shows them being mixed together. The third is what the batter looks like. The fourth images shows the grated carrots being added to the batter. The fifth image is what the batter looks like after the carrots have been folded in. The sixth image shows the batter being poured into a prepared cake pan. The seventh image shows the batter being spread out in the cake pan. The either images shows the texture of the cake after being baked.

Wondering how to store your carrots so they stay fresh as long as possible? Check out my post on How to Keep Cut Carrots Fresh and get the most out of your produce buck!

Suggested adaptions

  • Up the orange flavor. The oranges in this recipe aids to the sweetness but doesn’t really bring that bright orange flavor some people might love. If you want a bright, citrus flavor, and some orange zest to the batter!
  • Omit or reduce sweetener. This healthy carrot cake is are loaded with natural sweetness from oranges and applesauce, both of which does lots of naturally sweetening on their own. So if you are looking to reduce your added sugar or just enjoy a lightly mildly sweet cake, sub the maple syrup/honey with mashed banana or extra applesauce.
  • Use mashed ripe bananas instead of applesauce I personally love the way carrots and apple go together. However if you don’t have applesauce on hand or just don’t like it, feel free to swap out the applesauce in this recipe with some ripe mashed bananas.
  • Stir in some raisins or finely chopped nuts! 
  • Make as muffins. Portion out batter into 12 muffins and bake for 15-20 minutes that the same temperature.
  • Make as a loaf. Simply pour into a prepared loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes that the same temperature or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
The finished oatmeal carrot cake topped with whipped cream and blue berries. A slice is being removed from the cake.
5 from 6 votes

Oatmeal Carrot Cake

Yield: 8 pieces
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
This Oatmeal Carrot Cake is going to amaze you! Incredible flavor, super simple to make and naturally sweetened! Leave it plain for a simple breakfast or snack or top it with homemade whipped cream for a healthier dessert! Can easily be made gluten and dairy-free

Ingredients
 

For oatmeal carrot cake

  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats, if gluten free is important, make sure the oats are certified gluten free
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 oranges, medium, peeled
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup honey* or maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

for whipped cream topping (optional)

  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream**
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup or honey*, or to taste

Equipment

  • cake pan
  • Electric mixer

Instructions
 

For Oatmeal Carrot Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350℉ and line an 8 or 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper on the bottom.
  • Take the grated carrots and place it in the middle of a clean dish towel or large paper towel. Wrap the carrots in the towel and squeeze out as much of the moisture as you can. Set aside. 
  • Pour oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt into your blender. Pulse until very finely ground and the oats resemble flour. Pour into a large bowl and set aside
  • Add oranges, eggs, syrup, applesauce, oil, and vanilla to the blender. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides until everything is well blended. Pour orange mixture into bowl with dry ingredients.
  • Mix well until batter has a smooth texture and everything is incorporated. Add in drained carrots and fold in.
  • Pour the batter out into prepared cake pan. Gently tap the bottom of the pan on the counter to help release any bubbles trapped in the batter. 
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool completely before frosting with whipped cream if using.

For whipped cream

  • Chill bowl and whisk attachment for electric mixer in freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Once the bowl and whisk attachment is done chilling, remove from freezer. Pour heavy cream into chilled bowl. Using your electric mixer with chilled whisk attachment, beat the heavy whipping cream until light and fluffy. 
  • Add maple syrup or honey and gently fold in. Taste and add more if desired.

Notes

*If making for a child under age 1, use maple syrup instead of honey. 
** For a dairy-free option, use whipped coconut cream
Serving: 1slice, Calories: 443kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 128mg, Sodium: 207mg, Potassium: 394mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 22g, Vitamin A: 3684IU, Vitamin C: 19mg, Calcium: 126mg, Iron: 2mg