Almost-Raw Carrot Cake Bliss Balls

We love snacking on these 7-ingredient carrot energy balls. They taste just like carrot cake, but they're nut-free, vegan, gluten-free, and easy to make!

Almost-Raw Carrot Cake Bliss Balls

It’s April which means – time for carrot desserts! Or, well, in this case, carrot snacks. These lightly sweetened carrot bites are great for 3pm snacktime or an on-the-go breakfast. They’re more carroty than cakey – and by that I mean that they’re not cake-like at all and there’s no baking required (if you’re really craving cake click here or here). They’re chewy little balls made from a mix of carrots, sunflower seeds, dates, coconut, and cinnamon.

Almost-Raw Carrot Cake Bliss Balls

By popular request, I made these nut free (as long as coconut is ok) – I was very tempted to try an almond version, but I held back because sunflower seeds hold these together quite nicely. For an almond-carrot recipe, remember these cookies?

Almost-Raw Carrot Cake Bliss Balls Almost-Raw Carrot Cake Bliss Balls

These are super simple to put together. Just pulse all of the ingredients in the food processor and roll into balls. If you like, you can roll them into some shredded coconut – they’re delicious with or without the extra coconut. Pop them in the fridge for a convenient snack all week!
Almost-Raw Carrot Cake Bliss Balls

If you love these bliss balls, check out these energy balls, my homemade granola bars, or any of these 47 Best Healthy Snacks next!

5.0 from 14 reviews

Almost-Raw Carrot Cake Bliss Balls

Prep time
Total time
We love to snack on these vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free carrot energy balls! Make a big batch and freeze them to keep on hand.
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 16 balls
  • 1 cup raw hulled sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut + ⅓ cup for rolling
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 12 soft Medjool dates, pitted and soaked if they’re very dry
  • ⅔ cup chopped carrots
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup, more to taste
  1. In a food processor, combine the sunflower seeds, 1 cup shredded coconut, cinnamon and salt and pulse until it becomes a fine meal.
  2. Add the dates and carrots and pulse until the mixture combines and sticks together. Taste and add more maple syrup if you would like your bites sweeter. If the mixture is too dry, add more maple syrup; if it’s too moist, add more coconut and/or let the mix chill in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up.
  3. Use a tablespoon to scoop the mixture, then use your hands to roll it into approximately 1-inch balls.
  4. Roll in the remaining coconut to coat the outside, if desired. Store in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Beth

    These look really yummy! I’m always looking for snack ideas for my kiddo’s daycare, since it is a nut-free facility. Awesome! Thanks for posting this!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      You’re welcome, I hope you and your little one enjoy these!

  2. It doesn’t matter to me that they are more carrot in the flavour! That just sounds really delicious and would love to try them!

  3. Oh my gosh…these sound amazing! I love coconut date balls and the addition of carrots and maple syrup is genius 🙂

  4. Clodagh

    Just made these. Very easy and absolutely delicious. I added a few pistachio nuts as well as I had some in my cupboard.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so happy you loved them!

  5. Zara from

    I am obsessed with anything carrot-cake related and can’t wait to try out your recipe. These sound absolutely delicious!

  6. Nikki

    As someone with a tree nut allergy you have no idea how appreciated it is to have a healthy snack recipe (especially energy ‘bites or balls’), that has easy,simple ingredients in them – Thank you!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      You’re welcome! I hope you enjoy!

  7. Wow! This looks absolutely amazing! And perfect for people like me who don’t eat sugar 😀 Thank you for sharing!

  8. Amy

    If I wanted to try a version with almonds or walnuts instead of sunflower seeds, would I just keep the 1 cup quantity the same? I just usually have nuts on hand rather than the sunflower seeds. We are addicted to your no-bake almond butter oatmeal bites– I have some in the fridge right now. Actually, I’ve had a constant supply in the fridge this past month. This recipe seems like a delicious variation on that staple– snack, healthy dessert, deliciousness.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Amy, I’m thinking walnuts will work the same (or pecans). I’ll give it a try and let you know. Glad you like the oatmeal bites so much!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      these worked great for me with walnuts 🙂

      • Amy

        Thank you, Jeanine! I’m making these this weekend. We love all the recipes and the cookbook. My friends ask me how I get my husband to eat vegetarian and I challenge them to just try one of your recipes. In fact, he says whenever we have something healthy and delicious (which is basically all the time now because no sacrifice in flavor), this has to be a Love & Lemons! Just want you to know how much we appreciate you! 😊

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          aww, I love hearing this! Thank you!!!

  9. Angela

    Any idea if these will freeze well, with the carrots in them? Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Angela – I haven’t tried freezing them so I’m not sure how they’ll thaw. Next time I make them I’ll give it a try though!

  10. Nadia from

    Carrots? Wow, it’s original!

  11. MMMmmm! These sound delicious and I love that you used sunflower seeds rather than nuts. I bet the flavor is every bit as good.

  12. Ahu Jespersen

    are carrots raw? They seem to be, but I just could not figure out what is not raw since you titled it almost raw… I will make these for my daughter as soon as I figure out 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Yes the carrots are raw… Sorry the title is confusing. Some people follow a raw diet and *technically* maple syrup is not a raw ingredient since it gets heated at some point during it’s making.

  13. Babby

    Sounds amazing. Do you use fresh coconut or can you use the dry flakes?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      dried shredded coconut (not the flakes). Hope that helps!

  14. Jessi from

    Wow, that looks so yummy!!! Love all those healthy ingredients. The perfect snack. Have to try making it:)

  15. mbc

    This sounds great. Any way I can make them without dates?

      • mbc

        Thanks! Would apricots work or would that be gross, do you think?

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          I’m really not sure without trying 🙂 Dates have a pretty neutral taste though so I’m not sure if apricots would be too sweet.

      • Kelly Ann

        Would raisins work?

  16. Angela Pieri

    Made these and highly recommend! I also added a handful of buckwheat groats for crunch. Perfect for an afternoon sweet snack and taste very much like carrot cake. As these balls are softer than others I make, I put them in the freezer for a firmer texture and prefer them from the freezer than the refrigerator (they don’t freeze rock hard at all–still soft).

  17. These look amazing! Also I’m a new proud owner of your cookbook!!!! I can’t wait to dig in! I love how it’s laid out! So beautiful and inspiring!!!! Can’t wait to get cooking! Your style is just perfect!

  18. Rachel

    I am about to make these for a second time. I didn’t have any maple syrup so I just added a couple tablespoons of water to make this stick together, which worked well. They were a hit. I can see playing with the nut/seed and spice combination to make a variety of flavors based on this fantastic recipe. Thank you!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Rachel – yay, I’m so happy you’re enjoying these! Let me know what other flavor combos you come up with!

  19. this looks really good and it caught my eye since I eat plain-old carrot sticks as a snack, so would love to have something more interesting and tasty, thank you for this!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so happy to hear that!

  20. Jenn

    Yum! Any suggestions for replacing the coconut? My kid’s school is no peanut, no nut, and no coconut (ugh!). Thx!

  21. Kacy from

    This is a brilliant idea

  22. Sol

    I just made these and they are amazing! Very easy to make and the ingredients are very common as well. Highly recommend it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed these!

  23. Love these bliss balls! I substituted almond butter for most of the sunflower seeds, since I ran out. And found this to be sweet enough with only 10 dates and no maple syrup. I like storing them in the freezer, and they’re perfect. Thanks Jeanine for supplying us with a yummy snack for upcoming travels!

  24. OMGoodness! I stumbled upon your recipe this morning. Went to the store to buy some coconut, came home and made these delightful treats. They barely made way to the refrigerator as they are quite addicting. Only change was upping the cinnamon. These are delicious!! Quick, easy, minimal ingredients and by gosh will surely make again and again. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Now I must go see what other goodies you have in your recipe file.

  25. Jennifer

    Omgosh this sounds amazing!! Do you think I could steam the carrots for a bit as raw carrots could make my stomach bloat. Would the texture change?

    Thank you!!

  26. jenn

    My husband made these recently and they are incredible. He bought the wrong kind of coconut so ours went without and even though they were much wetter than they should’ve been they were so. good. Thank you!! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes😊

  27. Allison

    I made these with a cup of walnuts instead of sunflower seeds, and added raisins at the end so there were chunks of raisins in the end product. Delicious!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      so glad you enjoyed these!

  28. Marti

    I Liked the idea, but this was way too sweet and the coconut was overkill. I ended up doubling the carrots and only using half of the coconut. They’re actually still sweeter than I’d like. Next time I’ll probably use more nuts or seeds also.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      So sorry you didn’t love these – they’re meant to be a sweet treat, but I hope you were able to adjust to your liking.

  29. Erin

    These are blissful! Just finished making them. They came together in a snap and they are very delicious. I’m going to make them again. Yummy!

  30. Natasha from

    I have been toying with the idea of abandoning the larabars and Rx bars I keep a supply of for pre or post-lunch hunger at work, and I’m pretty sure I found my solution. I made these yesterday and was actually blown away by how tasty they are. Carrot cake is my all-time favorite dessert and I am NOT easily impressed with actual carrot cakes or -flavored things. This will be a staple for me and I’m excited to swap out the sunflower seeds for various nuts & seeds to experiment with the different flavors and nutrient profiles! Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Natasha – I’m so glad you loved these as much as I do! (p.s. so sorry for my slow reply!)

  31. Minasamhna

    Could you please tell how much 2/3 cups carrots are in grams? Thanks a lot!

  32. Angie

    I read the info about making these with walnuts however I’m on an elimination diet and I cannot have walnuts or sunflower seeds. Am I able to make these with almonds or should I do peacans instead?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Angie, I’ve made these with pecans, the soft nut works better here than almonds (plus, pecans are delicious). Just chop the pecans before you measure so that the yield is similar. Hope you enjoy!

  33. Bee

    This looks so delicious! I love carrot cake too. Right now I’m in the lookout for healthy snacks for the family. I need to try this one.

  34. Chamila

    These balls are nice. I just made them but I toasted my sunflower seeds n coconut powder for a roasted taste as i like less of rawness of seeds. I added some almonds too and used honey as I don’t have maple syrup.

  35. Juliana

    These things are dangerously good. Super rich and totally satisfies my craving for something sweet. Subed the sunflower seeds with pecans, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Juliana, I’m so glad you loved them!

  36. Regan Greene

    I love these. I have both books and have tried most of the date balls you have recipes for. These and the “chocolate chip” were our favorites. I pre-made them and took them to our family summer vacation so that everyone could snack on them. Please keep working on more variations for me to try!

  37. Hema Prakash

    Hi, I tried the carrot cake bliss balls. They tasted awesome. Everyone in the family enjoyed it. Thanks for the recipe.

  38. Mitali

    These look yum and I can’t wait to make them after work tonight! The dates I have are much sweeter so I’ll likely use 10 dates instead. Do you think adding a tablespoon or two of flaxseed meal would impact the texture of this? Thank you for all that you do!

  39. Jen

    I cannot seem to find nutrition information for these (calories etc)…is it somewhere I am missing? Thanks!

  40. Debbie

    Hi can you please tell me how many calories are in each ball please

  41. Madison

    Fantastic ! I don’t have any food allergies or restrictions and I absolutely LOVE this snack! Crowd pleaser for sure.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.