That Spicy Chick

Carrot Cake Granola

Easy to make, extra crispy and full of classic carrot cake flavors, this Carrot Cake Granola is downright delicious! It’s packed with oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, shredded carrots, warm spices and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. It’s also vegan, gluten-free and perfect for a healthy breakfast or snack! 

Love homemade granola recipes? Try my Peanut Butter Granola, this High Protein Granola, or Apple Pie Granola next.



 

Carrot Cake Granola – this one is for all my carrot cake lovers! This homemade granola is extra delicious, full of all things good for you and will start off your morning right! It’s perfect for Easter and springtime (aka carrot cake season) or anytime of the year!

We have here:

  • Heart healthy whole-grain rolled oats.
  • Crunchy pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and coconut
  • Fresh grated carrots!
  • Warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cardamom.
  • Maple syrup as our natural sweetener, no sugar!
  • Dried cranberries (or raisins) to finish!

This Carrot Cake Granola recipe is super easy to make and great for meal prep. Packed with nuts, seeds and coconut, the healthy fats, protein and fiber in this granola make it filling and satiating.

Whether you serve it over Greek yogurt or with milk for breakfast or enjoy it on its own as a healthy snack, I guarantee you’ll love it and will be making batch after batch!

If you love carrot cake flavors, check out my Carrot Cake Muffins with a lightened-up maple cream cheese frosting, Carrot Cake Baked Oats, and Carrot Cake Overnight Oats!

Close-up of large spoon in a parchment lined baking sheet pan with homemade carrot cake granola.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Easy to make. All you need to do is stir and bake! 
  • Full of classic carrot cake flavors. Warm carrot cake spices, vanilla and fresh carrots give this granola the classic carrot cake flavors we all know and love!
  • Nutritious and delicious! It’s made with healthy ingredients and tastes so much better than store-bought granola!
  • Great for meal prep. Make a batch today to enjoy for breakfast, as a snack or dessert all month long!

Ingredient Notes and Substitutes

Labeled ingredients for carrot cake granola on a wooden board.
  • Old Fashioned Rolled Oats: You’ll need regular wholegrain old fashioned rolled oats, not steel cut, instant, or quick oats. Be sure to gluten-free certified rolled oats if needed. 
  • Nuts: We’ll use coarsely chopped unsalted raw pecans and walnuts.
  • Seeds: My go-to combination of seeds for homemade granola is raw unsalted sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas). However, feel free to swap either out for or add hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, etc.
  • Coconut: Both desiccated coconut and unsweetened coconut flakes are used in this recipe to add coconut flavors and additional healthy fats. Feel free to use either one or use unsweetened shredded coconut instead. 
  • Carrots: Fresh grated or shredded carrots made by using a box grater. You can also use a food processor with the shredder attachment. However, I find it’s quick to shred by hand since only a cup is needed.
  • Spices: We’ll add classic carrot cake spices to this granola and use ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cardamom
  • Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil: Oil makes the granola crispy and crunchy once baked. I love the mild flavor of extra light tasting olive oil in granola but you can use melted coconut oil or any neutral flavored oil.
  • Pure Maple Syrup: To naturally sweeten our healthy granola without adding any brown sugar. You can use honey instead but note that this granola will not be vegan if using honey. Other liquid sweeteners options are date syrup, agave syrup or unsulphured molasses.  
  • Vanilla Extract: For some warming vanilla notes.
  • Sweetened Dried Cranberries: I like the taste of sweetened dried cranberries in this granola but you can use raisins to keep with the classic carrot cake theme.

Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.

How to Make this Healthy Carrot Cake Granola recipe

  1. Combine the ingredients. Preheat oven to 165°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Line a large rimmed baking sheet pan with parchment paper (nonstick cooking paper). In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and shredded carrots.
Dry ingredients for homemade carrot granola in a large bowl.
  1. Combine the wet ingredients. Combine the wet ingredients in a measuring cup and pour into the bowl with the other ingredients. Mix until everything is lightly coated.
Carrot granola mixture combined with wet ingredients in a bowl with a spatula.
  1. Spread. Spread the granola mixture onto the parchment lined baking sheet pan in an even layer. 
Carrot granola mixture spread out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  1. Bake. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring and rotating the tray halfway through so that the back is facing the front. Stir again and bake for a further 5-7 minutes until lightly golden brown and mostly dry.
  1. Cool. Transfer the baked granola to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. The granola will become crispy and dry as it cools.
Baked carrot cake granola on a parchment paper lined half sheet pan.
  1. Stir through the dried cranberries. Once completely cool, stir through the dried cranberries (or raisins). 
Dried cranberries mixed into carrot cake granola on a baking sheet with a large spoon.
  1. Serve! Serve immediately with milk or Greek yogurt, or enjoy on its own as a snack! Or store in a sealed airtight container in a cool dry area for up to 1 month.
Overhead shot of carrot cake granola in a bowl with fresh raspberries and yogurt.

Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.

Cook’s Tips

  • Squeeze the carrots dry. Don’t skip this step and use paper towels to squeeze out the excess water and moisture from the carrots! This will prevent the granola from becoming soggy instead of crunchy and ensures that it bakes within the specified time. Baking longer can result in overcooked and burnt granola and we want to avoid that! 
  • To make granola clusters. Divide the granola mixture onto two baking sheet pans and bake in batches, rotating the sheet pan halfway through but do not stir.
  • Store the granola in the fridge. For longer storage, store the granola in the fridge or freezer for 3 months in sealed Ziploc bags. If storing in the freezer, thaw on the counter overnight and enjoy the next day. I recommend freezing individual portions in zipper bags so that you thaw only what you need.
Close-up front view of bowl with yogurt, carrot cake granola and raspberries.

Variations

  • Add nut butter. Almond butter, peanut butter (cinnamon flavored peanut butter is delicious!), or other natural nut butter can be added to the mixture for more healthy fats and protein. The nut butter also acts like a glue. If you prefer a clustery style carrot cake granola, add nut butter and avoid stirring during baking.
  • Use different nuts. Almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, cashews or any other type of nuts you like will taste delicious!
  • Add milk or dark chocolate chips. Stir them in once the granola is completely cool. You can use sugar-free chocolate chips such as the ones from ChocZero or Lily’s brand. Use dairy-free chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand is great) if needed.
  • Use naturally sweetened dried cranberries. To make this granola completely free of refined sugar, use dried cranberries that are sweetened with natural apple juice instead.
  • Add dried pineapple. Carrot cake pairs so well with pineapple! Stir in some dried pineapple at the end.

FAQs

What can I use instead of coconut oil in homemade granola?

Extra light tasting olive oil or a mild flavored extra virgin olive oil results in perfectly crispy granola without adding any overpowering flavors. Any neutral flavored oil will work but olive oil is lower in saturated fats and heart-healthy.

Where to store homemade granola?

Store granola in a sealed airtight container or Ziploc bag in a cool dry area and away from ingredients that have strong odors like spices, coffee, garlic, onion, etc. If you live in very hot or humid climates, it’s best to store the granola in the fridge to ensure it doesn’t prematurely go bad. Note that the granola will become less crunchy and crispy if stored for an extended period in the fridge or freezer.

How many calories in carrot cake granola?

One approximate half cup serving provides 276 calories with 15.3 grams fat, 5.4 grams protein, 31 grams carbohydrates and 4.4 grams fiber. This homemade carrot cake granola makes approximately 16 servings at 52.6 grams per serving.

Serving Suggestions

My favorite way to enjoy this granola is to serve it over plain Greek yogurt mixed with snickerdoodle or vanilla flavored protein powder in a bowl with fresh berries for breakfast. The protein powder makes the yogurt extra creamy, thick and satiating. Other ways to serve this granola are:

Close-up front view of bowl with yogurt, carrot cake granola, raspberries and a spoon.
  • Sprinkle it on top of vanilla ice cream for a delicious dessert.
  • Eat it plain by the handful as a nutritious snack.
  • Add on top of smoothie bowls.
  • Have it with milk (regular or dairy-free) in a bowl.
  • Layer it in a yogurt parfait with berries or dried fruit.
  • Mix it into baked goods batter for muffins, quick breads, granola cookies, etc.
  • Turn them into carrot cake granola bars. Mix the granola with nut butter, honey or maple syrup and chocolate chips. Transfer to a 9×9-inch pan and refrigerate overnight. Slice into granola bars in the morning and enjoy as a grab-and-go breakfast or snack! Store homemade carrot cake granola bars in the fridge for a few days or freezer for longer storage.
Closeu-up front and top view of homemade granola in a bowl with raspberries and yogurt. Text overlay "Carrot Cake Granola", "Easy | Gluten-free | Vegan" and "thatspicychick.com"

MADE THIS RECIPE? If you make this recipe, leave a comment below and let me know how you liked it! Take a photo and tag it with @thatspicychick on Instagram and hashtag it #thatspicychick and I’ll be sure to share your masterpiece!

STAY CONNECTED! You can also follow me on PinterestFacebook or InstagramSign up for my email list to get my latest recipe in your inbox weekly!

Print

Carrot Cake Granola

Overhead shot of carrot cake granola in a bowl with fresh raspberries and yogurt.

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

Easy to make, extra crispy and full of warm spices and classic carrot cake flavors, this Carrot Cake Granola is downright delicious! Perfect for breakfast or as a healthy snack! 

  • Author: Lavina
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 37
  • Total Time: 42 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Prep: Preheat oven to 325°F/165°C/Gas Mark 3. Line a large rimmed baking sheet pan with parchment paper (nonstick cooking paper).
  2. Combine the ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, walnuts, desiccated coconut, unsweetened coconut flakes, shredded carrots, fine sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cardamom. Mix until evenly combined.
  3. Combine the wet ingredients: Combine the extra light tasting olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a measuring cup. Stir, then pour into the bowl with the other ingredients. Mix until everything is lightly coated.
  4. Spread: Pour the granola mixture onto the prepared baking tray and spread into an even layer.
  5. Bake: Bake for 30 minutes, stirring and rotating the tray halfway through so that the back is facing the front. After 30 minutes, stir once again and bake for a further 5-7 minutes until lightly golden brown and mostly dry. (Note: For clustery style granola, divide the mixture onto two baking trays and bake in batches, rotating the sheet pan halfway through but do not stir.)
  6. Cool: Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely – at least 40 minutes. The granola will continue to crisp up and dry as it cools.
  7. Stir through the dried cranberries: Once completely cool, stir through the dried cranberries (or raisins).
  8. Serve or store: Serve immediately with milk or Greek yogurt, or enjoy on its own as a snack. Or store in an airtight sealed container in a cool dry area for up to 1 month.

Notes

  1. Maple Syrup. Honey can be used instead but note that the granola will not be vegan if doing so. Other liquid sweeteners options are date syrup, agave syrup, or unsulphured molasses.  
  2. For longer storage. Store the granola in the fridge or freezer for 3 months in sealed Ziploc bags. If storing in the freezer, thaw on the counter overnight and enjoy the next day. I recommend freezing individual portions in zipper bags so that you thaw only what you need. Note that the granola will become less crunchy and crispy if stored for an extended period in the fridge or freezer.
  3. Nutrition information. Nutrition facts are an estimate and will change with any substitutions. For more accurate measurements per serving, weigh the final baked and cooled granola and divide it by the serving amount.
  4. See the ‘Variations’ section in the post above for ideas on how you can customize this granola recipe and ‘Serving Suggestions’ for multiple unique ideas for serving this granola.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 276
  • Sugar: 12.1g
  • Sodium: 78.5mg
  • Fat: 15.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 12.3g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 31g
  • Fiber: 4.4g
  • Protein: 5.4g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

This post may contain affiliate links. We are a part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.