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Carrot Halwa Bars

Prep Time:
30 mins

Chef notes

Indian desserts truly live in a world of their own. Desserts double as little pieces of art, adorned with super-fine filigree made with silver or gold foil. My favorite Indian dessert is gajar ka halwa, or carrot halwa. Halwa, in the Indian context, is made by simmering vegetables, fruit or different flours with ghee, sugar and milk. I decided to make a vegan version of carrot halwa, marry it with a carrot cake (check out that creamy cashew frosting!) and stick it in the freezer for a no-bake, delicious treat that will put those carrots in your fridge to very good use. I hope you enjoy this little piece of home from me to you!

Technique tip: Soak your cashews by soaking overnight or "flash-soak" by soaking in boiled water for 1 hour. This allows the cashews to soften and become blend-able, perfect for this ice cream-like frosting.


Carrot Halwa Cake
  • 1 cup medjool dates (about 9-10 dates)
  • cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
Creamy Frosting
  • 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup raw pistachios, crushed


    For the carrot halwa cake:


    Line a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.


    In a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the carrot halwa cake until it forms a sticky meal (it's OK if some pieces aren't fully pulverized — we love texture!).


    Transfer the carrot mixture into your lined loaf pan and pat it down until extremely well packed and evenly distributed throughout pan. Place in the freezer to firm up while you make frosting.

    For the creamy frosting:

    In a blender, combine all ingredients and process on high until completely smooth.

    To assemble:

    Pour the frosting on top of the carrot halwa cake. Place in the freezer for 4 to 5 hours, until the frosting has firmed.

    Let thaw for a few minutes before slicing. Garnish with crushed pistachios and enjoy.