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two stacks of bars on a wire rack

Carrot Cake Bars

These carrot cake bars are just the thing when you want an easy carrot cake. They even have the cream cheese frosting baked right in!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Total Time 52 minutes
Servings 9
Author Kelsie

Ingredients

Cake layer

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrot*
  • 1 cup raisins or chopped walnuts optional

Cream cheese topping

  • 8 ounces full fat cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Cake layer

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine the sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
  4. With mixer on low, gradually mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the carrots and raisins or nuts (if using).
  5. Scrape into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Set aside while you make the topping.

Topping

  1. Beat the cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth.
  2. Add the sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat on medium until well combined. Dollop over the cake layer and use a butter knife to swirl the two together a bit.
  3. Bake for 32 to 42 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the center of the bars comes out clean.
  4. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
  5. Uneaten bars can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer, tightly wrapped, for up to 2 months.

Recipe Notes

  • *You’ll need 2 or 3 carrots
  • You can add a pinch of cloves or nutmeg along with the cinnamon if you like your carrot cake a little spicer.