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4.75 from 8 votes

Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

These carrot cake bars are what dreams are made of! They're soft, dense, and loaded with cream cheese frosting! They are basically carrot cake, just a bit more dense and so easy to make! The perfect Easter treat, or honestly anytime of year because they are just the best! They come together quickly, you don't have to wait for your butter to be room temperature, and the end result is just MAGIC!
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: carrot cake, carrot cake bars, cream cheese frosting, dessert, easter dessert
Servings: 9

Equipment

  • 8x8 baking pan

Ingredients

For the Bars:

  • ½ cup neutral oil (I used avocado oil)
  • cup light or dark brown sugar packed
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour spooned & leveled
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • tsp cloves
  • 1 cup freshly grated carrots (Don't use pre-shredded!)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ⅓-½ cup unsalted walnuts chopped

For the Frosting:

  • 6 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
  • cups powdered sugar packed
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions

For the Bars:

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oil, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until well combined.
  • Next, add in eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk until incorporated.
  • Add in your flour, cinnamon, baking soda, sea salt, baking powder, nutmeg, and cloves. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix until fully incorporated. The dough should be thick & sticky.
  • Pour in the freshly grated carrots, raisins, and walnuts. I don't like a ton of walnuts so I did 1/3 cup. If you like a good amount, add in 1/2 cup without changing anything else. Mix until well combined.
  • Pour dough into a sprayed and lined (using parchment paper) 8x8 baking dish. Bake for 32-35 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let the bars cool completely. While cooling, prepare the icing.

For the Frosting:

  • To make the frosting, in a medium mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter with an electric hand mixer. Add in the vanilla extract and powdered sugar (1 cup at a time). Mix until a thick frosting is made!
  • Once the bars are completely cooled, cover the top in frosting. Sprinkle with cinnamon & enjoy! Cut into 9 large bars or 12 smaller ones!

Notes

For Storing: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Best enjoyed at room temperature! So pull out your bars about 30 minutes- 1 hour before eating!
 
For Freezing: Once the icing is hardened in the fridge, you can individually wrap each slice in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag. Will stay good in the freezer for 3 months!