If you like carrot cake, you’re in for a treat! My carrot cake bars taste just like carrot cake but are moister and denser, with pecans, oats, carrots, spices, and cream cheese frosting.
Now, I know this looks just like a piece of carrot cake. But it’s actually a really dense and rich carrot cake bar cookie, all dressed up to look like cake. It sure is good too and you’ll find me making them nearly every Easter.
So, what do you need to make carrot cake bars? We start with a baking mix, then add oats, butter, brown sugar, pecans, vanilla, carrots, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, eggs, and raisins. Oh yeah, when I say these carrot cake bars are packed full of flavor, I mean it. But no wonder they’re so moist and dense, right?
Anyway, these easy carrot cake bars aren’t too difficult to make. Don’t we love that? All it takes is a little hand mixing as we mix together most of the ingredients then fold in the grated carrot, chopped pecans, and raisins at the end. Pour the cake batter into a baking dish and bake until golden brown. Then it isn’t carrot cake without cream cheese icing! Add a thick layer on top, sprinkle on some extra pecans if you’re feeling fancy, and get ready to enjoy a big ol’ carrot cake bar.
The rich carrot cake flavor paired with the creamy frosting is a match made in heaven. Ready to cook? Let’s go hop in the kitchen! The last one in has to do the dishes!
- Baking mix
- Brown sugar
- Pecans (optional)
- Vanilla extract
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground ginger
How to Make Carrot Cake Bars
Place butter in a large bowl and melt it however you feel led to do so…
I felt led to the microwave.
Dump in your baking mix, brown sugar, eggs, oats, and spices.
Stir that up really well with a big spoon.
Shred your carrots.
Then I chopped up the shredded carrot a bit into bite-sized pieces.
Toss that on top of your dough along with the raisins and pecans.
Stir that again until it is well mixed.
Pat the out into a 9×13 baking dish greased with .
Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Now, ice it with cream cheese icing.
You can see a tutorial on how to make cream cheese icing by visiting this post.
But all you do is put all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl, mix really well, scrape down the sides, and mix again.
Instructions are in the recipe below as well.
After icing, I like to sprinkle some over the top.
Now see this serving size? This is for pictures, folks. Don’t cut your pieces this big. This is a big old chewy brown sugar and butter cookie bar iced with cream cheese icing. If you eat this big old whomping piece you’d likely die of sugar overload. Now I’m not saying that isn’t a good way to die, but it isn’t your time yet!
And when you start feeling guilty remember, this has vegetables in it!
- Because of the cream cheese icing, you want to store your bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- You can also freeze carrot bars for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.
- For baking mix you can use Bisquick, Pioneer Brand, Generic like I have pictured, or even my recipe for homemade Better For You Baking Mix that is in my Come Home To Supper cookbook. I try to keep a batch of it in my fridge but we go through it so fast that I never seem to have it when it comes time to do a post!
- If you do what I do sometimes and put too much baking mix in your carrot cake bar batter, add 1/2 cup of milk and you’ll be all good!
- To make life easier, you can also shred your fresh carrots using a food processor’s shredded attachment to save time.
- Instead of pecans, add chopped walnuts to your carrot cake bars or omit the nuts entirely.
- Another great mix-in you can add along with or instead of the raisins is shredded coconut flakes. Opt for 1/2 a cup. Bonus points if you toast the coconut beforehand!
- Use whatever warm spices you have on hand. If you don’t have ginger and allspice, a 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg and a pinch of ground cloves also work well.
- For lemon cream cheese frosting, add 1 teaspoon of lemon extract to the icing.
Can you make carrot cake bars ahead of time?
Absolutely! The first option is to make the finished bars, cover them in plastic wrap, and store them in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Alternatively, you can make the frosting up to 3 days in advance. Let it stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before spreading it on the baked and cooled bars.
Check out these other carrot cake recipes:
- 1 cup old-fashioned or quick oats
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 4 cups all-purpose baking mix
- 2 eggs
- 2 sticks melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1.5 cups grated carrot
- 1 cup chopped pecans 1/2 for batter, 1/2 for topping
- 1/2 cup raisins
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temp
- 1 stick butter at room temp
- 3.5-4 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Combine baking mix, sugar, oats, eggs, vanilla, spices, and melted butter in a large mixing bowl and stir by hand until a dough is formed.1 cup old-fashioned or quick oats, 2 cups packed brown sugar, 4 cups all-purpose baking mix, 2 eggs, 2 sticks melted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- Stir in shredded carrot, raisins, and pecans until well mixed.1.5 cups grated carrot, 1 cup chopped pecans, 1/2 cup raisins
- Pat into a greased 9x13 baking dish and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow the bars to cool.
To make icing
- Place softened butter and cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended.8 ounces cream cheese at room temp, 1 stick butter at room temp
- Slowly add sugar, a cup or so at a time, and beat until light and fluffy.3.5-4 cups confectioner's sugar
- Mix in vanilla and lemon juice until well blended.1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Ice the cooled bars.
“The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege. “