This carrot cake bars recipe is easy to make, perfectly moist and lightly spiced and full of fresh carrots, and topped with the most heavenly cream cheese frosting.
Carrot Cake Bars Ingredients:
- 3/4 cup avocado oil (or vegetable oil, or any mild-flavored oil)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- 8 ounces finely-grated* fresh carrots
- optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts or 1/4 cup raisins
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
- 1 (8-ounce) package low-fat cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups sifted powdered sugar (use more/less to achieve your desired consistency)
- Prep oven and baking dish. Heat oven to 350°F. Mist a 9×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray, and set it aside for later.
- Mix the wet ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined and smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
- Mix the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cloves) until combined.
- Combine. Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture into the egg mixture, and stir until smooth. Fold in the grated carrots and stir until combined. If you would like to add nuts and/or raisins, stir them in at this time as well. Pour the batter into the baking dish, and spread it out evenly.
- Bake. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the baking dish to a wire cooling rack and let it cool until the cake reaches room temperature.
- Make the frosting. Meanwhile in a separate mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until evenly combined. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and stir until smooth. Feel free to add more/less powdered sugar to achieve your desired frosting consistency.
- Frost and serve. Once the cake has cooled, spread it evenly with the cream cheese frosting. Then slice, serve and enjoy!
Storage instructions: These carrot cake bars can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Grating the carrots: You can either grate the carrots by hand with a box grater or by using the shredding disk on a food processor. Or you can save a step and just purchase store-bought shredded carrots.