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If you like carrot cake and you like to be able to carry around a snack, these Carrot Cake Bars with Easy Cream Cheese Frosting are for you. This tasty treat is simple to make, uses fresh ingredients, and is a perfect dessert.

Two pieces of carrot cake bars on a piece of parchment paper.
These Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting are easy to make and tasty!

Put aside that box mix and make something from scratch. This recipe uses real carrots, comforting spices, and a simple frosting to make it something really special. 

The denser, richer bar version of the classic cake still has all of the flavor, but with just a slight twist. The easy cream cheese frosting is so luxurious and flavorful. Perfect for any holiday gathering, but Easter always seems to call the spirit of carrots. 

Looking for some other great sweets perfect for a holiday? Give our All American Apple Pie a try or our Snickers Salad recipe. If you are still looking for an appetizer to serve at your event, check out this Dill Pickle Spicy Deviled Egg recipe and these Potluck Pickle Wraps. No matter what you make, make sure to treat yourself!

🥕 Ingredients

If you didn’t know by now, carrots are actually in carrot cake, and these bars are no different. Here is what else you will need:

Carrot Cake Bars ingredients.
Carrots, flour, raisins, nuts, butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  • All-purpose flour
  • White Sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Carrots
  • Walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • Raisins (optional)
  • Cream cheese,
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract

See the recipe card for quantities.

Cream cheese frosting ingredients.
Vanilla, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and butter.

🍲 Instructions

Start by heating your oven to 350°F and prepping a 9×13-inch pan with parchment or a light greasing. In one bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients—flour, both sugars, spices, salt, and baking soda, ensuring no lumps remain. 

In a separate bowl, mix the melted butter and eggs before folding in the grated carrots, and optionally, nuts and raisins. Combine wet to dry and mix. Pour into the pan, and smooth the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan on a rack.

For the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth, then gradually mix in powdered sugar and vanilla until creamy. Once the cake is cool, spread the frosting over the top, slice into bars, and they’re ready to enjoy. This straightforward method yields a delicious dessert that’s a hit at any gathering, embodying the joy of sharing homemade sweets.

🤷 Substitutions and variations

If you’re out of all-purpose flour or just looking for a gluten-free option, almond flour can be a great substitute. It adds a nutty flavor and keeps things light. 

Not everyone’s a fan of walnuts or pecans, and that’s okay! Feel free to leave nuts out entirely or swap them for seeds like pumpkin or sunflower for a crunch. Raisins can also be substituted with dried cranberries or chopped dates for a different kind of sweetness.

These variations can make the recipe uniquely yours, ensuring everyone can enjoy a slice (or bar!) of this delightful treat.

📦 Storage

For keeping your Carrot Cake Bars fresh, follow these simple steps. Once the bars have cooled and are frosted, they can be stored in the refrigerator. Place them in an airtight container to maintain their moisture and flavor. 

They’ll stay delicious for up to 5 days. If you prefer them at room temperature, just take them out about 30 minutes before serving. For longer storage, wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap and then freeze them. 

They can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature for a few hours when you’re ready to enjoy. This way, you can have a sweet treat on hand whenever the craving strikes!

🎓 History tidbit

I know that it feels a bit hard to believe, but carrots have been used as a sweetener for a very long time! Granulated sugar, for much of human history, has been a luxury that was not available to average people like it is today.

Fast forward to the 20th century, carrot cake as we know it began to gain popularity in the United States post-World War II, likely due to rationing making traditional sweeteners hard to come by. The carrot cake bars we adore today are a modern twist on this classic dessert, simplifying the traditional layered cake into a more casual, easily shareable form. This transformation underscores the enduring appeal of carrot cake and its ability to adapt and thrive through the ages.


How do I ensure my Bars come out moist and not dry?

To ensure moist Dessert Bars, don’t overbake, and measure ingredients accurately. Additionally, avoid overmixing the batter once the dry and wet ingredients are combined.

Can I freeze cake batter or dough for later use?

Yes, many cake batters and doughs freeze well. Freeze them in airtight containers or freezer bags. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then let it come to room temperature before baking. Note that freezing may affect the rising agent’s effectiveness, so it’s best with recipes that don’t rely heavily on leavening for their structure.

📝 Tips and tricks

  • Make sure bars are cool before frosting
  • Softened butter and cream cheese are critical for making the frosting easy to make
  • You can use a mixer for the frosting, but it mixes easily by hand, as well. 
Carrot cake bars on a cutting board.
Such a delicious treat in these Carrot Cake bars.

🛠 Products used in this recipe

😋 Did you make this recipe?

That is awesome, and thank you so much for giving this Carrot Cake Bars with Easy Cream Cheese Frosting recipe a try. If you could leave a rating in the comment area below, it would be greatly appreciated. This lets me know how I am doing and also helps others decide if they want to make this recipe. Most of all, thanks for visiting Ramshackle Pantry.

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Two pieces of carrot cake bars on a piece of parchment paper.

Carrot Cake Bars with Easy Cream Cheese Frosting

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  • Author: Ben
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Resting time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours and 40 minutes
  • Yield: 16 bars 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
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Indulge in the sweetness of this Carrot Cake Bars with Easy Cream Cheese Frosting recipe – a moist, spiced treat topped with a luscious layer of frosting, perfect for sharing and enjoying any time.


Units Scale

For the Cake Bars:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cups butter, melted but not hot
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups grated carrots (about 3-4 medium carrots)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Pan: Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper or lightly grease it.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and baking soda. Make sure to break up any lumps of brown sugar.
  3. Combine Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, mix the butter and eggs until well combined. Stir in the grated carrots, nuts (if using), and raisins (if using).
  4. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Pour into baking pan: Smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
  6. Prepare the Frosting: While the cake is cooling, preferably at the very end of the 2 hours, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, beating until creamy and smooth.
  7. Frost the Cake: Once the cake is completely cool, spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the top.
  8. Allow to Cool: Cool in the refrigerator for a bit, but can serve immediately in a pinch
  9. Cut into Bars and Serve: Cut the frosted cake into bars.


  • Make sure bars are cool before frosting
  • Softened butter and cream cheese are critical for making the frosting easy to make
  • You can use a mixer for the frosting, but it mixes easily by hand, as well. 

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