Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Easy and sweet “picnic” Carrot Cake Bars are made with creamy and tangy vanilla cream cheese icing and will make anyone happy! Flavors of cinnamon, puréed carrots, and spicy nutmeg are combined with sugar to create the best dessert bars you’ll ever eat! 

two carrot cake bars with cream cheese frosting

Soft and Easy Carrot Bars Recipe

I love this carrot bar recipe! It’s so easy to make, and each and every time that I do, they are devoured. I got this recipe out of an old church cookbook from 1980. The cream cheese frosting is the perfect topper for these delicious carrot cake bars! 

Bake your feelings away with this baking recipe. The batter comes together in minutes and creates treats that are incredibly moist, pleasant, and definite dealbreakers for carrot cake lovers. Baby food carrots allow this recipe to be pillowy and filled with light textures that will make your mouth water! Who would have thought? 

These carrot squares are great for picnics, holidays, and anytime you need to impress someone else (or yourself.) This is one of those recipes that really caught my attention when I discovered it years ago. Ever since I found this carrot recipe in the old-fashioned cookbook I mentioned earlier, we’ve been hooked ever since and make these dessert bars anytime we crave those classic flavors of carrot cake. 

What is it about carrot cake that you just love? There is nothing quite like the nostalgia you can feel from eating your favorite carrot-flavored desserts. The magical duo–cream cheese and carrot cake–come in many forms such as this fan-favorite carrot bundt cake. There are so many great things to say about these recipes, but I will let the flavors do all the talking! 

two carrot cake bars with cream cheese frosting on plate

National Cookbook Month

October is National Cookbook Month. I have hundreds of cookbooks, but by far, my favorites are the good old-fashioned church cookbooks!  I am participating in an event with a few other bloggers that showcase recipes from a cookbook of their choosing. You Can see what all of them chose at the end of this post, underneath the printable recipe card. 

This recipe was adapted from one that I found in the  Centennial Cookbook from Havelock United Methodist Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

Why This Recipe is the Best

  • Easy: One of my very favorite things about this recipe is just how simple it is! The cream cheese frosting can easily come together while the carrot cake bars cook! 
  • Indulgent: The rich flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg shine through this recipe and create the perfect pair with the cream cheese topping. The baby food carrots allow the cake to be super moist and so easy to bite into.
  • Sweet: Not too sweet, but sweet enough, these bars are the best way to satisfy your sweet tooth desires!
  • Perfect for the Family: Great for all ages, everyone will love these cake bars. I always make sure to bake extra because I know my family will eat all of them! 

Ingredients Needed

Dry Ingredients

Sugar: Granulated white sugar is used to make these cake bars as sweet and soft as they can be.
Flour: All-purpose flour is an easy flour to use for this recipe because everyone usually always has it on hand! 
Baking Soda: Baking soda is a leavening agent that allows the cake to rise and become fluffy. 
Salt: Salt gives this recipe some extra flavor and balances out the sweet flavors! 
Cinnamon: Use ground cinnamon for these carrot cake bars. If you only have cinnamon sticks, then you can grate them with a boxed grater or break them up into pieces and put them in the food processor. 
Nutmeg: Use ground nutmeg if you can! Of course, you can grate the whole nutmeg if that is all you have. 

Wet Ingredients

Eggs: You will need four eggs for this recipe. Make sure you remove them from the fridge ahead of time!
Carrots: The secret to this recipe is using jars of baby food carrots. Puréed carrots give these bars extra moisture and true carrot flavors that are so delicious.

one jar of baby food carrots

For the Icing

Powdered Sugar: Also known as icing or confectioner’s sugar, this light sugar is used to make the cream cheese frosting sweet and super delicious. 
Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract gives the frosting yummy flavors of warm vanilla that are definitely a must! 
Butter: Use either salted or unsalted butter for the frosting to make it extra good. Make sure the butter is softened or it will be difficult to blend the frosting! 
Cream Cheese: Softened cream cheese creates a frosting that is fluffy and rich with bold flavors. The smooth flavors of cream cheese are the best combination with the carrot cake. 

Don’t know where to find jars of baby food? Find carrot baby food in the baby section at well-stocked grocery stores or supermarkets. Stores will usually always have jars of baby carrots. 

How to Make Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Make sure to follow these steps word by word so your cake bars will come out delicious! Follow the pictures from left to right.

First Step – Preheat Oven

First, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a jelly roll pan (10 ½” x 15 ½”) and set it aside. You can grease the pan with either butter or spray oil. 

Second Step – Cream Ingredients

mixing carrot cake batter with eggs, butter, sugar, and baby food carrots

With a wooden spoon or electric or stand mixer, cream together the eggs and sugar until fluffy. After that, mix in the oil. Next, stir the carrots until just mixed and smooth. 

Third Step – Sift Dry Ingredients

steps of making carrot cake and adding flour into batter

Next, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and pour the sifted dry ingredients into the carrot mixture. Meanwhile, stir the mixture as you go.

Fourth Step – Bake 

pouring cake batter in pan and then baked carrot cake

Next, spread the cake batter into the prepared jelly roll pan. After that, bake for 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Keep in mind different ovens will have different baking times and temperatures. 

Fifth Step – Cool 

Next, remove the carrot cake bars from the ocean and allow them to cool while you prepare the frosting. 

Prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting

creaming the cream cheese and butter with vanilla and sugar

Meanwhile, cream together the butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Then, add the vanilla extract and powdered sugar. Next, mix the frosting until very smooth and no lumps remain. 

Frost the Carrot Bars

spreading cream cheese frosting on cooled carrot cake with baking tool

Finally, frost the cooled cake with a rubber spatula or offset spatula. Make to evenly spread the frosting on top. 

top view of carrot cake bars topped with cream cheese frosting

Enjoy these bars immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. Enjoy! You are going to LOVE these bars! 

two images of carrot cake bars with cream cheese frosting with text


Save these carrot cake bars with cream cheese frosting for the next time you desire carrot cake! These bars are mixed together in only one bowl and are so easy to make, too. Finally, Pin it to Pinterest! 

bite of carrot cake bar with cream cheese frosting on fork


  • Be careful to not overbake the bars or they will turn out to be dry. 
  • Serve these carrot bars with chopped pecans or raisins for extra flavor and texture.
  • Place bars in a single layer in an airtight container and cover. Store the leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days. 
  • Instead of carrots, then use puréed pumpkin or squash. 

Serving Suggestions

These baked treats are delicious after main course meals and lunch. I like to bake these bars whenever we are tailgating because I know everyone will be begging for them! This carrot bar recipe is yummy served with a glass of your favorite milk or a cup of coffee or tea–delicious! 

two carrot cake bars on white plate with cream cheese frosting

Other Tasty Bars You Will Enjoy

Be sure to look at all of my desserts to choose something you really like! There is something for everyone! 



4.85 from 13 votes
Print Recipe

Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist carrot bars baked with cinnamon and nutmeg, slathered with cream cheese. These snack cakes are perfect for any time of the year.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake bars, carrot bars with baby food, carrot bars with cream cheese frosting, Carrot cake bars, jelly roll pan, recipe, snack cakes
Servings: 20 bars
Calories: 303kcal
Author: Michaela Kenkel


For the Bars

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 4 ounce jars of strained baby food carrots
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

For the Icing

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 Tablespoons butter softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese softened


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a jelly roll pan (10 1/2" x 15 1/2) set aside.
  • With your mixer, cream together eggs and sugar until fluffy. Mix in oil.
  • Stir in carrots.
  • Sift the dry ingredients together, and slowly add to the wet mixture, stirring as you go.
  • Spread into prepared jelly roll pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool before whipping together icing ingredients and frosting bars. Eat immediately or store in the fridge until you enjoy them.


Serving: 2g | Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 280mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g
National Cookbook Month Blog Post Contributors


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  1. I’ve got to make these for my dad, he’s a huge carrot cake fan! I’d eat that cream cheese icing by the spoonful!

  2. Those community cookbooks always have some great recipes. Love that this utilizes baby food. Great concept

  3. This was a fun twist on a traditional carrot cake recipe! It was super easy to make, and my whole family devoured these treats!

  4. My husband always requests carrot cake for his birthday, so I might just make this for his birthday this year! This looks amazing, thank you so much for this recipe 🙂

  5. Drooling over these cake bars. My family would love these. I will soon try your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Carrot cake goes well with cream cheese, I can’t get enough. I keep making more, your recipe tastes good and easy to understand.

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