These 4 ingredient Carrot Cake Bars are made from a cake mix! They’re good enough without frosting, but for a special treat top them with cream cheese frosting.
Carrot Cake Bars Recipe
I’m a little addicted to baking with boxed mixes. Ever since I found this recipe for brownie cookies (Seriously, people…you’ve pinned this over 76,000 times. Definitely our most-pinned recipe ever!), I’ve been dreaming of what more I can do with a brownie mix or cake mix. If cream cheese, butter and and egg made those cookies so dreamy and soft, what would those ingredients do with a cake mix?
With Easter just around the corner, I knew I wanted to try a carrot cake bar. I made one recipe from scratch and while it was good, it was not exactly easy. I decided a carrot cake bar using Betty Crocker’s carrot cake was in my future.
Let’s just say I was so happy with how these turned out, and I think you will, too. They’re only 4 ingredients.
- Cake mix
- 1 egg
- 1/2 stick of softened butter
- 1/2 block or 4 ounces of softened cream cheese
And that’s all! Mix them up, bake them for about 18 minutes and you have an awesome bar cookie in less than 30 minutes.
I ended up making two pans of these bars. Thankfully they make just a small pan, 8×8 size, which is just right for our family of 5. The first bars turned out perfectly but I completely forgot to write down how long I baked them. Tragedy, right? We had to eat the first batch of bars and then make them again to get the timing just right for you. I know…it’s a rough job! The first pan of carrot cake bars didn’t even make it to getting the frosting spread on top. They’re such a simple bar with a soft, dense cookie texture that frosting really isn’t even necessary.
Not necessary, but….If you are like us and love cream cheese frosting, spread some on these bars for a decadent treat. Feel free to use store-bought frosting to make things easier, but we love our homemade cream cheese frosting. It’s definitely worth the extra 10 minutes of prep time.
These 4 ingredient Carrot Cake Bars are made from a cake mix! They're good enough without frosting, but for a special treat top them with cream cheese frosting.
- 1 box Betty Crocker carrot cake cake mix (15.25 ounces)
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 6 tablespoons nbutter softened
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl, mix together the dry cake mix, cream cheese, egg and butter until completely mixed. The dough will be very thick.
- Press the dough into a greased 8x8 baking pan. Bake for 14-18 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the bars to cool.
- For the frosting: Using an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture is light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar, 1/2 a cup at at time, until it is thoroughly mixed. Add the vanilla and beat the frosting on medium speed for about 3 minutes.
- Frost the carrot cake bars with the frosting and top with the chopped walnuts.
We baked our bars for 14 minutes exactly and thought the texture was perfect (very soft). If you want them just a bit "cakier" or if your bars seem too "raw" for your liking, let them bake an additional 3-4 minutes.