Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Bars

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These cream cheese carrot cake bars have a rich cream cheese swirl, making this carrot cake dessert recipe an indulgent treat for Easter or spring parties!

There are a few special people in our family who LOVE carrot cake. It’s one of the desserts we don’t think to make often, but when we do, we remember how much we love it!

a stack of carrot cake bars with cheesecake swirl

Today we’re taking two of our favorite desserts: carrot cake and cheesecake. We’re swirling them together into one delicious dessert recipe. Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Bars! These are perfect for Easter or a spring picnic.

Why are carrots associated with spring?

Nearly every grocery store stocks carrots all year long, so it can make us wonder why they’re associated with spring. A bit of Googling gives us the answer. As it turns out, carrots are in season two times each year; late spring and late fall.

In warm weather zones, spring carrots are ready for harvesting in April. This makes them perfect to use in Easter recipes! Roasted Carrots pair really well with an Easter ham or lamb. When the topic of Easter dessert comes up, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is the first thought of most people.

Since my recipe for carrot cake has already been shared here, cream cheese carrot cake bars are the next best thing!

cream cheese swirled carrot cake bars, but into perfect squares
How to Make Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Bars

My recipe for plain carrot cake bars starts with a cake mix, making them quick and easy to make. Because this is a scratch recipe, it takes a bit longer to make these cream cheese carrot cake bars. You won’t regret spending a few extra minutes, though!

These cream cheese carrot cake bars are buttery and chewy, similar to the texture of blondies. In the middle of the bars is a swirl of sweetened cream cheese, bringing creamy texture and a rich taste.

Making the batter for these bars couldn’t be easier. We’re using a simple one-bowl method.

making batter for a cream cheese carrot cake bars recipe

In another bowl, you’ll combine the ingredients for the cream cheese swirl. It’s not cheesecake batter; it’s more like sweetened cream cheese. An egg yolk is added in for structure.

combining cream cheese, sugar, and an egg yolk in a blue bowl

After you make the batter for the carrot cake bars, you’ll spread it into a baking pan. Then, you’ll place dollops of the cream cheese mixture on top. The fun part is using a knife to swirl the batters together. Then, it’s time to bake the cream cheese carrot cake bars!

swirling cream cheese mixture into unbaked carrot cake batter

Can you freeze cream cheese carrot cake bars?

As long as they are tightly wrapped, the carrot cake bars can be frozen for up to 3 months. If you won’t be freezing them, store the bars in a covered container in the refrigerator and use within 5 days.

stack of cream cheese carrot cake bars

Other Carrot Cake Recipes

Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Bars on a plate
Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Bars on a plate

Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Bars

4.60 from 35 votes
These cream cheese carrot cake bars have a rich cream cheese swirl, making this carrot cake dessert recipe an indulgent treat for Easter or spring parties!
Servings 12
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the carrot cake bars:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded carrots

For the cream cheese swirl:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese – room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare an 8x8 baking pan with non stick spray and set aside. Line the pan with parchment paper for easy removal. This is optional but makes the bars easier to cut.

Prepare the carrot cake batter:

  • Melt the butter in a microwave safe dish.
  •  In a medium sized bowl, add the melted butter and brown sugar and mix to combine. 
  • Stir in the egg and vanilla. 
  • Add in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt and stir again until completely combined. 
  • Fold in the shredded carrots. Set aside.

Prepare the cheesecake swirl:

  • In a medium sized bowl, add in the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla. Mix until smooth and creamy.

Layering the bars:

  • Pour about half of the carrot cake batter into the pan and spread it out with a spatula.
  • Then take half of the cheesecake batter and drop spoonful’s over the carrot cake batter. Don’t swirl yet. Drop the remaining carrot cake batter by spoonfuls around the cheesecake batter and then finish with drops of the remaining cheesecake batter. Then, take a knife and swirl around until the two are swirled together.
  • Bake for about 35-40 minutes, the edges will be golden brown and there will be very little jiggle to the center.
  •  Cool completely before cutting. Store airtight in the refrigerator. They are delicious from the fridge!

Video

Author Julie Clark
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword carrot cake bars, CREAM CHEESE, easter dessert, spring

titled photo (and shown): Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Sunnydrop
3 years ago

5 stars
I used cake flour amd it turned out well. I squeezed the shredded carrot before folding into the batter to take out a few of the liquid content.
This is yummy and will definitely make more batches again. Thank you for sharing!

Megan
3 years ago

Excited to try this recipe! If i cut the recipe in half how do you suggest I change the cooking time? Thanks!

Suzanne
2 years ago

This looks so delicious! I love the flavor combination for spring! Its so nice to have a cookie/bar option for Easter gathering!

Anbury
2 years ago

When it calls for sugar in the sweet cream cheese swirl is it granulated or powder?

Rachel
2 years ago

Can you substitute whole wheat flour?

Stephanie
2 years ago

5 stars
Wow! Since we’re sheltering in place and we won’t get more groceries until tomorrow, I was searching for a recipe we could make for dessert last night with what we had on hand. These turned out to be phenomenal. They were quick, easy and so delicious. A new family favorite. Thank you so much!

Brooke
2 years ago

Any thoughts on using an egg white instead of yolk for the cream cheese layer? I have a carton of real egg whites in my fridge (usually do one whole egg plus one egg white for a lower fat, higher protein breakfast scramble). I’m finding all sorts of recipes that call for an egg yolk and don’t want the unaccompanied whites to go to waste!

Mark
2 years ago

can you use baby food and how much ?

Kay
2 years ago

If i use salted butter how could i adjust the salt measurement, would i just omit the additional salt?

S.L.
2 years ago

Have you tried doubling the recipe to use in a 9×13 pan? If so, how long should they bake?

Kaylyn W
2 years ago

5 stars
This was an excellent recipe. I used a pie dish instead of a cake pan, and it turned out just as good. A delicate crust and moist gooey inside. This is a hit!

Kim Todd
2 years ago

Can I double ingredients and make a 9×13 pan?

Joanie Mondeau
1 year ago

5 stars
This recipe was so good. I made ot for a summer party and it was a winner. I wouldn’t change a thing. Thanks for the recipe♥