Carrot Cake Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Usually I’ll start a post with a story or a little tid-bit that somehow relates to the recipe I’m sharing. But not today. Nope, today we’re getting down to brass tacks, people. No time for silliness. Well, okay… maybe there will be a little time later.

But today (mostly) is all about me plainly, simply begging you to go grab the ingredients to make this. Why? Because it is the best cake I have ever made. Ever ever ever.

And, yes, I just italicized four words in the same paragraph. I mean it THAT much!

Though I haven’t made a ton of cakes in my day, I can assure you I’ve baked more carrot cakes than I can count on two hands. It’s my absolute favorite cake and, like crab cakes, I sample it everywhere I possibly can!

Then, I always try and replicate the best ones. And fail, naturally, because I’m overly excited and not paying attention. Baking, if you haven’t heard, requires attention.

But these, I cannot even explain. I’ll try though. Will you stay with me while I do?

These delicious carrot cake bars are melt-in-your-mouth amazing. They’re pillowy soft and not overly sweet, with a moist crumb and a hint of cinnamon spiciness. Shredded coconut and carrots give them a little bit of a chew, and the citrusy cream cheese frosting is decadent but light as air.

They’re also MUCH easier than a cake, but with little lemon spirals, just as cute!

Just pour your batter into a 13 x 9 pan, and it only needs 30 minutes of oven-baking-tantalizing-ness before you can burn your fingers trying to grab an edge piece to eat! (Guilty.)

Try these carrot cake bars for your next spring get together, or just to have a festive sweet treat in the house for snacking. I guarantee you’ll absolutely love them and so will whoever’s lucky enough to enjoy them with you!

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Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe makes a lot of batter, but I recommend pouring half of the batter into one 13 x 9 pan and freezing or refrigerating the rest in a resealable container.

Yield: Fills 2 (13 x 9) pans // 12-15 bars per pan

Ingredients:

Carrot Cake Bars:

Nonstick cooking spray

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups vegetable or canola oil

4 large eggs

4 cups (32 oz.) peeled and grated carrots

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting: (makes enough to frost one 13 x 9 cake)

3 cups powdered sugar

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

5 Tablespoons butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 13 x 9 pan with aluminum foil. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together sugar, oil and eggs on low speed until well blended. Mix in the dry ingredients just until blended. Fold in the carrots and coconut.

Pour HALF of the batter into the prepared pan*. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cake cool completely in pan before frosting with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. Once frosted, refrigerate at least 1 hour. Lift cake from pan and onto a cutting board; cut into bar-sized pieces.

To make frosting: Sift the powdered sugar into a large bowl. Add cream cheese, butter, vanilla and lemon extract. Beat with a hand mixer until well-blended and smooth enough to frost cake with. Avoid over-beating, which may make frosting too soft.

Cover and store leftover cake in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

I recommend reserving the remaining batter for another cake, or freezing/refrigerating in a resealable container for later use.

Adapted from Life as a Lofthouse via The Food Nanny

      

48 Responses to “Carrot Cake Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting”

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    1
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — April 22, 2013 @ 3:04 am

    Oh man – wish I wasn’t going to work tomorrow because I’d actually bake this right now!

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    Marie @ Little Kitchie — April 22, 2013 @ 6:31 am

    Stunning cake! Want, want, want!

    Oh! And I made the no knead artisan bread this weekend! I added some garlic powder and red pepper flakes to the dough. It. was. delicious!!! And SO easy. Definitely a keeper of a recipe!!!

    • Georgia — April 22nd, 2013 @ 8:30 am

      Yay! I’m so glad it turned out nicely and you enjoyed it! I told you, it’s like magic! ;)

  3. #
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    Jennie @themessybakerblog — April 22, 2013 @ 7:02 am

    They look beyond moist. I love the addition of coconut, and that frosting looks amazing!

  4. #
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    Tieghan — April 22, 2013 @ 8:24 am

    So moist! Wow, they look amazing!

  5. #
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    Jessica@AKitchenAddiction — April 22, 2013 @ 8:57 am

    Carrot cake is my favorite! Love that you added lemon to the cream cheese frosting!

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    Julia {The Roasted Root} — April 22, 2013 @ 8:59 am

    Carrot cake is my faaaaavorite…and it’s everyone in my family’s favorite too. I’m already having visions of my next family get-together where we are all lounging around enjoying bite after bite of your carrot cake bars. Love the lemon cream cheese frosting – sounds so zesty!

  7. #
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    Dan from Platter Talk — April 22, 2013 @ 9:35 am

    If these are brass tacks I would like to order a whole CASE of them. Wow – beautfiul photos and wonderful recipe idea. Thanks so much for sharing with us!

  8. #
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    Laura @ Laur's Weekly Menus — April 22, 2013 @ 9:42 am

    These look amazing! I absolutely love carrot cake, so these are going to go on my must make very soon list.

  9. #
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    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — April 22, 2013 @ 9:46 am

    You know how much I love coconut, right? I want to dive into this goodness!!

  10. #
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    sally @ sallys baking addiction — April 22, 2013 @ 9:49 am

    I am a huge sucker for carrot cake, Georgia! NExt to crab cakes, they carrot cake make just be my favorite food EVER! Love the lemon CC frosting paired with it, too.

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    Pam — April 22, 2013 @ 10:38 am

    I have a feeling these would be a HUGE hit with my family. YUM.

  12. #
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    Jennifer @ Not Your Momma's Cookie — April 22, 2013 @ 11:03 am

    These sound totally delicious! The addition of the lemon? GENIUS!!

  13. #
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    Jeremy Norton — April 22, 2013 @ 11:18 am

    This is absolutely a perfect recipe – kids get a bit of carrots without them even knowing it. My kids always place the carrots at the side of their plates during meals.

  14. #
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    honeywhatscooking — April 22, 2013 @ 3:53 pm

    so funny that i make carrot cake this weekend.. so i know what you are talking about. this looks soooooooo delicious! i love carrot cake. you really don’t need a story for a recipe that looks this good. :)

  15. #
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    Annie @ Annie's Noms — April 22, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

    So it’s not just me who burns my fingers desperately trying to grab an end piece to eat?! Haha, I am completely guilty of that! I love carrot cake, never made bars though and never tried carrot cake with lemon cream cheese frosting, I normally just do standard cream cheese frosting, going to have to try the carrot & lemon combination! :)

  16. #
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    Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen — April 22, 2013 @ 4:04 pm

    Your cake bars do look so delicious, the texture looks perfect! I love the sound of the lemon cream cheese frosting too!

  17. #
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    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — April 22, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

    Lemon cream cheese frosting is an absolute must with carrot cake… love these bars!

  18. #
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    Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet — April 22, 2013 @ 4:57 pm

    All I can say is YES PLEASE. I’ll swap you chicken drumsticks for a carrot cake bar. Deal? :)

  19. #
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    val — April 22, 2013 @ 5:28 pm

    How genius putting lemon cream cheese frosting on carrot cake. Heavenly

  20. #
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    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — April 22, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

    I am a total sucker for carrot cake and love that yours has coconut too. And lemon cream cheese frosting?? Just stop. I need this in my mouth ASAP!

  21. #
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    Megan @ megbakes — April 22, 2013 @ 5:40 pm

    I love carrot cake and I love that these are in bar form. Also, citrus is the perfect pair. Can’t wait to try these!

  22. #
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    Audra | The Baker Chick — April 22, 2013 @ 6:21 pm

    I am such a carrot cake fan- you had me from the get go! Your bars look so fluffy and full of delicious spices and flavors. Thanks for sharing Georgia!!

  23. #
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    Jeanette — April 22, 2013 @ 6:43 pm

    Your carrot cake bars look so tender and moist – I haven’t had carrot cake in a long time but it is definitely one of my favorites.

  24. #
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    ashley - baker by nature — April 22, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

    Wow lady! These look incredible! I have so many carrots in the fridge too… makes me want to go bake these bars right now.

  25. #
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    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — April 22, 2013 @ 7:31 pm

    This looks so good! I would be licking the icing bowl clean!

  26. #
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    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef — April 22, 2013 @ 8:10 pm

    I love, love, love carrot cake and I always give my self an excuse for wanting two pieces. it’s got carrots.. that’s a vegetable, right?

  27. #
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    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes — April 22, 2013 @ 8:23 pm

    Love the idea of carrot cake as a bar cookie.

  28. #
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    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — April 22, 2013 @ 11:10 pm

    Perfect for spring! These sound amazing. And I love the idea of cake bars too–how fun and different. Plus, it leaves more time for cake eating and less time for slicing cake layers and doing all that fancy stuff. Haha!

    I am obsessed with carrot cake and the fact that you say this is the best cake you’ve ever made is INCREDIBLY tempting. I feel like I always need an excuse to bake cake, but maybe not? :)

  29. #
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    Nami | Just One Cookbook — April 23, 2013 @ 1:33 am

    Your carrot cake is one of the best one I’ve seen. I especially love the lemon cream cheese frosting. I’m not always a big fan of sweet frosting, but with citrus flavor in it. I’d go crazy and might add extra. Such a gorgeous styling and photography. I love everything about this post, Georgia!

  30. #
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    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — April 23, 2013 @ 1:35 am

    I love carrot cake. I love bars. I love lemons. I love cream cheese. Are you seeing a pattern here? ;)

  31. #
    31
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — April 23, 2013 @ 3:00 am

    Mmm….. lemon cream cheese frosting and carrot cake, you can’t get better than that!

  32. #
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    CCU — April 23, 2013 @ 4:29 am

    I need to devour this recipe :D

    Cheers
    CCU

  33. #
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    nicolecococute — April 23, 2013 @ 9:02 am

    This is my first visit on your site, first I like the look of your website the overall is so neat and pleasing to the eye and about the recipe, I am learning food and cooking and I will give this one a big try , a healthy and delicious recipe inded.

    • Georgia — April 23rd, 2013 @ 11:05 am

      Hi Nicole, welcome! I’m so glad you like what you found here. I’m sorry to disappoint though – this recipe is not healthy at all! ;)

  34. #
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    Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion — April 23, 2013 @ 9:09 am

    Nice job!!! will be making these ASAP

  35. #
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    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel — April 23, 2013 @ 12:41 pm

    I have to admit, I’m not the biggest carrot cake fan in the world, but I am loving the lemon cream cheese and the buttery, sweet crumb from these bars! Your pictures look so perfect, Georgia!

  36. #
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    Rosa — April 23, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

    Those bars look ever so tempting! A delightful treat.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  37. #
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    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — April 23, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

    This sounds SO delicious! Love the lemon frosting :)

  38. #
    38
    Kathy — April 23, 2013 @ 3:34 pm

    This cake sounds incredible!

  39. #
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    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — April 23, 2013 @ 4:23 pm

    This is my mom’s favorite cake, I am definitely going to have to make it for her when she visits next month!

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    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — April 23, 2013 @ 7:44 pm

    Oh, I love carrot cake! And I always associate it with spring (maybe because of Easter? bunnies?), so your timing is perfect too. ;) That lemon spiral on top is beautiful!

  41. #
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    Liz — April 23, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

    Uh, oh. Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts! I ‘ve made pumpkin bars, but why haven’t I made carrot cake bars? This has got to change! What a marvelous recipe!!

  42. #
    42
    Melissa @ My Recent Favorite books — April 23, 2013 @ 8:49 pm

    I found your blog on Pinterest! I love Carrot Cake!!
    These Bars look great, thanks!

  43. #
    43
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — April 24, 2013 @ 9:56 am

    They look and sound incredible. I love carrot cake! I have a carrot cake-ish recipe next week and I want to make more. I also saw your bars all over the food sites this week….they tempted me all over the place :)

  44. #
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    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat — April 24, 2013 @ 11:01 am

    I love carrot cake and so does my family! I’m super excited about this recipe…it sounds wonderful! I’m def pinning this one!

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    Patty — April 28, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

    I love carrot cake-it’s actually kind of a weakness ;-)
    Beautiful photos with a fabulous recipe-thanks for sharing ;-)

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    Kelly — June 1, 2013 @ 9:04 pm

    YUM. Just made this (I used orange extract instead of lemon just cause thats what i had on hand.)

    NOM NOM NOM. So good!

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