Carrot Cake Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Crumbly, moist and super easy carrot cake bars for your next spring party! Or just whenever the carrot cake craving hits.

Carrot Cake Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting – Crumbly, moist and super easy carrot cake bars for your next spring party! |

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!

Carrot Cake Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting – Crumbly, moist and super easy carrot cake bars for your next spring party! |

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.

Carrot Cake Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting – Crumbly, moist and super easy carrot cake bars for your next spring party! |

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.

Carrot Cake Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting – Crumbly, moist and super easy carrot cake bars for your next spring party! |

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.)

Carrot Cake Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting – Crumbly, moist and super easy carrot cake bars for your next spring party! |

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!

Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

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

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.


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 peeled and grated carrots, (or 32 oz.)
  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 13 x 9 pan with aluminum foil. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Cover and store leftover cake in the refrigerator.
  3. Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Join the Conversation

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

  2. 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!!!

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

  4. So moist! Wow, they look amazing!

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

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

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

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

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

  11. 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.

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

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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. :)

  16. 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! :)

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

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

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

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

  21. Erin | The Law Student's Wife says:

    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!

  22. 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!

  23. 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!!

  24. 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.

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

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

  27. 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?

  28. Love the idea of carrot cake as a bar cookie.

  29. 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? :)

  30. 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!

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

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

  33. I need to devour this recipe :D


  34. 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.

  35. Nice job!!! will be making these ASAP

  36. 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! ;)

  37. 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!

  38. Those bars look ever so tempting! A delightful treat.



  39. 5 stars
    This sounds SO delicious! Love the lemon frosting :)

  40. 5 stars
    This is my mom’s favorite cake, I am definitely going to have to make it for her when she visits next month!

  41. This cake sounds incredible!

  42. 5 stars
    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!

  43. 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!!

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

  45. 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 :)

  46. 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!

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

  48. 5 stars
    YUM. Just made this (I used orange extract instead of lemon just cause thats what i had on hand.)

    NOM NOM NOM. So good!

  49. 5 stars
    OMG, it’s really the best carrot cake that I tasted!

  50. 5 stars
    I made this recipe as a cake and it is by far the best carrot cake I’ve ever made. I will be keeping this one around for years to come!

  51. 5 stars
    This was amazing :D My mother and I devoured it almost too quickly… I reduced the sugar in the frosting by a lot (like 50%) but I do that with all American recipes to be honest.

  52. Penny Lamping says:

    Going to make soon! Just curious – I need two cakes for the event coming up. Can’t I just use all the batter to make 2 sheet cakes? Does the frosting recipe only make enough for one cake?

  53. Yes, you can divide the batter between two 13 x 9 pans. As the frosting recipe only makes enough to frost one sheet cake, you will need to double it.

  54. Penny Lamping says:


  55. First of all, I love your blog. I have baked so many things from here and everyone thinks I’m some sort of master baker because of it, so thank you! You’re awesome!

    Second, do you have any recommendations on turning these into cupcakes? Could I just use this recipe and bake them for a little longer/shorter?

  56. Thanks for your kind words, Monica! I’ve never tried baking these into cupcakes, but I would just decrease the baking time, maybe to about 15-20 minutes.

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