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These carrot cake bars are easy to make and unbelievably delicious. They are moist, perfectly spiced, and topped with an incredibly fluffy cream cheese frosting.

If you love dessert bars, also try these Lemon Coconut Bars and these Cherry Cheesecake Bars!

A carrot cake bar on a plate with a fork.

Carrot Cake Bars

We’ve been told a few times that these are the best carrot cake bars ever. They are perfectly moist, have amazing flavor, and the cream cheese frosting is truly magical. The bars + the frosting is a match made in heaven.

Carrot cake bars are a great way to enjoy carrot cake without the commitment of having to bake (and eat) a whole cake. To make these bars, we’ve taken our loved carrot cake recipe and scaled and tweaked it so that it works in a 9″x9″ pan. The bars turn out very soft yet are firm enough to pick up with your hands. Even so, we sometimes like to cut big squares and eat them with a fork. It’s just so good.

Carrot cake bars are an amazing year-round treat. In the springtime or at Easter, however, they are a must-make recipe. The moist cake, gentle spices, fresh carrots, and soft cream cheese frosting is a delicious way to celebrate and treat yourself!

Do you Love Carrot Cake?

Then you should also check out The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe EVER!

4 pictures showing how to make carrot cake bars.

How To Make Carrot Cake Bars

It’s easy to make carrot cake bars!

  1. Make the cake. Simply mix the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another bowl. Now mix them together and add some grated carrots. Then bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  2. Make the frosting. Beat some room temperature cream cheese with butter, powdered sugar, a little vanilla, and a splash of milk. Easy!
  3. Put it all together. Once the cake is 100% cool (don’t rush this part or you’ll melt the frosting!) spread the cream cheese frosting over the cake then cut it into bars.

How to Decorate These Bars

We like to decorate our carrot cake bars with a little sprinkle of cinnamon. It’s simple yet really pretty. Here are a few other fun toppings you can try:

  • A sprinkle of finely chopped nuts
  • A whole pecan or walnut on top of each bar
  • Small carrot-shaped candies
  • Sprinkles
  • A little finely grated carrot

Keep It Fresh With These Variations

  • Pineapple – instead of the apple sauce, use crushed pineapple.
  • Switch up the nuts – pecans, walnuts, and chopped almonds are all great.
  • Brown butter – nix the oil and add tasty brown butter instead.
  • Coconut – mix ½ cup of shredded or desiccated coconut into the batter.

A closeup of carrot cake bars in a pan.

How Big are These Bars?

That’s totally up to you! In the first picture above, you’ll see the bars cut into nine big, mouthwatering pieces. At this size, it’s a real sweet treat that’s more like a big slice of cake. Cut into twelve pieces is a bit more reasonable, but perhaps not quite as much fun.

We like to cut ours into 36 small pieces that are two bites each. In the last picture, you’ll see one of the bars cut to this size. The easiest way to do this is to cut nine bars then cut each of the large bars into 4 smaller bars.

How Long do Carrot Cake Bars Last?

These bars will keep well for 5-7 days if kept in a covered container on your counter. Make sure to read below to find out about storing the frosting!

How to Store Carrot Cake Bars

We store our frosted carrot cake bars on the counter and make sure that we eat them within 2-3 days. While many people agree that the sugar in the frosting acts as a preservative, other people feel more comfortable refrigerating it. If you live in a hot area, then refrigerating the frosting is a must.

But since carrot cake bars taste best if stored covered at room temperature, you may want to keep the frosting separately in the fridge and frost each bar before you eat it. Remember, the frosting will harden in the fridge and it will need about 10 minutes to soften enough to spread on the carrot cake bars.

A hand holding a carrot cake bar.

Popular Carrot Cake Recipes

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Carrot Cake Bars

By: Kristen Stevens
These carrot cake bars are easy to make and unbelievably delicious. They're moist, perfectly spiced, and topped with an incredibly fluffy cream cheese frosting. 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 9 large bars


Carrot Cake Bars

Cream Cheese Frosting


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray or butter a 9x9 inch baking dish
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the apple sauce, oil, eggs, sugars, and vanilla. 
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and nutmeg. Add this to the large bowl then mix until just combined. Fold in the carrots and any optional ingredients then pour the batter into the baking dish. 
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and let the bars cool completely in the pan. 
  • When the bars are completely cool, make the icing. Add the softened cream cheese and butter to a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer and mix to combine. Add the powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Add more powdered sugar for a thicker frosting or more cream for a thinner frosting.
  • Spread the frosting over the carrot cake then cut them into bars.


Calories: 466kcalCarbohydrates: 86gProtein: 7gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 484mgPotassium: 117mgFiber: 1gSugar: 58gVitamin A: 426IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!





About Kristen Stevens

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    1. Yes, you can! It’s best to refrigerate the cake first so that the frosting is firm before wrapping it in plastic wrap.

  1. Thank you so much Kristen. I’ll be making these for Easter dessert, since (unfortunately) there will only be 7 of us for dinner this year, so a ‘huge’ dessert won’t be needed. I plan to add yellow raisins & finely chopped pecans. I always look forward to receiving your emails, since you since you post the most useful & delicious recipes. Have a Happy Easter 🐣

  2. These sound not only delish, but also easy to make. I especially like that there is no mixer required! One question: Do the carrots (absolutely) need to be ‘finely grated’, or can they be ‘shreaded’ on the lrg. holes of a box grater? Thank you 😍

    1. While I haven’t tested it, I suspect that shredding the carrots on the large holes of a grater will probably work fine. I just like the way that the finely shredded carrots blend into the batter. 🙂