One of my favorite desserts is carrot cake. I will rarely make it because of the work involved in making and frosting the layers. There had to be an easier way to get the flavor of carrot cake that I love without all the work. Good news, there is! These Carrot Cake Squares with Cream Cheese Frosting are a single layer but have all the yummy flavor you would expect in a great carrot cake. Best of all, since they are pre-cut into squares, you have some semblance of portion control - though if you are like me, you might just eat the whole pan. Be sure to also try our No Bake Twinkies Cake for Spring.
⭐Why This Recipe Works
- Much easier to make than traditional carrot cake
- Small portion sizes make them easy to freeze
- Variety of creative ways to decorate the carrot cake
- Bread flour - Since bread flour contains a high protein content, it will produce a carrot cake with a sponge cake-like texture.
- Oil - You can use vegetable oil or canola oil.
- Salt - You can use sea salt or iodized salt.
- Cinnamon - Gives a warm, spice flavor to the cake.
- Shredded carrots - You will want to shred your own so they are not dried out.
- Walnuts - Chop before adding. You can leave these out if you have a nut allergy or don't like nuts.
- Cream cheese - Gives the icing it's creamy texture.
- Butter - Softened. I use salted butter, but you can use unsalted as well.
- Confectioner's sugar - Also known as powdered sugar. You will use this for the frosting.
- Vanilla - Adds extra flavor to the cake.
📋Step by Step InstructionsStep 1: Spread butter around a 11x15 cake pan and add a dusting of flour over the butter. Set pan aside. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Step 2: Shred carrots using a cheese grater and chop walnuts with a large knife.
Step 3: Beat 8 eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer on high speed. Beat the eggs on high speed until they have turned frothy.
Step 4: When the eggs are done, reduce the mixer speed and gradually add in oil. Change the mixer speed to low and add the sugar and the salt.
Step 5: Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl, and then add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture.
Step 6: Fold in the grated carrots and the walnuts.
Step 7: Distribute the carrot cake batter into the baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Bake the cake at 375 degrees in a preheated oven for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
STEP 8: When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and set the baking pan on a wire rack to cool. Then run a butter knife along the edges of the pan to make sure the cake is released from the edges.
Flip the cake onto a plate and move it to a wire rack to cool thoroughly. Once the cake has cooled, you can cut it into squares.
🍰How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting
You all know that one of the best parts of any carrot cake is the cream cheese frosting, so let's get started making it!
STEP 1: Beat cream cheese on low to soften. Add butter to cream cheese, blending until the mixture is smooth. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until it is creamy and spreadable.
STEP 2: Fill a piping bag with the frosting and decorate the carrot cake bars any way you wish. This is a great job for kids to help with. You can use some ground-up nuts to decorate and add some edible candy carrots.
This easy carrot cake recipe is filled with bits of carrot and just the perfect amount of spices.
Now you can enjoy carrot cake anytime you wish!
Tip 1: You can also use all purpose flour in this recipe in place of the bread flour if you want more fluffy and less chewy cake.
Tip 2: I chose to butter and flour my pan to prevent sticking, but you can also line your cake pan with parchment paper.
How do you store carrot cake with cream cheese frosting?
You can store these in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days.
You can also freeze these. Simply wrap each individually in plastic wrap and then place them in a larger zip-top bag. They will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.
What toppings can I use on these carrot cake bars?
So many! Walnuts and pecans make great toppings as do raisins and pastel-colored sprinkles.
🌟If you try this recipe, leave a star rating below or a review in the comment section. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to get my latest recipes!
Carrot Cake Squares with Cream Cheese Frosting
Carrot Cake Instructions
- Butter and flour cake pans and set aside.
- Shred carrots and chop walnuts.
- Using stand or hand mixer, beat eggs on high speed until frothy.
- Reduce mixer speed and gradually add oil.
- On low mixer speed, add sugar and salt.
- Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda and add to egg mixture.
- Fold in carrots and walnuts.
- Distribute cake mixture into cake pan, spreading evenly.
- Bake at 375 for 25-28 minutes.
- Set on wire rack to cool.
- Run a butter knife along the edges, to make sure cake is released from edges and flip onto a
- Move cake to a wire rack to cool thoroughly before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting Instructions
- Beat cream cheese on low to soften.
- Add butter to cream cheese, blending until mixture is smooth.
- Add vanilla and confectioner's sugar, mix until creamy and spreadable.
- Store in refrigerator until needed.
- Decorate squares as desired.