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Carrot Cake Cookie Bars

These Carrot Cake Cookie Bars are inspired by a cross between the classic dessert cake and blondies. Soft & satisfying, these little treats freeze well too.

Carrot Cake Cookie Bars

Carrot Cake Cookie Bars

These carrot cake cookie bars came about because I was looking to make a bit of a quicker version of one of my favourite sandwich cookies, also based on carrot cake. Bar cookies tend to be a bit less fussy, time consuming and more forgiving on baking time than drop cookies so I set out to make my own cookie bar version.

I took elements of a blondie recipe to get a soft, slightly chewy texture and added the spices and grated carrot to mimic the flavour of an actual carrot cake. Of course I had to top them with a little cream cheese frosting to add yet another layer of deliciousness.

I was very pleased with the result indeed. They baked up very well and quite evenly with a good dense crumb structure that wasn’t dry at all. I froze some for a few days to test them and they thawed and served up beautifully too.

I didn’t add any nuts to this recipe but you easily could if you wanted. A half cup of ground walnuts could easily be added at the end. Another version I might try would be to substitute some very well drained crushed pineapple for part of the grated carrot and add ground pecans. This is a combination that I know works very well because I use it all the time in my Pineapple Pecan Carrot Cake. I’ll bet it would be fantastic here too.

Carrot Cake Cookie Bars

Carrot Cake Cookie Bars

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Carrot Cake Cookie Bars
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 
These Carrot Cake Cookie Bars are inspired by a cross between the classic dessert cake and blondies. Soft & satisfying, these little treats freeze well too.
Course: Cookes
Cuisine: North American
Servings: 3 dozen cookie bars
Author: Barry C. Parsons
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup coarsely grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins optional
  • 1/2 cup ground walnuts or pecans optional
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 2 cups icing sugar powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • tsp a few milk
Instructions
  1. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar well.Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  5. Mix into the creamed mixture, folding to combine well.
  6. When the flour is almost all incorporated, fold in the grated carrot. If you are using raisins or nuts add them here as well.
  7. Spread evenly into the pan. To get it to spread evenly, I drop it by spoonfuls all over the surface and then spread it out evenly with the back of a tablespoon or offset spatula. Dip the tablespoon into hot water to help spread the thick batter evenly and smooth out the top if necessary.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees (325 degrees if using glass bake warfor 40-50 minutes or until the top springs back lightly when touched and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool thoroughly in the pan before topping with Cream Cheese Frosting and cutting into bars or squares.
  10. Store in airtight plastic containers in the fridge. Freeze part of the batch for later if you like.
To make the frosting
  1. Cream together the icing sugar with the butter, vanilla extract and cream cheese.
  2. Add the milk a teaspoon or so at a time, mixing until the frosting comes together in a smooth spreadable consistency.
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Laura

Thursday 7th of March 2019

I made this recipe for a large group and they were such a hit. I made 2 batches the normal way and 1 with gluten-free flour and an extra egg (otherwise gf flour would suck up all the moisture). I’m not a huge fan of cream cheese frosting but wow the frosting was so good.

Debbie

Friday 4th of December 2015

Made these squares last nite, really disappointed! They are so so dry! Went back over the recipe to see if I left something out but no followed the recipe correctly. Very disappointed!!

Barry C. Parsons

Thursday 10th of December 2015

Sounds over baked. What type pans do you use? Aluminum is best. Those dark metal ones are the worst.

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