These scrumptious carrot cake cheesecake bars are decadent carrot bars with hints of cinnamon throughout. They have a rich cream cheese swirl, making it the perfect treat for Easter or spring parties!
Why choose between cheesecake and carrot cake when you can combine them together! These bars are tender, soft, and just scream spring is in the air.
The best part about cheesecake bars are that they are much easier than a cheesecake. You don’t need to worry about it splitting or cracking but the delicious cheesecake results still remain!
These easy cheesecake bars are perfect for Easter, spring, or any occasion.
Why this recipe works
Easy to make – Much easier than an actual cheesecake!
Simple ingredients – All of these ingredients are everyday that you can find in your pantry or fridge.
Combination bars – Combining a bar with a cheesecake for optimal results!
Spring – The perfect recipe to bring for Easter or bake up for spring!
Here are a few notes about certain ingredients we’re using in these carrot cake cheesecake bars. Full recipe card down below.
Butter – I always use unsalted for baking. Make sure it is softened. Remove 2 hours prior to baking or the night before.
Brown sugar – I used light brown sugar. Dark brown sugar works as well.
Carrots – I used a grater to shred the carrots. Make sure it’s at room temperature!
Cream cheese – Regular cream cheese is used in this recipe. Remove 2 hours prior to baking.
Step by step instructions
Step 1: Whisk the butter and sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter and brown sugar. Add in egg and vanilla and keep whisking.
Step 2: Add in dry ingredients. Toss in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt and stir again until completely combined.
Step 3: Add in carrots. Gently mix in the shredded carrots just a few times.
Step 4: Make the cream cheese layer. In a bowl with an electric mixer, mix the cream cheese, egg yolk, vanilla, flour, and sugar until well combined. Don’t over-mix it!
Step 5: Layer. Add half the carrot cake base to the bottom of the pan and spread out. Dollop the cream cheese filling around the pan. Add the remaining carrot cake base and using a knife, gently swirl it all together.
Step 6: Bake. Allow the bars to bake for 35-40 minutes. They will be ready when the edges are slightly brown and the middle still remains jiggly. Allow to cool completely, the bars will set as they cool. Enjoy!
Expert Baking Tips
Here are a few expert baking tips from my kitchen to yours
Use a gram scale for the most accurate measurements. To convert this recipe, click the ‘metric’ button next to the ingredients title on the recipe card.
Use room temperature ingredients – This is always important for baking, but especially important in cheesecake recipes. If your cheesecake and egg are not room temperature, they will not be able to beat smoothly into your cheesecake batter.
Do not over mix the batter – This goes for both the cheesecake batter and the carrot cake batter. If you over mix the carrot cake batter it will result in a tough chew, which is not what we want! We’re aiming for a tender and soft carrot cake here. If you over mix the cheesecake, it’ll aerate and while it bakes it’ll crack. Only mix it until it is just combined.
Don’t over bake – Over-baking cheesecake bars will result in a tough consistency. Take out the bars when they are just set, the inside will still have a slight jiggle, and a toothpick comes out mostly clean!
Storing & Freezing
Store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
The carrot cake bars can be frozen for up to 3 months. Individually wrap each one to ensure the moisture stays. Thaw before eating.
Why are carrots associated with spring?
Carrots are sold year-round, but they get planted when the ground begins to soften in early spring for a late-spring harvest! They also get planted towards late summer for an early fall harvest, but they’re mainly associated with spring because fall reminds everyone of pumpkin season and not carrots.
Can I use a low-fat cream cheese?
I believe this will change the consistency of the cream cheese filling, so I can’t guarantee the same results.
Can I freeze these carrot cake cheesecake bars?
Yes! As long as they are tightly wrapped, the carrot cake bars can be frozen for up to 3 months. If you won’t be freezing them, store the bars in a covered container in the refrigerator and use within 5 days.
Why are my carrot shreds browning?
They are oxidizing. This isn’t a big deal and won’t change the flavour,, but if you’d like them to keep their colour, pour about 1/2 tsp of lemon juice into the bowl they’re in and mix it around until all the carrot shreds are coated.
Check out these recipes
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Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars
For the carrot cake
- Preheat oven to 350℉/180℃. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper for easy removal. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, add the melted butter and brown sugar and whisk to combine.1/2 cup butter, 3/4 cups light brown sugar
- Add in the egg and vanilla and continue whisking.1 egg, 1 tbsp vanilla
- Add in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt and using a spatula, fold it in again until no dry streaks appear.1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt
- Toss in the shredded carrots and fold in just a few times (don't overmix!)1 cup shredded carrots
- In another medium sized bowl, add in the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, flour, and vanilla. Using a handheld electric mixer, mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy.4 ounces cream cheese, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 egg yolk, 1 tbsp flour, 1 tsp vanilla
- Spread about half of the carrot cake batter into the bottom of the pan with a spatula.
- Drop spoonful’s of the cheesecake batter over the carrot cake batter. Then drop the remaining carrot cake batter around the cheesecake batter. Take a knife and swirl around until the two are swirled together.
- Bake the bars for 35-40 minutes. The edges will be set, while the middle remains jiggly. The bars will continue to bake as they cool and set.
- Cool completely before cutting. Since there is cream cheese in this recipe, I suggest keeping them stored airtight in the refrigerator. Enjoy!