We love introducing our family to new dessert recipes that combine sweetness and fluffiness, like these easy carrot cake bars. They combine the lightness of pie with the texture of cake for a truly delicious goody that adds a touch of spring to our life and our step! We love introducing carrots into a treat that even our kids love and then adding a creamy frosting topping for an indulgent touch, taking it from a lovely treat to a dinner-party worthy dessert. Another fun addition to the mix is candied ginger. which provide a sweet, almost peppery bite of flavor. Plus, the decadent frosting tricks our guests into thinking we slaved away for hours creating it instead of whipping it up in minutes. A little flare is always fun, so we found some sugar candy carrots and put them on top – which is super cute for a baby or wedding shower. But no means of adornment are required in order to enjoy these sweet bars, nor a special occasion – they’re pretty much good anytime!
Carrot Cake Pie Bars
Serves 16 servings; 60 minutes
- 5-6 medium carrots, peeled and chopped to 1/2 inch rounds
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons candied ginger, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- Optional candy carrots (for decorative topping)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 9x13-inch baking dish.
- Boil carrots for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream sugar, brown sugar, egg, and butter until smooth.
- Add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and half-and-half, and beat until well blended. Set batter aside.
- Puree carrots in food processor or blender. Add chopped candied ginger and blend, 1 minute.
- Fold pureed carrot mixture to batter, stirring until completely mixed.
- Pour batter into greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool completely on wire rack.
- Once cake has cooled, prepare frosting: whisk powdered sugar with 1 teaspoon vanilla. Slowly add milk until desired consistency is reached.
- Pour over top of cake. If using, place candy carrots evenly across top of cake. Allow to set before slicing into squares.