5 from 6 reviews

Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars

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My Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars are a delicious fusion of two of my favorite desserts! It combines the creamy richness from vanilla bean cheesecake with the irresistible flavors of carrot cake. It really is the best of both worlds; marrying the smooth texture of cheesecake and the moist, spiced crumb of carrot cake. SO SO GOOD!

Carrot cake is undeniably one of the best Spring time desserts. You’ll also have to make my Carrot Cake Bread, these Carrot Cake Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, and my Carrot Cake Oatmeal.

These bars have luscious layers of velvety cheesecake and moist carrot cake swirled throughout. The tangy creaminess of the cheesecake perfectly complements the sweet spiced carrot cake. It’s the perfect dessert for special occasions or when you are looking for a treat to impress!

carrot cake and cheesecake swirled together.

Why this recipe works

  • Grating the carrots on the small holes of the box grater helps the carrot cake bake into the cake evenly.
  • It bakes beautifully and the layers and swirls are gorgeous!
  • The carrot cake is fluffy and light while the cheesecake is velvety and rich, making it a perfect dessert duo.
  • It works because it’s just totally delish! Do we need more reasons?! 😍
a carrot cake cheesecake bar cut into squares on parchment paper.

Why are there green specks in my carrot cake?

It’s likely due to a chemical reaction between the baking soda and the grated carrots. I recommend to mix the grated carrots into the batter just before baking to minimize the contact time between the carrots and the baking soda, and making sure the baking soda is evenly distributed into the batter. Also, be sure to peel your carrots.

ingredients needed to make a carrot cake cheesecake in small glass bowls.

Ingredients

For the ingredient measurements and entire recipe, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the blog post where the recipe card is located.

  • Carrots: Grated carrots are the star ingredient in carrot cake, adding natural sweetness, moisture, and a vibrant orange color to the cake layer. Be sure to grate the carrots as well.
  • Spices: This carrot cake is flavored with a blend of warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. These spices add depth and complexity to the flavor profile, complementing the sweetness of the carrots.
  • Unsweetened Applesauce: the applesauce adds moisture and provides some natural sweetness.
  • Cream Cheese: Cream cheese is the main ingredient in the cheesecake layer. It provides a rich and creamy texture, as well as a tangy flavor that balances the sweetness of the carrot cake. Be sure it is at room temperature so it blends evenly.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar is used to sweeten both the carrot cake layer and the cheesecake layer. It adds sweetness and enhances the overall flavor of the dessert.
  • Eggs: Eggs play a crucial role in binding the ingredients together and providing structure to both the carrot cake layer and the cheesecake layer.
  • Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Bean Paste: I like to add vanilla bean paste to the cheesecake layer to get those gorgeous specks. However if you only have vanilla extract, that works too!
step by step photos layering carrot cake and cheesecake into a 9x13 pan.

Step by Step Directions

For the full recipe instructions, scroll down to the bottom of the blog post to the recipe card.

  1. Make the carrot cake batter.
  2. Make the cheesecake batter.
  3. Add half of the carrot cake batter down into a 9×13
  4. Add the cheesecake batter on top.
  5. Add remaining carrot cake batter.
  6. Swirl together.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool completely at room temperature, and then in the fridge overnight.
carrot cake bars cut into squares on parchment paper.
carrot cake cheesecake bars on white speckled plates.

Expert Tips

  • Line the Pan Properly: Line your 9×13 cake pan with parchment paper to prevent the cake from sticking and it helps with easy removal. This will ensure that your cake comes out of the pan cleanly.
  • Use room temperature (same temperature) ingredients. When I know I am going to make a cheesecake, I usually take the cream cheese, sour cream and eggs all out of the fridge in the morning. Then a few hours later when I’m ready to bake, all ingredients are room temperature. This is important for creating a smooth, creamy cheesecake filling.
  • Grate the Carrots Finely: Grate the carrots finely for a smoother texture in your cake. Finely grated carrots will blend more seamlessly into the batter and distribute their moisture and flavor evenly throughout the cake.
  • Slice with a sharp, warmed knife. Dip a knife in hot water, or run it under hot water. Wipe water off with a towel, slice and then repeat for perfectly clean cut slices. Cleaning the knife in between cuts and using warm water is key. Or you can spray the knife with a little baking spray!
  • Don’t over-swirl: less is more with the swirls on this dessert!
stacked carrot cake cheesecake bars on a plate.

Storage

  • Due to the cream cheese content in the cheesecake layer, it’s best to store carrot cake cheesecake bars in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Place the bars in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out or absorbing odors from the fridge.
  • To freeze, wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw frozen bars in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

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5 from 6 reviews

Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 16 bars
Spiced carrot cake and creamy vanilla bean cheesecake collide to make an irresistible treat with gorgeous swirls on top. Great for Spring and special occasions!

Ingredients

For the carrot cake

  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup oil (canola, vegetable)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed (light or dark)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and grated carrots (grated on small holes on box grater)

For the cheesecake

  • 2 (8 oz.) packages full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or 2 tsp. vanilla extract if you don't have paste)

Last step! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Make the carrot cake batter: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the oil, white sugar, brown sugar, applesauce, vanilla and eggs. 
  • Add the wet into dry, fold until almost all combined.
  • Stir in the carrots. Do not over mix. Set aside.
  • Make the cheesecake: beat the cream cheese and sour cream for 1-2 min, using a hand held mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Then add sugar and vanilla, mix again.
  • Then add eggs 1 at a time on medium low speed. 
  • Pour half of the carrot cake batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. It will seem like a thin layer, it's OK.
  • Dollop all of the cheesecake over the carrot cake.
  • Then spoon dollops of the remaining carrot cake batter over the cheesecake.
  • Swirl with a butter knife to get those big gorgeous swirls. Don't over do it though. Less is more!
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • *Note: when recipe testing, I noticed after baking and cooling, the top of the bars sunk and looked a little wonky because of the carrot cake swirl. Please be aware this might happen to yours too. Once cut into bars, it's not really noticeable and the swirls look so pretty, so I chose to keep the recipe like that. See recipe notes below if you want to layer the bars differently to get a more smooth top (but with no swirls on top).
  • Allow to cool completely at room temperature. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight. 
  • Cut into squares, cleaning knife in between cuts (or you can run knife under warm water or even spray with non stick spray to get prettier slices) and enjoy! 

Video

Notes

  • Storage: 4-5 days in the fridge, and 2-3 months in the freezer. 
  • *If you want your bars to look flat on top, I also tested the recipe by layering the ingredients like this: half the carrot cake, half of the cheesecake, remaining carrot cake, and then the remaining cheesecake on top and I skipped the swirling. It baked evenly and looks less “bumpy” on top. 
  • I have not tested this recipe in another other sized pans. If you do, drop a comment in the comment section letting me know how it goes! 🙂

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1bar, Calories: 263kcal (13%), Carbohydrates: 36g (12%), Protein: 3g (6%), Fat: 12g (18%), Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Sodium: 174mg (8%), Fiber: 2g (8%), Sugar: 27g (30%), Iron: 1mg (6%)

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is automatically calculated. It should only be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Kroll’s Korner can’t make any guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Recipe inspiration from: https://www.dessertnowdinnerlater.com/carrot-cake-cheesecake-bars/

Photography: photos taken in this post are by Megan from The Broke Girl Table.   

Krolls Korner

Krolls Korner

Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.

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Hannah

I made these bars and they were absolutely delicious 😋 will be making again. I used gluten free flour instead of all purpose flour and used blueberry preserves to give the cheesecake a nice spring color for easter.

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Shannon

Wow! Such a yummy and impressive recipe. I found this way easier than making cheesecake or carrot cake. Having it in a bar form makes it super easy. I made these the night before for Easter and everyone loved them. We need more flavor combos – I want to try a red velvet version!

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Bianca C

Hello!

Fellow Fresnian here! 🙂 I made these this past weekend for a friends birthday party and they are absolutely delicious. Everyone kept commenting on how good they were. The texture is soft and spongy and the taste is even better as it is not overly sweet. Just the right amount of spice in the carrot cake and the cheesecake is delicately smooth. Also, I loved how clear and simple the instructions were, I appreciate the photos included which each step. Super easy recipe and will definitely be making again.

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Last edited Posted: 2 months ago by Bianca C