Although they’re not quite a seasonal cake – these carrot cake bars may just be the best way to start spring (also leading on to Easter).
I won’t lie, I’m not the biggest fan of carrot cake – vegetables in a cake just doesn’t do it for me but what I do like is the warmth and seasonality that this cake brings. The warmth is from the ground spices, thats probably what I like most.
Weirdly, this is a ‘heavier’ cake as it has grated carrots, pecans and raisins in the mix – all of which belong in carrot cake, don’t say otherwise (unless you’re using walnuts, thats alright to, I suppose.
Theres not a lot that needs to be said about carrot cake, its a classic.
Anyway, lets get started, shall we?
150g light brown sugar.
150g plain flour.
1 tsp baking powder.
2 tsp ground cinnamon.
1 tsp ground ginger.
1 tsp ground mixed spice.
50g pecan nuts, roughly chopped (optional).
50g raisins (optional).
150g grated carrot.
300g icing sugar.
125g cream cheese.
1 tsp orange extract (optional, high quality if using).
Before you get started on the recipe, you’ll want to do some prep. I like to start by weighing up all of my ingredients, lining a 9×9 square cake tin with parchment and get any equipment you may need, such as a stand mixer and spatula. Don’t forget to preheat your oven to 180˚c/350˚f.
To get started, take a mixing bowl and place in the butter and sugar, beating the two together until they’re well combined – this usually takes around 5-7 minutes in my personal experience.
Then add in the eggs, beating well in-between each addition. Enable each egg to be fully incorporated into the mix – this doesn’t take too long but its important to prevent the mixture from scrambling.
Now is the perfect time to add in the orange zest – add in and mix until its fully incorporated into the batter.
Give the bowl a good scraping down – this is just to incorporate any bits that may not have been fully incorporated.
Grab the grated carrot and add into the mixing bowl, mix together until the carrots have been fully incorporated. Try to mix the carrot in until just incorporated – otherwise it may give off a slimy texture. The mixture may look a little scrambled or split and this is usual – due to the amount of moisture being added.
Give the bowl another good scraping down, just to incorporate any bits that may not have been fully worked in.
Now add in the flour, raising agent and ground spices and fold them all in just until they start to almost become fully combined. This is when you can go ahead and add in the raisins and pecan nuts and mix until they’re fully incorporated.
Transfer the cake batter into your lined cake tin and smooth/level it out as best you possibly can – this is to ensure consistent baking while in the oven. Then place in the oven and bake it off for 25-30 minutes (or until a tester comes out clean, when inserted into the centre).
While the cake is in the oven, you can make the icing in advance. Simply place the soft cheese, icing sugar and butter into a mixing bowl and beat together until, everything is combined and the mixture has become thicker and fluffier – once you’ve achieved this, you can add in the orange extract and mix until fully combined.
Once the cake is baked and fully cooled down, you can go ahead and top the cake with the icing you made and spread/level it out as best you can and finish with a sprinkling of chopped pecan nuts.
That’s it – thats how I make my super simple yet tasty carrot cake bars! Enjoy these next time you’re baking.
That’s all for today guys, I hope you enjoyed. If you did, don’t forget to share this recipe with your family and friends and enjoy it. I’ll be back soon with another blog post and YouTube video, so join me then. In the meanwhile, don’t forget to check out my other social’s – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube. The YouTube tutorial will be linked down below.