Sheet Pan Lemon Brown Butter Salmon and Potatoes with Parmesan Asparagus.
Swirled Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars…the best of both worlds. Sweet carrot cake with notes of vanilla and cinnamon, swirled with rich, creamy cheesecake, and generously glazed with a retro-style vanilla glaze for an extra special touch. The added bonus is that these bars take almost no effort to make. The perfect treat for all your upcoming spring events…or simply to enjoy as an afternoon snack. Every last bite is truly delicious!
This post is sponsored by Land O’Lakes.
I often have a hard time deciding between two recipes. Both can sound so delicious and exciting to create that I just can’t choose between them. That was the situation a few weeks ago when I was going back and forth on just what sweet Easter recipes I wanted to share this year. Both carrot cake and cheesecake are Easter classics (and in general very spring).
So how am I supposed to choose just one…you know?
Then I started thinking, what about putting the two together? Made sense in my mind. I mean the best carrot cakes are the ones that get frosted with a creamy, cream cheese frosting. Naturally, a carrot cake cheesecake sounded like the perfect marriage of flavors.
You’ll want to start with the carrot cake…everyone makes theirs a little differently. But my secret is to use a bit of salted butter to keep the cake moist, light, and fluffy…just the right amount of buttery, salty flavor. As with most of my baking recipes, I like to use Land O Lakes® Salted Butter, which is always my go-to butter for both baking and cooking. It’s sweet and creamy and always turns out the best baked goods. My fridge is stocked at all times and love knowing that Land O Lakes is farmer owned.
Simply mix the melted butter with brown sugar (which is also key for a light caramel-like flavoring), vanilla, and eggs. Add the dry ingredients then stir in lots of shredded carrots.
Once the carrot cake batter is made, work on the cheesecake. It’s just five ingredients, but that’s all you need for a great cheesecake batter! The trick is to start with softened cream cheese. Then beat the cream cheese together with the sugar until it’s light and whipped. This will leave you with an especially creamy and rich cheesecake swirl.
You’ll start with the carrot cake, then add a thick layer of cheesecake. From here, dollop over the remaining carrot cake and finish with the cheesecake. I know it’s tempting, but don’t swirl the batters together. Just bake as is and you’ll be left with swirls of cheesecake throughout the carrot cake.
It’s so pretty! So no swirling!
Bake the bars, let them cool, and then…
I am very into retro-style icing right now. This final layer isn’t needed. But it sure does leave you with an extra special carrot cake cheesecake bar that’s just a touch better than any other.
The icing is buttery, sweet, creamy, and pairs perfectly with the flavors and textures within these bars.
These bars are great for spring but especially fun and fitting for upcoming Easter! I can’t wait to make them again very soon. My family always gets so excited to see those pretty swirls of cheesecake every time I slice into these bars.
They’re the prettiest…and of course delicious!!
Looking for other spring-like bars, try these:
Lunchroom Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Candied Lemon
Creamy Lemon Bars with Browned Butter Raspberries
Lastly, if you make these Swirled Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
For questions about the type of mixer, racks, and mixing bowls I use, whether you can incorporate nuts into this recipe, and more, check out the FAQ below!
I use a KitchenAid Artisan Series Standing Mixer for baking recipes that require mixing. Check out our HBH shop page: Tieghan’s Kitchen Favorites for a list of the tools I use in the kitchen.
Yes! You can add in chopped pecans or walnuts for a chewy consistency and nutty flavor. Simply add the nuts during the mixing step!
Yes, after the cake has cooled for about 15 minutes in the pan, you can transfer it to a wire rack to wrap and place in the fridge. Alternatively, you can cut the cake after it cools from the oven and place the bars on the cooling rack before wrapping the cakes and placing them in the fridge to cool for 3-4 more hours prior to icing.
Yes! Check out our HBH Shop Page and navigate to Tieghan’s Kitchen Favorites to see my favorite mixing bowls, wire racks, and more kitchen tools.
Although carrot cake incorporates carrots, it’s just as indulgent as a chocolate cake or any other sweet treat. We live by everything in moderation over at Half Baked Harvest! A healthy lifestyle incorporates treating yourself every once in a while! 🙂
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Yet another delicious HBH recipe! So good and came together quite easily. I did have a question about the carrots. Do they turn greenish? Some of mine did and some remain orange. Strange? I noticed it after cutting them so I wonder if exposed to air they turn? Still amazing and will make again! 🙂
Fantastic!! I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it! So sorry, I have never heard of the carrots turning greenish! Have a great weekend:) 🐣🍭
These were SO incredibly amazing. My family is obsessed. This icing is to die for, definitely using it to glaze carrot muffins in the future. YUM
Happy Monday!! I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xx
Just made this for my husband’s birthday! His two favorite cakes are cheesecake and carrot cake, so it was perfect! Only thing I changed was to add a 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to the icing. We love a little extra spice and I think it really tied everything together. Thanks for a great recipe!
Happy Sunday!!☃️ Thanks a lot for making this recipe, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! Happy Birthday to your husband! xT
Can u freeze this then defrost and add the icing when ready to serve or not
Sure, that would be great for you to do! Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xT
The cheesecake portion of this recipe is to die for! I followed the recipe but the carrot cake part turned out dry. Still good though. My partner and I rated this a 7/10 and if anyone has ideas on how to fix this let me know! 🙂 Also! Note the total time for this recipe is actually about 4-5 hrs with it going in the fridge.
Thanks for giving the recipe a try and sharing your feedback! Sorry to hear you had issues with the carrot cake portion. Was there anything you may have adjusted in the recipe? Let me know! xx
Thanks for your response!
I didn’t change anything but I will be trying to make it again in the future to see if it was something I did one time ?
I am confused with the amount of butter to use for the carrot cake portion. What do you do with the remaining butter that you didn’t melt?
So sorry, I am not sure what you are referring to. You are using 1 1/2 sticks of melted butter in step 2 and 4 tablespoons in step 6. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx
I had the same question! It is because the ingredients for the recipe say (3/4 cup melted) in parenthesis next to 1 ½ sticks of butter, melted (first bullet point).
I made this for Mother’s Day Brunch, I wasn’t sure about the recipe, thought it may be a bit difficult but it wasn’t! Everyone raved about the Carrot Cake Cheese Cake Bars! I took the leftovers to work today and received ***** 5 stars! 🙂
Awesome!! I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for your comment and sharing your feedback! xxT
Have made these twice now! Most recently for Easter and my family loved them so much! Was intimidated at first but it’s honestly super easy. Will definitely be making these in the years ahead 🙂
Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan
My 11 year old daughter made this last year for Easter. She accidentally combined the cheesecake batter and the carrot cake batter. She was so upset when she realized what she’d done, but we baked it anyway and it was amazing! My point? Even if you screw this up it’ll still be a hit!
Happy Sunday!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad to hear that it was enjoyed! xx