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.
The process is simple, here are the details
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.
Now, you layer the two together
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…
That Retro-Style Icing
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:
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!
What type of mixer do you use when preparing this recipe?
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.
Can you add nuts, such as pecans or walnuts to this recipe?
Yes! You can add in chopped pecans or walnuts for a chewy consistency and nutty flavor. Simply add the nuts during the mixing step!
Should you use a wire rack to ensure the cakes cool before placing them in the refrigerator?
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.
Do you have a favorite mixing bowl that you use in your kitchen?
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.
Is Carrot Cake healthy?
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! 🙂
Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars
Servings: 16 bars
Calories Per Serving: 172 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper. 2. To make the carrot cake. In a mixing bowl, beat together the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, beating until just combined. Stir in the grated carrots.3. To make the cheesecake. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and flour until whipped, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at time until incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat once more until the mixture is smooth. 4. Assemble. Working with the carrot cake batter, spread about 2/3rds of the batter into the prepared pan in an even layer. Now pour over 2/3rds of the cheesecake batter, then dollop spoonfuls of the remaining carrot cake batter into the cheesecake layer. Lastly, pour/drizzle over the remaining cheesecake batter. Take the pan and tap it against the counter 2-3 times to help pop any air pockets in the cheesecake. 5. Bake for 45-55 minutes, tenting the cake with foil halfway through cooking to prevent the top from browning. Allow the cake to cool in the pan, then transfer to the fridge to chill completely, at least 3 hours.6. To make the icing, whisk the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons water (or milk), until smooth. If needed, thin with additional water/milk. Drizzle the icing over the bars. Let set for 1-ish hour…or slice, snack, and enjoy! The bars can keep chilled in the fridge for up to 5 days.