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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:

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!

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
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.


Carrot Cake


Vanilla Icing


  • 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.
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  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is so good! I added a half a cup of roasted chopped walnuts to the cake batter and it added a really nice crunch.

    No clue how people are omitting the icing. The dessert isn’t too sweet at all so the icing is a nice touch! It definitely rises more than you’d think though. Definitely allow enough space when you tent your foil!

    1. Hey Vivian,
      Happy Sunday!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad to hear that it was enjoyed! xx

  2. 2 stars
    I LOVE your recipes but I was dissapointed in this one?! I didn’t think the cheesecake was very good. It seemed dense and not very sweet. I did not do the icing on top, thinking it would be sweet enough with out it. I’m sure that would have made it delicious but I assumed the cheesecake swirled in would be enough without extra icing. I’d love to hear your thoughts? Again, all of your other recipes are amazing so please don’t take this negatively but I am just curious if you had any thoughts on why my experience was different??

    1. Hi Kailey,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try, sorry to hear this one was not enjoyed! I hate to state the obvious, but without the icing the recipe isn’t complete:) I would try it again with the icing next time! xxTieghan

  3. I have a question about the recipe. For the grated carrot – is this like bags of shredded carrots that you can buy or do you suggest buying whole carrots and grating them yourself? Planning to make this recipe for Easter and trying to plan ahead.

    1. Hey Alex,
      You will definitely want to buy whole carrots and grate them yourself:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  4. This look amazing. I’m making a carrot cake for Easter dinner dessert. Would this recipe work in a bundle pan as a cake?

    1. Hi Carolyn,
      I am assuming you mean bundt pan? I would probably not use a bundt pan for this recipe, just use a basic square pan:) Let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    I doubled the recipe and baked in a 13×9. It rose more than expected and took 20 mind more than doubled bake time. Turned out great!!!

    1. Hi Carol,
      Happy Sunday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a try and sharing your feedback! xx

        1. Hey Maya,
          Sure, an equal amount of gluten free flour should work well for you! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  6. 5 stars
    I made this for my husband last night and he loves it. He has a very sweet tooth and is always asking me to make desserts for him. I used a oval shaped baking dish and it came out well.

    1. Hi Alexandra,
      Wonderful!! Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it was a winner! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for a family dinner and it was a big hit. Had to share this recipe with all those in attendance. I only had an 8×8 dish so I did have to add roughly 7 minutes of cook time to get that cheesecake set in the center.

    1. Hi Tamra,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it!! Have the best week:) xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    Whole family absolutely loved these! I did not have a 9×9 baking dish so I used a 13×9 and reduced the baking time to 30 minutes. Turned out great! I did double the cinnamon and would probably add more spices next time. Thank you for another great recipe!

    1. Hey Jade,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your feedback, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    STOP IT. These turned out incredible! I admittedly used a store mix for the carrot cake since I was in a rush….but 1 box of store mix worked perfect for this recipe with the serving size on 16 bars. Turned out exactly like the picture! Which I feel like my recipes rarely do haha. My husband’s my favorites are cheesecake and carrot cake, so I was saving this one for his birthday this week. He loves your recipes as much as I do! Thank you!

    1. Hey Alyssa,
      Happy Sunday! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! xTieghan

  10. Delicious recipe!! Absolutely love them!! Wondered if you had any tips for freezing them?? If they hold up well?? Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Hey Liz,
      I really appreciate you giving this recipe a try, I am thrilled that it was enjoyed! I would slice and freeze in an airtight container. xxTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    I didn’t have time for a grocery run so I decided to replace the carrot cake portion with your Crinkle Top Brownies recipe because who doesn’t love a cheesecake brownie, right? I omitted the icing and had to adjust the timing, but it worked just fine and boy are they delicious. It was all pretty quick and easy given the fact that you’re making two batters. Thank you for all of your creations and inspiration!

    1. Hey Elizabeth,
      Fantastic! I am thrilled you enjoyed this recipe, thanks so much for giving it a try! What a fun idea!! Have a great week:) xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    These tasted absolutely amazing and my husband LOVED them. The only drawback was the amount of time it took to make them, but it was worth it.

    1. Hey Rochelle,
      Fantastic! I am thrilled you enjoyed this recipe, thanks so much for giving it a try! Have a great week:) xTieghan

  13. 5 stars
    I just made this recipe today and I LOVE IT. I, myself, do not really like carrot cake, but my husband loves it. My favorite dessert is cheesecake so this is a perfect mix for us. I didn’t add the icing and really I don’t feel like it is missing anything. I love the more dense cake with the fluffy cheesecake filling. SO GOOD. Thank you HBH!

    1. Hey Katie,
      I am so glad this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a try! Happy Sunday! xTieghan

  14. 5 stars
    Love this cake!
    It’s the perfect combination of carrot cake and cheesecake ?
    My family loved it! Definitely again ?

    1. Hey Jenni,
      Fantastic!! I am thrilled that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Happy Friday:) xTieghan

  15. 5 stars
    I made these for Easter and they were a huge hit! I loved the density of the carrot cake paired with the cheesecake. When I made then I didnt make the icing to see how I would like the bars plain, and honestly I thought they were perfect just like that. This is definitely going in my “will make again” list of recipes!

    1. Hey Jessie,
      Awesome!! I am thrilled that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a go! xTieghan