Tomorrow is Easter, which means a large percentage of the population is putzing around trying to figure out what to make for their sweet treat. Don't worry, guys. I'm here to solve this problem for you!
In this weird and unpredictable time of the Roni V, you're likely only making a meal for a few people, so there's no need to be extra fancy or wasteful. Enter: Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars (small batch variety).
It's the best of both worlds. Carrot Cake...um yes. And Cheesecake...EVEN better. Forget the spring form pan, no worrying about a split cheesecake, and definitely forget about having to frost anything. This lil' guy is made in an 8x8 inch pan and bakes in 30 minutes!
Can you eat these straight out of the oven? Hundo p (it will be much softer, though). If you do have time, it's best to rest and cool them in the fridge for a few hours. But like I said...weird times, so do what feels right.
And guess what? These freeze super well, so whatever you don't get around to demolishing tomorrow, just put in a zip lock bag and toss them into the freezer. A month from now when you remember you have them, just take them out, put them in the fridge until defrosted, and enjoy round two!
Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars
- 8 x 8 inch pan
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
Carrot Cake Layer
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup vegetable/canola oil
- 1.5 T orange juice, optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup flour
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts, optional
- ⅛ cup shredded coconut, optional
- 12 oz cream cheese room temperature
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg, beaten room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and parchment line an 8x8 inch baking dish with an overhang.
Carrot Cake Layer
- In a bowl, whisk together sugar, vegetable oil, orange juice, vanilla and eggs. Stir in baking powder, baking soda, all spice, cinnamon and salt. Stir in carrots, walnuts and coconut. Add flour and mix until just combined.
- In stand mixer on medium low speed with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Scrape down sides. In a separate bowl, beat the egg, then slowly add into the cream cheese mixture. Mix on low speed, scraping down the sides again, then mixing on low for another minute.
- Spread ⅔ carrot cake batter into the prepared pan. Add the cream cheese layer, spreading gently to the edges of the pan, then top with dollops of remaining carrot cake batter. Swirl with a knife then bake in the middle rack for 30 - 35 minutes until edges are set and the middle slightly wobbles, but is not jiggly.
- Remove from oven and rest for 20 minutes, then remove (using parchment slings) to a wire rack and cool for another 20 minutes. Add the uncut bars back into the pan, and transfer uncovered to the fridge to cool for 2 - 3 hours.
- Using a sharp knife, cut bars into 9 squares, wiping off knife in between each cut.