These carrot cake bars combine the spicy-sweet flavor of traditional carrot cake with creamy, smooth cheesecake and lemon extract for an irresistible dessert. What sets this carrot cake bars recipe apart from the rest is swirling the cream cheese frosting inside the bars rather than adding as a separate topping. Carrot cake bars are an indulgent year-round treat, but we especially love them for Easter or anytime during the spring season.
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Ground Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs, divided
- 2 teaspoons McCormick® All Natural Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Lemon Extract
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix 1 cup each of the flour and sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Add oil, 2 of the eggs, vanilla extract and carrots; mix well. Spread 1/2 of the batter into greased and floured 13×9-inch baking pan. Reserve remaining batter. Set aside.
- Beat cream cheese and remaining 1 cup sugar in another large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add milk, remaining 2 tablespoons flour and lemon extract; beat until well blended. Add remaining 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended.
- Drop spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture and reserved carrot cake batter, alternately, over the carrot cake batter in pan. Cut through several times with knife for marble effect.
- Bake 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.