Carrot Cake Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

If you grew up in my generation (read: early to mid-90s), you most likely grew up addicted to Full House. It’s ok, that show was fantastic and it is nothing to be ashamed about. Uncle Jesse was your dream guy, Joey made you laugh and Michelle was your favorite.

If you had an unhealthy love for this show, you no doubt remember the wedding of Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky. Valentine’s day, the most romantic day of the year after Elvis’ birthday. Uncle Jesse, falling into the tomato truck and almost missing the wedding. It’s all coming back now, right? Think back then to their cake testing. 30 different kinds of chocolate and one lonely carrot cake. One very sad piece of carrot cake that no one wanted and Uncle Jesse took because he felt sad for it.

From that day forward, I was conditioned to think that carrot cake was something no one really ever wanted. Something people only ordered because they felt bad for it, standing alone in the pastry window. And then I actually tried carrot cake and realized that the notion of immense dislike for carrot cake is ridiculous. Because carrot cake is delicious. It tastes nothing like a giant carrot shoved into a piece of cake. It’s moist and flavorful. And with a bit of cream cheese icing on top, it’s sweet and satisfying. These carrot cake bars clock in at 100 calories per serving, too. So that makes them delicious, sweet and low-calorie. So stop feeling sorry for carrot cake and start treating it like a functioning member of society!

Carrot Cake Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
Recipe type: dessert, healthy, snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 36

  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup white flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • For glaze:
  • 8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1-2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1-2 Tbsp. milk or half and half

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, canola oil, honey and vanilla until combined. Fold in carrots.
  3. In another bowl, combine flours, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Mix the flours into the egg mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into a 13” x 9” baking dish and use a spatula to spread it evenly in the dish.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely and slice into 36 bars.
  6. To prepare the glaze: combine cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar and lemon zest in a mixer and beat on medium until well combined.
  7. Add milk or half and half a tablespoon at a time until the icing reaches the desired consistency. It should be creamy but not runny.
  8. Fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip with the icing. Pipe small flowers of icing onto each cooled bar. Makes 36 servings.


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