Carrot Cake Bars are all you love about Carrot Cake but these are baked in a sheet pan! The cake is soft and the homemade cream cheese frosting on top makes every bite perfect! This cake recipe feeds a crowd and is perfect for holidays, potlucks, picnics and more!Jump to Recipe
If you want a recipe for Carrot Cake in a 9×13 pan, you can try my regular Carrot Cake that is simple and tasty. The cake is a bit thinner so you get the perfect cake to frosting ratio in every bite!
Carrot Cake Bars From Scratch-The Carrots
This sheet pan carrot cake is made with simple ingredients for the best carrot cake from scratch.
Carrots are needed for Carrot Cake Bars and they need to be shredded. You can buy shredded carrots at the store but it will ruin the cake. If you buy them already shredded they are usually a bit thicker and a bit dried out. They don’t bake well in the cake leaving you with a bit of a crunchy-carrot texture in your cake!
Take the time to shred your own carrots. I use my box grater and use the smaller grater side. See below for the box grater I have.
Peel your carrots first and cut off the yucky ends. Then grate/shred them.
The number of carrots used will vary greatly by the size of the carrots you use. So just make sure you have 5 cups of freshly shredded/grated carrots. If the carrots are smaller, I usually use about 10-12.
Carrot Cake Bars from Scratch – the Cake Batter
The ingredients in these Sheet Pan Carrot Cake Bars are simple and you probably have them all in your kitchen.
Measure your dry ingredients (All-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg) in a large bowl and set them aside.
YOU WILL NOT ADD THE SUGARS TO THE DRY INGREDIENTS-they are added with the wet ingredients.
Mix up the dry ingredients. Set the bowl aside.
In a separate bowl, add your wet ingredients: brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla and shredded carrots,
Mix the wet ingredients together.
Then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Stir the dry and wet ingredients together just until there are no dry spots in the batter. Do not over-mix the batter.
Then pour the batter into your greased half sheet pan.
NOTE ABOUT THE HALF SHEET PAN: You will need a half sheet pan to make these banana bars. It measures about 18×13 inches on the outside of the pan, and is about 1 inch high. This is a bit bigger than a traditional jelly roll pan. A jelly roll pan usually measures about 12×17 inches which is smalller.
If using the smaller jelly roll pan, you will not want to add all of the batter to the pan or it will overflow when baking.
See below for a link for the pans I use.
Baking the Sheet Pan Carrot Cake
Bake your carrot cake bars on the center rack at 350 degrees F. You will bake them for about 20-25 minutes or until the cake starts pulling away from the sides of the pan and when you poke a toothpick or fork in the center it comes out clean.
*My Carrot Cake Bars cook perfectly for 20 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE THE BARS OR YOUR CAKE WILL BE MORE DRY!
Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting
Every carrot cake needs a sweet homemade cream cheese frosting. My Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting is made with 4 ingredients and is amazing!
Just add the ingredients to your mixing bowl. Using the whisk attachment, mix the ingredients together to make your frosting. You an add more or less powdered sugar depending on how thick and stiff you want the frosting and how sweet you want it.
NOTE: I LOVE a lot of frosting on my cakes. This recipe makes about 2 cups (give or take depending on how much powdered sugar you use). 2 cups covers the cake but if you want it a little thicker than double the frosting or make the recipe using 1 1/2 the ingredient amounts.
Frost the carrot cake bars!
Cut the cake bars into the desired size. You can easily get 30 servings out of this cake, less if you cut the pieces larger.
Enjoy these carrot cake bars! They are soft and perfectly spiced and the cream cheese frosting is amazing.
Storing the Carrot Cake Bars
I just cover my carrot cake bars and leave them on my counter. This may freak people out with the butter and cream cheese in the frosting. I have never stored my cakes or cookies that have cream cheese frosting on them in the fridge…and nobody has ever gotten sick. But if it freaks you out, cover the cake bars and store in the fridge!
If you love sheet pan cakes, try my popular Banana Bars with cream cheese frosting, my Pumpkin Bars, or my Lemon Sheet Cake!
You can also try my Sheet Pan Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting or my Peanut Butter Fingers (a blog favorite)!
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Carrot Cake Bars
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg optional- but I think is necessary
- 4 eggs slightly beaten
- 5 cups shredded/grated carrots
- 1 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups Cream Cheese Frosting- or more ( I like more) https://thebutcherswife.blog/cream-cheese-frosting-the-best-ever/
- Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Grease your half sheet pan.
- In a large bowl combine your flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- In another bowl combine your eggs, shredded/grated carrots, brown sugar, white sugar, oil and vanilla.
- Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and mix together. Do not overmix.
- Pour your cake batter into your greased half sheet pan pan and spread batter evenly in pan.
- Place in oven (center rack) for 20-25 minutes. It will be done when a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the center of the cake and the sides of the cake start to look golden brown and pull away from the pan.*Mine cooks perfectly at 20 minutes.
- When the cake is done, remove from the oven and let cool completely before frosting.
- When the cake is cooled, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting and enjoy!NOTE: This recipe makes the perfect amount of frosting. I love a thick layer of frosting on my cake so I make the recipe so I even will double the frosting and spread it on thick!This cake will stay fresh for up to a week if covered tightly.