Carrot cake bars with cream cheese swirl

A carrot cake and a cheesecake walk into a bar…

Okay silly jokes aside, that’s exactly what this bar is. If you like carrot cake and you like cheesecake and you really like handheld desserts that let you eat and walk at the same time, you’ll enjoy this recipe.

It’s basically a blondie recipe with shredded carrots, pecans, cinnamon, and some cheesecake filling swirled in. There’s nothing wrong with classic carrot cake but the idea of making a layered cake sounded too intimidating and time consuming.

Not gonna lie, these are dense, gooey, and somewhat cakey. I used VeganEgg as a binder and baking powder as a leavening agent, but if I did this again, I’d swap out the VeganEgg with a flax egg. I think it would make the bars slightly lighter and airier. I might also try half the amount of cheesecake fillling and concentrate it towards the top of bars vs mixing it in throughout.

Regardless, these are flavorful and indulgent and perfect for a spring or Easter brunch.


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg’s worth of egg substitute* (see note below)
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 8 oz pack of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

*I’d recommend a flax egg for this recipe: 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal and 3 tablespoons warm water. You could also try pumpkin puree, which has worked well for me in blondies in the past


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.
  3. Melt butter and whisk with brown sugar in a small bowl. Stir in egg substitute and vanilla and mix. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch together until combined. Set aside.
  5. Add flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon to butter-sugar-egg mixture and stir until combined. Fold in carrots and pecans.
  6. Pour half blondie mixture into baking pan. Top with half cream cheese mixture and swirl together using a butter knife or spatula. Repeat until all batter is used.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top looks firm and dry and the edges pull away from the sides of the pan.
  8. Let cool completely, slice, and store in the fridge before serving.


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