Orange carrot cake bars

Dense carrot cake makes the cut in manageable bite-sized bars.

The Kitchen Paper
These carrot cake bars are packed with crunchy pecans and topped with cream cheese frosting.

I’m going let these bars do most of the talking today — I’m short on words and these bars are not short on awesome. So much orange zest! Tangy cream cheese frosting! Crunchy pecans! I’m calling these carrot cake BARS because they’re more dense than a normal carrot cake.

Just how I like my “cake” – dense.

And they taste amazing!

Carrot Cake Bars
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup finely shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh grated orange zest

1. Preheat the oven to 350 dgrees F. Grease and line an 8- x8-inch pan with parchment.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, orange zest, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. Whisk the eggs together with the brown sugar, then add the sour cream, melted butter, milk, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth, then whisk in the shredded carrots.

4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix until partially combined, then fold in the chopped pecans. Spread evenly into the prepared pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before frosting.

5. To make the frosting, cream the cream cheese and butter together in a mixer until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest. Slowly mix until smooth. Frost the bars in an even layer!

Related post on The Kitchen Paper: Molasses Scones with Candied Ginger & Pecans

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.