These carrot cake bars are easy and something everyone will enjoy. It’s a basic recipe with browned butter which adds a rich flavor. You can cut these into 12 generous squares or 24 smaller pieces, perfect for a cookie platter or dessert tray. Grab your baking ingredients and preheat the oven!
We’re using fresh ginger from the Good Life Farm – we stashed ours in the freezer and it’s perfect for dishes like this! If you prefer a smaller amount of powdered ginger. If you’ve never browned butter before, it’s easy but you need to watch it carefully. Use a light colored pan, so you can see when it turns brown. Melt the butter chunks over medium heat stirring constantly. The butter will foam, that’s the water boiling off. As soon as the butter smells toasty and turns darker, remove from heat and from the pan! It will keep cooking a little when it’s removed from the heat so be careful not to overcook.
Fold everything together and bake. The bars come out chewy and a little crispy at the edges. Perfect for the cream cheese icing, top with dry toasted coconut or serve as is.
Browned Butter Carrot Cake Bars adapted from Bakery by Nature
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
1 cup carrots, finely grated
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger or 1 tsp dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup raisins
4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
4 oz softened cream cheese (half a block)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees°F Spray Grease a 7″x9″ or 8″x8″ baking pan. Set butter and cream cheese out to soften. Whisk together flour and cinnamon.
Cook butter in large skillet over medium heat until golden, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Cream brown sugar and browned butter in an electric mixer or with a handheld mixer. Add ginger, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.Mix in dry ingredients.Fold in carrots, walnuts, coconut, and raisins. Pour batter greased baking pan, and smooth the top. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
Make your Frosting. Whisk cream cheese and butter together in the bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer until fluffy. Add confectioners sugar a 1/2 cup at a time, and whisk until smooth. Beat on high until frosting is completely smooth.
Frost cooled bars, there will probably be a bit of frosting leftover you can freeze or use on something else. Carefully frost and slice bars.