We’ve scaled down our Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars from a large rectangle pan to fit in a smaller square pan for those occasions when you want the classic carrot, pecan, and spiced flavor of carrot cake but need a recipe for a slightly smaller crowd.
Small-Batch Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars
- ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup (165 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (124 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg (50 grams)
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¾ cup (80.5 grams) lightly packed grated carrot
- Cheesecake Layer (recipe follows)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add egg, beating well.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and allspice. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined. Beat in carrots.
- Evenly spread 2 cups (about 560 grams) dough in prepared pan. Top with Cheesecake Layer. Crumble remaining dough (about 1 cup [about 280 grams]) on top.
- Bake until edges are set, center jiggles just slightly, and an instant-read thermometer inserted in Cheesecake Layer registers 175°F (79°C) to 180°F (82°C), about 38 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan, trim edges, if desired, and cut into bars.
- 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon (4 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg (50 grams)
- ½ tablespoon (6.5 grams) vanilla extract*
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and flour, and beat until combined, stopping to scrapes sides of bowl. Add egg, beating well. Beat in vanilla. Use immediately.
We used Heilala Pure Vanilla Extract.
This is really sweet, and that’s after I reduced the original amount of sugar (clearly not enough) and scaled up the flour, spices, and carrots for a 9×9 pan (I suppose the extra carrots contributed some sweetness as well). I also subbed rye flour for 25% of the APF. I think the sugar in the cheesecake layer is particularly high – it tasted amazing when I tried it before baking, but it has no tang to offset the sweetness of the carrot cake itself. I did also throw a bit of salt into the cheesecake layer when I mixed it, which I think the recipe is missing.