This moist Carrot Cake Sheet Cake is topped with a layer of silky smooth cream cheese frosting. It's got all the characteristics of a layered carrot cake, but in a much simpler, less intimidating sheet cake form!Jump to Recipe
If pumpkin bars are a thing, why aren't carrot bars a thing?? I mean really.... pumpkin desserts and carrot cake have very similar flavor profiles. Pumpkin bars are SO popular in the fall, so as Easter rolls around, I began to wonder if we could do the same with carrot cake!
After some experimenting in the kitchen and a few packages of carrots later, I'm so excited to share the recipe with you! It's got a moist cinnamon-y cake and a smooth cream cheese frosting on top. I've kept it nut-free and raisin-free (your kids will thank you!), but you can certainly add those if you'd like! (See notes in recipe)
I thought "carrot bars" seemed a little odd name for some reason, so I went with Carrot Cake Sheet Cake. But then again, who cares what it's called when it tastes this good!!! Enjoy! 🙂
How do you make carrot cake from scratch?
Why is it that carrot cake seems to be a bit intimidating? Is it because we typically see it in layer cake form? Either way, there's really nothing super difficult or technical about making a carrot cake (or carrot cake sheet cake for that matter)!
I always start by prepping my carrots. You'll simply cut the leafy stems off, peel and grate the carrots. I do NOT recommend using the bagged pre-shredded carrots. They're just not the same (they're dry and too big)!
Once the carrots are ready, the rest goes really quickly. You'll combine the wet ingredients, add in the carrots, then stir in the dry ingredients. When the batter is ready, you'll pour it into a greased sheet cake pan and bake!
When the cake comes out of the oven, you want to make sure it's completely cool before frosting it. For the frosting, you'll beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth and fluffy. Then the powdered sugar and vanilla is added until nice and smooth. Spread over the cake carefully, being sure not to tear the cake.
How do you decorate a sheet cake?
You can top the cake however you'd like! Here's a couple ideas...
- A little candy carrots to each piece, which would be perfect for Easter! (This is what I did for these photos)
- If you like pecans with your carrot cake, you can sprinkle chopped pecans on top. (If you have time to toast them first, that'll add even more flavor!)
- As with any cake, sprinkles are always a good option, too!! 🙂
How do you prepare the carrots for the Carrot Cake Sheet Cake?
First off, you'll want to make sure you purchase whole carrots - NOT baby carrots or pre-shredded carrots. Once you have your whole carrots, here's how to prepare them for the recipe:
- Cut the carrot tops off.
- Peel the carrots.
- Grate the carrots.
Super simple.....easy as 1, 2, 3, right? 🙂
Try these cakes, too!
- Berry Cheesecake Poke Cake
- Twinkie Cake
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Texas Sheet Cake
- Moist Chocolate Bundt Cake
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Carrot Cake Sheet Cake
- 2 c flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 c vegetable oil
- 1 c sugar
- 1 c brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- ½ c applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 c shredded carrots
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 8 oz pkg cream cheese softened
- 3 tablespoon butter softened
- 3 c powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a sheet pan (18" x 13").
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
- In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, combine the oil, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, applesauce and vanilla; add the shredded carrots and mix well.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined (don't overmix).
- Pour into prepared sheet pan and spread evenly.
- Bake for 24-28 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. (A few moist crumbs are fine, but you don't want it to be gooey). Let cool completely.
- Make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.
- Spread the frosting over the cooled carrot cake. Decorate with sprinkles, pecans, or little candy carrots.
- Store the finished cake in the refrigerator.