Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting


So for today’s zucchini recipe I tried a dessert.  It is the only way I can get my family to eat zucchini.  It has to be in something sweet like cakes, muffins, breads, etc.  I like the idea of making something with both zucchini and carrots in it.  These bars were a fun change.  I loved the ginger in them and the lemon frosting!  These bars are full of texture.  I did not peel my zucchini because I wanted to see the color, but you could always do that if you need it to be hidden!

Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 (8 oz) pkg reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, honey, and vanilla.  Don’t worry about clumps of the brown sugar, those will dissolve as it sits while you prepare the remaining ingredients.  Then fold in the carrot, zucchini, and walnuts
  2. In another bowl combine add the flour, baking powder, ginger, and baking soda.  Whisk to blend together.
  3. Add to flour mixture to the wet mixture. Stir just until combined. Spread batter into an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  4. Bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  5. Once the cake is cooled prepare the frosting.   In a medium mixing bowl, beat the fosting ingredients with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy.  Spread or pipe the frosting over the cooled bars.  Makes 36 bars.

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.

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86 comments on “Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • I have made these twice now and they are a huge hit! I truly can’t get enough of them. I’d like to try to make them in to individual muffins. Any advice on how that might alter the baking time or temp?

  • I substituted coconut oil for the canola oil and it turned out amazing ! Thanks for sharing !

  • Would these work in a muffin tin? Or are they need meant to be that thick? Would they need extra eggs?

  • I made these this afternoon…they are delicious! We ate them without the frosting and they were a huge hit with the whole family. Not only that, they smell amazing while they are baking; my husband came home from work and asked, \What is that delicious piece of heaven that I’m smelling?? (I followed the recipe given except that I added 1/2 tsp of cinnamon because I love cinnamon)..

  • Lovely recipe, my 6-year-old enjoyed them very much. I’ll be freezing them for lunchboxes.

  • I made this recipe today with gluten free flour and it is so delicious!! The only change other than the type of flour I used was to omit the walnuts. Thank you for sharing this recipe! It was so easy and will now be a go to recipe for me.

  • Very good! not too sweet, mot too much lemon

  • Hrmmm… my last reply about the printing option didn’t post where it should.

    As for the recipe, I found it very delicious. I had half a zucchini in the fridge and needed to use it, as well as a couple of carrots. However, I didn’t have cream cheese for frosting, so I just sprinkled a tablespoon of sugar over the top before baking. I also replaced half of the flour with whole grain flour, and didn’t add as much of the sugar and honey as it called for. I live in Germany where Germans don’t like things “uber” sweet (even though that is not how “uber” is spelled in German). I never quite filled the cups of sugar and honey and it is still plenty sweet.

  • Highlight that what you want printed, go to file and click on print. When the print box comes up you can choose to print that what you have highlighted.

  • These look delicious. I was actually looking for a frosting for this type of cake, and thank you for posting one. I make a similar cake but the spices I use are cinnamon and nutmeg, and I love the flavor.

  • Just made these, and it’s hard not to eat the whole pan! Delicious! Wonderful texture and flavor, just the right amount of sweetness. Plus, it’s half vegetables. Thank you for the recipe.

  • I made these yesterday and they were very good. Quite moist. I agree that this seems to need just a pinch of salt. My husband liked them without the frosting. Great for church.

  • This was pretty good. The recipe was very similar to my mom’s amazing carrot cake recipe, but with an added cup of zucchini. In my opinion, this recipe could use a little more sugar to compensate for the extra cup of vegetables, but of course then it wouldn’t be as healthy. I’d rather it taste amazing. The sweet cream cheese frosting made it fine all together, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat the cake alone. I added 1/2 t. cinnamon, too. Next time I’d use 1 t. of cinnamon. The cake just needs more flavor. The other difference between this and my carrot cake recipe is that this one is missing salt. I added 1/2 t. salt, and I liked the difference it made in the batter. Gives it the little tang that I remember from licking the batter off the beaters…

    Also, some people complained about the cream cheese frosting. Here’s the one I always use, if you’re not going for low-fat:

    8 oz. cream cheese
    2-4 T. butter
    1 1/2-2 c. powdered sugar

    One cup of powdered sugar will make it a glaze. 2+ cups will make it stiffer, but not as stiff as butter cream frosting. The lemon zest was a fun addition and made this special.

  • I made these bars the other day, and they are AMAZING! It takes a bit of time and work to make them (due to shredding the carrots and zucchini and cooling time) but the end result is phenomenal. They are super moist, and the lemon cream cheese frosting is the perfect touch for these bars. You can taste both the carrot and the zucchini (although the zucchini taste is very mild), and it is a wonderful combination. I can’t stop eating these, will be making them again and again!

    • I made these today but I added extra zuccini and carrots, added raisins, nutmeg and a little extra flour and they are so good and moist. No need for frosting.

  • I really liked these. I added cinnamon. I also cut the cake in half and made a sandwich with the icing in the middle, and on top. Very moist and tasty. Thx for posting.

  • Not a big fan. I love Carrot Cake and Zucchini Bread but combined not so good.

  • I made these and we love them (my little boys included)! I used applesauce instead of the oil and left out the nuts. I made sure to squeeze all the liquid out of the veggies too. The icing makes the bars. Love them!

  • Wasn’t a big fan. All I could taste were the carrots. But the frosting was wonderful. I added a little fresh lemon juice as well and it really toned down the carrot taste. So I’ll probably use the frosting recipe again. But the bars, probably not.

  • Anyone have nutritional info (specifically a calorie count) for these or know how I can figure it out? Thanks!

  • I subbed apple sauce for the oil. I keep single serving size around and just used one. I also put in pumpkin pie spice to taste.

  • i followed the recipe, but it didn’t turn out great. flavor was off, and the frosting didn’t make it any better. threw it in the trash. sorry. thanks for posting, though. it was worth a shot.

  • Squeeze the water out of the veggies before you add them and add a little salt to the batter. Otherwise, the flavor was really great!

  • When you say “shred” the carrot and zucchini, does that mean using a grater or chopping them finely?

    • grate them. I use a box grater with an attached measuring cup that catches it for you (OXO brand). It works really well and makes quick work of it. You could also use the grater attachment on your food processor but I would leave the inner blade in place. My shredder only does large chunks that are too big for this type of thing.

    • I used a food processor and didn’t have any extra liquid that had to be removed. The bars were an big hit, along with the frosting I didn’t change a thing with the recipe.

  • Try adding grated beetroot to the mix and then it sort remembles a confetti bar. I have a similar recipe that I make. Going to try this one.

  • Why isn’t there a place that we can just click onto and ‘print’ without having to include allll the comments?
    Thanks ~

  • Why isn’t there a place to click onto where we can print this?

  • Or how about apple sauce instead of oil? Would that work?

  • I found this recipe on pinterest and I made them today. It was super easy and delicious! I used half whole wheat pastry flour and half all purpose flour. Maybe it was the heavier flour, but even when I poured it into the pan I was thinking mine looked much thinner than what you have in the picture. It still turned out super fluffy and moist, but thinner. I think I’ll use a smaller pan or double recipe next time. Definitely a keeper, and worth sharing!

  • This recipe is great! Love how moist the cake is. The lemon in the frosting just gives it that extra punch. It’s a keeper!!

  • I don’t normally use canola oil. Would it be okay to use vegetable oil instead?

  • Now, THAT is how I want to get my daily quotient of veggies. ;)

  • All I can say is WOW! Made these tonight for my picky husband and we even he raved about how fantastic they were. The lemon cream cheese frosting really complimented the ginger in the cake. It was a light compliment. This one goes into my permanent recipe list. Thanks for sharing.

  • Gorgeous photo. It’s zucchini season. This looks like a great recipe to try when I make some zucchini bread. ~ thanks for sharing, tom

  • Seriously YUM! Thanks for including more zucchini recipes. We are invaded. Have anything for cukes? LOVE your recipe book and blog. – Biggest fan in CA :)

  • These look beauttifffulll. Ive never baked with zucchini, i really want to though and this looks like the perfect recipe for my first adventures into baking with the lovely stuff :) youve made the frosting look so pretty too! Great recipe, thank you!

  • I bet the lemon and the ginger do add a nice flavor profile to this!

  • Y. to the UM.

    (do people even say that anymore?)

  • I made this exact same recipe, but left out the zucchini. If you want to take a look http://alilcountrysugar.blogspot.com/2011/07/something-different-carrot-cake-bars.html

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