Just like a cross between carrot cake, cheesecake and Oatmeal Carmelitas! Our Carrot Cake Cheesecake Crumble Bars are packed with flavor and everything you dreamed they would be. The perfect Easter dessert treat—especially for a crowd!
Carrot Cake Cheesecake Crumble Bars
for Easter… or Anytime
Do I ever have something special for y’all today… Carrot Cake Cheesecake Crumble Bars. Seriously, they are just like a cross between carrot cake, cheesecake and Oatmeal Carmelitas (but with white chocolate chips). No doubt about it. The taste is phenomenally good – especially when drizzled with our Best Ever Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce. Finally, carrot cake cheesecake in crumble bar form!
Plus, did I tell you? This recipe includes a gluten free option. Just scroll down to the Notes section following the recipe and read how to make this scrumptious recipe and keep it real for those on a gluten free diet.
As I mentioned previously, by now you probably know how much I adore carrot cake. Right? Here on the blog you can find our popular Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake, Paleo Carrot Cake with Cashew-Coconut Buttercream and, most recently, Carrot Cake Jam. And, now, we bring you Carrot Cake Cheesecake Crumble Bars – just as I had promised to share a special recipe incorporating our luscious Carrot Cake Jam. Didn’t I promise that it would make carrot cake lovers swoon? Promises made should be promises kept – especially when you promise lovers of carrot cake! One should never mess with devoted carrot cake fans. 😉
These bars were a definite winner, hands down, with The Big Lug. He adores my carrot cake and cheesecake. And, he loves Oatmeal Carmelitas. Honestly, The Big Lug was amazed that I created these bars. Ha! Men. I’ve said it before, but ya gotta love ’em. Anyway, a few weeks ago, when I embarked upon testing my Carrot Cake Jam, I conjured up several baked treats incorporating it and then baked by buns off all last week. Each is planned to make an appearance here on the blog this spring.
Truly, it pleases me to no end to create “new classics” like Carrot Cake Cheesecake Crumble Bars in recipe development. (Well, at least I hope this recipe will soon become a classic.) Why? Well, classics endure and become new traditions and family favorites generating smiles everywhere. It’s those smiles that make this baker chick’s heart tick. The very first person I shared this recipe with, including the photo (besides The Big Lug), wrote back saying, “Wow!!!!!” Wow, is right. Baking these fabulous bars for your close friends and family members will garner the same excitement and perhaps even some applause from the most ardent of carrot cake lovers in the group. 😉 In fact, after sharing these bars you will surely make new life-long friends.
Wanna bite? Look, I even placed down a blanket (my Anthro napkin, ha!) for a picnic and I saved a bar for you.
What? You can’t take a bite through your computer monitor? Aww, I’ll take one for you… 😉
I know, I’m such a tease!
As to how I developed the recipe, this is what I did…
The crust and crumble topping was adapted from a recipe for Apple Crumb Bars from Taste of Home. It was important for me to use a buttery crust and crumble topping recipe without eggs because the shortbread type of crust would be moistened a bit from the shredded carrots, coconut and raisins, let alone from the cheesecake layer. And, I really wanted to use an oatmeal shortbread recipe for that “down home” and wholesome flavor profile and texture so pleasing to many. From there, I added classic carrot cake spices and nuts.
The cheesecake filling was adapted from my Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake recipe but omitting the sour cream and heavy cream. This was done to create a slightly more firm, rather than light, texture better suited to cutting into bar form. However, since I wanted to somehow incorporate some “carrot cake goodness” into the cheesecake filling as well as the crust and crumble topping, I knew for certain that pools of our luscious Carrot Cake Jam, with plenty of pineapple and spices, would fit the bill perfectly.
Because I’m a huge fan of salted caramel, not only was our Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce going to be swirled into the cheesecake, it was going to be drizzled on top of the bars! And, due to my recent addiction to Choc-Au-Lait white chocolate morsels by Guittard®, I tossed those into the mix as well. Best decision ever. Why? Seriously, they are the most luxurious white chocolate chips on planet Earth. They melt on the tongue and the flavor cannot be beat. Plus, they are made with all natural ingredients and are manufactured in a gluten free facility. Lately, it has been me and my little foil bags of creamy white chocolate goodness. I swear…I am in desperate need of a 12-step program here. 😉
What makes our Carrot Cake Cheesecake Crumble Bars wicked good? Well, for starters, the buttery oatmeal crust and crumble topping is irresistible and has all the ingredients added to it that makes carrot cake so special…the carrots, coconut, raisins, nuts and spices like ground cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. The classic cheesecake filling is swirled with luscious carrot cake jam (which includes plenty of pineapple and more spices) and salted caramel sauce before it is swirled and sprinkled with creamy white chocolate morsels and topped with the crumble topping. All of this and adding drizzled salted caramel sauce on top makes for an exceptional cheesecake crumble bar—one that could possibly become a “new classic”. Without a doubt, these bars are wicked good!
For the carrot cake lovers in your life, bake up some gorgeous Carrot Cake Cheesecake Crumble Bars. Everyone will love you and sing your high praises.
- For the Carrot Cake Crust & Crumble Topping
- 2½ cups (312 grams) all-purpose flour, such as Gold Medal®
- 1¼ cups (105 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
- ¾ cup (150 grams) organic light brown cane sugar
- ½ cup (100 grams) organic granulated cane sugar
- ½ teaspoon (2.4 grams) baking soda
- 1 to 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, such as McCormick®
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice, such as McCormick®
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated whole nutmeg
- 1 cup (2 sticks/226 grams) butter (salted variety), softened
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract, such as Nielsen-Massey®
- 1½ cups (150 grams) finely grated peeled carrots, about 3 medium
- ½ cup (60 grams) flaked coconut, such as Baker’s® Angel Flake® or fresh grated coconut
- ½ cup (80 grams) raisins or golden raisins, plumped & dried
- ¾ cup (65 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans
- ¾ cup (127 grams) fine-quality white chocolate chips, such as Choc-Au-Lait by Guittard®
- For the Cheesecake Filling
- 2 (8-ounce/226-gram) packages cream cheese, such as Philadelphia®, softened to room temperature
- 2/3 cup (about 132 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs (mine were 104 grams total w/o shells)
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, such as Nielsen-Massey®
- 6 tablespoons Carrot Cake Jam or Quick & Easy Carrot Cake Jam by Wicked Good Kitchen™
- 4 tablespoons Best Ever Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce by Wicked Good Kitchen™ or prepared salted caramel sauce or dulce de leche
- For the Topping
- Best Ever Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce by Wicked Good Kitchen™ or prepared salted caramel sauce or dulce de leche, optional
Tips:For Gluten-Free Option: Substitute 2½ cups (320 grams) Cup4Cup (C4C) Gluten-Free Flour, available at Williams-Sonoma, or your favorite gluten-free flour blend measured cup for cup or by grams in place of the all-purpose wheat flour called for in the recipe. For the oats, be sure to use certified gluten free oats such as Bob’s Red Mill®. Choc-Au-Lait white chocolate morsels by Guittard® are made of all natural ingredients and are made in a gluten free facility, so rest assured they are safe to use in this gluten-free recipe option. Finally, Wicked Good Kitchen’s Best Ever Homemade Salted Caramel is naturally gluten free. How to Plump Raisins: Place raisins in a small heatproof glass bowl. Pour enough boiling water over the top to cover them, about 1 cup. Allow to stand for 15 minutes to soften. Drain and pat dry with paper toweling before using in recipe. To Cut Bars Into Even Squares: For evenly cut squares, cool bars for 2 hours on wire rack. Then, chill in refrigerator for at least 3 to 4 hours, preferably overnight. Remove from pan using foil at sides of pan as “handles”. Transfer to large cutting board. Carefully cut into even squares using a ruler as a guide with a sharp chef’s knife peeling away foil as you go. Use all brown sugar if a richer crust and crumble is desired. Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Total time does not include cooling and chilling times. Original Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com
Crust & Topping Ingredients Ratio Adapted From: Taste of Home Copyright © Wicked Good Kitchen. All content and images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words. Alternatively, link back to this post for the recipe.