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!
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 recipe by Wicked Good Kitchen™
- 4 tablespoons Best Ever Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce recipe by Wicked Good Kitchen™ or prepared salted caramel sauce or dulce de leche
For the Topping
- Best Ever Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce recipe by Wicked Good Kitchen™ or prepared salted caramel sauce or dulce de leche, optional
- Arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare 9×13-inch metal baking pan with aluminum foil by first turning the pan upside down. (I like to use my Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch® Nonstick Rectangular Cake Pan.) Center a 17-inch long piece of foil shiny-side down over the pan. Carefully press down on the sides, folding corners, to shape the foil snugly around pan without tearing.
- Remove the foil keeping its shape. Place shaped foil into pan and press into place along bottom and sides. With a piece of plastic wrap, grease the foil along bottom and sides of pan with butter softened to room temperature or with melted butter. Set aside. This will create “handles” which will help removing bars from pan and to transfer to cutting board to cut into even bars after chilling.
- Prepare the Crust & Crumble Topping: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugars, baking soda and spices until well combined. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour and oat mixture until it resembles a coarse meal with small pea-sized pieces of butter. (Alternatively, use a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment to blend until mixture is crumbly.) Sprinkle in vanilla extract and gently toss the mixture to blend. Stir in carrots, coconut, raisins and nuts.
- Remove 2 generous cups of the crumb mixture and set aside for the topping in a small bowl. Press remaining dough evenly into prepared baking pan.
- Bake crust in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the cheesecake filling.
- Prepare the Cheesecake Filling: Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld mixer and large bowl, beat the cream cheese until creamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary with rubber spatula. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition. Add the lemon juice and vanilla; mix until fully incorporated and smooth.
- Once the crust is done baking, transfer to wire rack. Using rubber spatula, scrape and pour cheesecake filling over warm crust and spread evenly with rubber spatula. Spoon carrot cake jam into 6 small “puddles” in the cheesecake filling evenly spaced apart; drizzle salted caramel sauce evenly around the carrot cake jam. Using a butter knife, swirl the jam and caramel sauce together with the cheesecake filling all around. Sprinkle with ½ cup white chocolate morsels and reserved crumb mixture. Then, top with remaining white chocolate morsels.
- Bake in preheated oven until topping is golden brown and cheesecake filling is set but jiggles slightly, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully transfer to wire rack to cool completely, about 2 hours.
- Refrigerate at least 3 to 4 hours (overnight preferred) so the cheesecake is firm enough to cut. Cut into squares. See Tips below for cutting into even squares.
- To Serve Bars: Serve at room temperature or chilled. If desired, serve with warm salted caramel sauce drizzled on top.
- Yield: Makes 24 bars.
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.
Crust & Topping Ingredients Ratio Adapted From: Taste of Home
Original Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com
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