Carrot-Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Icing

Carrot-Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Icing by @browneyedbaker ::

It’s about that time, isn’t it? The time during the summer when zucchini plants are absolutely exploding in gardens everywhere. Zucchinis seem to multiply like rabbits from day-to-day. One day you go out and pick five zucchini, don’t see a trace of any others, and by the next morning there are four more full-size zucchini ready to be plucked. If you’ve ever had a garden, you know the joys that come from eating produce that was grown right outside your window. You also know that by the middle of August, you start running out of people to gift with zucchini and tomatoes. That means it’s time to bake!

Carrot-Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Icing by @browneyedbaker ::

I have more than a few zucchini recipes on the site already, but now that my mom’s garden is heading into overdrive, it’s a good time to start cranking out a few new recipes. I spied this carrot-zucchini bar recipe awhile back on Pinterest and saved it for the summer, when I knew I would have garden-fresh zucchini at my fingertips. These bars taste like a cross between carrot cake and zucchini bread; topped with an easy cream cheese icing, they make a perfect snack or dessert.

Do you have standby zucchini recipes for when the garden goes crazy?!

Carrot-Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Icing by @browneyedbaker ::

One year ago: Blackberry Gin Fizz Float
Two years ago: Top 10 List: Favorite Yeast Bread Recipes
Three years ago: Chocolate Fudge Swirl Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Four years ago: Italian Wedding Soup
Five years ago: Pain Ordinaire Careme
Six years ago: Italian Stuffed Peppers

Carrot-Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Icing

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

An easy recipe for Carrot-Zucchini bars; a great way to use up extra zucchini from the garden!


For the Bars:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup honey
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups shredded carrots
1 cup shredded zucchini
½ cup chopped walnuts

For the Cream Cheese Icing:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Make the Bars: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, ginger and baking soda; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, honey, eggs and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until no flour remains. Fold in the carrots, zucchini and walnuts.

4. Spread the batter into an ungreased 9x13-inch pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool completely.

5. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Spread evenly over the cooled bars. The bars can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


  • The ginger flavor in these is fairly pronounced, so if you don't like ginger feel free to omit it or substitute cinnamon. You can also use walnuts in place of the pecans, or really any other nut that you like.

(Recipe adapted from Real Mom Kitchen)


33 Responses to “Carrot-Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Icing”

  1. Dani on August 6, 2013 at 12:04 am



  2. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl on August 6, 2013 at 12:13 am

    I love garden desserts, nothing makes me happier! Well actually the cream cheese icing makes me super happy too! Going to use this icing on a upcoming carrot cake I plan on making, super yummy!


  3. Sues on August 6, 2013 at 12:29 am

    This is so beautiful! And vegetables = healthy, so yay!!


  4. Averie @ Averie Cooks on August 6, 2013 at 1:21 am

    About this time last year I went on zuke mania and made pudding cakes, banana breads and cakes, etc. with it. I Love love love the idea of it with carrots! This sounds so good! Pinned!


  5. Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen on August 6, 2013 at 2:43 am

    I have actually never baked with zucchini but I need to get on it… these bars look so moist and delish!! Love the cream cheese icing..of course 😉


  6. Carol on August 6, 2013 at 5:34 am

    I will definitely try this one out, your double chocolate zucchini cake was superb so am pretty sure this won’t disappoint plus it will be different from the normal ginger carrot cake I make. I will post back of my attempt at this….I have a lot of ginger so I am going to grate them instead of using ground ginger. Hope it works out.


  7. Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat on August 6, 2013 at 7:14 am

    This bars sound delicious and they look so pretty too with the carrots and zucchini!


  8. Lisa from the 'burgh on August 6, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Oh, my…the bars look fantastic. I happen to have a big zucchini on my counter right now.


  9. Heather @ Sugar Dish Me on August 6, 2013 at 7:32 am

    “A cross between carrot cake and zucchini bread.” I could hug you right now.


  10. Melanie on August 6, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Ahh, I was looking for something like this last night! I ended up make zucchini oven chips which turned out surprisingly well considering I just used the slicer on the side of my box grater. I thought it wouldn’t be thing enough to get crispy but it turns out that the water content is high enough that they definitely get there!


    • Melanie on August 6th, 2013 at 7:34 am

      ended up making*
      It’s early.


  11. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on August 6, 2013 at 7:44 am

    This is totally a love at first sight for me. A great way to use summer produce annnnnd two of my fav cakes in one. Love it!


  12. Jenna on August 6, 2013 at 8:38 am

    I haven’t seen a carrot anything recipe without cinnamon… ever. I’m allergic to cinnamon, so BLESS YOU.



  13. Tieghan on August 6, 2013 at 9:25 am

    This looks incredible! I love that there is both zucchini and carrot sin these! Double veg in a dessert? Score!


  14. marie @ little kitchie on August 6, 2013 at 10:32 am

    These look incredible!


  15. Cate @ Chez CateyLou on August 6, 2013 at 11:01 am

    These bars look amazing!! I love cream cheese icing! And since they have carrot and zucchini, it toally makes them healthy, right? :)


  16. Anna on August 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    And it’s also time to add a sticky for a month or so: the chocolate zucchini bread!


  17. Moira @ Hearth and Homefront on August 6, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    I love the idea of combining the carrot and zucchini! Can’t wait to try this!


  18. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts on August 6, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Cream cheese frosting is pretty much my favorite thing ever … Love this!


  19. Emily on August 6, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Yum! I have an awesome lemon zucchini bread recipe that my family loves. This looks fabulous and the more veg snuck in, the better. Thanks!


  20. Nora @ Buttercream Fanatic on August 6, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    I absolutely love carrot cake and zucchini “bread” (aka cake) separately so I can’t imagine how delicious it must taste when you combine the two! Especially with that creamy frosting. I usually bake zucchini muffins or double chocolate zucchini bread, but I’m going to have save some of my zucchini to give this a try.


  21. Mrs. Jeffries on August 7, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    I just made this cake! Easy paeasy! It came out AWESOME and it looked just like your picture. I did make a few changes though…I substituted half of the flour with wheat flour and I only put half of the powdered sugar in the icing. Also, instead of vanilla in the icing, I used a half tsp. of orange extract. it was plenty sweet and not to heavy! I will make it again for sure, but I might grate a green apple into it next time.
    Keep the keepers comin’! : )


  22. Emily @ Life on Food on August 8, 2013 at 5:13 am

    I love this mix of carrots and zucchini. My squash plant died last week and I am bummed. Oh well, at least it will still be easy to find in stores.


  23. Jamie @lifelovelemons on August 8, 2013 at 8:58 am

    So since there is zucchini and carrot in the batter, these are super healthy, right? Right?!


  24. Laura Dembowski on August 10, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Zucchini desserts are some of my favorites and this looks like an awesome one to try! Love the addition of carrots.


  25. Alida on August 10, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    I made carrot zucchini bread before, but that didn’t have cream cheese icing, which was a glaring oversight on my part :) These bars look delish!


  26. Amy J on August 17, 2013 at 10:27 am

    I made these bars last weekend (with just a few modifications*) as an after dinner treat for some family that was visiting from out of town. They were a big hit! Hubby and I couldn’t keep our hands off the leftovers 😉

    *I used my mix of gluten free flours in place of regular flour, coconut oil in place of veg. oil, and used ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in the batter (just because we love spices!). I added a tsp of cinnamon to the icing as well, yum!

    I shredded extra carrots and zucchini for the freezer (the zucchini is going crazy right now!) and look forward to making these again soon.

    Thanks for sharing!


    • Karen D on September 21st, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      I wondering how this recipe would be with gluten free flour. Thanks Amy!


  27. Amy J on August 17, 2013 at 10:34 am

    p.s. We love pecans, so I used them in these bars – they added the perfect texture and taste!


  28. Sally on August 17, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    These are so good! Thank you for continuing to supply me with recipes that wow my friends and family!


  29. Krystyn on August 19, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Made these last night… so amazing! The cream cheese icing gives them that little something extra. The perfect sweet “almost fall” treat.
    Another hit! :)


  30. Shannon F on August 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    These turned out to be a great way to use some of our garden zucchini. The bars were sweet (yet not too sweet) moist, and the icing was perfect for it. I reduced the ginger to 1/4 tsp and added 1/4 tsp cinnamon. I did not have nuts, or I would have used pecans instead of walnuts. Thank you for another great recipe!


  31. Heidelind on June 22, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    I love this combo. I’ve actually made these before but a cupcake version. After a weekend of complete debauchery I convinced myself these were an acceptable “healthy” dessert. The concept of using zucchini in baked goods is just brilliant.


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