Carrot & Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ve been blogging for over 4 years now and the whole experience never fails to surprise me.  
In less than 5 days, my post last week, Parmesan Chicken Bake became the most viewed recipe of all my 240 posts spanning 51 months.  I completely have Pinterest to thank, but it is still so mind-boggling to me how one simple post can take my blog to where I never thought possible.  
I guess I should work on more chicken recipes :)

With my garden beginning it’s annual boom of goodies, I couldn’t wait to try these bars.  I am in love with all baked goods with carrots or zucchini.  They are always so moist which makes it hard to step away from them.  The lemon cream cheese frosting just puts these over the top!

These gems whipped together extremely quickly, and I didn’t even use a single appliance to make them.  A quick grate on the box grater instead of the KitchenAid and I mixed everything together in a bowl, even the frosting.

Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
makes 16 bars – 20 bars 
(recipe adapted from
2 eggs
3/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C canola oil
1/4 C honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C shredded carrot (about 2 large carrots)
1 C shredded zucchini (about 2 small zucchinis)
1/2 C chopped pecans (optional) **I sprinkled them on top of the frosting instead of adding them to the bars
1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
1 C powdered sugar
zest of one lemon
pinch of salt

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray.
2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, honey and vanilla until smooth.  Switch to a rubber spatula and mix in the carrot, zucchini and pecans.  Add all the dry ingredients and mix together just until they are incorporated.  Pour into your greased pan and bake for 22-25 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly touched.  Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
3.  Prepare the frosting by beating together all the ingredients until well blended.  You can frost the whole pan before cutting to make it easy, but I really like cutting the bars first and individually frosting each bar.

Looking for more great zucchini recipes?  Here are a few more of our favorites!


  1. says

    These are wonderful! I’m eating them right now. (I’m on my 2nd one actually and eyeing one more…)I made it exactly as described and baked 25 minutes to perfection. Thanks!

  2. says

    This is a great recipe to incorporate more veggies into my 18 month old’s diet! If it tastes anything like the batter when it’s done in 20 minutes, it’s delish! :)

  3. Anonymous says

    These are wonderful! I will make these again and again! They will be a permanent recipe in my fall recipe book. Thank you.

  4. nicky says

    i just made this as a cake in a round silicon pan. it was brown on top and fork came out clean after 22 mins but as i tipped it out the insides were all liquidy and spilt out, i used uncle bobs all purpose gluten free baking flour. any ideas why?

  5. says

    Nicky: since the recipe called for a large 9×13 pan and you used a much smaller round pan, you would need to add quite a bit more baking time since the cake will be so much thicker. Also, with your GF baking mix, that might also effect the end result. I would try it again but use the correct pan size.

  6. Anonymous says

    What would be the carrot measurement if you decided to use all carrots and omit the zucchini. They look delicious, can’t wait to try!!

  7. Anonymous says

    . Flavor is mild- not sure what it’s missing. I would definitely double the salt or use salted butter to enhance rathe than oil. Not very carrot tasting at all. Like the lemon cream cheese frosting though. Good suggestion!

  8. says

    You could try subbing in applesauce for eggs, but your result will be quite different texture wise. Let me know how it goes!

    I think these would be perfect as muffins!

  9. says

    These were delicious! I loved them, but my husband was not a huge fan-maybe they weren’t sweet enough for him? I am going to take the rest to work tomorrow and get some more opinions :)

  10. Sarah says

    Has a definite ‘floury’ taste..made sure I did the correct measurement. I didn’t have vanilla so I went without it, do you think that would cause the difference in taste?

  11. says

    Absolutely! I don’t know if there is enough batter for a half sheet sized jelly roll pan but a smaller one would work. Be sure to reduce your cooking time!

  12. says

    Yum, yum….these are soooooo good. Using yellow zuchinni will not make the taste any different, just may make it a lighter colored batter. I highly recommend making these bars…so easy to make, so moist to eat.

  13. says

    I made these without the frosting, and they were so good that I will make the entire recipe very soon. They were moist, delicious, and gorgeous with flecks of orange and green.

  14. Stephanie says

    These are amazing! I made them this morning. After popping them in the oven, I read through the comments and got a little worried they’d be lacking flavor, not so at all! The only thing different I did was squeeze lemon juice into the frosting, since my lemon was acting up and I was only able to get half the amount of zest. They are moist and perfect. Not lacking anything at all. Even my toddler begged for more! An hr later, there’s only half a pan left! Thank you for sharing this beautiful recipe.

    • Carole says

      Thanks so much Stephanie! We love these so much and don’t quite understand the comments about lacking flavor either :) -Carole

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