Cream Cheese Marbled Carrot Bars

Yield 28 to 35 Servings

Ingredients

Carrot Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 2 cups finely grated, PEELED carrots, packed
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1 (20oz) can crushed pineapple, drained (reserve 1 Tbsp juice)
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup pecan pieces, chopped
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 3 large eggs

Cheesecake:

  • 2 (8oz) packages cream cheese (Neufchatel or regular is fine)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
  2. Grease & flour a half sheet pan/jelly roll pan (13"x18"x1").
  3. In a large bowl whisk together well the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt & spices. Set aside.
  4. Peel & grate carrots to yield 2 cups packed. Make sure pieces are not any bigger than ¼" (I used my food processor until finely chopped, but not mush.) If you don't peel your carrots, your cake might have green specks after it is baked. At least that was a consistent problem we had in a bakery I used to work in. It's still fine to eat, but just leave the tough skin off.
  5. Using a hand mixer, prepare the cheesecake filling by beating the cream cheese with the sugar & vanilla until no lumps appear. Add eggs one at a time & blend until smooth. Set aside.
  6. In a stand mixer, add carrots, orange zest, drained pineapple, golden raisins, coconut, & pecans. Mix well using the paddle attachment. Then add oil, vanilla extract, eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition. Lastly add the 1 Tbsp of reserved pineapple juice. Mix well. Scrape down bowl often.
  7. Slowly add the dry ingredients & mix for 1 minute or until just combined. Do not over mix.
  8. Pour batter into prepared jelly roll pan & spoon dollops of cheesecake filling on top. Swirl with a knife to create a marbled look. *The pan will be pretty full.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean out of the center. Allow cake to cool before serving. Store in the refrigerator. Best served chilled.

Recipe Notes

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