These Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting are the perfect Fall season dessert! This is the perfect sweet treat recipe for getting picky eaters to eat their vegetables! And they even have an extra kick of protein!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gains in Bulk. All opinions are entirely my own.
It's baking season and oh how I love baking!! When I think of baking, I think of so many sweet treats I love like these vegan raspberry bars, cookies, brownies, cakes, pies and bars. And so many of my favorite baked sweet treats are unhealthy. But not these....nope, not these Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting! These have some good nutritional value!
These Carrot and Zucchini Bars are FILLED with fresh carrots and zucchini! And, I leave the peelings on the carrots and zucchini because that's where all the nutrients live! My kids and husband were floored when I told them how much zucchini and carrots I put in these bars. They had no clue! My daughter even said..."Oh, it makes sense now why you were shredding carrots and zucchini! I was wondering what you did with all those shredded vegetables!" Yep - I tricked them good on this recipe!
Ok, so here's 3 reasons why you need to make this recipe. First of all, this recipe is Gluten Free! Second...these bars are full of fresh vegetables! And third...these Carrot and Zucchini Bars contain protein! Ya'll know that I share a good product when I find one and I have fallen in love with Gains In Bulk Vanilla Milkshake protein. It's absolutely delicious and it utilizes the most nutrient-dense forms of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats available.
You guys know I struggle to digest dairy these days. Dairy and I are just not good friends anymore. But my most favorite thing about this Vanilla Milkshake Protein powder is it's pre-digested!! So it doesn't upset my stomach at all! I have smoothies ALL THE TIME NOW! And I can now bake with Gains In Bulk Vanilla Milkshake protein because it's pre-digested dairy based protein! Adding this protein powder to my baked goods gives me an extra protein kick and ya'll I love it!!
Let's jump into how to make this recipe. You're going to need to get your KitchenAid or standing mixer out for this recipe. You'll use it to make the Carrot and Zucchini Bars and the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.
Like so many other baked sweet treats, your first going to mix all the wet ingredients with your KitchenAid and then add in all the dry ingredients. Guys...look how amazing and nutritious this batter looks!
Next, you're going to stir with a large wooden spoon all the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until your batter is mixed and is the consistency of cake batter. You've got a choice here to cook these Carrot and Zucchini Bars in either a 9x9 glass baking dish or a 13x9x2 inch glass baking pan. Personally, I like the thickness of the Carrot and Zucchini Bars in the 13x9x2 inch glass baking pan but Mr. Mason likes them a bit thicker (like a cake bar) so I typically make these in a 9x9 glass dish. It's all about making the hubby happy!!
From there you're going to bake the bars for about 25 minutes. Once the Carrot and Zucchini Bars are out of the oven, place your glass dish on a cooling rack and let them cool completely. Now, it's time to make the homemade Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting! Oh how I love this lemon cream cheese frosting recipe!!
Once again, you're going to use your KitchenAid. If you don't have a KitchenAid, guys you're missing out. I'm not the world's best baker but I can tell you my baked goods turned out so much better once I started using my KitchenAid. Have you ever wondered about the differences between a Hand Mixer Vs. Stand Mixer? Check out the article I linked...it gives a great overview and I'm 100% sold on a standing mixer! I know it's a bit pricy but it's SO worth the investment!
Let's talk about frosting for these Carrot and Zucchini Bars. I decided to top these bars off with a homemade Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. This frosting contains only 3 simple ingredients: Low-Fat Cream Cheese, Powdered Sugar and Lemon Zest. I just love lemon zest in frostings! It really makes the flavor POP! And I don't feel so guilty since the cream cheese is low fat!
I mix these 3 simple ingredients in my KitchenAid standing mixer with the wire whisk attachment. I then fill my icing piping tool with the frosting and then hand it to my daughter to start icing these Carrot and Zucchini Bars however she wants! She made a pretty swirl design with the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.
When she was done frosting the Carrot and Zucchini Bars, we were ready to enjoy! These pair really well with a glass of milk or with a cup of coffee! We like to eat these Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting as a dessert OR with breakfast! And if you can't tell, I LOVE to cook with Zucchini! For more amazing ways to cook with zucchini, check out my Zucchini and Chicken Bites, my Zucchini, Carrots and Apple Olive Oil Cake and these 21 Tasty Ways To Use Zucchini!
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Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Carrot and Zucchini Bars
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups shredded carrot, unpeeled
- 1 cup shredded zucchini, unpeeled
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 scoop Gains in Bulk Vanilla Milkshake Protein Powder, optional
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 8 ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
Carrot and Zucchini Bars
- Preheat over to 375 degrees. In the bowl of your KitchenAid, mix on low the eggs, brown sugar, oil, honey and vanilla.
- Next, fold in the shredded carrots, zucchini and walnuts with a wooden spoon.
- In another medium sized bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir to mix ingredients together.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon just until combined.
- Spread batter into an greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan.
- Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- In the bowl of your KitchenAid, beat the frosting ingredients on medium speed until fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- Spread or pipe the frosting over the cooled bars.
- If you want to make a non-gluten free version, just use 1.5 cups of all purpose flour!
- To order the Gains in Bulk Vanilla Milkshake Protein Powder, here's the website to order: https://www.gainsinbulk.com/gib-100. Make sure to use my discount code of RWR10 when you checkout!