I've been trying to bake more with vegetables to get my toddlers to have more vegetable exposure. They are a big fan of carrot muffins, but not carrots themselves.
I didn't feel like eating carrot muffins today so we tried something new, Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars. They turned out great and my toddlers are happily eating them.
The best part of baking with vegetables is that my little ones get some more exposure with veggies. I know all the experts say getting your kids to eat new foods is all about exposure, so I've been trying to do this more.
When I bake these I make sure to have a large bowl of grated carrots easily accessible for my toddlers to munch on. The funny thing is they never pay it any attention until I add the grated carrots into our main mixing bowl. Then all of a sudden the carrots become magically delicious and my kids will grab handfuls of them.
This recipe is great for baking with kids because it involves lots of mixing , scooping, and pouring.
After you have both the batter and cheesecake swirl created it's time to put everything together. Dump about half the batter into a lined baking pan. Then spread the mixture until the bottom is covered.
Then you (or your child) can drop spoonfuls of the cream cheese batter on top of the base.
Next, you (or your child) can spoon the remaining carrot cake batter on top of the cream cheese mixture.
Lastly, you swirl it all together with a knife. My toddlers are still too little to use a knife and I had no plastic ones around so I did this part, but with the right tools I'm sure they can do it next time.
Bake them by yourself or bake them with your little ones, either way you'll be happy you did.
Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars
Carrot Cake Bar
- 1/2 C salted butter melted
- 1 C brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 C all purpose flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 C freshly grated carrots
Cream Cheese Swirl
- 1/2 C cream cheese room temperature
- 1/4 C white sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract P
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.
Carrot Cake batter
- In a large bowl add the melted butter and brown sugar and mix till they are well combined.
- Add in the egg and vanilla and stir till they are incorporated.
- In the same bowl add the flour, cinnamon, and baking powder. Using a rubber spatula mix until all ingredients are combined.
- Fold in the grated carrots. Set aside.
Cream Cheese Swirl
- In a medium sized bowl add the softened cream cheese, egg yolk, white sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir together until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Making the bars
- Add around half of the carrot cake batter into the lined baking pan. Evenly spread the batter so it covers the entire base of the pan.
- Drop spoonfuls the of cream cheese mixture on top of the base. Continue until the mixture is used up.
- Drop spoonfuls of the remaining carrot cake batter on top of the cream cheese.
- Using a knife swirl around until the two layers are swirled together.
- Bake for 35-38 minutes. Cool completely before cutting the bars.