Carrot-Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Spicy Carrot-Zucchini Bars covered in cream cheese frosting! An easy and delicious way to use zucchini from your garden.

Carrot-Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting | From: sweetpeaskitchen.com

Is your garden still overflowing with zucchini? We had so much at the beginning of August then all of a sudden, nothing. The leaves on our plants started to wilt, dry up, and turn crisp and brittle. I had no idea what was happening. Upon close inspection of the plant I found dozens of fairly large (over 1/2-inch long!) bugs with a brownish body and flat back. I immediately googled “large bugs on zucchini plants” and found images and descriptions of what we were dealing with-Squash Bugs!

squash-bug-and-eggs

Photo Credit: University of Delaware Cooperative Extension

After what seemed like a long battle with those bugs, they’re now back in business and growing like crazy! Have you ever had to deal with squash bugs before? They’re a pain! This is the first year I have ever had a problem with them. As soon as I would eradicate them from one plant they would attack another. Since we were planning on eating the zucchini, I didn’t want to use any pesticides on them, so I picked each squash bug off by hand and threw them in a bucket of soapy water. I also removed the egg masses by hand and scraped and squished each mass. I would go out everyday during Little Sweet Pea’s nap and search for bugs. After watching the zucchini plants almost die from these bugs, they’re back and healthy as ever. :)

Carrot-Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting | From: sweetpeaskitchen.com

It’s a good thing too, because these Zucchini bars were worth the fight! They’re kind of like a cross between a carrot cake and a slice of zucchini bread. Moist, cake-like and absolutely irresistible. It’s an easy, no fuss recipe that comes together in no time at all!

Carrot-Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting | From: sweetpeaskitchen.com

Carrot-Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Spicy Carrot-Zucchini Bars covered in cream cheese frosting! An easy and delicious way to use zucchini from your garden.

Ingredients:

For the Bars:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup shredded zucchini (grated on the large side of a box grater)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

For the Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan) Butter the parchment.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon 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 just until combined. Fold in the carrots, zucchini (and optional walnuts and/or raisins) and stir just until combined.

4. Spread the batter into prepared 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. To make the Frosting: Place cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.

6. Spread the frosting evenly over the top of the cooled bars. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.For optimal results, allow to return to room temperature before serving.

Source: adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, originally adapted from Better Homes and Gardens 

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9 Responses to “Carrot-Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting”

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    1
    Kristine+@+Kristine's+Kitchen — September 15, 2014 @ 10:33 pm

    I’m glad to hear your zucchini plants are doing better! We didn’t plant zucchini this year, but even so I might have to buy some to make these bars. Easy, no fuss recipes are the best!

  2. #
    2
    Liz — September 16, 2014 @ 1:23 pm

    Nice recipe. Thanks so much.

  3. #
    3
    Patty — September 17, 2014 @ 1:05 pm

    Tried to print this but it says there is an error on the page:(

  4. #
    4
    Mira — September 18, 2014 @ 8:02 am

    Sounds great you were able to save your zucchini plants! Nice and easy recipe, pictures look amazing !

  5. #
    5
    Thalia @ butter and brioche — September 18, 2014 @ 4:22 pm

    Loving the look and sound of these carrot and zucchini bars! Definitely could eat a bowlful of that delicious cream cheese frosting right now too.. looks divine!

  6. #
    6
    Carol at Wild Goose Tea — September 19, 2014 @ 2:51 pm

    My zucchini plants are not doing well. Some kind of mildew. But I did get
    a nice sized zucchini the other day. Looks like a delicious way to use it!

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    7
    Kate C — September 21, 2014 @ 8:53 pm

    Whenever we plant zucchini or other summer squash, we get the dreaded bugs. I have a handy spray bottle with peppermint castille soap mixed with water. Spray on the adults and the eggs and poof, no more problems from them. Much less labor involved and very satisfying. No garden this year, no water in northern California so we’re just living vicariously through other people’s gardens.

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    8
    Laura Dembowski — September 21, 2014 @ 9:20 pm

    That is true dedication picking those bugs off by hand. I don’t blame you for not wanting to use pesticides. And these bars clearly look worth the effort.

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