This Spring Dessert Offers Something for Everyone

Plus, it’s super easy to make!

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Grammy’s Carrot Cake Bars beauty, as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.

Photo by: Rob Pryce

Rob Pryce

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To know me is to know that I absolutely love carrot cake. I normally request it for my birthday and will order it on every single menu that offers it — and no, I definitely don’t want to split it, thanks.

However, even though I love to bake, I’ve always been hesitant to make a carrot cake of my own. Something about the process just seems more intimidating than your typical chocolate or vanilla batter. Furthermore, I’ve come to realize that people can be a bit finnicky when it comes to carrot cake. Some love nuts, others prefer raisins and some would rather leave the embellishments out altogether.

When I stumbled upon Damaris Phillips’ Carrot Cake Bars class on the Food Network Kitchen app, I felt like I had found the holy grail of desserts. I could finally make a carrot cake that was both easy to prepare and please a picky eater! Apart from the carrots and eggs, Damaris’ cake batter relies on ingredients I already have hanging around the pantry, like cinnamon, flour and oil, which she uses in place of butter to ensure a moist, tender cake. The oil also means you don’t have to cream butter first, which I always find difficult to get exactly right.

Even better? Because Damaris bakes her cake into bars, it’s much easier to customize based on who’s eating. She leaves her batter plain and saves the extras (like toasted walnuts or raisins) to use as toppings. That way, everyone gets their own customized dessert (and it’s a super fun way to get the family involved in the decorating process). The best part? Damaris whips up a thick and delicious cream cheese frosting that she spreads in an even layer across the bars, ensuring the perfect cake-to-frosting ratio. If you want to get fancy, she shows you the easiest way to make a frosting design with an offset spatula — no extra tools required.

When it comes to desserts, nothing says “spring” quite like carrot cake. And, thanks to Damaris, I know exactly what recipe I’ll be revisiting throughout the season. Once you try it, you’ll share my love for carrot cake, too.

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