Whenever we get together for a big family dinner we love to make this Sheet Pan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.
There are a LOT of people in our family (between the 6 of us sisters, there are 16 kids with two more on the way!) and this feeds a crowd.
When I am put in charge of the dessert, I love to make a dish that will feed the masses. Some of my favorites are Mom’s Famous Marshmallow Brownies or our Lunch Lady Peanut Bars – both make a ton and ALWAYS get rave reviews.
I decided to mix it up this time and make this Sheet Pan Carrot Cake topped with a fluffy cream cheese frosting.
Oh my goodness – these are so soft and flavorful and the frosting is SO GOOD.
There is a secret to making this carrot cake – you don’t use shredded carrots.
This recipe uses CARROT BABY FOOD.
Don’t be scared by the baby food – it acts kind of like applesauce does in other baked goods, keeping this cake very soft and moist with amazing flavor.
How to make carrot cake sheet cake with cream cheese frosting:
- Beat eggs and oil together in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to egg mixture. Add in baby food; mix well.
- Transfer to a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan (this is like a large baking sheet. If you use a smaller pan, like a 9×13″ baking pan, you will have to cook it for much longer. This recipe is written for a sheet pan).
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely.
- While the cake cools, make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy (I love using an electric hand mixer, but you can also do it by hand). Mix in milk and vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until it reaches the desired consistency (I like to make mine light and fluffy so that it’s easier to spread). Gently spread the frosting on the cake using a spatula.
- Cut into squares and serve.
How to frost sheet cake Carrot Cake:
Before you frost this cake, make sure that the cake is completely cooled. I will sometimes even make this cake the day before and then frost it the next day.
The recipe provided in this recipe does make for a thick layer of frosting on the bars (my family LOVES frosting), but if you prefer less frosting you can cut the recipe in half.
Once I get the frosting all mixed together, I will pour it on top of the cooled cake then using a large spatula, I push the frosting to the edges. Then I just run the spatula up and down the cake to make sure it’s evenly dispersed on the cake (and to give it pretty lines).
Once the cake is frosted, I would recommend keeping the cake in the fridge. These bars are delicious served cold.