Australian/ Baking/ Dessert/ Recipes

Easy Carrot Cake Slice with Cream Cheese Frosting

08/03/2023

Indulge in this amazing carrot cake slice, a quick and easy way to enjoy all the delicious sweet flavour of carrot cake in convenient tray bake form. Perfect for your next picnic, party, or family gathering!

Slices of carrot cake slice topped with cream cheese icing.

Why We Love This

Like all good homemade slices, this easy carrot cake slice is sweet, moist and fluffy while being super quick to make!

It’s the perfect portable snack for morning tea, as a lunchbox treat, or as an easy dessert, especially with a scoop of ice cream! 

We love the easy kid friendly method (throw everything in a bowl and mix well, and the added bonus of hidden veggies once cooked. 

Related: Weetbix Slice / Vanilla Slice / Jelly Slice

A bowl of cream cheese frosting and carrot cake slice sit on a wire baking rack.

What is Carrot Cake Slice?

Carrot cake slice (or carrot cake tray bake) is a slice version of the regular carrot cake you know and love.

It’s shorter, flatter and easier to portion out into neat squares. Perfect for sharing at parties and picnics, or packing into lunch boxes as a portable snack!

Some versions of carrot cake slice include dried fruits such as sultanas, raisins or dates. Laura doesn’t really like them so we left them out of our version. Feel free to add them in if you’re a fan!

We’ll usually have this for morning tea on big family road trips, as it’s an easy make ahead sweet that will feed a crowd!

What You’ll Need

For the carrot cake slice:

  • Carrots – Always use fresh carrots for the best flavour. Finely shred or grate them using a handheld grater, the small side of a box grater, or even a food processor with a small or fine grating attachment. We leave the skin on for extra nutrition, but you can peel them first if you prefer.
  • Self Raising Flour – We always have this on hand as it makes baking so much easier with no risk of making the cake taste like bicarb soda. If you only have plain flour on hand, add 2 tsp baking powder and whisk well. 
  • Brown Sugar – This adds sweetness along with deeper caramelised flavour to the cake. Sub with white sugar if you need, or dark brown sugar for richer caramelised flavour. It’s possible to use maple syrup, though we haven’t tested this. If you do, let us know how you go!
  • Walnuts – The perfect pairing in any kind of carrot cake! We love the flavour and texture they add to the slice. Roughly chop or crush the walnuts to spread them evenly through the batter. Sub with any of your favourite nuts or seeds (such as almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia, sunflower seeds, pepita seeds etc) or leave them out completely if you prefer. 
  • Mixed Spice – Store bought mixed spice is super convenient, otherwise make your own mix using 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp cloves and ¼ tsp nutmeg. Or sub with homemade speculoos spice blend.
  • Butter – We use salted butter (melted) as the hint of salt really brings out the sweetness and spice in the slice. Unsalted butter is also fine (you can add a pinch of salt to balance it out if you like). Sub with vegetable oil to keep it plant based. 

For the optional cream cheese frosting: 

  • Cream Cheese – This will give you that classic carrot cake finish to your slice! Sub with sour cream for a lighter calorie version. Take it out of the fridge 1 hour before mixing to bring it up to room temperature as this can help to prevent lumps in your frosting.
  • Icing Sugar – Also known as confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar. If your batch is already a bit lumpy, you might like to sift it first to make it easier to mix into the cream cheese. 
  • Butter – This helps thicken the frosting and help it hold its shape on top of the slice.
  • Vanilla Essence – Also known as vanilla extract. Sub with citrus zest or juice if you prefer. 
Ingredients laid out to make carrot cake tray bake.

How to Make Recipe

First, gather your ingredients: See recipe card below for measurements.

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180˚C / 360˚F. Place all slice ingredients (self raising flourbrown sugargrated carrotchopped walnutsmixed spice and vegetable oil) into a medium mixing bowl. Mix well. Tip: If the batter is too dry and hard to mix, add a little more oil or melted butter. If the mixture is too runny, add a little more flour.
  2. Pour batter into a baking dish lined with baking paper and press down flat with the back of a spoon.
  3. Bake for around 30-35 minutes until cooked through.
  1. Add all the cream cheese frosting ingredients (cream cheese, icing sugarsoftened butter and vanilla extract). Mix well.
  2. Slather frosting all over the cake. Slice into small squares or rectangles.
A small piece of carrot cake slice on a white and blue plate.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Baking Paper – Line your baking tray with baking paper to make it easy to take the slices out once baked. 
  • Frosting – Allow plenty of time for the cake to cool before topping with frosting, otherwise the frosting will just melt into a runny mess. Go slowly to spread it evenly right to the edge. P.S. If you don’t want to use cream cheese frosting, try our lemon slice icing instead!
  • Double Batch – Why not bake two slices, one for now and one to freeze for later!
  • Storage – Store in the fridge in an airtight container for around 2-3 days.

FAQs

What’s the best size pan or baking dish for carrot cake slice?


We find our 24cm / 9 inch square baking dish is the perfect size for this recipe. Square tins are great because you can easily cut the slice into neat squares or rectangles.

You can also use a smaller dish (such as 20 x 20cm / 8 x 8 inch) for taller squares.

Only have a rectangular loaf pan or bread pan? You can still use it! You’ll end up with nice tall cake slices instead.

Can I freeze it?

You sure can! Place slices into an airtight container and freeze for around 2-3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight. Avoid defrosting the the slice in the microwave if you’ve iced it, because the frosting will melt everywhere.

My carrot cake slice really crumbly and hard to cut, what’s going on?

You might be trying to slice it while it’s still too warm. Allow it to cool down for another 10 mins or so and then try again.

Otherwise, you might not have used enough butter (or vegetable oil, if substituting). Add a little more next time, or reduce the amount of flour by ½ cup and see how you go.

My frosting is really lumpy, what can I do?

Don’t panic! if your cream cheese frosting is lumpy, just mix it really well using a whisk and you’ll get it just about perfect in no time! 

Next time, be sure to use room temperature cream cheese and/or sift your icing sugar first to help prevent lumps.

Variations

  • Skip the Icing – Serve warm and slathered with butter, just like pain d’epice (French spice bread). 
  • Extra Veggies – Add finely grated zucchini into the mix, or skip the carrot completely and go full zucchini, like a sweet version of zucchini slice!
  • Topping Ideas – Go for a simple powdered sugar icing, or amp it up with a tangy lemon icing or chocolate frosting. You could even add extra ground nutmeg, speculaas spice mix or pumpkin pie spice to the cream cheese topping for extra cosy flavour. 
  • Choc Chips – This slice is amazing with white, milk or dark chocolate chips baked in. 
  • Dried Fruit – Add sultanas, currants, raisins, chopped dried apricots, dried mixed fruit or mixed peel for extra tart citrus flavour. 
  • Leftover Frosting? – Use it as a topping for strawberry muffins, eton mess, pavlova – or our favourite – on top of poffertjes!
Slices of carrot cake slice on a wire rack.

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★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

A small square piece of carrot cake on a white plate.

Easy Carrot Cake Slice with Cream Cheese Frosting

Indulge in this amazing carrot cake slice, a quick and easy way to enjoy all the delicious sweet flavour of carrot cake in convenient tray bake form. Perfect for your next picnic, party, or family gathering!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Cooling time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Cake, Snack
Cuisine: Australian
Servings: 10 Pieces
Calories: 330kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Equipment

Ingredients

For the cake slice

  • 2 cups self raising flour 250 g / 8.8 oz
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar 100 g / 3.5 oz, lightly packed
  • 2 large carrots around 2 cups, grated
  • ½ cup walnuts 45 g / 1.6oz, chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp mixed spice sub cinnamon and / or nutmeg
  • 150 g vegetable oil sub melted butter

For the cream frosting

  • 200 g cream cheese 7 oz, at room temperature
  • 1 cup icing sugar 100 g / 3.5 oz
  • 2 tbsp butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

For the carrot cake slice:

  • Pre-heat oven to 180˚C / 360˚F.
  • Place all slice ingredients (self raising flour, brown sugar, grated carrot, chopped walnuts, mixed spice and vegetable oil) into a medium mixing bowl. Mix well. Tip: If the batter is too dry and hard to mix, add a little more oil or melted butter. If the mixture is too runny, add a little more flour.
    2 cups self raising flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 large carrots, ½ cup walnuts, 1 ½ tsp mixed spice, 150 g vegetable oil
  • Pour batter into a baking dish lined with baking paper and press down flat with the back of a spoon. Bake for around 30-35 minutes until cooked through. Tip: Let the cake cool down in the pan for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Allow it to fully cool before topping with icing.

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • Add all the frosting ingredients (cream cheese, icing sugar, softened butter and vanilla extract). Mix well.
    200 g cream cheese, 1 cup icing sugar, 2 tbsp butter, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Slather cream cheese frosting all over the cake. Slice into small squares or rectangles and serve.

Video

YouTube video

Recipe Notes

  • Baking Paper – Line your baking tray with baking paper to make it easy to take the slices out once baked. 
  • Frosting – Allow plenty of time for the cake to cool before topping with frosting, otherwise the frosting will just melt into a runny mess. Go slowly to spread it evenly right to the edge. P.S. If you don’t want to use cream cheese frosting, try our lemon slice icing instead!
  • Double Batch – Why not bake two slices, one for now and one to freeze for later!
  • Storage – Store in the fridge in an airtight container for around 2-3 days. You can also freeze it for a month or two.
  • Skip the Icing – Serve warm and slathered with butter, just like pain d’epice (French spice bread). 
  • Extra Veggies – Add finely grated zucchini into the mix, or skip the carrot completely and go full zucchini, like a sweet version of zucchini slice!
  • Topping Ideas – Go for a simple powdered sugar icing, or amp it up with a tangy lemon icing or chocolate frosting. You could even add extra ground nutmeg, speculaas spice mix or pumpkin pie spice to the cream cheese topping for extra cosy flavour. 
  • Choc Chips – This slice is amazing with white, milk or dark chocolate chips baked in. 
  • Dried Fruit – Add sultanas, currants, raisins, chopped dried apricots, dried mixed fruit or mixed peel for extra tart citrus flavour. 
  • Leftover Frosting? – Use it as a topping for strawberry muffins, eton mess, pavlova – or our favourite – on top of poffertjes!

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Easy Carrot Cake Slice with Cream Cheese Frosting
Amount per Serving
Calories
330
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
13
g
20
%
Saturated Fat
 
6
g
38
%
Trans Fat
 
0.1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Cholesterol
 
26
mg
9
%
Sodium
 
86
mg
4
%
Potassium
 
103
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
48
g
16
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
29
g
32
%
Protein
 
5
g
10
%
Vitamin A
 
341
IU
7
%
Vitamin C
 
0.1
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
45
mg
5
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Easy Carrot Cake Slice with Cream Cheese Frosting

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