CARROT CAKE BARS WITH LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Carrot Cake Bars:
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 large eggs
2 cups (16 oz.) peeled and grated carrots
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
5 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 13 x 9 baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together sugar, oil and eggs on low speed until well blended. Mix in the dry ingredients just until blended. Fold in the carrots and coconut. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cake cool completely in pan before frosting with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. Once frosted, refrigerate at least 1 hour. Lift cake from pan and onto a cutting board; cut into bar-sized pieces.
To make frosting: Sift the powdered sugar into a large bowl. Add cream cheese, butter, vanilla and lemon extract. Beat with a hand mixer until well-blended and smooth enough to frost cake with. Avoid over-beating, which may make frosting too soft.
Cover and store leftover cake in the refrigerator.