Dessert Fall Summer Zucchini

Caramel Frosted Zucchini Pecan Bars




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THE BEST Cramel Frosted Zucchini Bars 6

Caramel Frosted Zucchini Pecan Bars ~ These caramel topped zucchini bars are the richest and most decadent in my arsenal of  zucchini breads and desserts ~ the cake is super moist and the frosting is dense and delicious, almost like a caramel fudge.

caramel frosted zucchini pecans bars, with forks

I feel like I can move on now, confident that I’ve covered everything in the zucchini department,  from pancakes and brownies to burgers and beer battered fries.  I’ve done well by these little green squash, but they deserve all the attention, they’re so easy to grow, they’re always available, and when you shred them and bake them into little bars like these, they add an indescribable lusciousness.  If you still have zucchini left in your garden, or you just love the little guys, these bars are calling your name.

caramel frosted zucchini bars, stacked

A lot of sweet zucchini recipes have healthy pretensions.  Not this one.  The caramel frosting is even richer than Paula Deen’s. (No lie)   If you cut the cake while it’s still warm, the frosting will be all droopy and sensual and the cake will be extra soft and amazing.  But it’s a big pan.  You can’t eat it all in one sitting.

caramel frosted zucchini pecans bars, with fork

Let them set up, or pop them in the fridge, and  you’ll get a more straight laced, but equally decadent, cut.  Either way I highly recommend these.

caramel frosted zucchini pecan bars, stacked

I know the Internet is loaded with jaw-dropping sweets, they’re  drippy, gooey, chocolatey. and loaded with peanut butter, marshmallows, candy bars, more chocolate, and probably Nutella and  bacon, too.   But I’ll tell you what… these little bars can hold their own against that crowd.

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3.79 from 33 votes

Caramel Frosted Zucchini Pecan Bars

Caramel Frosted Zucchini Pecan Bars ~ These caramel topped zucchini bars are the richest and most decadent in my arsenal of  zucchini breads and desserts ~ the cake is super moist and the frosting is dense and delicious, almost like a caramel fudge.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Yield 12 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil canola, safflower
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups lightly packed shredded zucchini about 2 medium
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Caramel frosting

  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • about 3 cups confectioner's sugar sifted

Instructions

  • Set the oven to 350F
  • Grease a 9x13 pan.
  • Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the sugar, oil, and vanilla and blend really well.
  • Sift in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Blend until combined.
  • Fold in the zucchini and the nuts.
  • Spread out the batter in the pan so that is is evenly distributed.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top springs back when touched, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without any wet batter clinging to it. Don't over bake this cake, i suggest checking it early. If you use a glass pan, it will tend to bake faster.
  • To make the frosting, put the butter into a medium saucepan. Cut it up into large chunks. Add the brown sugar and bring it to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring. Be careful, it will be super hot.
  • Add the heavy cream, and boil for another minute.
  • Remove from the heat and carefully beat in the confectioner's sugar, a cup at a time. Stop adding sugar when the frosting seems thick enough to spread. Pour the frosting over the cake, it is ok if the cake is still warm.

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26 Comments

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  • Reply
    Chef Potpie
    August 21, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    5 stars
    I had no doubt about this recipe, because your recipes are always fabulous, but can I just say “WOW!”? These bars were a hit, from the body to the frosting. I had to wince a bit before hubby tasted them, and I explained to him that there were nuts in them. (He does not like nuts in anything, although he does like pecans, just not in sweets. Go figure.) He called to me from the den, “Hon, the nuts work in these!” YAY! And they do. I baked them in a glass pan for 30 minutes, and they were pretty moist, so next time I’m going to bake another 5 and blot my zucchini a little more aggressively. I didn’t use cinnamon, because frankly, I forgot it, but we love them without! And there are just no words for this lovely frosting. I had dark brown sugar, so my frosting came out a bit darker than your picture. I want to say that I usually half again the frosting recipes because we like a lot of frosting, but this one had the right amounts to make it just the thickness we like! This recipe is going straight into my “Best Of” file. What a wonderful way to use my zucchini! I love your blog and your recipes! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Judy
    August 19, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    There is no amount written in for the granulated sugar. Please send. Thanx.

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 19, 2020 at 12:41 pm

      I’m not sure why it’s not showing up for you Judy, it’s 1 1/2 cups.

  • Reply
    Geneil
    August 19, 2020 at 10:39 am

    Can you double this and put it in a cookie sheet? Like with pumpkin bars?

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 19, 2020 at 11:31 am

      I haven’t tried it, but it should work!

  • Reply
    Maureen
    August 16, 2020 at 10:15 am

    After grating, do you press the liquid out of the zucchini?

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 16, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      I don’t find that’s necessary Maureen.

  • Reply
    Mary Ann
    July 29, 2020 at 8:55 am

    Do you peel the zucchini?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 29, 2020 at 9:40 am

      Nope, just leave as is.

  • Reply
    Jess
    July 23, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    Can you use walnuts instead?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 23, 2020 at 5:29 pm

      Absolutely.

  • Reply
    Monica
    September 15, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    5 stars
    I made these and they turned out great! I did use a gf flour blend ( bob’s red mill), so I added a bit extra oil. Also cut the sugar in the cake batter in half (3/4 c)…and in the frosting- half of the br sugar. Still PLENTY sweet and scrumptious!!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 15, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      I’ve heard from a lot of people that the Bob’s Red Mill GF flour does a great job in substituting for all purpose flour, thanks Monica.

  • Reply
    Georgia
    January 30, 2016 at 3:35 am

    Mine turned out a bit too goey. Even though when tested the skewer came out clean and it bounced back when gently pressed. Next time I would bake for longer. I did sub gluten free flour blend though.

  • Reply
    Carla
    September 20, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    A new zucchini dessert recipe is always welcome, as I typically have a lot of zucchini during the late summer/early fall months.

    The only suggestion I have is to state WHICH sugar to add and when in the frosting directions. I added the confectioners’ sugar with the butter, but now as it’s made, and I put the brown sugar in last, my frosting is brown, and not nearly as thick as it should be. Otherwise, once cool, I’m anxious to try it! So, for future users, put in the brown sugar with the butter, and confectioners’ sugar last.

  • Reply
    Carol at Wild Goose Tea
    September 13, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    This look like #1 bars. I pinned it for the frosting. I didn’t have good success with Paula Deen’s caramel frosting. It just tasted sweet and not like the caramel frosting I actually got from a QFC bakery. Soooo I am pleased to find another tested recipe to try.

  • Reply
    Susan
    September 12, 2014 at 6:48 am

    They would be so worth the calories! Love them from top to bottom.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    September 11, 2014 at 4:59 am

    These look great – I am enticed to pin this one.

  • Reply
    Liz @ Floating Kitchen
    September 10, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Love these bars – especially that frosting!

  • Reply
    Luci {Luci's Morsels}
    September 10, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    5 stars
    I love every word in this recipe’s name! And I’m giggling that you told me I can’t pretend these are healthy because they have zucchini. I might still try though!

  • Reply
    Catherine
    September 10, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Looks wonderful and sounds wonderful. Perfect. Catherine

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    September 10, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    You had me at caramel frosting, I’d like a nice corner slice, please!

  • Reply
    Denise Warner
    September 10, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I found “The view from Great Island” when I was looking for Dutch oven recipes. Your site never fails to inspire me!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 10, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      I love to hear that, Denise, thanks! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kathy
    September 10, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    These look scrumptious! I would love to have one with my tea right now!

  • Reply
    Diane {Created by Diane}
    September 10, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I love everything about these, and that frosting…mmmm!