Carrot Cake and Cheesecake join forces to create the ultimate Carrot Cake Cheesecake! A delightful swirl of moist carrot cake and creamy cheesecake is coated in carrot cake crumbs and topped with cream cheese frosting and chopped pecans!
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Carrot Cake Cheesecake
I’ve been wanting to make a carrot cake cheesecake for a long time now, but I didn’t want it to be exactly like everyone else’s. So, I took the idea from my Red Velvet Oreo Cheesecake where I covered the cheesecake in red velvet cake crumbs, and did the same thing here using carrot cake this time!
3 Parts to this Carrot Cake Cheesecake
There are 3 main recipes we’ll be making today:
- Vanilla Cheesecake: since we’re combining the cheesecake with carrot cake, I had to modify my regular cheesecake recipe to make a smaller batch so we’ll be using 2 packs of cream cheese instead of the regular 3.
- Carrot Cake: I took my perfect Carrot Cake recipe and cut it in half so we’d have enough to swirl into the cheesecake and more to crumble and press into the sides.
- Cream Cheese Frosting: I was going to make a cream cheese whipped cream, but in order to make the cake crumbs stick to the sides and pipe out those beautiful carrot decorations, we need a nice stable and silky cream cheese frosting!
How to Make Carrot Cake Cheesecake
To make this cheesecake, start by making the cheesecake batter and carrot cake batter. You‘ll need to use a hand mixer for the cheesecake and a simple whisk can be used for the carrot cake.
Once you’ve finished making both batters, add 1 and ½ cups of carrot cake to an 8-inch cake pan and 1 and ½ cups to a 9-inch springform pan. Bake the 8-inch carrot cake while you continue with the cheesecake.
With the cheesecake, use a large spoon or ice cream scoop to scoop on ⅓ of the cheesecake batter, then alternate between dollops of carrot cake and cheesecake batter until it’s all done. There’s no need to swirl the batter, it’ll just happen naturally.
Baking and Cooling the Cheesecake
Guess what? For the first time, we are NOT baking a cheesecake in a waterbath! This is because we’re not just baking cheesecake here, we’re also baking the carrot cake. And we’re not baking at a low temperature either, the cheesecake/cake will need to be baked at the usual 350°F for about an hour to an hour and 10 minutes.
The cooling method hasn’t changed though. The cheesecake still needs to cool in the oven for an hour, 30 minutes with the door closed and 30 minutes with the door cracked. Now my cheesecake still cracked and began to brown because there was no waterbath, but the entire thing will be covered so that’s not a problem.
Cream Cheese Frosting/Carrot Decorations
I don’t normally pair cheesecake with frosting, but there’s more cake than cheesecake in this so it’s absolutely necessary! There’s quite a bit because we need to spread some on the sides and on top and we also need enough to pipe the carrot decorations.
All you need for the frosting is butter, a full package of cream cheese, powdered icing sugar, vanilla for flavour and salt to cut back some sweetness. After you spread the frosting all over the cheesecake, divide the rest between 2 bowls and tint them green and orange.
Put the orange frosting in a piping bag with a small round tip and pipe out a line, then release pressure while pulling out to create a point. Then put the green Frosting in a piping bag with a small leaf tip and pipe on the stems.
You can do this directly on top of the cheesecake if you’re confident enough in your skills. If not, pipe a bunch of carrots onto a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze it for a couple of minutes so you can easily move and position them onto the cheesecake with your hands.
Crumb Coat Decoration
Take that layer of carrot cake we baked the night before and crumble it up, then press it into the sides and around the edges of the cheesecake. There may be some bald spots so you can go back in and press in more crumbs to fill it in. So so good!
I’m already in love with both carrot cake and cheesecake, so this combo was already a winner in my book. But what about the people who aren’t carrot cake fans?
Well both of my grandmothers aren’t too crazy about carrot cake, but when I made them try this cheesecake they could not stop! They went for 1 bite, then another, then another slice, and then almost half of the cheesecake disappeared! According to them, this is one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever made!
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Tip: always read through the entire recipe before beginning.
Let’s get baking!
- 1 and ½ cups All purpose flour
- 1 and ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon Baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅔ cup Vegetable oil (can use canola oil, avocado oil, or sunflower oil)
- ¾ cups dark brown sugar, packed
- ¾ cups granulated Sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
- ¼ cup sour cream, room temperature
- 3 large Eggs, room temperature
- 1 and ½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 cups shredded carrots (3-4 large carrots)
- 2 (8-ounce) packages (16 oz.) full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¾ cup sour cream, room temperature
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk
Cream Cheese Frosting/Carrot Topping:
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1 and ½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Orange gel food colouring
- Green gel food colouring
- Chopped pecans
For the Carrot Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and grease the sides. Set aside. Repeat with an 8-inch cake pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer or a whisk, add the oil and both sugars. Mix on medium-high speed until combined.
4. Add the applesauce and sour cream and continue to mix until completely combined.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Lower the speed to medium-low and mix in the eggs, one at a time until just combined. Mix in the vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing on low speed after each addition until completely combined.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in shredded carrots.
- Pour 1 and ½ cups into the springform pan. Pour another 1 and ½ cups into the 8-inch pan. Bake the 8-inch carrot cake for 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs. Set aside to cool.
- Once cooled, use your hands to break the cake apart and rub between your fingers to crumble into a bowl. Cover cake crumbs with plastic wrap and store at room temperature until ready to use.
For the Cheesecake Filling:
- In a large bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth and creamy, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the granulated sugar and cornstarch and continue to beat on low until combined.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla extract and continue beating until smooth.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating slowly until just combined, do not overbeat.
- Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is fully combined. Forcefully tap bowl on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
- Using an ice cream scoop or a spoon, dollop ⅓ of the cheesecake batter on top of the carrot batter layer inside of the springform pan.
- Dollop remaining carrot cake batter in random areas over the cheesecake layer. Finish by dolloping the remaining cheesecake batter over the carrot cake layer. Do NOT swirl or spread!
- Bake at 350°F for 1 hour - 1 hour and 5 minutes. The cheesecake is done when the edges are set and the center jiggles just slightly.
- Turn off oven and leave the cheesecake to cool for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, crack the door open and continue cooling the cheesecake for another 30 minutes.
- After an hour, remove cheesecake from oven and run a knife around the edge of the pan so the cheesecake is not sticking to the sides and allow to cool completely on a rack.
- Loosely cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate until firm and chilled, about 8 hours or preferably overnight.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting/Carrot Topping:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, beat the softened butter and cream cheese until super pale and fluffy, about 5-6 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time and beat on low speed after each cup until combined.
- Once combined add vanilla and salt and continue to beat until combined and smooth.
- Increase speed to medium-high and beat for about 5-7 minutes, or until frosting is light and fluffy.
For the Carrot Topping:
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Set aside.
- Add ⅔ cup of the cream cheese frosting to 2 separate bowls (⅓ cup for each bowl). Tint one half orange and the other green.
- Spoon the orange frosting into a disposable piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Put the green frosting into a piping bag fitted with a small leaf tip. Set aside.
- With the orange frosting, pipe a short line onto the baking sheet, release pressure on the piping bag, then drag the piping bag out without squeezing so you get a pointy tip. Repeat a few more times, piping out as many as you can. It’s good to have extra in case you mess up. Make sure you leave enough room at the top of the carrot for the leaf.
- Use the green frosting with the leaf tip to pipe small leaves onto the top of each carrot. Transfer baking sheet to the freezer.
- Remove cheesecake from the refrigerator and remove springform pan ring.
- Spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting around the sides and spread a thicker layer on top.
- Grab small handfuls of the carrot cake crumbs and press into the side of the cheesecake. Make sure any bald spots are filled.
- Remove carrot decorations from the freezer and gently run a knife underneath to loosen the carrots.
- Lift and place on top of the cheesecake. Sprinkle some chopped pecans in between each carrot. Slice and serve!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 729Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 234mgCarbohydrates: 103gFiber: 2gSugar: 94gProtein: 6g
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