Carrot Cake Cheesecake

Even though it’s been spring officially for a few weeks, here in Connecticut it’s just starting to actually feel like the season has changed.  I think it’s safe to retire my winter jackets (or put them in a moving box, ahh!) and break out the ankle pants.  I love this time of year, especially the bright forsythia bushes popping up, and can’t wait for everything to be in full bloom.  I made this incredible carrot cake cheesecake for Easter dessert so I figured it is about time I share it with all of you.  Easter may have been early this year, but this is a cake that can be enjoyed year-round, and I highly suggest you do just that.  I know I always say everything is so delicious and everyone loves it – but for realz this time people, AH-MA-ZING!

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Remember the Red Velvet Cheesecake Layer Cake I made a few years ago?  This is a similar take on a cake-cheesecake combination, but this carrot version is different because the cheesecake and carrot cake are baked simultaneously in the same pan, rather than just stacking together different layers.  Gotta love any recipe that saves you a few steps!  I’ve already professed my love for 6″ cakes, so again here I opted for a 6″ cake and then a handful of mini cheesecakes baked in this mini cheesecake pan.  When making these, I actually layered the carrot cake and cheesecake batter, hoping to get a striped look, but after I cut into it I realized all of the carrot cake wound up on the bottom.  I may have minored in chemistry, but I have no idea how this happened, haha!  Oh well, the end result was still very pretty and the mini ones kind of maintained their layers, so I got a little bit of what I was going for.  I was worried that baking the carrot cake batter as long as a cheesecake would dry out the cake, but it was SO moist and not dry at all.  Maybe it was all those delicious fats dripping down from the cheesecake into the carrot cake while the baking happened?  Again, no chemical explanation here, but really, really yummy results :)

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I kept my carrot cake simple and traditional (my favorite) – very finely chopped carrots, no raisins or nuts, and lots of cinnamon.  The top is covered with plenty of cream cheese frosting to help cover up any flaws or cracks on the top of the cheesecake and helps adhere a healthy dose of toasted coconut on the top.  I just happen to love the look of toasted coconut on carrot cake, and the crunchiness is pretty great too, but feel free to leave it out if it’s not for you.  If your favorite part of a carrot cake is the cream cheese frosting (myself included), then you’re going to love this cake because we’ve added an entire layer of cream cheese flavor with the cheesecake and also loaded some more on top just for good measure.  The spicy carrot cake is perfect with tangy cheesecake and it makes for a beautiful dessert too!

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Carrot Cake Cheesecake

Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Yield: 1 6" cake + 6 mini cheesecakes, or 1 9" cake

Ingredients:

for the cheesecake:
16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

for the carrot cake:
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 lb carrots, finely grated in food processor

for the cream cheese frosting:
3 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp sour cream

1 cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted (if desired)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease your chosen springform pans with cooking spray (I did 1 6" + 6 mini, but you could also do 1 9" or 10" pan).

For the cheesecake, in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and flour until smooth. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat until just incorporated. Transfer batter to another bowl, set aside, and clean your mixer bowl.

For the carrot cake, in the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the oil, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until the mixture is smooth and light, about 2 minutes. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined. Fold in the carrots by hand with a rubber spatula until evenly distributed.

Spread half of the carrot cake batter into the bottom of your prepared pan(s). Then dollop half of the cheesecake batter on top of the carrot cake layer in large spoonfuls. You don't need to swirl them together or anything, just keep it dolloped. Then dollop the rest of the carrot cake batter on top of that layer, and finish with the cheesecake on top. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top cheesecake layer out and tap the pan(s) on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles. (Again, I didn't get distinct layers in my 6" pan when doing this, but I figured I would give you the instructions I followed just in case it works for you, and if not, you'll get a divided cake like I did that still looked great!).

Bake the mini cheesecakes for about 30 minutes, and the 6" or 9" pan for 60-70 minutes. If the top starts to brown, tent the top with foil during the last 20-30 minutes of baking. The cheesecake will probably crack due to the carrot cake inside, but that's why we have the cream cheese frosting - no worries. Careful not to overbake the cake - the top center part of the cheesecake should still be slightly soft and jiggly when you take it out.

Let the cheesecake cool completely on a wire rack in the pan. While it cools, make the frosting by first combining the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth and creamy. Mix in the powdered sugar slowly and beat on medium high for 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat again until well mixed. Toast the coconut flakes in a dry pan if you're using them!

When the cheesecake is completely cool, spread the frosting evenly on top and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled before serving (minimum of 3 hours, maximum of 2 days in advance).

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30 Responses to “Carrot Cake Cheesecake”

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    1
    Hana Sarker — April 16, 2013 @ 6:58 pm

    You can never go wrong with cream cheese! and I love that you don’t use raisins in your cake either!

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    Megan @ megbakes — April 16, 2013 @ 7:00 pm

    I’ve never baked cake and cheesecake together. This sounds so great and I love carrots!

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    Liz — April 16, 2013 @ 7:12 pm

    I was looking for a recipe exactly like this one for Easter but I couldn’t find a good one. Instead I opted for just a plain carrot cake. Well, I guess I’ll have to make this one now to try it out! Thanks for sharing! :)

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    Claire @ Claire K Creations — April 16, 2013 @ 8:53 pm

    My goodness this looks good. What great discovery being able to bake the two together and I bet it was incredibly soft. Yum yum yum!

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    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — April 16, 2013 @ 9:55 pm

    I love that you bake them together. I’ve seen similar recipes but the cake and cheesecake are baked separately and then layered. This sounds much easier!

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    Heidi @foodiecrush — April 16, 2013 @ 11:08 pm

    I have such a weakness for carrot cake. But add in the cheesecake? I’m a goner. Gorgeous.

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    Julia | JuliasAlbum.com — April 17, 2013 @ 12:12 am

    That’s a very pretty cake! Pinned!

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    Urban Wife — April 17, 2013 @ 2:16 am

    OMG. This just took carrot cake (one of my top fav desserts) to a whole other level. Heaven. Pinned!

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    Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen — April 17, 2013 @ 1:54 pm

    Your cake looks amazingly delicious! I love the combination of cake, cheesecake and cream cheese frosting!

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    Averie @ Averie Cooks — April 20, 2013 @ 12:06 am

    This is just gorgeous, Erica! Two amazing treats in one and stunning photography! Pinned!

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    Julia @ hungryandconfused — April 23, 2013 @ 5:16 pm

    I love that you don’t include raisins in your carrot cake. I hate raisins and never include them in mine, although I do like the addition of walnuts, so may try this and add some in! Thanks!

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    Lizelle — April 24, 2013 @ 12:32 pm

    Wow wow wow!!! Will I be able to make cupcakes like this?

    • Erica — April 24th, 2013 @ 12:42 pm

      I think you should be able to – but you just will have to use liners instead of leaving them clean-edged. Hopefully they’ll just peel away easily before eating!

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    David Knee — May 1, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

    Hi Erica,

    Hope all is well. I made this recipe last weekend and it turned out great! Carrot cake is my favorite and cheesecake is hard to turn down as well. Took a lot of extra muscle because I don’t have a mixer, but it was well worth it. Thanks!

    • Erica — May 1st, 2013 @ 10:06 pm

      So glad you tried it and it came out well !!! Love to see that you read my blog :) Hope to see you soon!

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    Valerie — May 3, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

    This looks fantastic, I will have to try this soon! I also Love your printable recipe, where did you find it and how do you use it?
    Thanks!!

    • Erica — May 4th, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

      Are you asking how to work the printable recipe link? You just click the little printer picture embedded within the recipe, and it should open a new tab with a printer-friendly version of the recipe. If you’re asking how I inserted this widget, you’ll have to ask my page designer – Purr Designs!

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    Rachel Othersen — May 7, 2013 @ 11:05 am

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! i am baking them right now and OMG they smell delicious! Can not wait to eat it! Thank you! BTW I used a cupcake pan and liners and it turned out great.

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    Olivia — May 26, 2013 @ 4:24 am

    DELICIOUS!
    I made this cake last night following your recipe. Literally tried it 20 minutes ago and love it. Super moist, perfect balance of sweetness with the frosting, and really nice textural extra with the toasted coconut. I did get layers, but they weren’t all too distinct. Didn’t matter though, it was so good! This was my husband’s birthday cake this year. Thank you so much for posting this recipe, it really made the day special!

    :) Olivia

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    Susie C — August 3, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

    Help !! I don’t have a mini cheesecake pan…..is it about the same as a Texas size ?? I have company coming & really want to make these.

    • Erica — August 6th, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

      Hmmm I’m not sure what Texas size is, but I think a mini muffin tin would work if you used cupcake liners!

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    HRM — August 26, 2013 @ 4:43 am

    Thank you for this recipe! I made it for my birthday and it came out fabulous. I only have a normal 9in pan that I lined in foil and extended the top edge I then brushed this with cake release and it came out with no sticking. So for everyone who wants to try this cake and does not have a spring form pan this cake will still work and be great!

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    Felicia Falco — October 25, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

    Hi Erica,
    I was so excited to find your recipe for Carrot Cheesecake. I want to preface my experience by saying I have made both Carrot Cake and Cheesecake separately and successfully. I followed your recipe and instructions step by step and all went fine. But when I tried to remove cake from bottom of spring form pan I noticed that the bottom center had not cook and was still runny and liquid. The circumference had small cracks and top of cake was set and cooked. I hope you can offer your advice and knowledge for this dilemma.

    I look forward to you response.
    Thank You
    Felicia

    • Erica — October 25th, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

      Hi Felicia, I’m sorry to hear that the cake didn’t come out perfectly! I know several people who have made the recipe without a problem, so I’m not sure exactly what went wrong here. Are you confident that your oven’s temperature is accurate? Sorry again and apologies for not having better advice for next time :( Good luck!

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    annabelle — November 26, 2013 @ 9:24 pm

    Have made this dessert a couple of times, and everyone loves it!! I usually have the ingredients on hand, so I can make it on spur of the moment!

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    Patricia — December 20, 2013 @ 5:40 pm

    This looks delicious! Two questions: is it possible to make this with a normal 9 inch cake pan if I don’t have a springform pan? If I want to include raisins how much do you think I should add?

    • Erica — December 22nd, 2013 @ 4:54 pm

      I think it might be possible, but I would grease it up really well before pouring the batter in! Not sure about the raisins, maybe look for another 9″ carrot cake recipe and see how much they put in? Good luck!

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    Steph — December 31, 2013 @ 4:48 am

    I have made this cake once and i can definitely say that i will make it again. I absolutely loved this recipe and so did everyone else. It is absolutely a new favorite :)

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    Amber — March 24, 2014 @ 10:32 pm

    THANK YOU!!! I made this yesterday for a co-workers birthday and it turned out AMAZING! Everyone is commenting on how great it is! Thank you!!!

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