Carrot Cake Cheesecake

Active time: 30 min. Total time: 3 hours, 15 min.
Yield: Serves 12 (serving size: 1 slice)

If you’re looking for an impressive dessert to cap off your Easter brunch or dinner, our Carrot Cake Cheesecake will steal the show. We’ve married two glorious desserts into 9 inches of a cake. It’s decadent, spiced, sweet, creamy, and smooth, with perfect pockets of carrot cake. Although the method is relatively simple, it achieves a very impressive dessert. It may poof a little in the oven, but don’t worry—that’s just the carrot cake layer rising with the cheesecake, and it’ll settle down once cooked. Be sure to tap the pan to release air pockets, and make sure the water bath level doesn’t fall below the springform pan’s halfway mark.


Carrot Cake Batter

  • Baking spray with flour
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2large eggs
  • 1 cup (about 4 1/4 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots (about 3 large carrots)

Cheesecake Filing

  • 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2large eggs
  • 1large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup sour cream

Sour Cream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Additional Ingredients

  • Whole pecan halves, toasted

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare the Carrot Cake Batter: Preheat oven to 350°F. Tightly wrap bottom and outside of a 9-inch springform pan with double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent leaking. (Or place pan inside a slow-cooker liner, fitting the liner around the outside of pan.) Coat inside of pan with baking spray.

Step 2

Beat butter and granulated sugar with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed until just incorporated after each addition.

Step 3

Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula, fold in carrots. (Batter will be very thick.) 

Step 4

Prepare the Cheesecake Filling: Beat cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon with a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium speed until completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add eggs and egg yolk, 1 at a time, beating until just incorporated after each addition. Using a rubber spatula, fold in sour cream until smooth and thoroughly combined. (Do not overmix.) 

Step 5

To Assemble: Spoon half of Carrot Cake Batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly to edges using an offset spatula. Pour half of the Cheesecake Filling over cake batter, spreading in an even layer. Dollop remaining Carrot Cake Batter over filling, carefully spreading in an even layer. Pour remaining Cheesecake Filling over cake batter, and spread to edges. Place springform pan in a large roasting pan, and carefully add water halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake in preheated oven until center of cheesecake jiggles slightly, about 1 hour, shielding top of cheesecake with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning during the last 15 minutes. Halfway through baking, check water level in roasting pan, adding hot water if needed.  

Step 6

Turn off oven, and partially open oven door. Let cheesecake stand in oven 1 hour. Remove springform pan from water bath, and remove and discard foil. Place pan on a wire rack, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Transfer to refrigerator, and let stand until completely chilled, about 2 hours. 

Step 7

Meanwhile, prepare the Sour Cream Topping: Stir together sour cream, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl. Gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. Remove sides of pan. Spread topping over top of cheesecake; arrange pecans around outer edge, and serve.  

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