Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

Have you ever had a cake that is just downright amazing? So good that you instantly want another piece even though you really shouldn’t? This cake is one of those cakes.

How could it not be? It’s got two layers of tangy moist red velvet cake. Sandwiched between those vibrant red layers is a layer of creamy fluffy cheesecake. And of course the entire thing is enrobed in a layer of frosting.

I set out to make this cake because my sister B and her boyfriend Z were coming to visit. Turns out that Z really really likes cheesecake. Since I always like to bake something special for out of town guests, I wanted to make something with cheesecake. (And, today just happens to be Z’s birthday. So Happy Birthday Z!)

I had been eying this cake ever since I saw it in my Google Reader. The effort was well worth it. This cake is everything you could ever imagine. Z even had a piece around 4am before heading to the airport to head back home!

I love the festive colors of the slice of cake. The red and white makes me think of peppermint even though there isn’t any peppermint in the recipe. You could definitely add peppermint to the cheesecake recipe and the frosting if you wanted to.

I did have an issue with my cheesecake being a little bit wider than the cake layers. I just let the cheesecake layer warm up a bit and then used a sarated knife to even it out.

And while I didn’t frost between the layers of cake and cheesecake, I did pipe an edge just to make the sides flush.

I left the decorating pretty simple. I just topped the cake with some shaved white and bittersweet chocolate.

If you’re looking for an impressive dessert to make for the holidays, look no further!

One Year Ago: Pecan Pie and Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
Two Years Ago: Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Three Years Ago: Butternut Squash Bisque

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Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

Two layers of red velvet cake are sandwiched around a layer of cheesecake. The whole thing is covered in cream cheese frosting and chocolate shavings.

Yield: Serves 12-16


For The Cheesecake
1 1/4 pounds bar cream cheese (20 oz), room temperature
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest, plus 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp coarse salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream

For The Cake
2 1/2 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp (1 oz.) red food coloring
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white distilled vinegar

For The Frosting
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
12 oz. butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cup confectioners' sugar

1 bar white or dark chocolate (Optional for decoration)


Make the cheesecake
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Set a kettle of water to boil. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down side of bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in lemon zest and juice, and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream.

Cut parchment paper in a circle and line the bottom of the cheesecake pan. Wrap bottom half of pan in foil. Pour in filling; place in a roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up side of springform. Bake until just set in center, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from water; let cool 20 minutes. Run a paring knife around edge; let cool completely. Cover; chill overnight, then wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.

Make the cake
Preheat oven to 350°. Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt into a medium bowl.

Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Divide batter evenly between 2 greased and floured 9" round cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool 5 minutes, then invert each onto a plate, then invert again onto a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely, then level.

Make the Frosting
Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Add sugar and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 5–7 minutes.

Place bottom layer on cake stand. Remove cheesecake from freezer, unwrap, and remove from metal bottom, then peel off parchment paper. Place cheesecake layer on top of the bottom layer of the red velvet cake.

If the cheesecake is wider than the cake, and it is necessary to to trim it, wait approximately 10 minutes for the cheesecake to soften, then trim it with a knife. Place top layer of cake on top of the cheesecake, and coat with a generous layer of the cream cheese frosting to act as the crumb coat. Be careful not to get any red velvet crumbs in the bowl of frosting!

Refrigerate approximately 30 minutes, then frost with as much of the remaining frosting as necessary.

Top with shaved white chocolate and/or shaved dark chocolate. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (This cake doesn't have to stay in the fridge until IMMEDIATELY before serving, so don't worry if you have a 30 minute lapse between the refrigerator and serving.)

Recipe from Erin's Food Files, cake and frosting adapted from Apple A Day, originally adapted from Saveur
cheesecake adapted from Martha Stewart

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22 Responses to “Carrot Cake and Cheesecake Cake”

  1. #
    Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living — April 13, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Give me a moment to compose myself… ok. This is the cake that my dreams are made of! Carrot cake and cheesecake are my two favorite cakes, so combine them into one amazing dessert, and I’m in total bliss. It looks phenomenal, and I would dominate a big slice ;).

  2. #
    lms — July 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    This cake was phenomenal!!!!! I have now made 3 versions and I think the carrot was the best. Everyone raved over it and we all thought it was better the 2nd day! YUM is an understatement!

  3. #
    Matt — January 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    I’m confused, how did the become a red velvet cake during the assembly?

    • beantownbaker — January 27th, 2013 @ 4:07 pm

      That was a typo in the recipe since this was based on the red velvet cheesecake cake that I had made. I fixed it. Hope that helps.

  4. #
    Chewy — March 29, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Do i have to put the cheesecake pan in a roaster with water? I dont have a roaster? Before I purchase one I thought Id ask. Ive made many cheesecakes in the past and never did this


    • beantownbaker — April 1st, 2013 @ 8:35 am

      Yes, you are using a water bath to bake the cheesecake. So the water should come up about half way on the side of the pan that the cheesecake is in. I usually use a disposable roasting pan since I don’t have a roaster either. Hope that helps.

  5. #
    Sarah Ross — March 31, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Just made this for Easter and everyone loved it.. Thank you

    • beantownbaker — April 1st, 2013 @ 8:36 am

      Glad it was a success for you. This is a great Easter cake.

  6. #
    Brandi — March 31, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I made this for Easter today as well, and it was great, everyone said so. I couldn’t eat much, it’s SO thick and rich. I don’t think it would have been half as great without the cheesecake. LOVE that and what a super easy recipe for the cheesecake.

    The cake was quite a bit more work than I am used to, and I had to change a few things up based on what I had, in cae this helps anyone else…

    I didn’t have brown sugar, subbed coconut palm sugar.

    I used toasted almonds instead of pecans and was pleasantly surprised that I actually like them when toasted, as I don’t normally like them at all, they were so light and crispy.

    I do not have a stand mixer, I used my Ninja blender with the whipping cream attachement (I didn’t know that it would work but it worked just fine!)

    My food processor is broke and couldn’t find my grater, so I used my blender for the carrots, worked just fine.

    I skipped the parchment paper bc I was out and that was no biggie.

    The cake looked picture perfect and tasted amazing, no complaints here. Thank you!!!

    • beantownbaker — April 1st, 2013 @ 8:37 am

      So glad this worked out for you. Thanks for coming back and posting the changes you made. I am sure they will be helpful for other readers.

      Toasted almonds are one of my favorite nuts! What a great substitution.

  7. #
    Joann — July 21, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    How many people will this feed? It is a combo of my two favorite things so I want to make it for a Bunco group.

    • beantownbaker — July 21st, 2013 @ 3:51 pm

      It will easily serve 12-16

  8. #
    Amy — October 13, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I made this for my mom’s 60th birthday and everyone loved it. My dad announced that it was his favorite cake ever, so…I’m about to go buy the ingredients to make it again for HIS 60th next week 🙂 Thanks!

    • beantownbaker — October 15th, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

      Wow! Now that’s a compliment! So glad everyone enjoyed it 🙂

  9. #
    Sarah — December 10, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Hey there!

    Wonderful recipe 🙂 just curious, when you assembled the cake, is the top layer bottom side up, or right side up? Did you trim the rounded top off?


    • beantownbaker — December 10th, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

      If I remember correctly, my layers came out pretty flat. If they were round, I would trim the top off. I always put the top layer upside down when I’m stacking a layer cake.

  10. #
    Robin — April 24, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Made this for Easter, for my husband’s side of the family. Perfect cake recipe! Takes time to make, but nothing difficult. Turned out beautifully and tasted wonderful. I didn’t tell anyone about the cheesecake layer, so when I cut the first piece everyone was just thrilled to see that middle layer. The cake is a feast for both the eyes and the palate. It also travels well, which is a bonus for a 3-layer cake. I will make this cake again, and again, and again. Thanks!!!

    • beantownbaker — April 27th, 2014 @ 2:46 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it!!

  11. #
    Anndrea — January 29, 2016 at 3:08 am

    Just tried to make this… and I am curious if other people who had success used the volume or weight measures??
    I used the weight and was quite precise BUT the cake is now seemingly exploding in my oven.. I am thinking some of the ounces are wrong but am not sure. (I have checked the recipe about 5 times to make sure i measured correctly too…)
    Quite disappointed but hopefully I can still salvage something from it.

  12. #
    Margaret Jimenez — March 26, 2016 at 8:22 am

    hi! I wanted to make this for Easter tmrw..but I only have 10″ pans..both for the cheesecake & cake..can u PLEASE help me w/ the adjustments? I tried googling it, but it’s just not happening & I WANT to make this has 5 stars! THANK U, THANK U!

  13. #
    Margaret Jimenez — March 26, 2016 at 8:24 am

    what I left out, was, I don’t want my cakes to be thin..I LOVE/prefer a high cake 🙂

  14. #
    Lani — September 22, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Hello! Will the cheesecake tend to soften and tilt or sink in if it’s in a slightly warm environment or if I make it into a 5-6″ layer cake? I’m thinking of having one cake layer at the bottom, then the cheesecake, then the rest of the 2-4 layers cake layers. I am wondering if the cake will hold (with the cheesecake layer) if I put a center dowel?

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