Carrot Cake and Cheesecake Cake

Remember that beautiful, flavorful, awesome, red velvet cheesecake cake that I made around the holidays? Well, a recent post on Erin’s Food Files got me thinking. You see, she made another cake with a layer of cheesecake in the middle.

After seeing that post, it got me thinking about what other flavors of cake could benefit from a layer of cheesecake in the middle. I realize there are probably very few cake flavors that wouldn’t benefit from a layer of cheesecake, but I digress…

Since Easter is coming up, I’ve been seeing carrot cake recipes all over the place. And we all know that carrot cake goes so well with cream cheese frosting, so it was a no brainer! Once I made up my mind, it was just a matter of finding the perfect carrot cake recipe.

I scoured the internet, my cookbooks, other blogs and every other resource to find a great carrot cake recipe. I decided I wanted a purists version of carrot cake, nothing with a bunch of additional fruit or nuts mixed in. I went with the Cooks Illustrated recipe and it’s really good. It does actually call for toasted walnuts, but I knew I’d be using them on the outside of the cake, so I left them out.

One of the best things about this impressive cake is that it can be broken up into small tasks that can be done over the course of a few days. I made the cheesecake on a Monday and once it was completely cooled, I wrapped it in two layers of plastic wrap, then two layers of foil and popped it into the freezer.

Then I made the carrot cake layers on Thursday night after work. The hardest part about this recipe is just peeling and shredding the carrots. After that, it comes together in minutes. Once the cake layers were cooled, I wrapped them in plastic and foil and popped them into the fridge.

Then on Saturday, I brought some leftover cream cheese frosting to room temperature and went to town stacking the cake. I once again took advantage of the fact that the sides didn’t need to be frosted very well since I was covering them with toasted nuts.

I did however have a harder time getting the nuts to stick to the cake than I did toasted coconut. I think it was a combination of two things. When I made the coconut and lemon cake, it was a 6″ cake that I could hold/tilt in one hand and use the other hand to smoosh coconut into the frosting. This cake was much bigger and heavier so I couldn’t hold it in my hand. It just sat there on the cardboard and I pressed nuts into the side of it.

The second thing is the nuts are bigger than the toasted coconut so it makes sense that they wouldn’t stick as well. The whole thing was a pretty messy process but I’m happy with the results. Hubby told me that I need to toast nuts more often because that was one of his favorite parts of the cake – the toasted nuts covered in cream cheese frosting.

If you don’t already have a dessert idea for Easter, OR, if you’re looking for a carrot cake recipe to impress someone, definitely consider throwing a layer of cheesecake in the middle. It’s just such a sweet surprise!

One Year Ago: My Go-To Vanilla Buttercream

Print Save

Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake

Yield: Serves 12-16

Ingredients:

Cheesecake Layer
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 Carrot Cake Layers
2 1/2 cups flour (12 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb medium carrots (6 to 7 carrots, yields 3 cups), peeled
1 1/2 cups sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil, safflower oil, or canola oil

To Garnish

Double batch of Cream Cheese Frosting

1.5 cups chopped, toasted pecan

Directions:

For the Cheesecake Layer
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.

For the Carrot Cake Layers
Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray two 9" round pans with nonstick baking spray with flour.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in large bowl; set aside.

Shred carrots using large holes of box grater; transfer carrots to bowl and set aside.

In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat granulated and brown sugars and eggs on medium-high until thoroughly combined, about 45 seconds.

Reduce speed to medium; with mixer running, add oil in slow, steady stream, being careful to pour oil against inside of bowl.

Increase speed to high and mix until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 45 seconds to 1 minute longer.

Turn off mixer and stir in carrots and dry ingredients by hand until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.

Pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time.

Cool cake to room temperature in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours.

To Assemble the Cake
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 carrot 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.

Refrigerate approximately 30 minutes, then frost with as much of the remaining frosting as necessary. Coat this sides of the cake with toasted pecan if desired

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cheesecake layer adapted from Martha Stewart, Carrot Cake layers from Cooks Illustrated

    Pin It

16 Responses to “Carrot Cake and Cheesecake Cake”

  1. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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

    Thanks

    • 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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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?

    Thanks!

    • 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.

Leave a Comment