Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Carrot Cake Cheesecake

I am not a big cheesecake lover, but I love making cheesecakes. I really like the ability to mix and flavors and *usually* come out on the other-side with a delicious dessert. 

On Easter, I normally make a cheesecake for our family to enjoy. However, I am always torn between cheesecake and carrot cake. Why not make both you ask? I would if I wanted to have a ton of leftover and it might possibly go to waste, and nobody wants that! 

I came across this recipe for Carrot Cake Cheesecake and loved the idea.  The main selling point for me was that there is no crust. making the crust of a cheesecake is one of my least favorite parts of the process and the idea of a cake/cheesecake combo sounded delicious. The recipe also calls for applesauce and I was able to pull some of our homemade cinnamon sauce from the freezer. The original recipe also called fror a cream cheese frosting on top of the cheesecake. I totally forgot to make this, but I do not think the cheesecake needed it.  

My family went nuts for this cake and loved the ribbon of cheesecake swirling in to create a delicious and rich treat- perfect for a holiday. Kellen was not a fan of the texture of the cheesecake, but loved the cake portion, but the rest of us thought it work great. I was initially worried that the cake would over bake, but thankfully if was perfect. 

Carrot Cake Cheesecake
from Cooking Classy

Cheesecake Mixture
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened 
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

Carrot Cake
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups finely grated carrots

2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp butter, softened
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.

For the cheesecake mixture:
In a mixing bowl, whisk together sugar and  flour until well combined. Add cream cheese and using an electric hand mixer set on low speed, mix together cream cheese and sugar mixture until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time. Mix in sour cream. Forcefully tap bowl against countertop  to release air bubbles. Set mixture aside.

For cake: 
Rinse beaters clean. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In  a separate large mixing bowl, add oil, applesauce, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix using electric hand mixer set on low speed for 1 minute. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Add carrots and mix until evenly distributed. 

To assemble cheesecake:
Pour 1 1/2 cups carrot cake mixture into buttered springform pan and spread into an even layer. Dollop about 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture by the spoonfuls over carrot cake layer (don't spread or swirl). Spoon remaining carrot cake mixture over cream cheese layer, then finish by drizzling by the remaining cheesecake mixture over carrot cake layer, working to cover all of the carrot cake mixture . Bake in preheated oven 60 - 65 minutes, until center portion only jiggles slightly and tenting with aluminum foil at 40 minutes to prevent excessive browning (I did not do this and did not have excessive browning). Remove from oven and allow to cool fo 1 hour. Cover with foil and chill over night.

For the topping (I did not use topping, but included in case you would like to):
In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whip together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add remaining topping ingredients and mix until pale and fluffy, about 4 - 5 minutes. Spread evenly over cheesecake then chill cheesecake in freezer for 20 - 30 minutes. Sprinkle edges with chopped pecans. 

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