With a carrot cake base, creamy cheesecake middle, and a topping of rich buttercream, this is one delicious dessert! This Carrot Cake Cheesecake is perfect for Easter and the holidays!
What’s in this Carrot Cake Cheesecake Recipe?
- All-Purpose Flour: Gives the cake layer structure.
- Cornstarch: Makes the cake extra tender.
- Leavening: The combination of baking powder and baking soda makes the cake light and fluffy.
- Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger perfectly complement the carrots.
- Walnuts: Add a nutty flavor and a delicious crunch.
- Vegetable Oil: Makes the cake super moist.
- Granulated Sugar: Sweetens both the cake and cheesecake layers.
- Eggs: Add richness and structure to both the cake and the cheesecake.
- Carrots: Add moisture and a beautiful color to the cake.
- Cream Cheese: Makes the cheesecake rich and creamy and helps create a tangy frosting.
- Sour Cream: Makes the cheesecake rich and tangy.
- Vanilla Extract: Enhances the sweetness of the cheesecake and the frosting.
- Unsalted Butter: Adds richness and structure to the frosting.
- Powdered Sugar: Sweetens the frosting without making it gritty.
Pro Tip: Use room temperature ingredients for the best results.
Variations on Carrot Cheesecake
You can swap some of the carrot for pineapple to make a hummingbird version of this cake. Or add some raisins in place of some of the chopped nuts for a pop of sweetness!
Carrot cake is a hallmark of WWII creativity, where housewives decided to use it to sweeten cakes in place of sugar (which was being rationed).
Carrot cake is usually made with less sugar than a regular cake, but because it is denser and oilier than a regular cake, it is also higher in calories. Enjoy carrot cake in moderation!
Don’t panic! The green patches are the result of the baking soda interacting with the carrots. Because of the pH difference, baking soda can cause carrots to turn green. This is perfectly normal and not at all dangerous!
A dry cake can be caused by 2 things. You may have measured the ingredients incorrectly, or you might have overmixed the batter. It’s important to spoon and level your ingredients if you’re not using a scale, and it’s important to have a light hand when mixing the batter.
I do not recommend using fat-free ingredients to make this cheesecake, as it just won’t taste as rich and delicious. However, you can use light cream cheese or Neufchatel for a lower-fat alternative. This will change the flavor slightly.
Sour cream makes cheesecake even softer, and it enhances the tanginess.
The cheesecake layer should mostly look like it’s set, but the center will still be a little jiggly. It will finish setting as it chills in the fridge. You don’t want it to get too stiff or browned in the oven.
How to Store
Because the carrot cake base and cheesecake filling are both pretty moist, this will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Store it in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap to keep it fresh.
How to Freeze
This is freezer friendly and will keep well for up to 1 month. Place the frosted cheesecake in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours so that the buttercream frosting gets hard, then place in an airtight container to freeze. Thaw it in the fridge overnight to serve.
Carrot Cake Cheesecake Recipe
For the Carrot Cake Layer
- 1 cup all-purpose flour 120 grams
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch 8 grams
- 1 teaspoon baking powder 4 grams
- ½ teaspoon baking soda 3 grams
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon 3 grams
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts 57 grams
- ½ cup vegetable oil 100 grams
- ½ cup granulated sugar 100 grams
- 2 large eggs 100 grams
- 1 cup shredded carrot 90 grams (about 2 medium carrots)
For the Cheesecake Layer
- 24 ounces cream cheese 681 grams, room temperature (3 bricks)
- ½ cup sour cream 114 grams, room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar 133 grams
- 2 large eggs 100 grams, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 4 grams
For the Frosting
- 4 ounces cream cheese 114 grams, room temperature (½ brick)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 57 grams, room temperature (½ stick)
- 1½ cups powdered sugar 170 grams
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 4 grams
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and nuts, then set aside.1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ginger, ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar and eggs. Whisk together until they are well combined.½ cup vegetable oil, ½ cup granulated sugar, 2 large eggs
- Using a large spoon or spatula, stir in the shredded carrots. Then gradually add in the flour and spice mixture, until the batter is mixed together and thick.1 cup shredded carrot
- Pour the batter into a 9 inch springform pan, very lightly sprayed or buttered at the bottom and on the sides of the pan.
- Bake for about 18-20 minutes until the top of the cake springs back to the touch.
- While the cake is baking, prepare the cheesecake filling.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy, removing all clumps. Add in the sour cream, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.24 ounces cream cheese, ½ cup sour cream, ⅔ cup granulated sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Continue mixing for about two-three additional minutes, until all ingredients are combined and the filling is smooth and creamy.
- Pour the cream cheese filling over the carrot cake. Cover the bottom of the springform pan with foil, and place the pan in a water bath. (I used a cake pan Be sure the water surrounds the sides of the springform pan no more than half way)
- Lower the temperature to 325 degrees
- Bake the cheesecake for about 50-60 minutes. The cheesecake will still be a little jiggly in the middle, but will have a set top.
- Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature, and then place in the refrigerator until it is completely chilled and set, 6-8 hours.
- To frost the cheesecake, Beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Spread over the top of the cheesecake layer. See note about thickness.4 ounces cream cheese, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1½ cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- All you need to make the water bath is a larger pan (something the springform pan can sit in) and some foil–plus water, of course. Tightly wrap a couple of layers of foil around the springform pan and place it inside the larger pan. Then pour in hot water around it, but no more than halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Be sure to cover the bottom of the springform pan with foil, really well. Otherwise, water can get into the cake. A small amount of water still may get into the pan, but it won’t hurt the cake.
- For the cheesecake to be smooth and creamy, the cream cheese and butter should be at room temperature, otherwise there will be small cream cheese clumps in the filling. Same for the frosting.