Carrot Cake Cheesecake

 

I meant to post this recipe this morning….even went into late night preparing the cake because I was hyped up for National Carrot Cake Day today (Feb. 3), carrot cake being one of my all time favorite cakes ever but with a sick hubby, two toddlers, thesis research, and being up to my neck in laundry, this post is coming a little late. But better late than never, I must say! And after I stumbled across a carrot cake cheesecake recipe via CDKitchen, I knew I had to make one. This is the Zippy version, of course, and although I have never tried the one on their site, my altered recipe turned out marvelously and I don’t think I would have done it any differently. But of course, as with any recipe, you’re welcome to change and jazz things up, and of course for those of you allergic to (or just disliking) nuts, feel free to omit them altogether!

Recipe:

    Cheesecake

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 3 eggs, room temp.

    Carrot Cake

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (1 stick)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temp.
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (8.5 ounce size) crushed pineapple in juice
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

    Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.

For cheesecake:

Begin by beating the cream cheese and sugar together until fully whipped and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated. Beat in the flour and vanilla, being sure to scrape down the sides with a spatula. Set aside.

 

For carrot cake:

Beat the sugar and butter in a bowl until fluffy (about 2 min) on medium-high speed. Add in the eggs, oil, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, and spices). Slowly mix them into the wet ingredients. Either shred the carrots or put into a food processor and pulse until the carrots are in very small pieces (the latter is what I did). Next, press as much juice as possible from the pineapple (but be sure to reserve the juice for the frosting!!!), and put into a food processor with the carrot pieces. Add the shredded coconut, and pulse until all the pieces are minced (unless you prefer larger chunks in your cake).

Pour into the batter and mix until just combined. Finally, add the walnuts. I went ahead and threw them briefly into the processor as well to make the pieces smaller.

Grease and flour a 10″ spring form cake pan and line with parchment paper. Pour about 2 cups batter into the bottom of the pan (around half the batter) and spread gently until about even.

Now spoon the cheesecake on top (also about half)- this is a little runnier than the cake batter so it spreads much easier. Spoon the last half of the carrot cake on top of the cheesecake, and repeat with the last of the cheesecake to give it a smooth top.

Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan in aluminum foil. Take my advice and use extra wide foil. I have tried using several sheets, and overlapping to fully cover it, but water ALWAYS finds a way to sneak in, and seep through any cracks present in the pan and ruin the cheesecake. Just save yourself a lot of misery and use a big, solid piece of foil!

Place the springform pan into a large roasting pan, and pour boiling water carefully into the roasting pan- about halfway up the springform pan (usually about a full tea kettle works perfectly).

Place the pan on the center rack of the oven and bake for 50-65 minutes, until the cake sets. Remove from the water bath, and remove the foil.

Slide a knife gently around the edges of the pan, so as it cools it won’t crack as much. Allow to fully cool and then refrigerate (I usually will make cheesecake at night and leave it overnight).

 

For frosting:

Once the cheesecake is cold, make the frosting. Combine the cheesecake and butter, and beat until smooth. Add the sugar and pineapple juice and beat several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and cinnamon. You can always add a little more juice if you want your icing thinner.

Spread over the top of the cheesecake. I did the sides as well, but you don’t have to- it’s your cake, and then sprinkled with extra walnuts.

 Put it back in the fridge for a couple of hours and let that bad boy chill before slicing. Then slice away…..and this is perfect with a cup of coffee. I mean, carrot cake and cheesecake in one? Nom nom!


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