Carrot Cake Cheesecake is your two favorite cakes in one show stopping dessert that is 100% make ahead friendly!
This Carrot Cake Cheesecake recipe combines your favorite carrot cake with no-bake cheesecake for the ultimate gorgeous, make-ahead friendly, decadently delicious dessert everyone will be raving about! The carrot cake is soft and ultra-moist, laced with warm fragrant spices, freshly grated carrots, sweet and tangy crushed pineapple, and nutty finely crushed pecans. The cheesecake is luxuriously rich and creamy, yet light at the same time, with a sublime hint of white chocolate. Wrap the two up with pineapple cream cheese frosting for a showstopping dessert perfect for special occasions like Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, baby showers, bridal showers and more!
I look forward to spring all year. Not only is it synonymous with gorgeous weather, blooming flowers and birds chirping, it means carrot cake! If you’re a carrot cake fan, don’t miss Carrot Cake Cupcakes, Carrot Cake Cookies, Layered Carrot Cake, Cream Cheese Stuffed Carrot Cake, Carrot Cake Crepes, and now these Carrot Cake Cupcakes!
How to Make carrot cake cheesecake Video
WHY this recipe works
It’s chock full of flavor. The carrot cake is infused with brown sugar, cinnamon, hints of allspice, nutmeg, vanilla extract, vanilla yogurt, crushed pineapple, finely ground pecans and of course, carrots! The harmonious warm sweetness is perfectly balanced by the tangy pineapple cream cheese frosting.
The carrot cake is meltingly soft and moist thanks to the unique ingredients. A little oil, Greek yogurt and crushed pineapple elevate the flavor of the cake as well as provide peak tenderness without being oily.
It’s rich yet light. The carrot cakes are soft and tender while the cheesecake layer is luxuriously creamy yet airy due to the whipped heavy cream. You’ll be surprised how easily one slice slips down!
No special equipment required. To make the this recipe, two carrot cake rounds are baked and cooled. One cake is placed in the bottom of a springform pan, then topped with the no bake cheesecake. If you don’t have a springform pan, don’t worry, I’ll walk you through how to use parchment paper instead!
No water bath required. The cheesecake is a no-bake cheesecake stabilized by gelatin, lightened by whipped cream and laced with white chocolate. It’s layered on top of the cake, then allowed to set before unmolding and frosting AKA it’s foolproof!
It’s make ahead friendly. This Carrot Cake Cheesecake recipe is easy to make, but not quick to make due to the multiple components and the cooling and chilling required. That being said, you can prepare elements ahead of time, or the entire cheesecake tastes even better if made a day ahead of time – YAY for stress free entertaining!
The frosting is literally the icing on the already fabulous Carrot Cake Cheesecake. The hint of tanginess from the pineapple cream cheese frosting cuts through the sweetness of the cheesecake and its luxuriously, smooth, creaminess offers the perfect juxtaposition to the ingredient-studded cakes. Additionally, the optional pineapple preserves elevates the entire recipe to next level YUM!
There are three components to the Carrot Cake Cheesecake recipe:
- 1) two layers of moist carrot cake
- 2) a creamy, no bake cheesecake layer
- 3) tangy pineapple cream cheese frosting
You probably have most of the ingredients stocked right now, many of which are used multiple times in the recipe. Let’s review the ingredients and hopefully answer any questions you might have (see measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
For the Carrot Cake:
For the cheesecake:
For the frosting:
How do I grate Carrots for Carrot Cake?
You must grate your own carrots for this recipe rather than buying a bag of pre-shredded carrots at the grocery store. Those pre-shredded carrots are often tough and dry. Shredding your own carrots results in moister, lighter carrot cake.
1. Grate carrots: Chop the tops off the carrots and peel. Select the finest holes on a cheese grater (aside from the zester) and shred the carrots carefully.
2. Food processor: If you have a shredding blade for your food processor then you can grate the carrots this way -which is super fast and convenient.
Can I make this recipe gluten free?
Yes! This Carrot Cake Cheesecake works great with gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour.
How to make Carrot Cake Cheesecake
There are four stages to this Carrot Cake Cheesecake recipe:
- 1) bake the carrot cake rounds
- 2) make the cheesecake layer
- 3) chill the layered cheesecake
- 4) frost the cheesecake
Each stage is simple, and you can prepare elements of the recipe in advance if needed. Below is an overview of this recipe with step-by-step photos (or watch the video in the recipe card). The full set of instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Step 1: Make the Carrot Cake
Step 2: Make the Cheesecake
Step 3: Assemble the Cheesecake
What if I don’t have a spring form pan?
You can still make this Carrot Cake Cheesecake without a springform pan by building your own cake collar with parchment paper. Transfer the baked, cooled bottom cake round to a pedestal or serving plate and tightly encircle the cake round with parchment paper that is at least 3 inches tall. You may want to double wrap the cake so it’s more sturdy, then secure the parchment paper to itself with tape.
Step 4: Frost the Cheesecake
TIPS FOR making this recipe
This Carrot Cake Cheesecake has several steps, but please don’t be intimidated! Each step is simple and the end result is spectacular! Here are some helpful tips for ultimate success:
Can This Cheesecake Be Made in Advance?
Yes! Carrot Cake Cheesecake is the perfect make ahead dessert. I recommend chilling the assembled cheesecake for at least 24 hours before serving because I think it tastes better/more flavorful the second day.
You can also prep ahead in stages:
-Carrot cake layers: Prepare cakes according to recipe directions. Once the cakes have cooled, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature overnight.
-Cheesecake layer: Add the cheesecake layer to the carrot cakes, cover and store for up to 24 hours before frosting.
-Frosting: This can be made up to 2 days in advance, covered and stored in an airtight container the refrigerator. It will harden slightly in the refrigerator, so let it sit at room temperature to soften before whipping again and proceeding to frost your cheesecake.
HOW long is the cheesecake good for?
Wrap the layered carrot cake cheesecake with plastic wrap or use a cake carrier/storage container if you have one. Refrigerate for up to 5 days. Leftovers are best at room temperature, or microwave slices for 5-10 seconds.
can i freeze carrot cake cheesecake?
Yes! This Carrot Cake Cheesecake recipe freezes very well. You can freeze the cake layers before assembling or freeze the entire cheesecake:
To freeze just the carrot cake layers:
To freeze the assembled carrot cake cheesecake:
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Carrot Cake Cheesecake
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CAKE DRY INGREDIENTS
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup pecans, finely chopped (I use my food processor)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp EACH salt, allspice
- 1/4 tsp EACH ground nutmeg, ground ginger
CAKE WET INGREDIENTS
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple (½ cup), drained (packed in JUICE/not syrup)
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (regular or lowfat)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 9.5 ounces peeled and finely, FRESHLY grated carrots (roughly 2 ½ cups)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 6 ounces baking white chocolate, chopped
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 -4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 8 ounces cream cheese cut into pieces, room temperature
- 1/2 cup pineapple preserves (optional, reduce sugar to 3 cups if omitting)
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
TO MAKE CARROT CAKE
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two 9” round cake pans with parchment paper or round silicone baking mats (these are my fav), then spray with nonstick cooking spray WITH FLOUR or grease and flour pans.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the Dry Ingredients together. In a separate bowl, gently whisk eggs then stir in remaining Wet Ingredients, EXCEPT the carrots, just until combined.
- Fold Wet Ingredients into the Dry Ingredients just until moistened, then stir in the grated carrots just until evenly combined; DON’T overmix.
- Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Drop the pans a few times on the counter to get rid of air bubbles. Bake at 325 F degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans.
- Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes, then invert onto wire racks to cool completely, about 2 hours.
TO MAKE CHEESECAKE
- Sprinkle gelatin over ½ cup heavy cream in a small saucepan; let sit 5 minutes. Cook mixture, while stirring, over low heat until the edges are just bubbling and the gelatin is completely smooth. Add the white chocolate and cook, stirring constantly, until just melted and smooth. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes, while you IMMEDIATELY proceed with the next steps. (You don't want the chocolate to harden.)
- Whip remaining 1 cup heavy cream in a mixing bowl on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (you can also use a stand mixer and transfer whipped cream to a bowl).
- Fit stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Reduce speed to medium-low and add lemon juice and white chocolate mixture; mix until just combined, scraping down bowl as needed. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the whipped cream.
- Watch video below if needed. Using a serrated knife, level the top of each cooled cake if needed. Set 1 cake round in a lightly greased, parchment paper lined springform pan cut side up; set aside the second cake round. (See notes if you don't have a springform pan.)
- Evenly spread cheesecake filling over cake round in the springform pan. Place reserved cake round, cut side down, over the cheesecake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 hours, up to overnight.
TO MAKE THE FROSTING
- You can make the frosting when needed, or anytime while the cheesecake is chilling, cover and refrigerate, then let it sit at room temperate for 15 minutes or so to soften before frosting.
- Add butter and sugar (start with 3 cups sugar if omitting pineapple preserves, 4 cups sugar if using pineapple preserves) to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese 1 piece at a time, and continue to beat until incorporated. Beat in pineapple preserves, vanilla and salt. If your frosting is too runny, add additional powdered sugar until it reaches desired consistency, then flavor with pinches of salt to taste, otherwise it will be too sweet. If the frosting is too thick, beat in one tablespoon of heavy cream at a time until it reaches desired consistency.
- Unflavored gelatin: This is a common baking ingredient and can be found next to the packages of Jell-O and pudding at your grocery store. It is what adds structure to the cheesecake without baking with eggs.
- How to quickly bring eggs to room temperature: Fill a bowl with warm water (not hot) and add eggs and let sit for 10-20 minutes.
- Pineapple preserves: This is optional but elevates the recipe to next level! You should be able to find pineapple preserves with the rest of the jams at your grocery store, otherwise, order it on Amazon here. If you omit the pineapple preserves, use slightly less sugar in the frosting (more sugar is needed with the preserves for added structure).
- To make without a springform pan: You will need to build a cake collar with parchment paper. Transfer the baked, cooled bottom cake round to a pedestal or serving plate and tightly encircle the cake round with parchment paper that is at least 3 inches tall. You may want to double wrap the cake so it’s more sturdy, then secure the parchment paper to itself with tape.
- Storage: Wrap the layered carrot cake cheesecake with plastic wrap or use a cake carrier/storage container if you have one. Refrigerate for up to 5 days. Leftovers are best at room temperature, or microwave slices for 5-10 seconds.
Make AheadCarrot Cake Cheesecake is the perfect make ahead dessert. I recommend chilling the assembled cheesecake (covered in plastic) for at least 24 hours before serving because I think it tastes better/more flavorful the second day. You can also prep ahead in stages:
- Carrot cake layers: Prepare cakes according to recipe directions. Once the cakes have cooled, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature overnight.
- Cheesecake layer: Add the cheesecake layer to the carrot cakes, cover and store for up to 24 hours before frosting.
- Frosting: This can be made up to 2 days in advance, covered and stored in an airtight container the refrigerator. It will harden slightly in the refrigerator, so let it sit at room temperature to soften before whipping again and proceeding to frost your cheesecake.
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