This crowd-pleasing carrot cake cheesecake is a beautifully layered dessert combining a creamy cheesecake layer and classic moist carrot cake, finished with a perfect cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time1 hourhr
Cook Time1 hourhr15 minutesmins
Chill Time4 hourshrs
Total Time6 hourshrs15 minutesmins
Keyword: Carrot Cake Cheesecake Recipe
½cupsour cream,room temperature
1packagespice cake mix
1cupsour cream,room temperature
Cream Cheese Frosting
whole pecans, for decorating, optional garnish
Fill a large baking dish or rimmed baking sheet with 1 inch of water and place it into the oven to serve as a water bath. Be sure this dish will fit the 9-inch springform pan easily inside. Place on the middle rack of the oven.
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and sugar until combined and fluffy.
Add the salt, flour, and cinnamon, then mix until combined.
Using a rubber spatula and mixing gently (do not use a hand mixer), stir in the vanilla extract and one egg at a time.
Fold in the sour cream and mix gently until smooth.
Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper.
Pour the cheesecake mixture into the pan. Wrap the bottom of the pan with 2 layers of aluminum foil.
Place the pan wrapped with foil into the preheated water bath.
Bake for 45 minutes. The center of the cheesecake should be slightly jiggly.
Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside with the door closed for 20 minutes.
Crack open the oven and allow the oven and cheesecake to cool for 20 minutes longer.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Remove the sides of the springform pan. Wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours. This makes it easier to transfer the cheesecake layer to the cake.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer on medium to high speed, beat together all the cake ingredients except for the carrots and pecans. Mix until the batter is combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Fold in the carrots and pecans until evenly distributed.
Prepare two 9-inch round pans by lining the bottom with parchment paper and spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
Divide the batter between the two cake pans. You can eyeball it or use a scale and weigh each pan with the batter and adjust accordingly.
Bake for 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only a few crumbs.
Remove the pans and cool for 15 minutes. Gently remove the cakes from pans to cooling racks and cool completely.
Wrap each cake layer in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 2 hours.
Remove cake from the freezer right before assembling.
Cream Cheese Frosting
In a large mixing bowl on high speed, beat together the softened cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth, the mixture will be thick.
Drizzle heavy cream into the frosting mixture while beating until the frosting is fluffy and has a spreadable consistency.
Reserve ½ cup of the cream cheese frosting for the frosting swirl decoration. Spoon the cream cheese frosting into a decorator's bag or a quart-size Ziploc bag with a small corner tip snipped off. A star-shaped decorating tip can be used in the decorator's bag. Set it aside.
Fold in the chopped pecans and stir until evenly distributed.
Trim the top of each cake layer to remove any doming and form a flat surface.
Place the first cake layer top side up onto the serving platter. Spread a thin layer of frosting on the top of the cake.
Lay the cheesecake layer on top of the thinly frosted first cake layer. Spread a thin layer of frosting on top of the cheesecake.
Place the second cake layer on top of the thinly frosted cheesecake. Spread a thin layer of frosting. Then place the whole cake into the freezer for one hour.
Remove the cake from the freezer. Mound frosting on top of the cake. Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting across the top and down the sides until the cake is fully frosted.
Using either the decorator's bag or the Ziploc bag with the reserved cream cheese frosting, hold the tip about ½ inch above the surface of the cake. Using light pressure, gently swirl a small circle of icing. Space the swirls a ½-inch to 1-inch apart. You can also use these as markers for each piece of cake.
Once you have made your swirls you can place a whole pecan half on top of the swirls. This is an optional garnish.
All the ingredients should be room temperature when beginning to bake to make sure they mix in completely.
Be sure the water bath dish will fit the 9-inch springform pan easily inside.
If the cheesecake is still really jiggly after baking for 45 minutes, continue to bake in 4 to 5-minute increments, checking between each.
If the cheesecake is sticking, run a butter knife gently around the edge of the springform pan to release it.
The carrots can be shredded using a box grater or a food processor.
Checking cake doneness with a wooden toothpick gives better results than a metal tester because a few crumbs sticking to the wood is the doneness you want. With a metal tester, the crumbs just slide right off, so you can easily overbake your cake.
Working with frozen cakes makes layering and frosting these much easier!
You can also use the frosting markers as guides when it’s time to cut the cake.