Spring Carrot Cheesecake

This idea for a cheesecake & carrot cake crossover immediately caught my attention as the perfect dessert for spring, and combines two favorite flavours. While the instructions are lengthy, preparations are simple and straightforward. It’s best made the day ahead as it does require the noted cooling time to let it set properly.

Once it’s cooled and you’re ready to add the icing, prepare to be astounded. The icing is just the right combination of thick yet runny, for a smooth icing that pours on and stays put in the most beautiful drip patterns. It’s the simple things in life that bring joy, and the way this icing looks is one of those things!


For the Carrot Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, or freshly shaved nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups finely grated carrots

For the Cheesecake Swirl

  • 2 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened well (but not melted)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan (round or square, doesn’t matter) and set aside.

For the cheesecake mixture:

In a mixing bowl, whisk together sugar and 1 1/2 tsp flour until well combined. Add cream cheese and using an electric hand mixer set on low speed, blend together cream cheese and granulated sugar mixture until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, mixing just until combined after each addition and adding in vanilla with second egg. Blend in sour cream. Forcefully tap bowl against countertop about 30 times to release air bubbles. Set mixture aside.

Rinse beaters clean. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg for 30 seconds. To a separate large mixing bowl, add vegetable oil, applesauce, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract and blend mixture using electric hand mixer set on low speed for 1 minute. With mixer running on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Add carrots and mix until evenly distributed. Tap bowl forcefully against counter, about 3 times, just to release large air pockets.

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 the remaining cheesecake mixture over carrot cake layer, working to cover all of the carrot cake mixture (I found this easiest to do this was by slowly drizzling over with the spoon). 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 if necessary (tent in a way that the foil doesn’t touch cheesecake or it will stick). Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack 1 hour, then cover with foil and chill in refrigerator 6 hours or overnight.

For the icing:

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, bringing icing right to the edges with an off-set spatula so some drizzles down the sides.  Sprinkle edges with chopped nuts. Allow to set in fridge before cutting into slices. Store remainder in refrigerator in an airtight container.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy.