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Spring Carrot Cheesecake


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For the Carrot Cake

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

tsp ground nutmeg, or freshly shaved nutmeg

½ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

cup granulated sugar

cup packed light-brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cups finely grated carrots

For the Cheesecake Swirl

2 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened well (but not melted)

cup granulated sugar

1 ½ tsp all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup sour cream


2 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 Tbsp butter, softened

1 ¼ cups powdered sugar

cup sour cream

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ 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.