For Easter this year, I decided to try something new and festive. This Carrotcake Cheesecake Layer Cake was all over the internet and seemed to fit the bill. It’s spring-y and has fresh flavors but still decadent and rich enough to be served for as the main dessert, and for a special occasion.
I made a couple adjustments to the recipe I found. The main adjustment was using a mix for the carrot cake layers, instead of a from scratch recipe. I usually add a small instant vanilla pudding and 1/4 cup of sour cream to my mixes, so went ahead and did that. It makes the cake batter go a little further and also gives it a better consistency for layering. This worked well.
The cheesecake layer actually needs to be made first. It’s not difficult, just be sure to read the entire recipe instructions over before you start. Mainly, this cheesecake will cook for 45 minutes in a 325 degree oven, and then you will turn the heat off and leave the pan inside the oven for an additional 30 minutes. If you miss the second part, your cheesecake will not be done! It would be edible but too soft for layering.
After you put the layers together, you can trim the sides of the cheesecake to line up with the top and bottom layers of the cake. I used a small, sharp paring knife and slowly just worked my way around the cake, lining up the edges. Fairly easy. I only iced the top but feel free to ice the entire cake if you’re good at icing and prefer the cake covered. I would recommend piping icing around the sides, since the cheesecake is soft and would be difficult to ice with a knife or spatula.
This is a really pretty cake and you will definitely achieve the wow factor if you serve it for a special occasion. We loved the taste of the cake overall, and am already thinking of what other mixes could be made as a cheesecake layer cake! Happy Baking!
- Cheesecake Layer:
- 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, Philadelphia recommended
- 1 8 oz. package of 1/3 less fat cream cheese, Philadelphia recommended
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- Cake Layer:
- 1 package of Duncan Hines Decadent Carrot Cake Mix
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix 2.3 oz.
- 1/2 package of cream cheese, 4 oz.
- 1/2 stick of sweat cream/salted butter
- 2-3 Tbsp. Heavy Cream
- 2-3 cups Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp. Pure Vanilla
- Pecan Halves, optional for garnish
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a water bath by using a jelly roll pan or large (flat bottom) roasting pan. You will need 1-2" of water (enough to not evaporate away but not submerge your cheesecake!)
- Line 9" Spring-form pan with parchment paper on bottom, and wrap foil around edges of pan (tightly!) to keep out water. Note: I used extra parchment paper on the inside so that the parchment came up the sides of the pan. This is helpful, in case some of the water leaks into your spring-form pan.
- Spray pan lightly with cooking spray, especially sides.
- Beat softened cream cheese with electric mixer and slowly add granulated sugar until fluffy.
- Add in salt and eggs one at a time until blended well.
- Add sour cream and heavy cream and mix again until incorporated
- Pour into prepared Place pan in center of preheated water bath in the oven, making sure to be careful not to spill water.
- Bake cheesecake for 45 minutes. *Turn oven off* and let cheesecake sit in oven for an additional 30 minutes.
- Remove and cool on counter. Do not remove spring-form sides of pan.
- When cooled, remove outside portion of the spring-form pan.
- Place room-temp cheesecake into freezer for about 2 hours, or until cold and firm to touch.
- Cake layers:
- Preheat oven to 325 as instructed on cake mix.
- Prepare Duncan Hines mix according to directions. Be sure to follow directions on included carrot and raisin packet.
- Add 1/4 cup sour cream and the pudding mix to other ingredients in a stand mixer.
- Add carrot packet as instructed on cake mix.
- Spray 2 9" Round Cake pans heavily with cooking spray (or apply shortening well).
- Flour pans lightly.
- Pour cake mix and bake 35 minutes or until toothpick or knife comes out clean when cake is checked. Cake will be moist.
- Cool completely.
- Assemble cake: Bottom layer, carrot cake, Middle: cheesecake, and Top: carrot cake. I chose the better layer for the bottom, to ensure the cake would be level. The top will be iced. You can even out edges of the cheesecake with a small, sharp paring knife. Work in small sections for best results.
- Soften butter and cream cheese together and blend until creamy.
- Add heavy cream, vanilla. Blend.
- Slowly add powdered sugar and blend with mixer (or wisk) until icing reaches a semi-firm consistency.
- Pipe icing onto cake using star tip, or frost with spatula.
- Garnish with pecan halves.
- Refrigerate cake immediately. May remain refrigerated until served.