Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cake of the Week: Carrot Cake Cheesecake


On my 5th birthday I asked for a carrot cake. Seems like a reasonable enough request, right? Except that I’d never actually had carrot cake before – I just liked how the name sounded. And my Mini-Mollie mind did not make the connection that there would be actual carrots in the cake (ok in my defense, I understood at that age that “coffee cake” didn’t have coffee in it). 


It was 21 years ago (!), so I don’t remember a whole lot about that birthday – we had a party at our little blue house, I imagine we played the string game to start things off, an assortment of my best friends (from the neighborhood, ballet class, and my parents running friends’ children) came, I probably bossed everyone around, and eventually it was cake time. 


My mama made what I imagine (and she still claims) was a delicious carrot cake, and I HATED it. I hated it so much I wouldn’t eat it and demanded chocolate cakes for all subsequent birthdays for a looooong time. 


But now I’m a grown-up and some things have changed: I’m significantly taller. I like vegetables and “mixed-up” food. And coffee (cake or otherwise). I know a few more things (17 years of school will do that to you). I’m aware of what goes into what I eat. My friends still come over for my birthdays, but I don’t boss everyone around (as much). I like tangy cream cheese frosting. And I love carrot cake.  


For this birthday, I couldn’t decide between cheesecake and carrot cake SO I COMBINED THEM. Layers of carrot cake, cheesecake, carrot cake, cheesecake -- all baked together then topped with pineapple cream cheese frosting!


Mind = blown. This is The Cheesecake Factory’s recipe and ummhelloyespleaseallthetime. I am a fan.


And it’s actually really easy to make. Seriously, I’m going to have to explore the cake/cheesecake combinations more in depth because I can and I should


Carrot Cake Cheesecake


Cheesecake:

  • 16 ounces/2 packages cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Carrot Cake:
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, well drained with juice reserved
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon reserved pineapple juice
  • Dash of salt
Directions:
  1. Grease a 9 or 91/2 inch springform pan.  Set aside.
  2. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar until smooth.  Beat in 1 tablespoon flour, 3 eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla until smooth.  Set aside.
  3. For the carrot cake:  in a large bowl, mix 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in 1 cup flour, baking soda, cinnamon and pinch of salt, mixing well.  Stir in drained pineapple, carrots, coconut and walnuts.
  4. Spread 1 1/2 cups carrot cake batter over bottom of prepared pan. Spread half the cream cheese batter over carrot cake batter. Top with large spoonfuls of remaining carrot cake batter.  Repeat with remaining cream cheese batter, spreading evenly with a knife.  (Do not marble with the knife.)
  5. Place a large pan full of water in the oven on the rack under the cake (I usually water-bath cheesecakes, but I didn't have a big enough pan). Bake in preheated 350˚F oven 50 to 65 minutes or until cake is set and cooked through.  Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.
  6. When cake is cold, prepare the frosting: in a bowl of an electric mixer, combine 2 ounce cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon reserved pineapple juice and a dash of salt.  Beat until smooth and of spreading consistency.  Frost top of cheesecake.
  7. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours before serving.



Yummmmmmmm. The end.




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