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Filtering by Category: cheesecakes

Carrot Cake Cheesecake

Patricia Reitz

When my oldest was a little guy, he would request carrot cake for his birthday, but then he discovered cheesecake and that was the end of that.  So when he told me recently that he kind of missed carrot cake and was having a hard time deciding which to choose for this year's birthday celebration, I decided to surprise him with both.  This cake is a totally awesome hybrid - moist carrot cake swirled together with a creamy cheesecake layer, then topped with a smooth and flavorful cream cheese topping - Wowzers!  It was so good one of my daughters has already claimed it for her next birthday celebration.  Plan to make this cheesecake no less than about 6 hours before you want to serve it.

The BeaterBlade is the best attachment to use for making cheesecake (and about a million other things).

The BeaterBlade is the best attachment to use for making cheesecake (and about a million other things).

Carrot Cake Cheesecake

makes 12 servings

Printable Recipe


Cheesecake batter:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon all purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste!)

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Carrot cake batter:

  • 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil

  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or 1/8 teaspoon fresh)

  • pinch of ground cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1 cup finely grated carrots

Cream cheese topping (double if using a 10-inch springform pan):

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon sour cream


Before you begin:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

  2. Lightly grease a 9 or 10-inch springform pan with baking spray and place on a half sheet pan. Note: my photo shows how tall the cheesecake will be if you use a 9-inch springform pan.

To make the cheesecake batter:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or better, a BeaterBlade), beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and flour on medium-low speed until smooth.

  2. Add the vanilla and sour cream; mix just until combined. Set aside.

To make the carrot cake batter:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the oil and both sugars.

  2. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat until well combined.

  3. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt just until combined.

  4. Stir in the carrots.

To assemble the cake:

  1. Spread half of the carrot cake batter into the bottom of the prepared pan.

  2. Dollop half of the cheesecake batter on top in large spoonfuls. Don't spread or swirl together, just dollop.

  3. Next dollop the rest of the carrot cake batter on and around the cheesecake batter dollops. Again, don't spread or swirl.

  4. Spread the last half of the cheesecake batter on top and use an offset spatula so smooth it into an even layer. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to dislodge air bubbles.

  5. Bake in the lower half of a preheated oven for 60-70 minutes. The center of the cheesecake should jiggle a bit when the pan is shaken (if you want to be very precise, the temp in the center of the cheesecake batter should reach 150F on a digital thermometer).

  6. Cool completely on a cooling rack while preparing the frosting.

To make the topping:

  1. Cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.

  2. Mix in the sifted confectioner's sugar until smooth.

  3. Add the vanilla and sour cream; mix well.

  4. Spread evenly onto the completely cooled cheesecake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Note:  Cheesecake can be made up to 2 days in advance, but be sure to store in an airtight container because dairy products readily absorb odors/flavors from the fridge.

recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe


NY Times Vanilla Cheesecake

Patricia Reitz

Way back when I was a baby baker, this was the first scratch cake recipe I ever made. The original recipe was given to me by a high school classmate who said her father got it from the New York Times.  I can't authenticate that claim, and I've tweaked the recipe a bit over time, but I can tell you this cheesecake always turns out beautifully and has been the requested dessert for countless functions through the years.

There are two specific things that make this cheesecake special in my mind.  The first, this cheesecake is NOT baked in a water bath (hooray!).  The second (and most important in my humble opinion), during the last 5 minutes of baking, a creamy top layer is smoothed onto the cheesecake, serving as not only as an amazing flavor accent, but also to camouflage any surface imperfections.

I'm thrilled to be sharing this family favorite with this month's Crazy Cooking Challenge.

NYTimes Vanilla Cheesecake

makes one 10-inch cheesecake

Printable Recipe



  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 12 rectangular crackers)

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted


  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  • 16-ounces sour cream

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Place a 10-springform pan on a rimmed half sheet pan.

  3. Combine cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter together and press into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan; set aside.

  4. In a medium bowl, make the topping by whisking the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla together; set aside.

  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater or BeaterBlade, slowly cream together sugar, vanilla, and cream cheese, being careful to incorporate as little air as possible.

  6. Add eggs, one at a time, and continue beating until fully incorporated.

  7. Pour mixture into springform pan and smooth; bake for 45-55 minutes (the center should still jiggle a bit, but shouldn't be liquid - interior temp should reach 150F).

  8. Remove cheesecake from oven and smooth the topping into an even layer; return to oven for 5 minutes.

  9. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling for at least an hour before chilling for at least 4 hours (overnight is ideal).

  10. Before serving, carefully run a thin knife or spatula between the cheesecake and springform pan walls.

  11. Unclamp springform pan to unmold.

  12. Slice with a hot knife.

Cappuccino-Fudge Cheesecake

Patricia Reitz

I spotted this Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake on Smitten Kitchen recently and, after reading the most tantalizing description, hoped an opportunity would soon present itself so I could make it.  To my delight, a dinner invitation was extended to our family shortly thereafter.  The cheesecake was a huge hit and several dinner guests proclaimed it to be the best cheesecake they'd ever eaten.  Plan ahead, this cheesecake should be made at least 1 day ahead (or up to 4 days ahead).

I used a plain round tip to pipe the lattice design and a star tip to pipe the decorative edge.

Important Tip: Don't let the piped ganache border chill against the springform pan because the cold ganache will glue the pan and cheesecake together like cement.  To avoid this, I removed the pan sides before piping, wrapped the naked cheesecake with a long strip of parchment paper, then piped the border and chilled the cheesecake until the ganache was firm before carefully peeling the parchment away.  For a clean presentation, each cut I make into any cheesecake is done with a sharp knife that has been warmed with hot water and dried.

Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake

makes one 10-inch cheesecake

Printable Recipe



  • 9 ounces chocolate wafer cookie crumbs

  • 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 20 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

  • 1/4 cup Kahlúa or other coffee-flavored liqueur


  • 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 1/3 cups sugar

  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons rum (light or dark)

  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder 

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 teaspoons molasses

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature



To make the crust:

  1. Pulse cookie crumbs, chopped chocolate, brown sugar, nutmeg, and melted butter in a food processor.

  2. Press crumb mixture evenly into a 10-inch springform pan, across the bottom and up the sides until it reaches 1/2-inch from the top of the pan. Chill until needed.

To make the ganache:

  1. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.

  2. In a saucepan over medium high heat, bring heavy cream to a simmer.

  3. Remove cream from heat and pour over chocolate and Kailua; rest for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth.

  4. Pour 1 to 1 1/2 cups ganache over bottom and sides of chilled crust and freeze until ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes.

  5. Reserve remaining ganache; cover and let stand at room temperature to use later for garnish. 

To make the filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and place rack in center position.

  2. in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a BeaterBlade attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed until smooth. 

  3. Add flour, rum, espresso powder, vanilla, and molasses, beat until smooth, then add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated.

  4. Pour filling into crust and place springform pan on rimmed half sheet pan.

  5. Bake for 1 hour, remove from oven and transfer cheesecake to a cooling rack for 15 minutes while preparing the topping. Don’t turn oven off yet.

To make the topping:

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla.

  2. Pour evenly; return to oven for 10 minutes.

  3. Remove from oven and transfer cheesecake to cooling rack until pretty cool, about 3 hours.

To decorate the cheesecake:

  1. Run small sharp knife between crust and pan sides to loosen cake; release pan sides and transfer cheesecake to platter.

  2. Using a pastry bag and tips of your choice, pipe ganache in a lattice design on top of the cheesecake, and pipe a decorative border around top edge and garnish with coffee beans, if desired. 

  3. Chill until lattice is firm, about 15 minutes.  Keep chilled in an airtight container.