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Tuesday, March 30, 2010


This recipe has "Easter" written all over it!  The taste, the look, the whole shebang!  We had my family over this past Sunday to make Italian Easter Pizza (recipe coming in a new post soon).  Because we were already going to be taking over the kitchen making Easter Pizza we decided ordering in food would be the best.  I still wanted to have a little something home-made so I made this awesome Carrot Cheesecake. The flavors are a cross between carrot cake and pumpkin pie with the light creamy texture of the cream cheese.  I must say it was pretty awsome!  It was also semi easy to make (there are a few tricky steps like getting the nuts around the outside of the cake) and every ounce of time spent on this cheesecake is worth it.  This dessert is a must, must , must for the upcoming Easter holiday!


*Can be completed up to three days in advanced, covered and placed in fridge.

  • 20 gingersnap cookies
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and cooled
  • 2 TB. sugar
  • 2 TB. melted butter, cooled
  • 1 bad (1 lb.) baby carrots, boiled until tender and drained
  • 3 bricks ( 8 oz. each) cream cheese or Neufchatel Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 TB. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/ 4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tub ( 16 oz.) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • red, yellow and green food coloring
  • prepared or store bought white icing (to make carrot decorations on top of cake)
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly coat a 9 x 3 inch springform pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Crust:  Pulse cookies and nuts in food processor until finely ground.  Add sugar and butter; process until blended.  Press over bottom of pan.  Bake 8 minutes.  Cool in pan on a wire rack.
  3. Meanwhile puree the carrots in a food processor or with hand blender until completely smooth.
  4. Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with mixer on high speed until smooth. Add sugar, cornstarch, spices and vanilla.  Reduce speed to medium; beat until very well blended.  Add eggs; beat just until blended. Stir, don't beat sour cream and carrots just until blended. Pour into crust; spread evenly.  Bake on a sheet of foil (to catch any drippings) 50 to 55  minutes until cake is almost set, but still jiggly in center. Remove cake; leave oven on.
  5. Topping: Stir sour cream and sugar in a bowl to mix.  Spread evenly over the top of the cake. Remove and reserve about 1/4 cup .
  6. The next few steps I adapted to make the deocorating proces a bit easier - Return to oven and bake for about 5 minutes to set the topping.
  7. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack.
  8. Decorations:  In two small bowls add some prepared white frosting; add food coloring to make an orange color in one bowl and a green in the other.  If too thick add a teaspoon of milk first and stir well.  Add the orange frosting to a small plastic ziplock baggie.  Press with your hand so that all the frosting goes into one corner of the baggie.  Cut the very tip off of the baggie with scissors.  Using a small back and forth motion, pipe squiggly carrots on cake.  Repeat above process with green frosting and pipe on green stems for the carrots.
  9. Carefully run a thin knife around edge of pan to release cake.  Place in fridge for at least 8 hours and up to three days.
  10. Remove pan sides.  Spread the reserved 1/4 cup of topping over the sides of the cake.  Pat on chopped nuts.  Can place back in fridge until ready to serve.  Serve cold.

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