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Carrot Cheesecake with Marzipan Carrots

Rich cheesecake topped with marzipan carrots takes warm spices and cream cheese icing (carrot cake's best features) and reinvents them.

  • servings: 10

Ingredients

For the Cheesecake

  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, finely grated
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Petite Marzipan Carrots

For the Crust

  • 2 ounces (1/2 cup) toasted pecans
  • 8 graham crackers, finely ground (1 cup)
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse pecans in a food processor until finely ground. Place in a medium bowl with graham crackers, and stir in butter, sugar, and salt.

  2. Step 2

    Wrap outside and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan in 2 layers of foil. Press crumb mixture firmly into bottom of pan. Bake until golden brown around edges and firm, about 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

  3. Step 3

    Make the cheesecake: Melt butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add carrots and 1/2 cup sugar, and cook, stirring often, until carrots are soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer with pan juices to a bowl, and let cool.

  4. Step 4

    Beat cream cheese and remaining cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add carrots and pan juices, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Pour into crust.

  5. Step 5

    Set springform pan in a large roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of springform pan. Bake cheesecake until set but slightly wobbly in center, 80 to 90 minutes.

  6. Step 6

    Transfer springform pan to a rack, and remove foil. Let cool. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 6 hours (or overnight; cheesecake will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days). Run a hot knife around edges of cheesecake to loosen, then remove sides of pan. Decorate with marzipan carrots just before serving.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, April 2009

Reviews (10)

  • 21 Mar, 2014

    This is by far one of the best cheesecakes I've ever made!! So delicious! The little carrots are so so cute. Thanks for this fabulous recipe Martha.

  • 3 Apr, 2013

    I made this a couple days ago for easter and it turned out PERFECT! It looked really good and tasted even better. I cooked it for about 75 mins, it was enough for me, I covered it up and left it in there to cook untill the center was almost firm. I also used 2 ounces less of cream cheese and it still was just the right amount. I put less sugar, Martha always has huge doses of it. When I tried out the batter I could hardly taste any of the spices, so I added some more. Just an awesome cake!

  • 23 Apr, 2011

    Just made this and it turned out pretty well. I didn't bake it in the water like the recipe said and it still turned out okay. doesn't look to pretty but i'm sure it tastes great!

  • 3 Jul, 2010

    I made this for Easter like everyone else, also subbed 1/3 less fat cream cheese. It was insanely delicious and I've already received a request for a repeat bake!

  • 6 Apr, 2010

    I also made it for Easter and everyone loved it! The crust was great and the overall flavor was fantastic. I subbed 1/3 less fat cream cheese for 3 of the packages so I thought that might affect it a little, but not at all and nobody could tell!
    I had trouble cutting it as well, but otherwise it was perfect!

  • 6 Apr, 2010

    I also made it for Easter and everyone loved it! The crust was great and the overall flavor was fantastic. I subbed 1/3 less fat cream cheese for 3 of the packages so I thought that might affect it a little, but not at all and nobody could tell!
    I had trouble cutting it as well, but otherwise it was perfect!

  • 5 Apr, 2010

    I made this for Easter as well, and everyone LOVED it! Even people who don't like carrot cake loved this cheesecake. This is my new go to Easter dessert.

  • 5 Apr, 2010

    I just made this for Easter and it was a HUGE hit. Not easy to cut, but I think I am missing some tip with that. Will make every year now!

  • 25 Mar, 2010

    Made this cheesecake last year for Easter, and i plan to make it again this year! It took awhile to make, but it was definitely worth it. Everyone loved it.

  • 14 Feb, 2010

    This recipe sounds sort of weird, has anyone tried it yet?