Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars

Carrot Cake is one of my favorite cakes – and it is something I had discovered only after coming here to the US. I especially love the cream cheese frosted – carrot cake cupcakes. One of my other all time favorites is cheesecake – the sinfully silky cheesecake is something I cannot resist. While browsing food blogs one day – I found a recipe that combined both my favorite recipes in one amazing dessert: Carrot cake cheesecake bars. I totally loved the idea and decided to try it.

This is a super easy recipe, as it uses carrot cake cake mix for the crust of the cheesecake, thus incorporating the carrot cake flavors into the cheesecake. Baking cheesecakes or other custards normally require a water bath, to provide the gentle heat – and often times this is seen as a difficult step in baking a cheesecake, but this recipe doesn’t require complicated steps. It is super easy and is done in no time.

1 box of Carrot Cake Mix(I used Betty Crocker)
1 stick butter, softened, plus extra for greasing the pan
2 8 oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
small pieces of carrot/mint leaves for garnish.

Grease a 9 X 13 inch rectangular pan with butter and set aside. I didn’t have a 9 X 13 pan and used by 9 X 9 square pan instead, the layers of crust and cake are a bit thicker, but the taste doesn’t differ.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small mixing bowl, mix together the cake mix, the stick of butter and 1 egg until the mixture comes together in a dough. Gently press this mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Press with your fingers to compact the mixture – such that it forms a crust when it bakes. In the same mixing bowl, cream together the softened cream cheese and the sugar. Gently add the eggs one by one and incorporate into the mixture. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine. Pour this mixture over the cake mix crust and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake the cake in the preheated oven for about 35 -40 minutes. Let cool in the pan and cut into squares.

Cut small carrots wedges and a few small mint leaves, sprinkle them with sugar and garnish on top of each of the cheesecake bars.

Verdict: This cheesecake was awesome – smooth and creamy and sinfully delicious. Makes a perfect dish to make for a party – as it is does not involve too much effort on your part, but makes for an elegant dessert. The carrot cake flavor was spot on, but I found it was a little too sweet – to be a crust. Note to self, to either add in some powdered walnuts to cut the flavor of substitute the crust with another cake mix.

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