Better Homes & Gardens

Category Winner: Dessert
Casey Warrington
North East, MD

Carrot Cheesecake

           1 2-layer-size carrot cake mix
           1 cup water
           1/2 cup cooking oil
           6  eggs
           1/2 cup Sun Maid® Raisins
           3 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
           1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
           2 tsp. vanilla
           Nonstick cooking spray
           2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
           1 Tbsp. water
           1 tsp. ground cinnamon
           1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
           1 cup powdered sugar
           3 to 4 tsp. milk

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch springform pan; set aside. In a large bowl combine carrot cake mix, water, oil, and 3 of the eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Fold in raisins. Pour into prepared springform pan. In another large bowl beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in granulated sugar and vanilla until smooth. Beat in remaining 3 eggs just until combined. Slowly pour over carrot cake layer. Use a thin metal spatula to gently swirl the batters. Place cheesecake on a baking sheet. Bake for 70 to 80 minutes or until top is set except for a 1-inch circle in the center. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a small sharp knife, loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Cool for 30 minutes. Remove sides of pan; cool cheesecake completely on rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving. Line a small baking pan with foil; lightly coat foil with nonstick spray. In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, the water, and cinnamon. Stir in walnuts. Spread in an even layer in the prepared baking pan. Bake in a 325°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until nuts are lightly toasted, stirring once. Cool completely. In a medium bowl combine 1 cup powdered sugar and enough of the milk to make drizzling consistency. Cut cheesecake into wedges and place each wedges on a serving plate. Drizzle each serving with some of the powdered sugar icing. Break up walnuts and place atop cheesecake wedges. Makes 16 servings

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