This Gluten-free Layered Carrot & Cheesecake Cake was really easy to make, the components can easily be made in advance, wrapped in plastic, and refrigerated. Even the assembled cake can be kept in the fridge from the day before. Perfect for any celebration, really. And although the cream cheese frosting is sweet, the tartness of the cheesecake in the middle makes everything about this cake perfectly balanced.
12 ounces (1 1/2 bricks) of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4-5 cups confectioners' (icing) sugar, sifted
1 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line two 9-inch baking pans with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the carrots and the wet ingredients.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared baking pans, spreading the batter to an even thickness and smoothing the tops with the back of a spoon.
Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Carefully run a sharp knife around the outside of the cake. Invert the cake onto a wire cooling rack, peel off the parchment paper, and allow to cool completely before assembling the cake. You can wrap the cake in plastic wrap and a zipper seal bag if you are not assembling it the same day.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
In a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add the sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Scrape down the bowl and beat until smooth.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated, and scraping down the bowl before adding the next egg. Add the sour cream and stir just to incorporate.
Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan, and bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until set in the center.
Turn oven off, open the door a crack, and leave cheesecake in the oven until the oven has completely cooled. Remove cheesecake from the oven, and run a sharp knife around the outside of the cake, releasing it from the pan. Cover, and refrigerate until completely cooled. Once it has cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 2-3 hours, making the cheesecake easier to handle when assembling the cake . Remove cheesecake from the freezer when you are assembling the cake. Remove springform collar, flip cake upside down and remove parchment paper. Place on top of one layer of carrot cake, and top with the second carrot cake. If you need to trim the cheesecake to size, do so while the cake is still frozen.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the vanilla and salt.
With the mixer running on low, slowly add 4 cups confectioners' sugar to the cream cheese mixture.
Scrape down the bowl, and beat on high for 1 minute. If the frosting seems too think, add an extra 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Repeat if necessary.
Frost cooled, stacked cakes with the frosting.
Press 1 cup of finely shopped pecans onto the side of the cake if you wish.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Cover and store cake in the refrigerator.
Recipe by The Baking Beauties at http://www.thebakingbeauties.com/2013/04/gluten-free-layered-carrot-cheesecake-cake.html