Even though I know I can always make a classic cheesecake as an Easter dessert, it’s much more fun to make them carrot shaped! This recipe uses carrot juice and orange juice to impart the natural orange coloring. The sweetness from the juices compliments the cream cheese very nicely.
When selecting a pan, be sure it’s a nine-inch spring form pan. If you decide to use a carrot-shaped baking dish, make sure that it holds approximately the same amount of cheesecake as the nine-inch spring form would have, otherwise the recipe proportions will be off slightly.
Orange Carrot Cheesecake Recipe
Adapted from HungryHappenings.com
For the crust:
2 cups graham cracker or vanilla cookie crumbs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
5 tablespoons salted butter melted
For the filling:
24 ounces of cream cheese, softened (Don’t use whipped cream cheese or low fat cream cheese)
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 pint of sour cream
1/3 cup orange juice (Use store bought juice because it has a more vibrant orange flavor)
3/4 cup carrot juice
2 tablespoons orange zest (from about two oranges)
Preheat the oven to 325 Degrees Fahrenheit. Fit both pieces of the spring form pan together and cover the outside of it with two layers of aluminum foil. In a medium mixing bowl, combine graham cracker or vanilla cookie crumbs, granulated sugar, and melted butter. Press into the bottom and up one inch of the pan and set aside.
Beat cream cheese with a mixer on low speed until it gets smooth. Add the sugar and cream until mixture becomes smooth again. Add eggs one at a time until well blended. At this stage, you may need to scrape the sides of the bowl to combine the ingredients. Add sour cream, orange juice, carrot juice, and orange zest and beat until mixed smooth. Pour the mixture into the pan.
Create a water bath by adding one inch of water to a roasting pan with low sides. Add the spring form pan to the water bath and set inside the oven. Bake at 325 Degrees for around 70 minutes, or until the sides of the cheesecake are cooked but the middle still hasn’t set. Let stand in oven an additional thirty minutes with the oven off. The cheesecake will set all the way through during this time. After this, refrigerate the cheesecake in the pan for eight hours or more.
After eight hours, you can slice the cheesecake and arrange it on plates. Place pieces of thin green nougat that has been shaped into leaves on the ends to make it look like a carrot. You may also choose to garnish the cake with fresh orange slices to bring out the hint of orange in the cheesecake.