I was right.
The first thing I did was get on the internet and started searching for recipes (since I know the Cheesecake Factory has a Carrot Cake Cheesecake.) But what I found seemed like a LOT of work. Step 1: make a carrot cake batter. Step 2: make a cheesecake batter Step 3: Mix them together and bake for an eternity.
No thanks. I have stuff to do today. So instead I came up with a quick and easy hack:
Use a store bought carrot cake cake mix and shave off half the prep time! GENIUS!
The end result was wonderful:
Here is my simplified recipe:
Carrot Cake Component:
1 Box Carrot Cake Mix (Prepared per package instructions**)
**USE ONLY 2/3 of the liquid ingredients! (this is important or your batter will be too wet)
2 (8-ounces each) packages cream cheese, room temperature
Prepare cake mix but use LESS LIQUID. In this case my boxed mix required 2 eggs, 2/3 cup oil and 1 cup water. I used 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup water. You want it to be slightly “doughy” and not as pourable as standard cake batter.
I then sorted out all the white candies (so I didn’t have food color swirls in my cheesecake. This is purely aesthetic. If you don’t mind orange and green cheesecake, you wouldn’t have to sort them)
I crushed them up and added them to the cheesecake batter:
Next you want to layer you cake batter on the bottom of a greased springform pan (to form the crust) and then a layer of cheesecake batter, then “blobs” of cake batter. Don’t mix or swirl the batters together, they will mix on their own since the cake will rise but the cheesecake won’t. Finish with a solid layer of cheesecake batter (the carrot cake will pop through during baking.)Bake at 350 for 1-1 1/2 hours. (Until a toothpick comes out clean. The center may still be slightly “jiggly” but that is okay.)
While the cake was baking (and cooling) I was dying to nibble on the extra M&M’s® Carrot Cake, but I knew I had to save, so I cracked into a bag of more traditional milk chocolate ones instead. There is something about pastel colored candy that makes it extra yummy!
If you haven’t seen this new carrot cake flavor in stores, make sure you check WalMart. In my store they had it in the Easter aisle in it’s own special display:
Now.. where were we?
Ah yes.. the cake is finally baked!
While the cake is cooling (and you have finished your chocolate binge) prepare the frosting (this actually may be overkill, but at this point it was GO BIG OR GO HOME!)
My frosting was more like a glaze since I added exactly 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. But you can thicken it up further if you want it more like frosting. I added the green and orange remaining M&M’s® to the center and it was time to dig in.
Isn’t it beautiful how it layered? And unlike traditional cheesecake, there was no hassle forming the graham cracker crust since the cake forms it’s own:
Plus through out the cheesecake itself there are swirls of the white chocolate from the melted crushed M&M’s®. Sooo good!