I asked Sophie what she wanted for her birthday, and she gave me three choices – chocolate cake, carrot cake, or cheesecake.

So I decided to make all three.

Chocolate-carrot cheesecake before frosting.  Note that the carrot cake forms the "crust".
Chocolate-carrot cheesecake before frosting. Note that the carrot cake forms the “crust”.


The Carrot Cake

  • 2/3 cup flour*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon clove
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup grated carrots
  • 2 tablespoons crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup raisins

*I found that the cake was a bit runny, and leaked a tad through the springform pan.  I would recommend upping the flour from 2/3 to 3/4 of a cup.  But it worked OK at 2/3.

The Cheesecake

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder

The frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar**
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Walnut pieces, to garnish
  • Shaved bittersweet chocolate, to garnish

**This is an ungodly amount of sugar – half again as much as the entire cake combined.  It tends to make the frosting really sweet (surprise) and I am looking for a lower sugar variant.


For the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Have a 9 inch springform pan ready.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and clove. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the egg, sugar, and oil. Starting with the flour mixture, alternate between adding the flour and buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour. Beat in the vanilla then beat in the carrots, pineapple, coconut, walnuts, and raisins. Pour into the pan and set aside.

(As I said, I found that this leaked a bit.  It might be better to prepare the cheesecake first, then the carrot cake, so it doesn’t have to sit in the pan for as long).

For the cheesecake
  1. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until fluffy and smooth. Beat in the pineapple juice and vanilla.
  2. Divide the filling into two equal parts.  Add the unsweetened cocoa powder to one and beat until smooth.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of filling on top of the cake layer in an even circle in the middle (the filling will sink, so it will be difficult to spread around), alternating between the chocolate and the non-chocolate.  Since it really isn’t possible to swirl this, use small dollops so that the two types of cheesecake will be mixed.   Bake 35-40 minutes or until the middle is firm when touched (the middle may still wiggle slightly when the pan is shaken). Let cool completely.
  4. Once cooled to room temperature, slide a knife around the inside rim of the pan to loosen the edges. Remove the ring then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
For the frosting
  1. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and salt. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.
To assemble
  1. Place the cold cake on a stand or plate with strips of parchment or wax paper underneath (you will be pulling these strips out later, so make sure you can easily remove them). With an offset spatula, frost a thin layer around the cake (you should still be able to see the cake through the frosting). Chill the cake for 30 minutes.
  2. Clean the spatula and finish frosting the rest of the cake. Decorate the top of the cake with shaved bittersweet chocolate.  Carefully remove the paper strips then place walnut pieces around the bottom of the cake and a few on top for garnish.
Chocolate-carrot-cheesecake after frosting.
Chocolate-carrot-cheesecake after frosting.

















Original recipe from  No challenge to copyright intended.

Pear Coffee Cake recipe for crabby people


2 1/2 cups flour
4 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
1 t. salt
1 t. (or more) cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 cup milk (or buttermilk)
8 T. melted unsalted butter
4 ripe pairs, unpeeled, cored and chopped

Streusel Topping
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
6 T. unsalted butter, cut up
2 t. (or more) cinnamon


Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Butter a large (8″ x 12″) cake pan

Put all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly with a hand or stand mixer.  No, don’t bother to mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately and then mix them together – that is why God gave us electric mixers.

Put all the streusel ingredients in a separate bowl and mix them together with a pastry cutter until they are combined.   Be brutal – if there is anything in that bowl larger than a pea, keep hacking away. Sprinkle the steusel on top of the coffee cake.  Alternately, just omit the stuesel entirely and sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar when it comes out of the oven you lazy, lazy bastard.

Cook cake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out reasonably dry and not covered with gooey cake mix.  Yes, you can use your finger instead.  Go ahead – dip it into that sugary, 400 degree mixture.

Misha B

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