Carrot Cake Cheesecake.

Did I say carrot cake and cheesecake together? Yes, yes I did, and this dessert is exactly that. Two of my favorites swirled together in one decadent and delicious cake that is also surprisingly easy to make. You’ll need a springform pan, but this dessert doesn’t even need a crust.

It bakes up so creamy and sweet and you can see the delicious patterns of both the carrot cake and cheesecake when you cut the slices. I’ve made this extra easy by using boxed cake mix and store bought frosting — you can make your own if you’d like, but I find by adding a cup of grated carrots to the mix, makes the cake taste moist and fresh. It’s a cake fit for a special occasion, but it’s so delicious you will find reasons to celebrate.

Belle’s Carrot Cake Chessecake

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup sour cream

Carrot cake

1 box carrot cake mix

1 cup water

2/3 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 cup grated carrots

1 tub cream cheese frosting

½ cup chopped pecans

For the cheesecake, in a medium bowl using a standup or electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and flour on high speed until smooth. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix just until blended. Set aside.

For the carrot cake, in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the oil, water, and eggs and then add the cake mix and beat for 2 minutes. Stir in the grated carrots.

Lightly grease a 9- or 10-inch springform pan. Spread half of the carrot cake batter into the bottom of the pan. Spoon large dollops of the cheesecake batter on top of the carrot cake layer. Don’t spread or swirl together.

Spoon the remaining carrot cake batter on top and around the spoonfuls of cheesecake batter. Again, don’t spread it out. Spread the last half of the cheesecake batter on top of all the layers and spread with a rubber spatula into an even layer. Tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to get rid of any air bubbles.

Bake the cheesecake for 60 to 70 minutes. The cheesecake will rise a lot in the oven and it might even crack. Do not to overbake the cheesecake or the carrot cake bottom and sides will be dry. The top center part of the cheesecake should still be slightly soft and jiggly when you take it out.

Let the cheesecake cool completely on a wire rack in the pan. When the cheesecake has cooled, remove the sides of the pan and place the cake on a serving plate.

Spread the frosting evenly over just the top of the cheesecake. Sprinkle the pecans around the rim. Cover with tin foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled before serving.

Brenda Stanley is the mother of five children, including two sets of twins and a grandmother of eight. She is a cookbook author and novelist. For more recipes and information, visit her website www.brendastanleybooks.com.