Whats a party without cheesecake?! Get festive this Easter and make these Naturally Colored Orange Cheesecake Carrots! Watch out, the Easter bunny may be stealing all of this delicious dessert!
A few years ago, after a few failed attempts, I created some Cheesecake Carrots for Easter (pictured below) using a no-bake cheesecake recipe that called for orange gelatin. I loved how the wedges of cheesecake decorated with edible Easter grass looked, and was proud to serve the carrots for dessert. Unfortunately, what had tasted pretty good the day it was made, tasted artificial and gummy by the time it was served a few days later.
I was bummed it didn’t turn out as I had planned, but I really liked the concept, so I decided to revisit this edible craft idea again this year. I knew I could do better.
I’m so glad I gave it another try.
Last month, when making my Naturally Colored Conversation Heart Cheesecakes, I discovered that I could use freshly squeezed orange juice to add a nice citrus flavor to my favorite baked cheesecake recipe, but that the color was very pale. In order to intensify the orange color, I added carrot juice. The finished cheesecake hearts were brightly colored, had a rich creamy texture, yet tasted light and refreshing. The orange flavor is dominant, and most people can’t even detect any carrot flavor.To make my cheesecake carrots, I simply used the same recipe, making one whole cheesecake instead of hearts. After the cheesecake was baked, cooled, and cut, I added some green candy coating carrot tops which look so much better than the edible grass.
I brought these new and improved Naturally Colored Orange Cheesecake Carrots to a party this weekend, and was relieved to see people wiping their dessert plates clean.
Naturally Colored Orange Cheesecake Carrots (makes 12)
40 vanilla wafers, crushed into fine crumbs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Orange Cheesecake Filling:
3 (8 ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 pint sour cream
1/3 cup orange juice
3/4 cup carrot juice
2 small oranges, zested
6 ounces green confectionery coating, melted
9 inch springform pan
heavy duty tin foil
zester (microplane grater)
squeeze-it decorating bottle or a small zip top bag
baking sheets lined with parchment paper (pans need to fit in freezer)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Turn the plate of the sprinform pan upside down and clamp it into the outer ring. This will make cutting and removing your cheesecake slices easier. Wrap two layers of heavy duty tin foil around the bottom of the pan.
Mix together the vanilla wafer crumbs and melted butter. Press it into the bottom of the pan.
Beat cream cheese on low speed until smooth and free of lumps. Add sugar and mix until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until creamy, scraping down bowl as needed. Add sour cream, orange juice, carrot juice and orange zest and mix just until combined.
Pour cheesecake filling over crust in springform pan.
Place filled springform pan in a roasting pan and set inside oven. Carefully pour boiling water into roasting pan, filling the pan so the water goes half way up the sides of the springform pan. Be careful you don’t splash any water in the cheesecake.
Bake for 70-75 minutes, until the top of the cheesecake looks set, but the center is still jiggly. Turn the oven off, and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 10-25 minutes. You want the baked cheesecake to look firm, not wet, yet still jiggle just a bit in the center.
Remove the roasting pan from the oven and allow the cake to sit in the hot water for 30 minutes, then remove pan from water, remove the tin foil, dry the bottom of the pan, and set on a cooling rack to cool for an hour. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
I found it easiest to get really nice slices from my cheesecake if I froze it for 30 minutes before cutting.
To make the carrot tops, pour the melted green confectionery coating into a squeeze bottle fitted with a small round decorating tip or into a zip top bag (snip off one corner.) Pipe a 5-6 inch long line onto parchment paper lined baking sheets, then add some leaves. Freeze for 3-4 minutes just until set.
Just before serving, cut cheesecake into 12 slices. Arrange cheesecake either on dessert plates or on serving dishes. Poke three of the green carrot tops into each slice of cheesecake, making sure you don’t poke them through the sides of your slices.
You can store the cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, but I suggest storing the candy carrot tops at room temperature in an airtight container and then adding them to the cheesecake slices before serving. If you have left overs, it’s fine to refrigerate the carrot tops, just know that they might develop condensation on them and look wet and sticky upon serving.PRINTABLE NATURALLY COLORED ORANGE CHEESECAKE CAARROTS
Items used to create this project that are available on Amazon.com (commission earned for sales)
More Easter Recipes
from Hungry Happenings