What's a party without cheesecake?! Get creative this Easter and make these Naturally Colored Orange Cheesecake Carrots for dessert. Each rich and creamy carrot-shaped cheesecake is colored and flavored orange and makes a refreshing end to your Easter dinner.
A few years ago, I baked 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 excited 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.
So I went back to the kitchen to try again!
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 found that the color produced by just adding orange juice was too pale. In order to intensify the orange color, I found that adding carrot juice worked wonders.
The finished cheesecake hearts were brightly colored, and had a rich creamy texture, yet tasted light and refreshing.
The orange flavor was definitely pronounced. Not a single person who tried my orange cheesecake hearts had any idea there was carrot juice in the recipe.
So, now that I knew the recipe would work I simply baked one whole cheesecake, allowed it to cool then cut it into wedges. Then I added some green carrot tops (made using green candy melts) to make each wedge look like a carrot.
I brought these new and improved Naturally Colored Orange Cheesecake Carrots to a party this weekend and was thrilled to see people licking their dessert plates clean.
RELATED: If you want more fun carrot-shaped food ideas be sure to check out these fun recipes:
- Carrot Candy Cups
- Easter Carrot Top Cupcakes
- Hard Boiled Egg Carrots
- Crescent Roll Carrots Filled with Egg or Ham Salad
- See all of my Easter recipes, here.
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 the freezer)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Turn the plate of the springform pan upside down and clamp it into the outer ring. T
- his 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 the bowl as needed.
- Add sour cream, orange juice, carrot juice, and orange zest and mix just until combined.
- Pour cheesecake filling over the crust in springform pan.
- Place the filled springform pan in a roasting pan and set it inside the oven.
- Carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan, filling the pan so the water goes halfway 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 the pan from the water, remove the tin foil, dry the bottom of the pan, and set it on a cooling rack to cool for an hour. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
Tips for cutting a cheesecake:
- I found it easiest to get really nice slices from my cheesecake if I froze it for 30 minutes before cutting.
- Clean your knife in hot water after you make each slice.
- 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 the 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.
How to store your orange cheesecake carrots:
- 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 leftovers, it's fine to refrigerate the carrot tops, just know that they might develop condensation on them and look wet and sticky upon serving.
You can find the supplies needed to make these Orange Cheesecake Carrots on Amazon (If you use the links below I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)
Create cheesecakes shaped like carrots and topped with a chocolate candy stem for your Easter party.
- 40 vanilla wafers crushed into fine crumbs
- 3 tablespoons butter melted
- 3 8 ounce blocks cream cheese, softened
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 pint sour cream
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- ¾ cup carrot juice
- zest from 2 small oranges
- 6 ounces green confectionery coating melted and poured into a squeeze bottle or zip top bag
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Wrap two layers of heavy duty tin foil around bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan.
Combine vanilla wafer crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of springform pan.
Beat cream cheese on low for about a minute until smooth and free of lumps.
Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, add eggs one at a time and beat until creamy.
Add sour cream, orange juice, carrot juice, and orange zest. Mix until just combined.
Pour over cookie crust and bake in a water bath in a roasting pan for 70-75 minutes.
Turn oven heat off and leave cheesecake in oven for 10-25 minutes until cheesecake looks set but not wet and still jiggles just slightly in the center.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes in the roasting pan, then remove and allow to cool on a rack for an hour.
Refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
Pipe green candy coating carrot tops onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Freeze for 3-4 minute until set.
Cut cheesecake into 12 slices. Add three carrot tops to each slice and serve.
If you love celebrating Easter with cute treats be sure to check out these other recipes...