Cheesecake Marbled Carrot Loaf Cake

With Easter a few days away, you may be dusting off your recipe for Carrot Cake to bake for the holiday. I did a little research to figure out why carrots in general are popular this time of the year. And while I didn’t get a concrete answer it’s pretty much what I figured (and what I have possibly written before), it’s because of the Easter Bunny. Children would leave carrots out for the Easter Bunny to thank the bunny for their Easter Baskets usually filled with chocolate treats. Not a bad trade off if you ask me. And while I do like carrot cake itself – that wasn’t always the case, a few office birthdays turned by taste buds – I will admit the best part is the cream cheese frosting. So, when I came across a recipe for a carrot loaf cake that was layered with a cheesecake filling in the recent issue of Food Network Magazine, I knew I had to try it ASAP!

Now, normally when I make carrot cake, I grate the carrots using the shredding disc of my food processor. For this recipe it specifically stated that the carrots needed to be finely grated and I just didn’t feel like doing it by hand using a box grater (which the recipe suggested), so, I grated the carrots first using the shredding disc and then inserted the s-blade (the standard blade of most food processors) and pulsed the carrots a few times to get them finely grated. This saved me a lot of time and pain. One other extra step for this cake was toasting the pecans. If you like, you could swap the pecans for walnuts. I normally use walnuts when I make carrot cake, but I had some pecans in my refrigerator that I wanted to use before they expired.

Once the carrots were shredded and the pecans toasted, it was time to make the cake. I started by making the cheesecake filling. I whisked together cream cheese, an egg, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt until smooth and refrigerated it until I was done making the batter. I made the batter by whisking together the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another and then combining them and finally folding in the carrot and pecans. One thing I left out from the original recipe was crushed pineapple. I was concerned that leaving it out would result in my cake being a bit dry but that wasn’t the case at all. To get the marbled effect I alternated layers of the carrot cake batter and cream cheese filling in a 9 x 5 – inch loaf pan.

After baking and cooling the cake it I topped it with a cream cheese drizzle. And then it was time to enjoy a slice and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a quick and yummy alternative to your traditional carrot cake.

Looking for a more traditional carrot cake recipe, check these out:

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake for Two

And a recipe for Carrot Cake with a Moroccan flair:

Spice Market Carrot Cake

Cheesecake Marbled Carrot Loaf Cake


For the Cake:

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups finely grated peeled carrots

For the Filling:

1 8oz package cream cheese, at room temperature

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

For the Icing:

2oz cream cheese, at room temperature

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9 x 5 – inch loaf pan with cooking/baking spray and then line with parchment paper leaving an overhang on all sides.

Spread the chopped pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until the pecans are a shade or two darker. Allow to cool completely.

For the Filling:

In a medium bowl whisk the cream cheese until fluffy. Add in the confectioners’ sugar, egg, vanilla and salt and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Cake:

In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together both sugars, oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth.

Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and mix everything together with a rubber spatula until mostly combined. Add in the carrots and pecans and fold until just combined.

Spread a third of the cake batter (about 1 cup) into the prepared loaf pan. Dollop and spread half of the cream cheese filling over the batter stopping about a 1/2-inch from the edges. Repeat with another layer of the carrot cake batter and the remaining cream cheese filling and then top with the remaining carrot cake batter. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles and then bake in the preheated oven for 75 to 90 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Place the pan on a wire rack and let the cake cool for 1 hour inside of the pan and then use the parchment paper to remove the cake and place on the wire rack to cool completely.

For the Icing:

Whisk the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl until smooth and fluffy. Add in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and salt and continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a piping bag (or a resealable bag with a corner snipped) and pipe the icing on the cooled cake.

*The original recipe also called for an 8oz can of crushed pineapple (drained) added to the cake batter which I omitted.

Recipe from Food Network 


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