Carrot Cake with a Swirl of Cream Cheese

Hello, everyone!  A few people were asking me about this carrot cake I made using not a bundt cake pan but a fluted springform pan with a funnel.  In the excitement to try out the new pan, I experimented with carrot cake. 

Usually, when I cook or bake something I’m unfamiliar with, I like to compile a few recipes together, then put my spin on them. Although it seemed a laborious recipe, I was determined to put this carrot cake together.

As you can notice from the photos, the cream cheese was doing its own thing. After pouring it into the pan, my first thought was, oh great, it’s not staying in the middle like it was supposed to, and that I’d overfilled. As I intensely watched the cake rise– a random whirl of cream cheese amidst, steady in the oven, she was. Moist from the crushed pineapple, not overly sweet, with just the right amount of shredded carrots, the cake turned out beautifully. Pecans or walnuts, and raisins are optional. Lastly, you can use a regular bundt pan if you don’t have a fluted springform pan with a funnel.


For the cake:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 cups freshly shredded carrots
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple with juices
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

For the cream cheese:

  • 12 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts for decorating (optional)
Recipe Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 °F

  • Using an electric mixer, beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and eggs on medium-high speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to medium and slowly pour in the oil. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat an additional 1 minute until the batter has lightened in color. Turn the mixer to low and mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and ginger until combined and no large streaks of flour remain. Stir in the shredded carrots, crushed pineapple, and walnuts (if desired).
  • Using a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add in the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Turn the mixer high and beat for 2 minutes until all ingredients are combined.
  • Grease and flour the fluted springform or bundt pan. Pour half the batter, then spread an even layer of the cream cheese filling on top of the cake batter. Pour the remaining batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 65 minutes. (Before placing it in the oven, I placed a large baking sheet pan underneath the fluted springform in the event of an overflow). Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • While the cake cools, make the frosting–Combine cream cheese, milk, and confectioners sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Use a spatula to spread the frosting on the cooled cake and decorate with walnuts, if desired.