Carrot and cheese cake

September 7, 2011  •  Category:


Imagine a moist carrot cake in which the cheese frosting is baked with the cake, instead of being plopped on top as it usually is.

I used  homemade labneh instead of cream cheese, but they are interchangeable here.

The cake can be made with a few ingredients, or enriched with almond flour, pistachios, raisins, banana purée, pineapple, etc. Either way it will work.

I used a technique recommended by chef Roland Mesnier, formerly pastry chef at the White House, in his Dessert University; he likes to beat the eggs, sugar and oil for 5 minutes until the consistency is that of a runny mayo, then add the dry ingredients; (he claims it makes for a fine-crumbed cake).

The cake here is baked in a mini-loaf pan, but you can use any size pan or muffin tins, reducing or increasing baking time.


  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 ounces oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup raw sugar or regular
  • 1 tablespoon of grape molasses (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of orange rind (optional)


  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of almond flour (optional)

Fold in: 8 ounces of shredded carrots (4 large ones), 1/2 cup of raisins and nuts

Cheese layer:

  • 8 ounces of labneh or cream cheese or mascarpone
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract


  1. Place the eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla, rind (if using), grape molasses (if using) in the bowl of a mixer and beat at medium speed for 5 minutes until the texture is a bit thick, like a runny mayo.
  2. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and almond flour (if using); mix until they are incorporated. Fold the carrots and nuts into the batter slowly.
  3. Beat the egg into the cheese and powdered sugar and vanilla until the cheese batter is smooth. Line 3 mini-loaf pans with parchment paper, preheat the oven to 350F and pour the carrot cake batter into the pans, stopping halfway up. Pour the cheese batter on top, leaving at least half an inch to the rim of the pans. Bake until puffed up and dry. Cool and serve.

To make labneh, line a coffee filter over a sieve and place the sieve on a large bowl (not touching the bottom); drop the contents of a yogurt jar and let it drain its whey for 24 hours. Labneh is born.


36 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Jeannie says:

    OMG! This cake of yours looks so temptingly delicious! I love the combination very much, a great twist to the regular carrot cakes.

  2. Tall Clover Farm says:

    This cake looks like a surefire winner — so good that I better have some sort of exercise planned to make up for eating the entire thing at one sitting!

  3. Angie's Recipes says:

    Rich and delicious! Love two cakes in one!

  4. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Oh, what a unique way to bake a cheese cake, with cream cheese inside, a very cool creation!

  5. Banana Wonder says:

    Again, you make me drool on my keyboard! Wow! I love this cake – I love cream cheese and carrot cake – together it’s perfect like this. I am so making this. I want to use lebneh like you did.

  6. sare says:

    Mmmmmmmmmmm, ı like carrot cake, It looks delicious.

  7. Joanne says:

    Ummm did you know that carrot cake is my most favorite dessert on this earth? This is totally happening here.

  8. Karen says:

    Two of my favorite cakes combined in one – perfection!

  9. Faith says:

    Your timing in posting this couldn’t be more perfect — I just made labneh yesterday! This looks fantastic and I will definitely give it a try!

  10. Adelina says:

    Thanks for sharing the secrets from Roland Mesnier. This cake looks delish… bananas, grape molasses… wow… oh my 🙂

  11. Lentil Breakdown says:

    This is beautiful! I like the unusual flavor combo too.

  12. Steve @ HPD says:

    Is there nothing you can’t do? This looks wonderful, in the literal sense of the word. Cheers!

  13. Velva says:

    This works perfectly for me. Although, I like icing its not my favorite. This would be delicious.


  14. T and Tea Cake says:

    Carrot cake and creamcheese (or labneh in this case) is definitely a winning combination for me and raisins are a great addition. 🙂
    It has a bit of a marble cake/cheesecake hybrid. Great!


  15. Anna says:

    This looks so very tasty!!! Almost too good to eat, I think!

  16. Deb says:

    A very tempting cake! It would be so much fun to serve! What an exceptional recipe. Our wedding cake was carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. With an anniversary on the horizon I just may try this.

  17. Murasaki Shikibu says:

    I’m drooling already. I wish I had a slice of this. I have also been wanting to making the Arab pancakes, but need to wait until the 21st when my food budget for next month opens up and I can go buy enough oil for deep frying!

  18. Priya says:

    Looks super delicious and yummy..

  19. Chiara says:

    It looks delicious ! have a lovely weekend…

  20. Myfrenchkitchen says:

    I think there is something wrong with me…I am lusting after cake! And this beautiful cake of yours is very very tempting. It looks delicious!

  21. Sippitysup says:

    I know I am usually a mute reader but I had to pipe in on this one. I had nearly forgotten my mom made this when I was kid (or something dang close). I HATED it then. But really I think I was just being a squeamish kid who did not like my different foods to touch each other. So when my mom would make the cheese and the cake touch ON PURPOSE, well I would simply revolt. I had not thought of this dessert memory in years. Thanks. I may just have to make this and see why mom kept making it even when I held my breath in rage… GREG

  22. familycook says:

    Carrot and cheese, what an excellent combination!

  23. Mely@Mexicoinmykitch says:

    Oh! This I have to make, it is a combination of two lovers. Cheese cake and carrot cake.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe.


  24. Nisa says:

    Well, I made this cake tonight. It’s so, so delicious, Joumana! And quite beautiful to look at as well. Even my husband, who is usually quite tight-lipped about desserts, was really impressed. I say it again: you’re amazing! (Incidentally, I left out the almond flour but used the other optional ingredients, and the results were still delicious.) Thank you!

  25. grace says:

    the frosting is built in! what a great twist on the ol’ carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, joumana–i love it!

  26. domi says:

    Là les carottes sont drôlement bien cuites en version gourmande…

  27. Бети says:

    Невероятно вкусен изглежда този кекс!!!

  28. Island Tai says:

    I made these last week and everyone enjoyed them. Although I prefer the version with cream cheese frosting, these are an attractive and tasty change, and are easier to transport to a potluck. I tried them 2 ways: made in cupcake pans and also as a sheet cake. Both worked well. I used a small (about 1.5 inch diameter) scoop to plop the cream cheese mixture onto the middle of each cupcake. That made it go quickly with equal portions. I did the same on the sheet cake, spacing the cream cheese balls so there would be one per serving. That made an unusual presentation. Last week I didn’t have the almond flour or pineapple, yet they turned out well. I plan to make them again this weekend as I now have both missing ingredients. As the amount of shredded carrot in this recipe is less than what is usually called for, I think the pineapple will be an improvement. Thanks for an unusual and fun recipe.

  29. Lindsay says:

    I’ve had this bookmarked for ages and I’m finally going to make it tomorrow! I wanted to make it in a bundt pan though and I had one question. Do you think I could put the labneh in the pan first and then the batter on top? It seems like it would be really pretty that way.

    • Joumana says:

      @Lindsay: I have made this recipe in a bundt pan, in a rectangular pan for bars, in any shape possible; I have not however tried it with the cheese at the bottom, though I’d be curious to see what result one would get. It would be worth doing it!

  30. Lindsay says:

    Thanks, Joumana! I might try it but not today when I plan on bringing it to a friend’s house. (What if it gets stuck or something?)

  31. Kylie Jo Klock says:

    In cases where the ingredient is optional, do you need to sub in extra flour for the almond flour etc? Or more moisture for the banana and molasses? Thanks!

    • Joumana says:

      @Kylie Jo Klock: Your question comes in the nick of time; I recently was retesting this cake and I found it to be too wet; one reason was that instead of using 8 oz of cheese i used 12 oz; in any case, and to be safe, I’d add the extra 1/2 cup of flour. However, for the banana and molasses, you can leave them out (I did) and not add more moisture.

  32. Fadia chaptini says:

    Hi Joumana, i finally made this cake and it turned out amazing!! Txs for this great recipe.

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