This is the second new dessert I made for the Thanksgiving holidays. I made it for our second Thanksgiving, the day after feast I hosted at our house for those who were too sick to make it to the original holiday feast at my sister Dawn’s house. A couple of grandchildren had the flu and my son chose to stay home and not pass it along to the rest of us. Daughter Emily had strep throat and couldn’t attend either holiday feast with her husband, and we were sad and missed her.
The second feast being as large as the first, my fridges bulged for days and days. This dessert was the first to go, it was so good. Think carrot cake, with cream cheese frosting. Then think cheesecake that tasted exactly like that. It was so delicious!
The recipe was for making a smaller amount, but I doubled it, knowing that 24 wouldn’t be enough. I used two 24-count mini muffin tins and it was the perfect size.
I made up the graham cracker crust using the crumbs, sugar and melted butter. I put scoops of the crust into the mini cups using a cookie scoop. I had a bit left so I further divided it out until it was all used up.
Then I used my handy dandy tart tamper to flatten the crust into each muffin cup. You could use another flat tool or even a shot glass to do the same thing.
I mixed the cheesecake batter, first whipping together the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy, about 4 minutes.
I grated one large carrot and added it to the batter, let it beat for another 2 or 3 minutes until it was fully blended.
The batter was fairly stiff and I knew it would be tough to get it into all those muffin cups, so I put the batter into a Ziploc bag and snipped off a small piece of the corner. It was way easier to pipe the batter into the cups with that bag! It was too much batter for one bag, so I refilled it to finish the rest of the cups.
Then it was into the oven with the first pan, which I baked for 30 minutes. When that was done I put the second pan into the oven for 30 minutes as well.
I let the tiny cheesecakes cool to room temperature, then ran a paring knife around each cup and carefully lifted them out with a small fork. I had to be careful to not separate the crust from the cheesecake layer, but 2 managed to do that anyway. I ate them.
I used the cheesecake frosting recipe from the site, omitting the lemon flavoring. I only like lemon in a few things and the frosting was great without it.
After beating the ingredients together I put it into a small zippered bag, cut off a smaller tip and piped it in circles on the cheesecake bites. I did a poor job of it, I must be out of practice. I used to decorate lovely cakes for friends and family all the time. I used an icing knife and spread the frosting smoothly and they were pretty again.
I had to store them in several containers, as they can’t be stacked with the frosting on top. At this point they could be frozen and served later, but I made them the day before Thanksgiving so it wasn’t a long wait.
Everyone loved the taste and small size. Again, I was thinking of the dessert bar where people want to try several things, in small amounts. These little bites were perfect. Each bite had so much flavor and was exactly like carrot cake. I might consider making them in the 4 ounce jelly jars next time, for a larger serving when we aren’t having a whole dessert bar after our meal.
I’ve listed the recipe doubled; cut all ingredients in half if you want to make only 24 mini cheesecakes.
Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bites
2 cup graham cracker crumbs
8 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons butter, melted
16 oz cream cheese, softened
2 eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup of sugar
2 tablespoon flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large carrot, peeled and finely grated
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spray mini muffin pans with non-stick spray. Mix graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar. Press into pans using a tart tamper, shot glass or other flat object. Bake for 10 minutes.
Beat cream cheese and sugar with a stand mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, carrots, flour, spices, and vanilla extract.
Place batter in zippered bag, cut small part of corner off and pipe into tins, about 3/4 full.
Bake until set, about 15 minutes. They should be firm to touch in the center.
Cool on a rack, then frost.
Beat cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla with a hand held mixer until smooth. Drop by teaspoons onto each bite, then smooth frosting with an icing knife.
Store in a single layer in containers in the fridge until served.