Oh Carrot Cake. One of my many loves. I could consume you all day, any day. And that’s exactly why I found a way to incorporate carrot cake into breakfast. So rejoice! Today is a day of grand celebration! Let them eat cake! But seriously, this Cream Cheese Swirl Carrot Cake Coffee Cake is to die for (except if you died, you wouldn’t be able to eat it, so don’t die). It is all the flavors you love about your traditional carrot cake updated into a new format of coffee cake. In the batter, I love not just adding carrots but also throwing in heafty doses of nuts (walnuts, pecans, and almonds all work spectacularly) and coconut. Instead of the cream cheese frosting, there is a cream cheese swirl that makes this decadent breakfast cake taste like a cheesecake. And like all coffee cakes, of course it is topped off with that ubiquitous streusel!
Okay, so this coffee cake is a breeze to whip up, but it does take some organization in the sense that you are basically making 4 different mixtures before combining them all into one cohesive dish. You’ll have the cream cheese swirl concoction, the dry ingredients mixed with the add-ins (this ensures the carrots/nuts/coconut doesn’t sink to the bottom of the cake but remains evenly distributed throughout), the wet ingredients, and the streusel topping.
For assembly, start by dumping your cake batter into a 9-in. round cake pan that has been greased and floured.
Top that off with your cream cheese mixture and use a knife to try to mix some of it into the carrot cake batter below. This makes it so the resulting coffee cake isn’t just one layer of carrot cake and one layer of cheesecake, but rather a layer of carrot cake, a layer of cream cheese swirled carrot cake, and a layer of cheesecake on top.
Finish off this beautiful coffee cake with the streusel topping, and then…
Voila! After baking it should be a mesmerizing golden brown color!
Now I know what you may be thinking, One bite of this and I will go in a sugar coma. But if you make this Cream Cheese Swirl Carrot Cake Coffee Cake, you will be elated to find out that this coffee cake is actually not all that sweet. This coffee cake is reminiscent of carrot cake and cheesecake, but is not a copy. Both a traditional carrot cake and a cheesecake are sugar laden, so I know you will be pleased when you dive into the carrot cake and realize how flavorful, but not overly-sweet, it is! Yum!
- 1 (8 oz) pkg regular or reduced fat cream cheese, softened
- ½ c. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1½ c. whole wheat pastry flour/white whole wheat flour/all-purpose flour
- ½ c. brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2 c. grated carrots
- 1/3 c. chopped nuts (pecans/almonds/walnuts etc.)
- ¼ c. shaved coconut
- ½ c. full fat coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- ½ c. whole wheat pastry flour/white whole wheat flour/all-purpose flour
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 3 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan.
- In a bowl of a sand mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, & egg until smooth.
- In a separate large bowl, stir flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, & salt until combined. Use your fingers to rub in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in carrots, nuts, & coconut.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk milk, vanilla, & egg until smooth. Add to dry ingredients along w/ 1/2 of cream cheese mixture; stir until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Top with remaining cream cheese mixture. Use tip of a knife to lightly swirl cream cheese mixture into batter.
- Make the streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, & cinnamon. Use your fingers to rub butter into mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over top of cake.
- Bake 45-50 min, until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.