What is Easter without a Carrot Cake?  Make it a Carrot & Caramel Bundt Cake with Cheesecake Frosting and every bunny will be ready for dessert.  I am not sure if it is the whole Easter Bunny loves carrots thing or something else but I always think of carrots this time of year.  This cake starts with a cake mix but that doesn’t mean it is ordinary.  Fresh grated carrot and caramel sauce take this cake to the next level of awesome.  But it doesn’t stop there!  The cheesecake frosting is really where it is at!

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Love a good recipe that starts with a cake mix?  Try these…Lemon Pound Cake w/Lemon Glaze, Brookies and Texas Sheet Cake Cookies.

Essentially this is a poke cake and in order to get extra surface area, I have used the bottom of the bundt cake as the top {just like I did in my Better Than Anything Bundt Cake}.  To make gracious sized holes for the caramel to seep into, the handle of a wooden spoon works best.   I also used pecans on top of the cake for the crunch factor but walnuts or even sliced almonds would work too.

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Making a Carrot Bundt Cake from a Box

I grated my own carrot, using the finest grate I could.  If you wanted larger pieces of carrot in your cake you could buy a bag of the store bought shreds and that would work perfectly.

Other than the added fresh carrot, I mixed the cake mix according the package directions.  Pour it into a bundt pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray and then lightly floured.

Bake for 35-40 minutes {or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean} and let it cool in the pan for an additional 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan.  Remember, we are using the bottom of the cake as the top.

Turning the Carrot Bundt Cake into a Poke Cake

If you don’t have a wooden spoon with a large round handle, then a straw would work too.  Make holes in the cake but don’t go completely through.

Pour a 12 oz. bottle of caramel sauce over the cake, letting it soak into the holes.  Reserve a small amount of caramel for a drizzle on top of the cake.

This is what the cake will look like after you have poured the caramel over it.  Some of it seeps into the holes and some of piles on top of the cake.

Making Cheesecake Frosting 

To make the frosting, begin by mixing the cream cheese and powdered sugar until it is smooth and creamy.  Once that is achieved, add the Cool Whip and mix until completely incorporated.  Note:  Don’t mix too quickly or the Cool Whip will deflate.  Dump it onto the top of the cake and spread out evenly.  I like for it to be a thick layer that is just on top of the caramel but you could also spread it onto the sides of the cake.

To finish it, I drizzled the extra caramel over the top of the frosting and then gave it a good sprinkling of chopped pecans.

The thing to remember about poke cakes is that the longer they sit, the better they ultimately get.  The caramel gets into the cake and creates pockets of sweet goodness.  Then you get a bite of the frosting and although it is a little sweet, it is also a little tangy…so it is the perfect combination.  Whether you make it for Easter or a random Tuesday, this cake can’t be beat.

Carrot & Caramel Bundt Cake

A carrot cake mix is taken to the next level with fresh grated carrot, caramel sauce and cheesecake frosting.

Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 10 pieces

Ingredients

  • 1 box carrot cake mix
  • 1 cup carrot {finely grated}
  • Ingredients required on back of cake mix
  • 12 oz. caramel sauce
  • 4 oz. cream cheese {softened}
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip
  • 1/4 cup pecans {chopped}

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare bundt pan by spraying it with nonstick spray and sprinkling it with flour. Make the cake mix as directed on the back of the box {mine required 1 cup water, 2/3 cup oil and 3 eggs}, add grated fresh carrot and pour into prepared bundt pan.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool for 10 minutes. Turn cake out of bundt pan and turn over on its top, on serving dish. Poke holes in top of cake {lots of holes...but not all of the way through the cake}, pour over caramel sauce, reserving a small amount for the top.  Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar, mix with a hand mixer until smooth.  Add Cool Whip and mix until completely incorporated {being sure to not mix too quickly or the Cool Whip will deflate}.  Top cake with cheesecake frosting, once cake is completely cooled.  Drizzle with remaining caramel and top with chopped pecans.  Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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Bundt Pan

11″ Round Cake Stand

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