Carrot Apple Cream Cheese Tunnel Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Apple Cream Cheese Tunnel Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – If you like carrot cake, you’re going to LOVE this version that includes apples and a tunnel of cream cheese that runs through the center!! EASY, amazing, and a MUST-MAKE!!

Carrot Apple Cream Cheese Tunnel Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - If you like carrot cake, you're going to LOVE this version that includes apples and a tunnel of cream cheese that runs through the center!! EASY, amazing, and a MUST-MAKE!!

If you’re a carrot cake fan, this is an absolutely incredible twist on carrot cake. I added apples as well as a tunnel of cream cheese that runs through the cake.

It’s one of the best renditions of carrot cake I’ve ever made or had and will be making this recipe every fall when apples are in season and in the spring and Easter time when carrot cake is on my mind.

And if you’re looking for more of a bread than cake, this Carrot Apple Bread is a tried and true reader favorite.

How Does The Cake Taste

This is a showstopper kind of cake in terms of the flavor it delivers. My family and I felt that it skews more towards the carrot cake spectrum than apple, but you can still taste the apples.

It’s supremely moist from the natural juices that the carrots and apples release. Additionally I made the cake using oil rather than butter which keeps cakes softer and moister longer.

There’s lovely texture between the carrots and apples which is a great contrast to an otherwise very soft cake.

I spiced the cake with plenty of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and cloves. I hate bland carrot cake and this one is nicely flavored without being overwhelming.

I am not usually fond of walnuts in my carrot cake, but you could add them if you are. I do like raisins in my carrot cake but felt this cake already had plenty going on and didn’t need any raisins so I didn’t add any, but you could if you need raisins in your carrot cake.

The tunnel of cream cheese that runs through the center of the cake is complemented by tangy cream cheese frosting that adorns the cake. I love cream cheese in desserts, in frosting, you name it, and I am never skimpy when it comes to cream cheese frosting and this cake has plenty.

Carrot Apple Cream Cheese Tunnel Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - If you like carrot cake, you're going to LOVE this version that includes apples and a tunnel of cream cheese that runs through the center!! EASY, amazing, and a MUST-MAKE!!

Grating The Carrots And The Apples

It’s important to grate the carrots and apples, by hand, on the coarsest blade of a box grater. It will take you about 5 minutes but it’s an essential step. Do not buy pre-shredded carrots in bags and do not simply dice the apples. Both need to be coarsely grated for the cake to deliver the results you’re looking for.

I used one extra large carrot, one large red Fuji apple, and one large green Granny Smith. However, I think most any kind of apple will work.

This is a very thick batter by design. The carrots and apples will both release a lot of natural juices and if you started with a thinner batter, by the time they would release their juices, you’d have a runny mess.

Carrot Apple Cream Cheese Tunnel Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - If you like carrot cake, you're going to LOVE this version that includes apples and a tunnel of cream cheese that runs through the center!! EASY, amazing, and a MUST-MAKE!!

Baking Time

One of the most common things readers write to me about is baking time and that their experience was different than what was written in the recipe. In any recipe, you should use the baking times the author wrote as simply a guide, not as gospel because no two sets of ingredients, environments, ovens, etc. are the same and things may not be done at exactly at the same time.

Keep an eye on it and bake until it’s done, simple as that. That goes for this cake or any other thing you’re baking.

However, for this cake, there are extra layers of variables that could effect baking time including the sheer very large size of this cake, the fact that not all apples or carrots have the same amount of natural juices, or how coarsely or finely they were grated. Then there are climate, pan, and ingredient variances so baking times could vary quite widely.

I suggest starting to check the cake at 50 minutes and check every 5 minutes or so until the cake is done. I wouldn’t be alarmed if it took 70+ minutes to bake and fully set up. If that’s the case, you may wish to tent the pan with a sheet of foil to prevent excessive browning at the surface after 65 minutes or so.

Here’s a video showing how I make the cake.

Favorite Carrot and Apple Recipes:

  • Carrot Apple Bread – Carrot cake with apples added and baked as a bread so it’s healthier! Super moist, packed with flavor, fast and easy!
  • The Best Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – A marriage of pumpkin cake and carrot cake into one soft, moist, tender, and amazing cake! The tangy cream cheese frosting is truly the icing on this easy cake!
  • Apple Cinnamon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – An EASY, one-bowl, no-mixer apple cake that’s to-die-for!! Loaded with juicy apples in every bite, perfectly spiced, and topped with tangy cream cheese frosting!
  • Caramel Apple Crumble Pie – Apple Pie meets Apple Crumble meets plenty of gooey caramel! Easy, fast, 5-minutes to assemble. Goofproof recipe for those of us who aren’t pie-makers!
  • Apple Fritter Bread – Soft, fluffy bread that’s stuffed AND topped with apples, cinnamon, and sugar! Like apple fritters in bread form!

Carrot Apple Cream Cheese Tunnel Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – If you like carrot cake, you’re going to LOVE this version that includes apples and a tunnel of cream cheese that runs through the center!! EASY, amazing, and a MUST-MAKE!!

Carrot Apple Cream Cheese Tunnel Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Apple Cream Cheese Tunnel Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

5
5 / 5 ()
Did you make this recipe?

Ingredients:

Cream Cheese Tunnel

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Cake

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger,
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups coarsely grated apples, peeled (I used 1 Fuji and 1 Granny Smith)
  • 1 cup coarsely grated carrots, peeled (from about 1 extra large carrot)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (half of 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • cinnamon, for garnishing

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 12-cup Bundt pan very well with floured cooking spray or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
  2. Cream Cheese Tunnel – To a medium bowl, add all ingredients and beat with a handheld electric mixer on high until smooth and well blended, about 2 to 3 minutes; set aside.
  3. Cake – To a large bowl, add the eggs, sugar, oil, extract, and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the flour, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, baking powder, salt, cloves, baking soda and beat to just incorporate, don’t overmix.
  5. Add the apples, carrots, and beat to just incorporate, don’t overmix. Batter will be very thick, this is to be desired. Turn half the batter out into the prepared pan.
  6. Add the cream cheese in a smooth, even layer over the batter.
  7. Top with the remaining half of the batter and bake for about 65 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Notes about baking time – due to various variables including the sheer large size of this cake, the fact that not all apples or carrots have the same amount of natural juices, how coarsely or finely they were grated, climate, pan variances, etc. baking times could vary quite widely. I suggest starting to check at 50 minutes and check every 5 minutes or so until the cake is done. I wouldn’t be alarmed if it took 70+ minutes to bake and fully set up. If that’s the case, you may wish to tent the pan with a sheet of foil to prevent excessive browning at the surface after 65 minutes or so.
  8. Allow cake to cool in pan for about 20 minutes before inverting it onto a cake stand or serving platter. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting it so that frosting doesn’t melt.
  9. Cream Cheese Frosting –  To a large bowl add the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, salt, and beat with a handheld electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  10. Turn frosting out over the top surface of the cake, noting it will naturally fall down the sides. Serve immediately. Cake is best fresh but will keep airtight for up to 3 days at room temp and in the fridge for up to 1 week. I am comfortable storing baked goods with cream cheese at room temp, but if you aren’t, store the cake in the fridge noting it will be more prone to drying out.
Only Eats

Related Recipes

Carrot Apple Bread – Carrot cake with apples added and baked as a bread so it’s healthier! Super moist, packed with flavor, fast and easy!

Carrot Apple Bread - Carrot cake with apples added and baked as a bread so it's healthier! Super moist, packed with flavor, fast and easy!!

The Best Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – A marriage of pumpkin cake and carrot cake into one soft, moist, tender, and amazing cake! The tangy cream cheese frosting is truly the icing on this easy cake!

The Best Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - A marriage of pumpkin cake and carrot cake into one soft, moist, tender, and amazing cake!! The tangy cream cheese frosting is truly the icing on this easy cake!!

Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins – Fast, EASY, accidentally vegan muffins that are bursting with authentic carrot cake flavor!! If you’re looking for a healthier carrot cake recipe that tastes AMAZING, make these muffins immediately!!

Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins - Fast, EASY, accidentally vegan muffins that are bursting with authentic carrot cake flavor!! If you're looking for a healthier carrot cake recipe that tastes AMAZING, make these muffins immediately!!

Carrot Cake Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting – Soft, moist carrot cake that’s baked as a loaf. So much faster & easier than baking a cake!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting – My favorite foolproof recipe for soft, moist, flavorful carrot cake cupcakes!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Soft and Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies – Tons of texture and so moist with zero cakiness. Eat your vegetables by way of healthy cookies!

Soft and Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies (not cakey!) averiecooks.com

Soft Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Glaze – Super soft bars that taste like blondies packed with chewy carrots! So good & a must-make!

Soft Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Glaze - Super soft bars that taste like blondies packed with chewy carrots! So good & a must-make!

Apple Cinnamon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – An EASY, one-bowl, no-mixer apple cake that’s to-die-for!! Loaded with juicy apples in every bite, perfectly spiced, and topped with tangy cream cheese frosting! So DELISH!!

Apple Cinnamon Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - An EASY, one-bowl, no-mixer apple cake that's to-die-for!! Loaded with juicy apples in every bite, perfectly spiced, and topped with tangy cream cheese frosting! So DELISH!!

Caramel Apple Crumble Foil Packs –Easy, zero cleanup, made on the grill (or oven) in record time, and delish! Juicy apples, chewy crumble topping, and luscious salted caramel!

Caramel Apple Crumble Foil Packs - EASY, zero cleanup, made on the grill (or oven) in record time, and DELISH!! Juicy apples, chewy crumble topping, and luscious salted caramel! So irresistible!!

Caramel Apple Crumble Pie – Apple Pie meets Apple Crumble meets plenty of gooey caramel! Easy, fast, 5-minutes to assemble. Goofproof recipe for those of us who aren’t pie-makers!

Caramel Apple Crumble Pie - Apple Pie meets Apple Crumble meets plenty of gooey caramel. Easy, fast, 5-minutes to assemble. Goofproof recipe for those of us who aren't pie-makers!

Spiced Apple and Banana Bundt Cake with Vanilla Caramel Glaze – Apple cake meets banana bread with a to-die-for glaze! Best.ever.

Spiced Apple and Banana Bundt Cake with Vanilla Caramel Glaze - Apple cake meets banana bread with a to-die-for glaze! Best.ever.

Apple Fritter Bread – Soft, fluffy bread that’s stuffed AND topped with apples, cinnamon, and sugar! Like apple fritters in bread form!

Apple Fritter Bread - Soft, fluffy bread that's stuffed AND topped with apples, cinnamon, and sugar!! Like apple fritters in bread form!! Best apple bread EVER!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Crumble Bars – Move over apple pie! These are an apple pie, apple crumble and cheesecake all in one! YUM!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Crumble Bars - Move over apple pie! These are an apple pie, apple crumble and cheesecake all in one! YUM!

5-Minute Microwave Apple Cinnamon Crumble For One (vegan, gluten-free) – 5-minute easy recipe that’s perfect for breakfast or snacks!

5-Minute Microwave Apple Cinnamon Crumble For One (vegan, gluten-free) - 5-Minute Easy Recipe at averiecooks.com

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Roll Bake – The soft and gooey factor of a Cinnabon with apples and so much caramel sauce! Easy, ready in 30 minutes, and uses storebought cinnamon roll dough to save time! One of the BEST desserts ever!

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Roll Bake - The soft and gooey factor of a CINNABON with apples and so much CARAMEL SAUCE!! Easy, ready in 30 minutes, and uses storebought cinnamon roll dough to save time! One of the BEST desserts ever!!

16 comments on “Carrot Apple Cream Cheese Tunnel Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. How seriously awesome is this!! Today I made your brownies that you posted last week and they were good. The pumpkin part was the best! But I think I’m going to make this cake as well because it just looks too good to be true.

  2. This cake needs to happen in my kitchen soon! I am swooning over the cream cheese filling!

    Rating: 5
  3. Love carrots and apples…such a great idea to combine them in a dessert! :)

  4. Cream cheese filling and frosting sounds like pure bliss! Carrot cake is a favorite at my house and I love the look of it in a bundt pan. I know I say this frequently, but the texture looks perfect (everything you bake has that)!

  5. I did not make this recipe–YET. I was so excited I had to rush to comment. I have a favorite “loaded” carrot cake recipe from a blog that has become my go to for special occasions. That recipe just met its competition. I will be trying this recipe for my birthday in a couple of weeks. Or I might just have to taste test it first… Carrots and apples. Mmm. 😁. Thanks.

  6. Averie, this looks delicious. I was wondering if you knew or could recommend something to use instead of eggs when baking? There is an egg allergy in our family and sometimes the store bought egg substitute just doesn’t work. It seems ok if recipe calls for 1-2 eggs but if more doesn’t bake right. Appreciate any input you might have.

    • I really have never found anything quite perfect. The egg replacers are sufficient but not wonderful and I would say keep trying brands, maybe something will work. In a recipe like this, sorry to say, but it just may not be the perfect fit for you BUT you can keep trying different brands. Also lots of my pumpkin recipes are inherently egg free since with pumpkin many times you just don’t need an egg to bind it.https://www.averiecooks.com/tag/pumpkin/ Not all but many. Good luck!

  7. This looks really good-I have tried some of your other recipes that turned out awesome! My question is: I do not have a bundt pan, so could I just bake this in a 9×13, forego the cream cheese tunnel, and just frost the top??? And if using a 9×13, would it turn out too dense? Thank you for all your great recipes!

  8. You recommend grating the apples and carrot by hand. Can I use my food processor instead?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.