Carrot cake
Carrot cake at America Graffiti (cropped).jpg
A slice of carrot cake with frosting
TypeLoaf, sheet cake, layer cake, cupcake
Place of origin], France, or Switzerland
Region or stateWestern Europe
Main ingredientsFlour, eggs, sugar, carrots, and baking powder[1]
VariationsHazelnuts, lemon, kirsch, cinnamon, almonds,[1] walnuts
Carrot cake cupcakes with candied ginger icing
Carrot cake cupcakes with candied ginger icing

Carrot cake (also known as passion cake) is cake that contains carrots mixed into the batter. Most modern carrot cake recipes have a white cream cheese frosting. Sometimes nuts such as walnuts or pecans are added into the cake batter, as well as spices such as cinnamon, ginger and ground mixed spice. Fruit including pineapple, raisins and shredded coconut can also be used to add a natural sweetness.


The origins of carrot cake are disputed. Published in 1591, there is an English recipe for "pudding in a Carret [sic] root"[2] that is essentially a stuffed carrot with meat, but it includes many elements common to the modern dessert: shortening, cream, eggs, raisins, sweetener (dates and sugar), spices (clove and mace), scraped carrot, and breadcrumbs (in place of flour). Many food historians believe carrot cake originated from such carrot puddings eaten by Europeans in the Middle Ages, when sugar and sweeteners were expensive and many people used carrots as a substitute for sugar.[3] Variations of the carrot pudding evolved to include baking with a crust (as pumpkin pie), steamed with a sauce, or molded in pans (as plum pudding) with icing.[3]

In volume two of L'art du cuisinier (1814), Antoine Beauvilliers, former chef to Louis XVI,[4] included a recipe for a "Gâteau de Carottes",[5] which was popular enough to be copied verbatim in competitors' cookbooks.[6][7] In 1824, Beauvilliers had published in London an English version of his cookbook which includes a recipe for "Carrot Cakes" in a literal translation of his earlier recipe.[8][9]

Swiss Rueblitorte
Swiss Rueblitorte

Another 19th-century recipe comes from the housekeeping school of Kaiseraugst (Canton of Aargau, Switzerland).[10] According to the Culinary Heritage of Switzerland, it is one of the most popular cakes in Switzerland, especially for the birthdays of children.[10]

The popularity of carrot cake was revived in the United Kingdom because of rationing during the Second World War.[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b (in German) Aargauer Rübelitorte Archived 8 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine, (page visited on 31 July 2014).
  2. ^ A. W. (1591). A Book of Cookrye: Very Necessary for All Such as Delight Therin. Edward Allde.
  3. ^ a b "The History of Carrot Cake". Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  4. ^ Furlaud, Alice (12 July 1989). "What Do You Do Apres la Revolution? Go Out to Eat" – via
  5. ^ Beauvilliers, Antoine Auteur du texte (31 July 1814). "L'art du cuisinier. T. 2 / par A. Beauvilliers,..." pp. 127–128 – via
  6. ^ A. Viard; Fouret (1820). Le cuisinier royal: ou l'Art de faire la cuisine, la patisserie et tout ce qui concerne l'office, pour toutes les fortunes. J.-N. Barba. pp. 405–.
  7. ^ Colburn's New Monthly Magazine. 1842. p. 12.
  8. ^ "The art of French cookery". London : Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green. 31 July 1824 – via Internet Archive.
  9. ^ Antoine B. Beauvilliers, The Art of French Cookery … , 3rd ed. (London, England: Longman, 1827), page 227.
  10. ^ a b (in French) Véronique Zbinden "Patrimoine culiraire suisse (9/14). Rueblitorte, gâteau végétal et fédéral", Le Temps, Thursday 31 July 2014, page 10.
  11. ^ Olver, Lynne. "Cake History Notes". The Food Timeline. Retrieved 1 January 2012.