Carrot cake

Carrot cake (also known as passion cake) is cake that contains carrots mixed into the batter.

Carrot cake
A slice of carrot cake with frosting
Typesheet cake, layer cake, cupcake
Place of originDisputed; either England, or Switzerland
Region or stateWestern Europe
Main ingredientsFlour, eggs, sugar, carrots, and baking powder
VariationsHazelnuts, lemon, kirsch,[1] cinnamon, almonds, walnuts
Carrot cake cupcakes with candied ginger icing


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]

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 the rationing during the Second World War and also because of the promotion of carrots' consumption operated by the government.[11][12]

Regional variations

UK and US

Modern UK and US recipes typically feature 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 sweetness.


Swiss Rueblitorte

Swiss Rüeblitorte features almonds and hazelnuts and is often covered in glacé icing containing kirsch and topped with decorative carrots made from marzipan.[1]

See also

  • Carrot bread
  • Carrot cake cookie
  • List of carrot dishes


  1. (in German) Rüeblitorte in the online Culinary Heritage of Switzerland database.
  2. A. W. (1591). A Book of Cookrye: Very Necessary for All Such as Delight Therin. Edward Allde.
  3. "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. (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.
  12. Capucine (11 September 2019). "#Toutsavoir : la fabuleuse histoire du Carrot Cake". Petit Côté (in French). Retrieved 31 January 2023.


  • Alton Brown, I'm Just Here for More Food: Food × Mixing + Heat = Baking, New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2002 (ISBN 1-58479-341-4).
  • Alan Davidson, Oxford Companion to Food, second edition, illustrations by Soun Vannithone, London: Oxford University Press, 2006 (ISBN 0-19-280681-5).
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.