Who doesn’t love a nice warm and spicy slice of carrot cake with creamy frosting that’s just starting to melt? Oh yes, this is definitely a certain kind of sweet heaven! When most people find out that National Carrot Cake Day is an actual thing, they are highly likely to perform a little happy dance out of sheer delight. 24 hours–one whole entire day–to do nothing but give this often-overshadowed dessert its due. What a delightful opportunity!
So, now it’s time to join in! Some people might even be dancing in their seats just waiting to learn more about this culinary celebration. Not to worry because the following offers everything anyone might need to know about the history and celebration of Carrot Cake Day.
Get ready to enjoy National Carrot Cake Day!
History of National Carrot Cake Day
Carrot cake is a lovely and unique creation that seems to have evolved out of a favorite from the Medieval times that was called carrot pudding. At the time it seems that carrot pudding was made from a hollowed out carrot, similar to the way that stuffed peppers might be made today, then filled with breadcrumbs, cream and other ingredients.
Through times in history when access to sugar was non-existent, expensive, or very hard to come by, people have used sweet vegetables to make their desserts sweet. In fact, this practice has been as recent in history as during World War II.
During this difficult time around the globe, and especially in Europe, the government of Britain needed to ration food and luxury items to their population. That provided the perfect opportunity for this delicious cake made from grated carrots to experience a surge in popularity. During the war, the Ministry of Food in Britain encouraged people to try many different recipes that used carrots as a sweetener. They suggested carrot cakes, carrot puddings, and even carrot filled pies!
It is also something to note that some people believe carrot sweetened confections may be healthier for people, since they may contain some extra vitamins. However, today’s version of the recipes contain enough sugar that it probably still should not be considered a daily serving of vegetables!
Going beyond Europe, the United States of America has some history with carrot cakes as well. There are documents that record President George Washington would enjoy this tasty treat in Lower Manhattan in New York City when he would go to a tavern called Fraunces Tavern. This probably happened even before he became the president.
In fact, there was a cookbook that was put together to record and honor early American recipes, lending credence to this myth. The Thirteen Colonies Cookbook was created by Mary Donovan, Amy Hatrack, and Frances Schull. In this book, they even offer the exact recipe for President Washington’s favorite!
Those who are interested can head to a favorite search engine and may just be rewarded with the book or just the recipe within moments. And making this recipe would be an excellent idea for a way to get started in the celebration of National Carrot Cake Day!
National Carrot Cake Day Timeline
During this time, when sweeteners are expensive and scarce, the people of Europe get creative with recipes and use some of the sweeter vegetables to make puddings. Carrot pudding is one of these desserts and is probably the predecessor to Carrot Cake.
16th Century AD
Carrot pudding recipes appear
The idea of hollowing out a large carrot and stuffing it with different items is the original version of carrot pudding. What is believed to be the first recipe for this is published in 1591 in a cookbook called A Book of Cookrye: Very Necessary for All Such as Delight Therin, by Edward Allde.
Carrot Cake is served to George Washington
Reportedly made by Sam Fraunces, proprietor of Fraunces Tavern, a Carrot Tea Cake was served to George Washington a few years prior to his first term as US president, on British Evacuation Day. The recipe for this type of cake continues to be used 200 years later, and is served with fresh whipped cream rather than frosting.
First Carrot Cake recipe appears in France
Already a treat for French royals, Carrot Cake likely makes its debut in the French courts in the early 1800s. French chef Antoine Beauvilliers, who had been a chef to Louis XIV, has his recipe for Carrot Cake published in Paris. An English version of the same is published in London just a decade later.
How to Celebrate National Carrot Cake Day
Celebrating National Carrot Cake Day comes with a whole host of opportunities to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of this special recipe. Try out these ideas or come up with some of your own:
Enjoy a Slice of Carrot Cake
Whether it is just a slice or it’s a whole cake, this is the day to indulge without guilt! It’s carrot cake after all. Some people might even consider it to be a healthy treat. Yes, of course, even healthy treats should be enjoyed in moderation. But Carrot Cake Day only comes around once a year. So, on this day, it’s the perfect opportunity to splurge!
Visit Some Local Bakeries for National Carrot Cake Day
Surely most local bakeries will know that it’s a great day to celebrate this delicious dessert! In fact, they may even have special deals or discounts in honor of the day. To avoid missing out, it might be worth ordering up a special carrot cake in advance of the day.
Make a Carrot Cake
For those who are good in the kitchen, or even just learning how to bake, this is a great chance to use National Carrot Cake Day to impress friends and family by whipping up a delightful treat in honor of the day. It might be fun to pay a visit to a local bakery and see if it’s possible to find their version of the recipe.
Or, since there are so many possible recipes out there, it may be that all it is necessary to do is take a minute to search on a favorite search engine. Then, once a recipe has been decided upon, gather up the ingredients and give it a try. But don’t forget the cream cheese frosting as many people would say that is definitely the best part of the whole cake!
Host a National Carrot Cake Day Event
Get into the spirit of the day by gathering friends and family and holding a party or event in celebration. Have people over in the evening and serve carrot cake and other carrot themed foods with an array of complementary wines or coffees.
Or host an event in the break room at work during lunch time. Invite several different people in the office to choose their favorite Carrot Cake recipe and bake it up the day before. Then, host a bake off by having judges see which one is best. Better yet, auction the cakes off to the highest bidder and use the proceeds to make a donation to a favorite charitable organization.
Discover an Old Family Recipe for Carrot Cake
Perhaps those who look closely enough or ask around may even discover that their family has a recipe that they love. Was Grandma or Great- Grandma the baker in the family. Take a trip down memory lane and see what it might take to find her recipe.
Whatever the case, just be sure to enjoy National Carrot Cake Day!
National Carrot Cake Day FAQs
When was Carrot Cake invented?
While some discrepancies exist, the origins of carrot cake can be traced back to the Middle Ages in Europe. When sugars were hard to source, sweeter vegetables were often used to create cakes and puddings, and carrots were used in one version of this.
When was the first Carrot Cake recipe?
One of the first recorded recipes that is similar to today’s version of Carrot Cake hails from France. Antoine Beauvilliers, who had been a chef to Louis XIV, included a recipe for “Gâteau de Carottes” in his second volume of L’art du cuisinier which was published in 1814. Then in 1824, an English version of that same cookbook was published in London.
Is Carrot Cake good for you?
Although it still contains quite a bit of sugar and carbohydrate, Carrot Cake may offer more nutritional value than other types of cakes, such as chocolate, simply because it contains vitamins from the carrots.
Does Carrot Cake have carrots?
Yes! Carrot Cake is a sweet cake that is made with shredded carrots mixed into the batter. Traditionally, modern versions of carrot cake will also be covered with a thick, sweet cream cheese frosting.
What does Carrot Cake taste like?
Usually Carrot Cake tastes like a sweet version of spice cake. It is made with caramelized brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger and, of course, carrots. Many people think it has the flavor of apple cake or pumpkin cake. Some recipes also include nuts such as pecans or walnuts.