Baby Food Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

BRETT STEVENS / Getty Images

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
459 Calories
23g Fat
60g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 459
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 54mg 18%
Sodium 381mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 60g 22%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 43g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 58mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This may have never occurred to you before, but baby food makes for a great secret ingredient in cake, especially in this carrot cake. Half the struggle with making carrot cake is all that grating of carrots. But using jars of baby food instead of grated carrots makes this recipe super easy to prepare and bake—it's a bit of genius. Plus, it tastes great, with lots of pronounced carrot flavor.

The recipe calls for carrot baby food, or a combination of carrot, apricot, and apple baby food. You can also use pears, too. Feel free to play with the balance of ingredients if you want to use the natural sweetness of fruit purees.

Note: This cake recipe is NOT meant for babies. Baby food is simply an ingredient.

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 junior-size jars baby food carrots, or 1 small jar each of carrots, applesauce, and apricots

For the Frosting:

  • 2 tablespoons margarine, or unsalted butter, softened

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar

  • 2 teaspoons milk, or more as needed

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.

  2. In a medium bowl, mix eggs, sugar, and oil together until well blended.

  3. Add the dry ingredients and vanilla extract and beat until just blended.

  4. Fold in the baby food.

  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan.

  6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Frosting

  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, cream together the margarine (or butter) and cream cheese at medium speed.

  2. On low speed, add the confectioners' sugar and the milk.

  3. Mix until smooth and creamy. Add more milk as needed to create a spreadable frosting.

Variations

Carrot cake is also delicious with some of the following optional ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans folded into the batter, or 1 cup walnut or pecan halves used for garnish on top of the cake
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut sprinkled on top of the frosted cake
  • 1/2 cup raisins folded into the batter
  • 1 small can of crushed pineapple in its juices
  • Additional spices such as ginger, cloves, allspice and/or nutmeg

How to Store and Freeze Baby Food Carrot Cake

This cake will keep, covered, at room temperature for 3 to 5 days. You can refrigerate it if desired, but it may dry out a little bit.

Carrot cake will freeze well if wrapped (try it in individual slices) in foil and placed in a zip-close freezer bag. Defrost at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Cake will keep for up to 6 months, but the sooner you consume it, the better.

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