The Offbeat Ingredient Swap That Will Save You Time On Carrot Cake

When Spring approaches, carrot cake calls. This cream cheese-frosted masterpiece is a favorite amongst many, with every recipe varying slightly. Whether you prefer a slight crunch with the help of nuts, a touch of added sweetness by incorporating dried fruit, or extra texture by folding shredded carrots into your frosting, every recipe and slice is decadent in its own unique way.

But no matter the recipe, the one item that's a mainstay of this dessert is carrots, of course! Those bright orange root vegetables lend so much to this classic dessert from flavor and texture to vitamins and moisture. Carrots are made up of roughly 90% water and are a wonderful source of biotin, potassium, and vitamins A, K1, and B6. Whenever you bite into a truly delicious piece of carrot cake you should really be thanking the carrots for all they've done. 

However, shredding carrots yourself can take some time, and the pre-shredded stuff at the store can sometimes look a little dry. So what if we told you, you can actually make carrot cake without the carrots? If you're looking for a way to incorporate the nutritional benefits and flavor of carrots without the work, we've got a speedy replacement. 

Swap out fresh carrots for baby food

It might surprise you, but you don't actually need to use carrots in your carrot cake. In fact, there's an ultimate carrot replacement you can use in your recipe that yields the same results with a tender crumb and brilliant carrot flavor — it's baby food! Talk about taking a stroll down an unexpected aisle of the grocery store. 

Instead, of washing, peeling, and shredding a heap of carrots, grab a couple of jars of carrot baby food. You'll need about eight ounces to replace the fresh carrots in most recipes, but make sure to use a brand that only lists carrots in the ingredient list. You don't want to use a jar of carrots and peas or a brand that adds flavors, sugars, or other additives. Any extra ingredients could react with the other ingredients at play and yield a different result.

Not only is this alternative a huge time-saver, as shredding carrots is time-consuming and washing a box grater or food processor can be tedious, but the amount of moisture in baby food works to the cake's advantage. The end result is an even fluffier, tender cake compared to traditional methods. Plus, baby food is more concentrated in flavor, so the flavor of carrots comes through stronger than if you used fresh vegetables. So give it a try; maybe this carrot-less version will become your new favorite carrot cake recipe.