Sweet sponge cake, with grated carrot, often made with a proportion of brown flour and frequently decorated with a citrus flavoured soft icing (with cream cheese) and a marzipan carrot.
There have been occasional receipts for forms of sweet carrot cake or pudding over the centuries (one from 1747 is included here as 'carrot pudding-pie', and see Linconshire Pudding and Omnibus Pudding) while cakes made with various vegetables, including beet, carrots and potato, seemed to begin to appear in in North American cookbooks of the 1920's, starting with 'The Twentieth Century Bride's Cookbook' in 1929. The earliest receipt for modern Carrot Cake we can find is in 'Purdence Penny's Cookbook' published in New York in 1939, around the same time as the British Ministry of Food were promoting 'Dr Carrot's Healthy Cake' during the Second World War, when sugar and sweet fruits were in short supply.
See more carrot pies, puddings and other Carrot Dishes
Original Receipt in Ministry of Food 'War Cookery Leaflet No.4'. July 1943;
6 ozs flour
1 level teaspoonful baking powder
3 ozs fat
3 ozs oatmeal
3 tablespoonfuls raw grated carrot
11/2 tablespoonfuls sugar
1 tablespoonful dried fruit
1 dried egg (reconstituted)
1 dessertspoonful syrup
water to mix
Rub fat into flour, add dry ingredients and carrots and mix thoroughly. Add the syrup, reconstituted egg, and sufficient water to form a fairly stiff consistency. Place in a greased tin and bake in a moderate oven for 1 hour.
See: Devon Cheesecake
(Imperial War Museum)
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