As the vegetable with the second highest sugar content (just behind sugar beets), carrots have been used as a sweetener in desserts since Medieval times. Its use has been documented in puddings, pies and, in more recent history, cakes. The carrot cake was thought to have originated in Scotland, but that is still up for debate. Due to rationing of supplies during World War II, carrot cake became popular in Britain. While the first known published recipe in the US was in 1929 in The Twentieth Century Bride’s Cookbook, the carrot cake did not become truly popular in the US until the second half of the century.
Since that time, the popularity of the carrot cake has grown exponentially. In 2009, this deceptive dessert found its way into the list of the top 5 wedding cake flavors (according to The Knot). Why is it so deceptive? Because in reality, carrot cake is not really a cake. It is far more accurate to call it a quick bread. This is in part due to the preparation method (combining all wet ingredients, combining all dry ingredients, then adding the wet to the dry), and in part due to the density of the “cake.
Today, you can find cheesecake as a staple at just about every bakery in America. Some people prefer to eat it plain, as a sweet bread; some prefer to eat it with a simple glaze; but most prefer carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting.