Although the origin of carrot cake is not certain, it is thought by many historians that it derived from the ‘carrot pudding’ during the medieval period in Europe. During the Middle Ages sugar and sweeteners began to become expensive and hard to find, carrot was then used instead while baking goods as it had long been used as a sugar substitute. Recipes for carrot pudding can be traced back to as early as 1591, but carrot cake would not be mentioned until the 20th century.
A few Americans in the 20th century claim to ave invented the original carrot cake from recipes from ‘back home’, where their family history dates back into Europe. According to Gill Marks the first appearance of the term ‘carrot cake’ appeared in ‘The Neighborhood Cook Book’ by the Council of Jewish Women in 1912.
Carrot cake did not gain huge popularity in America at first, but by the health craze of the 1970’s the popularity was the highest it has ever been. This is due to the cakes perception of ‘health’.