When a reader, H M, mentioned that this was new to shelves I got excited. And then H M tried it. And gave it a big thumbs down. Intrigued, I hunted for this product. I, too, agree. Here is a product that I had a fantasy about what it must taste like. My vision for this was like the carrot cake equivalent of cookie butter.
Taste and review
H M warned me in advance that it has no flour and no eggs. Then the bomb was dropped: this is more of a chutney. And a weird one at that.
I'm not sure why they picked carrot cake for the name. It has ingredients that you probably wouldn't find in most run-of-the-mill carrots cakes: pineapple, apple juice concentrate, and pectin.
The dominant flavor is raisin (which isn't a favorite of mine) and sugar. It's very sweet. But the biggest problem with me was taste and texture. Neither worked for me.
Even going through how to use this, I couldn't see myself enjoying it in any of those ways. And especially not how the jar mentions eating it: by the spoonful. A little nibble and my face scrunched up in disgust.
Perhaps if someone wants to experiment with using this in a more savory way, I'm all ears on how you are using this. But I loved neither the taste nor the texture nor the name carrot cake. It's a spread. It seems deeply misnamed. I'm sure this will have its fans, but you can't count on me being one of them.
For $2.99 I'm not a fan of this one. It's way too sweet, doesn't taste like anything remotely carrot cake-like, and wasn't enjoyable to eat on its own. Fortunately, it is seasonal. So the shelves will be cleared at some point to make room for some other things.
Would I buy this again? No. This is one of those rare times I'll have to take advantage of their return policy.
The jar of Trader Joe's Carrot Cake Spread:
The nutritional information:
How Trader Joe's describes this product:
Out of the package you get:
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
The Bottom Line
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Trader Joe's Carrot Cake Spread
Product Name: Trader Joe's Carrot Cake Spread
Product Description: According to Trader Joe's: Carrot Cake in a jar without the flour or eggs.
To me, this product should be renamed as there was nothing cake like about this. This is far more of a jam/marmalade/chutney texture. Has some ingredients that don't seem like they would traditionally be found in a carrot cake. Based on the name, I was left deeply hoping for the carrot cake answer to cookie butter's texture. Maybe even something that could be formed into cake balls.
- New and Seasonal
- May pair well with cream cheese according to some users
- Does not taste like carrot cake
- Would have preferred a different texture based on the name of this product
I almost pulled the trigger on this because i love carrot cake. Glad i didnt lol
Hey Rick! I love carrot cake too. It just did not remind me much of carrot cake. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on this.
I agree. I asked the nice employee at demo station if I could try it. Tried it and it was weird. I wished they went with different spread. Maybe coconut cake spread better?
Hey Alek! I couldn't agree more with the coconut cake spread butter suggestions. Or pretty much any cake flavor rather than this jam. Thanks so much for stopping by!
I read another recent review that wasn’t a fan of this either, thanks for taking one for the team! For the same price i would rather pick up the fall harvest salsa that i like so much (it’s very very mild, i’m a total wimp)
Hey Ttrockwood! I think this one is going to be pretty polarizing. I haven't tried the fall harvest salsa yet. I have about 5-6 jars of salsa waiting for me on my shelf. Just have to find time to sit down with some chips. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!
Strangely enough . . . this product actually appeals to me. Taste testing may change my mind, though. When I've made carrot cake in the past, I've added pineapple and coconut, but not the apple juice, but I have used orange juice. I usually made this for pot luck lunches at work, and never had to take any back home with me!
I would probably experiment with adding this product to my homemade yogurt, or maybe a small dab on top of some homemade, light-flavored pudding. Might be good on a Graham cracker, but if it is already pretty sweet, adding it to a sweet Graham cracker might be too much.
Hey Judie! Some really good suggestions there. If you are ever at Trader Joe's you are allowed to sample things, so this is one I would recommend bringing up to try before buying. At least they have a good return policy.
What's happened here is an employee of Mr Joe, probably a fork lift driver, inadvertently crashed into several shelved ingredients. The resulting sugary mess was saved for the nation by getting it into jars and asking marketing to come up with a name. Carrots sounded healthy, and spread sounds fun, so let's call it Carrot Spread. What's not to like? Sounds far fetched? It is, thank goodness you had to taste it not me.
Hey pauldaviescartoons! I tasted it. And I parted ways with this. It is one of the few things that I've tried and wondered "who approved this?" Thanks so much for stopping by!
Wow. I've seen rave reviews across the board for this stuff until now. I'm just glad they didn't try to ruin it with cream cheese. I'm definitely intrigued enough to try it.
Hey KingofBeacon! If you do get it and try it, let me know what you think of it. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.
Never having heard of Carrot Cake Spread before . . . I was surprised that only an hour or so after having read your post, I ran into a blog wherein the author gave a recipe for this confection. Hers seemed a bit less dense; more like a jelly that a condensed confection.
If you are curious . . .
Hey Judie! That looks pretty similar to what I bought. Thanks so very much for sharing!
I think I'm going to try it as part of a trifle. It won't be so overwhelming.