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.
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:
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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