How to make (mildly addictive) Carrot Cake Jam

How to make (mildly addictive) Carrot Cake Jam

This IS Carrot Cake…in a JAR!

The flavor and texture of carrot cake can be yours in a rich, mildly addictive spreadable jam that will give you all the unmistakable warm and fuzzy carrot cake vibes you can handle. It’ll become a permanent fixture on your breakfast, dessert, snack and charcuterie plate. Let me show you how to make carrot cake jam so that you can have access to the delicious zing and deeply moist taste you get from carrot cake on demand.

  1. Without the baking mess,

2. As a spreadable, shelf stable condiment on your kitchen shelf.

Carrot Cake Jam is ALWAYS a crowd pleaser

I mean, it’s always a good time to bake a cake.  Am I right?

But carrot cake! Ooooh, this one is more than “just cake.”

Whatever the occasion, carrot cake never fail to create a memorable dessert experience whether it makes an appearance on your holiday menu, special celebration, or as an unexpected but exactly what you need, treat.  

(The fact that it contains carrots is enough for me to label it as a healthy food and eat it every other day.)

This recipe is ‘jam packed’ with Carrot Cake Flavor!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. I only recommend what I’ve used, purchased, and love with my own money.

I’m not lying. In a moment, I hope you watch the video I made where I over-emphasized this point. But before we proceed I must provide the following disclaimers:

Disclaimer 1: This jam has an immense amount of flavor is in each jar.

Disclaimer 2: Carrot cake jam tastes like a really complicated recipe (but its 100% NOT). 

Disclaimer 3: As I warned you in the title, this jam is, in fact mildly addictive…those that have tastebuds that overly enjoy savory, textured, goodness may prefer I use the term ‘moderately’ addictive. Either way, you’ve been warned.

            (Whew, glad I got that off my chest and out of the way, let’s continue)

A craveable gift with inventive flavor!

This sweet and savory condiment speaks “luxurious” and all things boutique. I mean, when was the last time you went to your (regular) grocery store and grabbed carrot cake jam off the shelf?


Let’s talk presentation alone. I mean, how can you NOT see those vibrant shreds of carrots suspended beautifully in a swirling galaxy of lightly toasted walnut pieces basking in a soft blend of spices and warming vanilla? Together, the synergy of this spreadable jam provides the full body texture and subtle crunch you expect from the baked version while the visual presentation immediately affirms what you’re taste buds know…

…this TRULY IS carrot cake

in a jar!

How do I use carrot cake jam?

Whatever you’re adding this to you’ll know you’ll be giving it an extra “je ne sais quoi” that you’ll invite to your breakfast, dessert, snack and charcuterie plate as a permanent guest. 

Strongly Recommended: Don’t just eat this for breakfast or dessert. I show you all the reasons why in this video.

Want to see recipes IN ACTION? Watch the video (and be careful not to eat the screen)
  • Carrot Cake Jam makes for a gourmet spread that is an ideal gift.
  • Try it as a glaze on chicken breasts, baked ham and roasted pork. 
  • Want to fool your friends into thinking you spent money on an artisanal gourmet jam? Here’s you’re Ace.  Try serving on a cracker with a piece of Brie or Camembert cheese with afternoon tea. 
  • Use as a tart filling or drizzle over ice cream. 
  • Dollop on piping hot cinnamon rolls to use as a glaze or on biscuits, toast, or muffins
  • Fold it into yogurt  for pancake or waffle topping (you won’t miss the butter or syrup) 
  • Spread on graham crackers with peanut butter. Oh my word it’s sooooo good! 

…these are just a few ideas, but believe me, you’ll find lots of other uses for it!

Note: not on this list is how I (and I’m not proud of this) take 1 tablespoon directly from the jar to my mouth when I’ve had one of those days. Unleash your judgement after you’ve tried this recipe!

If you’ve been teetering back and forth on whether or not you should make this jam, the answer is YES and the time is NOW! 

So, let’s get to it! 

Recipe Notes

  • An optional ingredient in this recipe is nuts. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, canning with nuts has been determined to be safe. Nuts are a common ingredient in canned conserve recipes, with the NCHFP endorses. Check out the full topic here.  
  • While this carrot jam recipe combines several fruits that lend enough natural pectin to form a light gel, I prefer this to have a stockier spoonable body so I still add store-bought pectin. 
  • This recipe has been adapted from the book Blue Ribbon Canning: Award-Winning Recipes by Linda J. Amendt

Carrot Cake Jam Recipe | Mildly Addictive


  • Makes: about 7 pint jars 
  • 1 3/4 cups finely grated peeled carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced or diced and peeled pears 
  • 1 3/4 cups canned crushed pineapple (reserve juice)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup chopped dates (or raisins)
  • One (1.75-ounce) package powdered fruit pectin
  • 2 cups of honey
  • 3 cups of brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter (if needed)
  • 2 teaspoon of vanilla 
  • Optional: 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts


1. Start by cleaning your carrots by giving them a good rinse. 

2. And, for the best flavor and texture, that results in a sweeter less earthy taste, peel your carrots.  (Note: I encourage you not to discourage your peels. I like to repurpose mine to flavor my stocks and broths by keeping them in an airtight bag to freeze until I’ll use them.)

3. Next, use a grater to shred your carrots and add them to a large heavy bottomed  pot. 

4. Next, add your pears and crushed pineapple. These ingredients will not only impart sweetness but gives a tender texture and subtle chewy quality to your jam. 

5. Add in freshly squeezed lemon juice to add brightness to the dish. I prefer to use a Meyer lemon, which leans on the sweeter side, while still imparting a citrus flavor that isn’t sour tasting. 

6. Move your pot to the stove and warm over medium high heat. 

7. Now it’s time to add our warming spices, we’ll be using cinnamon, cloves, cardomanon and a dash of ginger. Bring everything to a boil, stirring to fully integrate. 

(This is where things start to smell delicious! )

8. When your ingredients reach a boil and have broken down a bit, remove your pan from the heat. 

9. Pour in your pectin and give things a good stir to ensure it completely dissolves. 

10. Now add your chopped dates. Fold your dates into the pot and return your pan to a medium high burner. 

11.Now add the brown sugar and honey to incorporate until your sweeteners are completely dissolved. Turn the heat to medium high and allow things to reach a full, rapid boil for 2-3 minutes. Continue to periodically stir to avoid sticking or burning. If things get too foamy, add a pat of butter.  Ooooh, so pretty! 

12.You want all of your ingredients to tenderize. Ater a minute has passed, reduce the heat to medium low, place the lid on top and allow things to simmer. 

13. Your jam may appear thin. This is perfectly fine. The setting time varies and could take up to 24 hours. There’s no need to worry. 

14. Remove the pot from the heat because there you have it!  The flavor and texture of carrot cake as a spreadable, shelf-stable condiment, without the baking mess!

Now let’s can this recipe, but first— be sure to sterilize your jars by either running the jars on a quick clean or sterilization cycle in your dishwasher before placing them on a dish towel. 

How do I sterilize my jars? 

Sterilizing your jars is a quick and easy process that destroys the enemies of preservation — bacteria, yeast and fungi so that your food stays fresh and shelf stable for 12 months (or more). It’s not hard to do at all. Below, I’ve shared several options, pick your preference: 

  1. Run the jars through a ‘quick clean’ or ‘sterilization’ cycle in your dishwasher. 
  2. Place the jars in a large pot (12 quart) of water on top of a steaming rack (so they don’t touch the bottom of the pan), and bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes. Remove hot jars right before use. 
  3. Or hand wash and rinse the jars, dry them, and place them (without lids or rings) in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes.

You’ve got this! 

Filling  your Jars

  1. Sanitize (directions above)  your jars and place them on a dishtowel. 
  2. Grab your funnel and ladle  that spicy onion jam goodness into the jars, leaving a ¼ inch of headspace. 
  3. Remove any air bubbles by running a long plastic or wooden skewer between the jar and the jam. 
  4. Wipe the rims of the jars with vinegar to remove any spillage (which can prevent your jars from creating a seal). 
  5. Secure the rings to the top of your jar until they are “fingertip tight”–secured but air still has room to pass through. 

Processing your jam on the stove

  1. Using a jar rack or plate, lower the jars into the boiling water of your water bath canner. 
  2. Pour in more water to ensure that the water covers at least an inch above your jars.
  3. Place the lid on your pot. 
  4. Bring water to a full  boil  for 10 minutes, then use a jar lifting to remove the jars out of the water and let them cool on a towel undisturbed for a minimum of 8 hours. (note: do not tighten the caps or you’ll risk breaking the seal). 

When are the jars ready?

 As your jars cool, you’ll hear the jars making clicking pops.  Leave the jars undisturbed on a towel for a minimum of 12-24 hours. After that, you can confirm the jars have sealed by removing the rings. A sealed jar lid will remain secured to the jar without the rim and be slightly indented in the center. Use your index finger to moderately tap on the jar in a few places, it should not pop back when pressed. The majority of your jars will seal within a few hours of cooling down. If you have any jars that didn’t seal properly, just store them in the fridge and use them within 3 months. 

When does this jam expire? 

Your canned jam will be shelf stable and keep (unopened) for up to one year. If you’re not canning this, freeze for up to 3 months. 

Craving more onion recipes? Don’t miss out on my Sweet & Savory Orange Marmalade Jam, next. This will surely become another one of your favorites! 

1 thought on “How to make (mildly addictive) Carrot Cake Jam”

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