The Unusual Ingredient You Should Add To Your Pineapple Carrot Cake

In most cake batters, while there are certainly flavoring agents like vanilla extract for a classic vanilla cake or cocoa powder for a decadent chocolate cake, there aren't too many mix-ins. That's where carrot cake breaks the rules. While most other cakes avoid too many bulky additions, lest they jeopardize the texture of the final result, carrot cakes are absolutely loaded with all kinds of delectable mix-ins that help achieve the characteristic flavor.

King Arthur Baking Company outlines just a few in their cheekily named "kitchen sink" carrot cake recipe. There are, of course, cups of shredded or grated carrots that give the cake the signature orange hue and flavor. Enhancing that flavor is the mixture of warming seasonings that make up the spice blend for this treat, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice, although the exact spices depend on the specific recipe you use.

Many carrot cake fans swear by adding some type of nuts into the mix, such as walnuts or pecans. Some love the additional texture and flavor that shredded coconut adds. And of course, many won't make carrot cake without adding in some crushed pineapple, which ensures it stays impossibly moist. Not only does the pineapple add more actual liquid moisture, but it also acts as a tenderizer, AllRecipes explains.

However, if you're always on the quest to find the perfect pineapple carrot cake recipe, Taste of Home has a version with an ingredient you've likely never even considered using — but may want to try.

The secret ingredient might surprise you

The ingredient you may want to consider adding to your next pineapple carrot cake is one you won't find in the produce aisle, or even in the baking aisle — you'll need to head to the baby section in order to obtain this carrot cake game changer. More specifically, carrot baby food, as the Taste of Home recipe outlines.

Not only does the pureed carrot mixture add some serious moisture to the cake, which will help you create a perfect final product, but it also makes it a bit easier to whip up a batch of the cake batter. That's because, in this particular recipe, the baby food actually replaces all of the grated carrots, and an added bonus — you're not stuck grating carrot after carrot in an attempt to obtain two or three cups of it. However, there are some recipes, like an award-winning one from AllRecipes that uses both the carrot baby food and some grated carrot for texture.

Country star turned cookbook author Trisha Yearwood has a slimmed-down carrot cake that uses the same baby food trick, as Showbiz CheatSheet reports. For her calorie-conscious version, she also swaps out the cream cheese in the tangy, creamy frosting that traditionally accompanies carrot cake, and substitutes in lower fat Neufchatel cheese. On the other hand, here's Duff Goldman's recipe for his decadent carrot cake