Carrot Jam is ready in 25 minutes with just 3 simple ingredients: carrots, lemon and sugar! Try this Victorian recipe for tasty carrot marmalade on toast, yogurt, waffles…
This delicious Carrot Jam is based on a Victorian recipe from 1861, and you only need 3 simple ingredients!
It's bright, tasty and super-easy with no unusual equipment needed. It tastes like apricot jam, but only contains carrots, lemon and sugar.
Carrots have been cultivated for centuries, and their use in culinary applications extends beyond savory dishes.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, during times when certain fruits were scarce or expensive, people often turned to alternative ingredients for preserving and sweetening.
Carrots, being readily available and relatively affordable, became an attractive option.
So, I hope you'll enjoy carrot marmalade on toast, yogurt, pancakes and more.
Carrot jam? Actual carrots in jam? I hear you ask. Yes. Carrots.
Well actually, you don’t even have to trust little ol’ me for this. I’ve based this carrot jam recipe on a recipe from famous Victorian cookery writer, Mrs Beeton.
For over 100 years (actually, more than 8 Centuries - read on), cooks have been turning the humble carrot into a sweet and tasty vegetable jam.
It has a wonderful flavor, similar to apricot jam - even though it’s just made from carrots, sugar and lemon juice.
Use carrot jam as you would any other jam - on toast, crumpets, cake, crackers, pancakes…
If you're looking for more retro recipes, be sure to try Gruel - popular in wartime and Victorian times. You'll also love this vintage 1950s recipe for Tomato Soup Cake. Figgy Pudding is another popular antique recipe.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I made this today and it's delicious. Really lovely on toast and so easy to make. Thank you.” - Aster
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I just made this for the second time and love it. So easy and tastes really nice.” - Sarah
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “This recipe was so brilliant and so easy, whoever would have thought carrots could make jam! Love it” - Alexis
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “We have made the carrot jam a few times and find it so easy but most of all delicious. It’s so easy and tasty we have it with everything it’s that nice.” - Shirley
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I’ve just made 2 jars of this and it is delicious.” - Diane
Why you'll love this recipe
It tastes like apricot jam - which will blow your mind knowing that it’s made from carrots.
It has a wonderfully bright orange color.
This recipe makes a small batch jam - just two jam jars full - so it's perfect for anyone who doesn't want too much!
It’s a great way to use up carrots. Even if they’re a bit floppy and past their best, carrots can still be used in this vegetable jam.
It’s a fun recipe to make for a kids school Victorian or wartime day.
It has a lovely thick texture from the carrot puree, while the strips of grated carrot make it a bit like a carrot marmalade.
Make it with 3 simple ingredients.
What does carrot jam taste like?
It is really lovely and oddly doesn't taste of carrots at all - it is very similar to apricot jam!
Also, it is luminous orange. I mean, seriously bright orange.
It's like 1990s rave jam.
I can't tell you how much that pleases me.
It’s sweet, subtly carroty and absolutely delicious.
The texture is a bit thicker than your typical jam, from the carrot puree, and it has some strands of grated carrot for extra lovely texture, sort of like marmalade.
Ingredients & Tools
YOu only need a few simple ingredients for carrot marmalade!
Carrots - obviously. They can be any size or shape, and it’s a great way to use up older ones that are a bit soft.
Lemons - you’ll need zest and juice so a fresh lemon is best. But if you don’t have one, just omit the zest and use lemon juice from a bottle.
Sugar - you’ll need plain old granulated white sugar.
( Optional) Brandy or another spirit. If you want your carrot jam to keep for longer than a few weeks, you’ll need to add some brandy or another alcohol to preserve it.
Immersion blender, blender or food processor to puree the cooked carrots.
Jars - 2 x 2 cup (400ml) jam jars with lids
Step by step tutorial
This is SUCH an easy recipe. Truly easy. Just follow these simple step by step photos for the perfect carrot marmalade.
Then, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the full ingredients list and instructions.
Peel and grate a carrot to total ½ cup (50g) grated and set it aside.
Peel the rest of the carrots and chop them into rounds.
Note: The size doesn't matter but try to get them roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
Put the chopped carrots into a large pan and add enough water to just cover them.
Boil the carrots until soft (about 10 mins), then drain.
Puree the cooked carrots with a blender or immersion hand blender.
If necessary, put the pureed carrots into a fine sieve and push out any excess water.
Weigh out 400g (2 cups) of the pureed carrot and discard any remaining (though it's great to add to soups, stews or mixed with maple syrup and added to porridge).
Put the carrot puree, the ½ cup of grated carrot and the sugar into a large pan.
Bring to the boil for five minutes, stirring often. Skim off any froth that forms.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then stir in the lemon zest and juice.
Store in the fridge for two weeks, or put into sterilized jars to store for longer (up to 12 months). See note below regarding sterilising jars.
Makes 2 ½ cups of jam.
Carrot jam can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks in a clean jar (doesn’t have to be sterilised for short term storage).
To store Carrot Jam for longer, or to give it as an edible Christmas gift, you will need to pour it into sterilised jars, cover with a small disc of baking paper or wax paper and add the sterilised lids.
Store in a cool, dry place and use within 12 months.
See note below on sterilising jars.
Mrs Beeton suggests adding 2 tablespoons of brandy when storing the jam to help preserve it - which sounds like a tasty grown up way to keep it longer. Whiskey, rum or gin would work too!
The History of Carrot Jam
This recipe is adapted from the famous historic cookery book, Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861.
Mrs Beeton is a famous British Victorian cookbook writer and I’m so happy to have an early copy of her book. It’s such fun to flip through and see all the bonkers old recipes like Mock Turtle Soup. The Victorian love of ‘mock’ recipes meant they referred to this carrot jam as ‘Mock Apricot Jam’. Rightly so, since it really does taste similar to apricot jam.
During WW2, carrot jam saw a resurgence in popularity. Fruit was in short supply during rationing, so many wartime cooks turned to the carrots that grew bountifully in their home gardens. They referred to it as Carrot Marmalade, since they weren’t able to get the oranges that made up typical marmalade.
But the history of carrot jam started long before it became trendy to Victorian, and then wartime, cooks.
Since the 12th Century, carrot jam has been made in Persia. It’s still popular there in modern day Iran, where the recipe is very similar to this one, but with a few notable additions: cardamom and rose water.
From then, carrot jam spread around the Middle East and the Mediterranean. There are variations in Turkey, Greece, Spain and other countries.
Carrot Marmalade or Carrot Butter
You can make chutney with zucchini, parsnips or carrot, but I like the sweeter and smoother texture of jam.
You could call this carrot jam, carrot marmalade or carrot butter.
For carrot marmalade, use more grated carrot and less pureed.
For carrot butter, puree all of it and skip the grated.
It's a thick consistency and I like adding some of the carrot back in so it isn't too smooth, so my jam is sort of a hybrid of butter/marmalade.
It's a versatile spread that's sweet yet tangy, vibrantly coloured and bursting with flavour.
I really have no idea how you can mix carrots, lemon and sugar and it comes out tasting so much like apricot jam.
It's magic and wizardry, yet soooo delicious.
Uses for Carrot Jam
There are many ways to use carrot jam, and other vegetable jam recipes. Try it on:
Pancakes (great on Gingerbread Pancakes)
Waffles (try it on my Vegan Waffles)
Pies and tarts
Cookies (try it in my Jammy Dodgers aka Linzer Cookies)
Stir it into Carrot Cake Oatmeal
Layer it with yogurt and granola into a carrot cake parfait.
I've even used carrot jam as a filling in cake in the Carrot Victoria Sponge recipe in my cookbook,Veggie Desserts + Cakes.
Add 2 tablespoon brandy for an authentic Victorian flavor for adults. Stir it in when you add the lemon zest.
Turn it into Carrot Cake Jam by adding ½ teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves when you add the sugar and grated carrot to the pot.
Make it a Persian Carrot Jam (known in Iran as Morabaye Havij or Murraba-ye-Havij) by adding 2 teaspoons rose water and 1 teaspoon ground cardamom at the end, and cook on low for a further 5 minutes, stirring often.
Make it a Greek Carrot Jam by adding the zest of 2 oranges (instead of lemon) and ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
For Turkish Carrot Jam, add 1 tablespoon ground cardamom.
Check out this post about how to sterilize jars.
You can sterilize the jars by washing them in hot soapy water (or running them through the dishwasher).
Rinse them thoroughly, then place them, still wet, onto a baking tray and place into a 320F / 160C preheated oven for 15 minutes or until dry. Carefully remove from the oven and fill with the jam.
Sterilize the jam jar lids by soaking them in boiling water for a few minutes.
Alternatively, you can do water bath canning.
Note: don’t put cold jam in a hot jar, or hot jam into a cold jar - in case it cracks the glass.
I love the sweetness that carrots bring to sweet treats. We've all heard of carrot cake, but I like to use them in more original ways.
I also have the recipe for carrot orange cupcakes with orange icing. Unlike spiced heavy carrot cakes, the carrot cupcakes are light and zingy from the orange.
Go vegan with Vegan Carrot Cake - perfect spread with this carrot jam in the middle layer.
I hope you'll enjoy this unusual jam recipe. It's sweet, easy, delicious and a great way to use up a glut of carrots or to save some from being wasted.
It's lovely on hot buttered toast, as a cake filling, on pancakes or any other way you like to use jam!
Get creative with scones, tea cakes or swirl it into blondies. There are so many options for this yummy and versatile spread.
Happy jam making, Kate x
Get the recipe
Also, head on down to the comment and let me know how you got on with the recipe. It’s always great to hear from my readers. Your support allows me write this food blog and bring you vegetable cake recipes as well as vegan desserts, plus savoury vegetarian and vegan recipes and breakfasts and drinks.
- 1 ½ lb (750g, 26oz) carrots
- 2 ⅓ cups (450g) granulated sugar
- 2 lemons (zest of 1 lemon, juice of 2 lemons)
- Peel and grate a carrot to total ½ cup (50g) grated. Set aside.
- With the rest of the carrots, peel them and chop into rounds.
- Put in a saucepan and add enough water to just cover them and cook for 10 minutes or until soft, then drain.
- Puree the cooked carrots with a blender or immersion hand blender. If necessary, put the pureed carrots into a fine sieve and push out any excess water.
- Weigh out 2 cups (400g) of the pureed carrot and discard the rest (though it's great to add to soups, stews or mixed with maple syrup and added to porridge).
- Put the carrot puree, grated carrot and sugar into a large saucepan. Add the granulated sugar and, while stirring constantly, bring to the boil for five minutes. Skim if it gets frothy.
- Allow to cool slightly, then stir in the lemon zest and juice.
- Pour into warm, sterilised jars and screw on the lids. Store in a cool, dry place and use within one year.
Carrot jam can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks in a clean jar (doesn’t have to be sterilised for short term storage). To store Carrot Jam for longer, or to give it as an edible Christmas gift, you will need to pour it into sterilised jars, cover with a small disc of baking paper or wax paper and add the sterilised lids.
Store in a cool, dry place and use within 12 months. Try it on pancakes, toast, scones, waffles, yogurt, pies, cookies, oatmeal etc…
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.