Carrot Cake Grilled Cheese Sandwiches made with homemade Carrot Cake Jam, cream cheese and buttery griddled bread! Cut into sticks or triangles for a fun kid friendly sandwich, or skip the butter and griddle and serve these up at your next tea party!
This sandwich is pretty much everything that I love about grilled cheese sandwiches and about making your own take on recipes! Let’s take a trip down grilled cheese lane. Back in the day as a really young kid my mom would make grilled cheese with pita bread and Armenian cheeses so you know I am open to a grilled cheese variation! It wasn’t until high school that I started making the classic American “cheese” version of a grilled cheese. Then I woke up to how AWFUL processed cheese was and I started experimenting with cheeses/fillings.
I started with jalapeno jack cheese! It was great, I even started adding sliced jalapenos. Then I did jalapenos and cream cheese. A huge breakthrough came when I was given a gift of homemade jalapeno jelly and I used it in place of jalapenos in my cream cheese grilled cheese. WOW. Seriously. One of my favorite versions a grilled cheese to this day! Jalapeno slices, jalapeno jelly and cream cheese! Then even more customizations started.
One of my favorite recipes for a homemade jam is a Cooking Light recipe for a Jalapeno Cherry Preserve that I started using in place of the jalapeno jelly. Can you tell how much I love grilled cheese sandwiches? I could give you 50 versions of them that I make in rotation. Another favorite is a strong English Red Leicester with a fresh Granny Smith and green apple jelly. When I tell you I would eat that over almost any other meal I am not even exaggerating! You may not have begun experimenting with grilled cheese sandwiches and all I can say is please try it! Give cream cheese a shot! It is SO GOOD.
So fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. One of my husband’s coworkers was moving on to a new company and I asked what dessert he would like as part of his going away party. I was given a couple of options including a carrot cake. So of course, having a fantastic recipe in my back pocket I jumped on the carrot cake train and got to work. I made a giant (serves 40) cake with three layers and topped each layer with a healthy 1/2 cup of this delicious jam and iced it in cream cheese frosting.
So what is a girl to do when you’ve made a huge cake but can’t keep any for yourself? Well if you are me, you make a grilled cheese sandwich with that amazing jam. The butter on the Sweet Hawaiian Bread, the creamy melted cream cheese and the jam was like the best crispy carrot cake I couldn’t even previously imagine.And it isn’t even hard to make!
This recipe uses HALF of the jam this makes! I actually made a double recipe and used 1/4 of it for these sandwiches and the rest for the giant three tier Carrot cake. This jam is an amazingly versatile sweet and sour jam with the addition of the pineapple and green apple. You’ll find yourself putting it on everything!
So lets get jamming 😉 (whomp whomp, I don’t even care how corny that sounds!)
In a large saucepan, combine carrots, apples, pineapple with juice, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and whisk in pectin until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam. Let cool. To prepare each sandwich:
When cool, spread a thick layer of cream cheese on each side of the sandwich and spread on a thick layer of carrot cake jam and close the sandwich. Okay now I should mention I am not a fan of spreading butter on the bread before cooking it. But let me tell you why (one of my favorite lines/scenes from The Birdcage)… It takes more effort! I do not keep butter out on the counter at room temperature and in spite of some of the more buttery dishes you have seen on this blog I am not a frequent butter user. So to bring it to temperature so I don’t tear the bread before making this sandwich would be more effort than I can expend after making food for everyone else in my life. I need a quick fix, and this trick works AWESOMELY.
Melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter on a griddle, on low. Add the sandwich onto the butter and peek under the sandwich to make sure the butter had even coverage. You can even move the sandwich around the pan a bit to soak up any butter that thought it could escape. Cook on medium low for 3-4 minutes. Using a spatula pick up the sandwich, drop another half tablespoon onto the griddle. Lower other side of sandwich onto the butter and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- ¾ cup finely grated carrots
- ¾ cup chopped, cored, peeled, apples
- ¾ cup crushed canned pineapple, including juice
- 1½ tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 package (1.75 oz.) low-sugar powdered fruit pectin
- 1½ cups sugar
- 8 ounces of cream cheese
- 12 slices Hawaiian Bread
- 6 tablespoons of butter
- Recipe uses HALF of the jam this makes! I actually made a double recipe and used ¼ of it for these sandwiches and the rest in a giant three tier Carrot cake.
- In a large saucepan, combine carrots, apples, pineapple with juice, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.
- Reduce heat, cover and boil gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and whisk in pectin until dissolved.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.
- Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.
- Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
- Let cool.
- To prepare each sandwich:
- When cool, spread a thick layer of cream cheese on each side of the sandwich and spread on a thick layer of carrot cake jam and close the sandwich.
- Melt ½ tablespoon of butter on a griddle, on low.
- Add the sandwich onto the butter and cook on medium low for 3-4 minutes.
- Using a spatula pick up the sandwich, drop another half tablespoon onto the griddle.
- Lower other side of sandwich onto the butter and cook for another 3-4 minutes.