I like to experiment with dehydrating random things for backpacking. A lot of times, they end up being complete fails (lots of things don’t rehydrate well). But this dehydrated carrot cake was definitely not a fail! Even my picky kids ate it up for breakfast.
Even before you dehydrate it, carrot cake is already pretty calorie-dense. There are usually around 416 calories in 100 grams of carrot cake without icing. Obviously, this is going to vary depending on the recipe you use. Recipes with a lot of oil and sugar will obviously have more calories than healthier versions.
Once you dehydrate it, the carrot cake ends up being even more calorie-dense. My carrot cake ended up losing 30% to 40% of its weight once dried. I calculated that it had 160 calories per oz (or nearly 6 calories per gram)!
- Make or buy carrot cake (without icing). I used this vegan recipe. Note that I used mashed bananas instead of applesauce in the recipe.
- Cut the carrot cake into cubes. Mine were about 1 inch by 1 inch. Try to make them equal sizes.
- Dehydrate until the cubes become hard like croutons. No moisture should come out when you squeeze the cubes.
In the Field:
- Rehydrate some powdered milk. I like coconut milk.
- Add the dehydrated carrot cake cubes to the milk.
- Let it sit for a minute and eat like cereal. If you let them sit too long, they will eventually turn to mush. It’s a tasty mush, but I prefer them to retain their texture a bit.
- You can also munch on the cubes as a snack (they will be crunchy).
There are also tons of other cakes and baked goods you can dehydrate. For example, I sometimes dehydrate pancakes to bring backpacking. I rehydrate them in milk and eat them like cereal. I also heard of one backpacker who dehydrates Costco Coffeecake Muffins. They come out to around 160 calories/oz.
Seriously, experiment with dehydrating and you’ll be amazed at how much better your backpacking meals become.
Btw, if you want more meal ideas, check out my book: Gourmet As Heck Dehydrator Backpacking Meals.