Swiss Carrot Cake

Well, how about that? Carrot cake is really a Swiss idea. And so are those little carrots to decorate it.

Swiss carrot cake with marzipan

Aargauer Rubiltorte with marzipan carrots from Liliana Fuchs on Flickr with Creative Commons license

I discovered a site that has a good deal of information about Swiss culture, including some recipes, like Swiss carrot cake.  The Swiss Center’s recipes are from various regions of Switzerland, and I focused on an unusual one-layer carrot cake from Aargau. The proper name of the cake is Aargauer Rueblitorte, and it would probably be more accurate to call it an almond-carrot cake, since they share equallyby volume or a lemon-carrot-almond cake by taste.

Close up of Swiss carrot cake

Close up of Aargau carrot cake

Aargau is a small canton on the northern edge of Switzerland, north of Zurich, rather than Bern, where most of the people we’ve been discussing are from, but I have to believe that these recipes were shared across borders. Apparently, Aargau is known for raising carrots, along with other fruits and vegetables. While farmers were trading their cheeses from Bern to the carrots of the Aargauer, perhaps the wives swapped recipes for swiss fondue and Swiss carrot cake?

The recipe is not difficult, but there are several steps to prep before you start mixing the cake, so I added detail to the recipe as it appears on the Swiss Culture site–much more than I usually write out.

The cake is somewhat like a sponge cake, and instead of the spices that you usually think of in a carrot cake, it is brightened with lemon–like the Swiss Pound Cake I talked about last week. The Aargau Carrot Cake is MUCH lighter than the traditional American carrot cake, and I think there is room for both recipes in your repretoire, because this one is absolutely delicious.  Although the recipe is for a one-layer cake, there is certainly no law against doubling the recipe and making it a layer cake. By the way, I did put a glaze on–you can see drips on the cake plate. However, for some reason which I have not figured out, the glaze sunk right into the cake instead of coating the top. (No the top was not warm.)

Swiss carrot cake-two layer

Two-layer version. But the glaze sunk in.

Swiss Carrot Cake

Serves 10-12
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Allergy Egg, Tree Nuts, Wheat
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Region European
Website Swiss Center
This authentic Swiss carrot cake recipe is quite different. The one-layer cake is similar to a sponge cake.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (One lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (Or juice of one lemon)
  • 1 cup finely grated carrots (Grate by hand or use food processor)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup finely grated almonds (Or use almond meal)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar (For optional glaze)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (For optional glaze)

Directions

Prep
1. Set out equipment: One large and one smaller mixing bowl; measuring cups, measuring spoons; several small bowls or cups for ingredients during prep; rubber spatula for folding egg whites; electric mixer with regular beaters and with an whip/egg beater attachment. (If you do not have an egg beater for your electric mixer, plan on mixing the batter by hand, and then using the regular beaters for the egg whites, OR plan to wash the beaters VERY CAREFULLY between the batter and the egg whites.)
2. Cut parchment paper to fit bottom of 9" pan, place in pan and lightly oil. Sprinkle flour over and shake out excess flour. Set aside.
Set oven on at 350 degrees.
3. Put 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl and set aside.
4. chopped carrots
Grate or grind in processor the carrots.Measure one cup and set aside for batter.
5. Zest lemon and juice it, straining out seeds and fiber. Set aside for batter.
6. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl
7. Measure 1 cup of ground almonds or almond meal, set aside for batter.
8. Separate eggs, putting yolks in bowl with sugar and whites in small bowl. Put the whites in the refrigerator until ready to beat.
Mix
9. Beat the egg yolks and sugar for seveal minutes until very light yellow.
10. Add carrots, lemon juice and rind, almonds, flour mixture. Mix well.
11. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. (Another measure is to tilt the bowl. If they do not flow out of bowl, they are ready). Gently fold whites into batter until there are no white streaks.
Bake
12. Swiss carrot cake batter
Scrape batter into pan and smooth top.
13. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Test by pushing gently on center of cake. When it springs back and is no longer soft, the cake is ready.
Finish
14. Let cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove and peel off paper. Let cool, right side up on rack. Then move to serving plate and if you wish, dribble with lemon juice/confectioner's sugar glaze, or sprinkle with sifted confectioner's sugar.

Note

The Swiss carrot cake recipe is not difficult to make, but it pays to be meticulous in preparing ingredients. Therefore, I have included more Prep instructions than I usually do.

Watch the baking time, as the edges burn quite easily, even though I lowered the temperature 10 degrees from that recommended on the Swiss Center website.

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