Tales from the pantry – Flourless Carrot Cake



Last week I had a few days off. Since the weather did not look too promising this particular morning, I was in no rush to get going. Looking around the house, my wife and the cats and dogs were in no hurry either. So with my pajamas still on and a steaming mug of strong coffee in hand, I slipped quietly into our library and stood deliberating in front of two big wall units filled with cookbooks and stacked cooking magazines. Do I have cookbooks? Yes I do! Some inspiration was needed for supper on this cold and wet day. My eyes caught sight of an old Swiss cookbook called The Art of Swiss Traditional Cooking and Customs.

Sitting comfortably in my reading chair, I quickly glanced through this book filled with colourful pictures of mouth watering dishes and enchanting country images and was instantly sent back daydreaming to the days when I was a young journeyman cook living in Switzerland. What a wonderful time I had there; memories came rushing back. My attention was finally caught by a recipe from the canton of Aargau. This particular recipe is for a carrot cake, which the canton is famous for. To top it off, this one is flourless. With so many people having Gluten Allergies, I thought this was worth trying. Happy with the results, I thought I’d share the recipe here with you.

Carrots have been around for a long, long time and were not always orange. The heirlooms came from the Mediterranean and Middle East, in colours ranging from white, yellow and red to purple and maroon. It was the Dutch, who with their horticultural experience, came up with the orange variety. Just look at what they did with tulips — colour, colour, colour!


Flourless Carrot Cake

5 egg yolks

300 grams sugar

2 lemons, grated

300 grams ground almonds

300 grams carrots, peeled and finely shredded

75 grams corn starch

1 pinch cinnamon

1 pinch ground cinnamon

1 pinch ground clove

10 grams baking powder

1 pinch salt

5 egg whites, stiffly beaten


30 grams apricot jam



Juice of 1 lemon

Icing sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 24 cm spring form pan with a depth of at least 5 cm. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Set aside. Mix lemon zest and sugar, add egg yolks and beat until fluffy. Mix in carrots and almonds. Sift in cornstarch, cinnamon and clove and mix until combined. Add 1 tablespoon of Kirsch. Fold in egg whites. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Set pan on rack and allow cooling before removing from spring form. To glaze, gently heat apricot jam then spread evenly over top and sides of cake. Mix lemon juice with a small amount of icing sugar and mix to a think consistently and spread over cake.

Now, the most important part: don’t eat it!

This cake tastes better after sitting overnight, so wait at least until  the next day. Then dig in with whatever suits your fancy — whipped cream, ice cream or fresh fruit.


Till next time,