I usually avoid baking cakes that call for whipping egg whites separate from the yolks, it’s too much work! (Though I’ll make exception for egg whites in my favorite angel food cake recipe by baking expert Flo Braker). So I nearly passed up this recipe for carrot cake that my daughter Ariel makes from a German recipe for ‘Karotten Kuchen ohne Butter”. Since Ariel bakes in gram weights from when she worked at Cafe Valentin in Berlin, I first converted the recipe to cup measurements from metric. Then adjusted the amounts to my liking and tested it her way, whipping the whites separate from the yolks – but I thought: for GetCookingSimply it needs to be simpler! Why not whip the eggs and sugar into a froth, then gently fold in the rest of the ingredients. It works! It’s simple, it’s light, it’s spicy just like carrot cake, and no dairy or added fat!
I like finishing the cake with a lemon glaze
and it is also lovely with a dusting of powdered sugar just before serving.
Or if you’re not dairy/fat free, then slather the top with cream cheese frosting!
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Carrot Cake — Redux
Prep time 20 minutes Makes 8 servings
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (180 grams/ 6 oz.)
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/2 cups (lightly filled) all-purpose flour (180 grams/6.25 oz.)
1-1/2 cups ground almonds-see note* (120 grams/4.25 oz.)
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated carrots, lightly packed (250 grams/9 oz.)
1/2 cup golden or natural raisins (80 grams/2-3/4 oz.)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (56 grams/2 oz.)
Lemon Glaze or powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place eggs in a bowl and set bowl in a larger bowl of very hot water for about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until eggs are room temperature.
Meanwhile: Measure flour, ground almonds, cinnamon, baking powder and salt into a bowl; whisk well, breaking up any lumps. Grate carrots and set aside. Line the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease sides of pan. If pan is non-stick you can omit paper and greasing, but it will come out of the pan easier if greased. You can use a regular cake pan, but the pan needs to be at least 4-inches in height. Could also use two standard 9-inch rounds and reduce the bake time.
Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer (preferably a stand mixer) until very light and fluffy. Until at least triple in volume, 3-5 minutes.
Fold half the flour mixture, then the carrots, then the remaining flour into the eggs. Gently mix in walnuts and raisins. Turn into prepared pan.
Bake 35-45 minutes until center is set and a pick inserted in center comes out clean. I found just 2-3 minutes makes a difference between over and under-baked, so watch carefully. Usually 40 minutes seemed right, but ovens vary.
Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove pan sides and let cool completely. Drizzle cake with glaze or dust with powdered sugar just before serving. Cake is best served within 2 days. Store well-covered to prevent drying.
Lemon Glaze: Stir together 1 cup powdered sugar and 4-5 teaspoons lemon juice until smooth and pourable but not too thin. Pour over cake. Let stand to firm before slicing.
– Use ground almonds not almond flour. I usually buy the Trader Joe’s brand.
– If you are planning to make the lemon glaze, zest the rind first and add to the cake if you like.
– I converted the recipe to cup measurements from gram weights but weighing is faster and more accurate.
– This recipe would likely adapt well to gluten-free. If you try that, let me know how it works!