Thursday, January 19, 2012

Venetian Carrot Cake

Since we are on a subject of food, I'm going to share a few recipes with you.

The first one is for a delicious almond-flour carrot cake. The recipe traveled to me from Poland, but it's actually a creation of the British cook, Nigella Lawson. The original version of the recipe can be found on the Food Network.

I introduced a few minor modifications to the recipe (e.g., I use less than a half of the amount of sugar the original recipe calls for), and I plan to further experiment with it (I think next time I'll try to add some coconut). Here is how I make it.

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2-3 large carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup golden sultanas OR cranberries
  • 1/4 cup rum (can be omitted)
  • 1/2 cup superfine powdered sugar OR 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups almond meal/flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Line the baking pan with baking parchment.
  3. Toast the pine nuts in a small frying pan (without oil). Set aside.
  4. In a small saucepan place the raisins (or cranberries) and rum (or hot water), bring to boil and simmer on low heat until most of the rum (water) evaporates.
  5. In a large bowl whisk the sugar with olive oil until creamy.
  6. Whisk in the eggs, vanilla, and nutmeg.
  7. Fold in the almond flour.
  8. Add the grated carrots and raisins (cranberries).
  9. Lastly, add the lemon juice. 
  10. Mix well and transfer to the baking pan.
  11. Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts.
  12. Bake at 350F for around 35-40 minutes.
The cake can be stored at room temperature for a few days, it can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, and it can even be frozen. It can be served warm, but tastes best when cold–then the marzipan taste comes out the most. 

It's one of the easiest cakes to make. It demands no baking skills whatsoever, and it only takes 15-20 minutes of work (plus 40 minutes in the oven). At the same time it's quite delicious and all my friends that tried it, liked it too. An added bonus is that it is gluten-free, and if made with honey, it can also be served to paleo-maniacs.