A delicious and wholesome Swiss Carrot Cake (Rüeblitorte or Rüeblicake) which is popular in Switzerland. It contains lots of fresh carrots and ground almonds to keep it moist. A classic recipe from Betty Bossi.
It came as a bit of a surprise to me to learn that carrot cake was popular in Switzerland, mostly because I always associated this succulent cake with the US, the land of indulgent and tempting sweets.
But according to Alan Davidson’s The Penguin Companion to Food, the origins of carrot cake can be found in Europe in the Middle Ages when carrots were used as a sweetener in cakes and desserts, with a revival in Britain after World War II when the Ministry of Food distributed recipes for carrot cakes and puddings.
Perhaps it was the Americans who corrupted the austere reputation of carrot cakes by introducing the wonderful pairing with cream-cheese frosting?
Whilst those on the other side of the pond (and Down Under) prefer the sweetened and frosted versions of carrot cake, the Europeans are a bit more subdued, preferring most of their cakes un-iced, nevermind with a cream-cheese frosting.
Having said that, the Swiss do have a tendency towards the twee. If you have noticed a common theme throughout these photos, it would be the presence of these ever-so-cute marzipan carrots which are traditionally used to decorate carrot cakes. There are many rules in Switzerland, and this particular cake-decorating rule is one which I am happy to abide by. Commonly found in the supermarkets, you can purchase these marzipan decorations as little whole carrots or carrot halves, depending on your preference for sugar.
In Switzerland, the region of Aargau used to be the main source of carrots for the country and several versions of “Rüeblitote” abound, Rüebli being the Swiss-German word for carrot.
But the recipe for Swiss Carrot Cake which has been frequently recommended to me, one which has been passed down from generation to generation, comes from Kuchen Cakes & Torten by Betty Bossi (which appears to be no longer available).
I was first introduced to this Swiss Carrot Cake by my charming Swiss neighbour who regularly cooks from her tattered, but much loved, editions of spiral-bound Betty Bossi cookbooks. After dinner one evening where she had effortlessly created an eggplant curry with coconut relish, she brought out this Swiss Carro Cake, still warm in its loaf tin, and proceeded to cut generous slices as her guests looked on eagerly, secretly hoping they would get a piece with a marzipan Rüebli.
One can only warm to the notion of a tried-and-tested family favourite and I, ever the shameless recipe requester, was excited to recreate this classic cake at home.
This is a fairly substantial carrot cake, in part due to the ground almonds which contributes to its density, but the ground almonds also keep the cake wonderfully moist, meaning that the cake will keep well for up to a week and even improve after a few days.
But if I were to compare this Swiss Carrot Cake to the more common American or British versions, this Rüeblicake is perhaps something I would more prefer to sit down to at breakfast than for dessert, if you know what I mean.
It is nevertheless an enjoyable recipe, a wonderful introduction to Swiss baking.
Other Carrot Cake Recipes You Might Enjoy
If carrot cake is your thing, you might also enjoy this lovely Moist Carrot Cake with Lemon Frosting.
I love to also make carrot cake in a loaf tin, and always using Rachel Allen’s recipe for Carrot Cake with Orange Cream-Cheese Frosting.
For something the kids will love, you can’t beat these Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.Print
Swiss Carrot Cake (Rüeblitorte)
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: Serves 8 to 12
A delicious and wholesome Swiss Carrot Cake (Rüeblitorte or Rüeblicake) which is popular in Switzerland. It contains lots of fresh carrots and ground almonds to keep it moist. Recipe adapted from Kuchen Cakes & Torten by Betty Bossi
- 350 g (2 1/3 cup) plain flour
- 7 g (2 teaspoons) baking powder (usually 1 sachet)
- 250 g (1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) raw sugar (or light muscovado sugar or light brown sugar)
- 1 pinch of salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
- 2 pinches of freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 250 g (9 oz) carrots, grated
- 250 g (2 cups) ground almonds (almond meal)
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 200 g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 4 eggs
- Marzipan whole carrots, optional
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Grease and line a loaf tin (see Kitchen Notes).
- In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a KitchenAid, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, ground cardamon, ground nutmeg and ground cinnamon.
- Add the carrots, ground almonds, and the zest and juice of the lemon.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the melted butter and eggs.
- Stir the butter and egg mixture into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the loaf tin.
- Bake for about 1 hour, or until a cake skewer comes out clean.
- If you are using marzipan carrots, remove the cake after about 50 minutes and insert the marzipan carrots into the cake as in the photo. Return the cake to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until a cake skewer comes out clean.
The recipe calls for a 30 cm long loaf tin which may not be commonly found outside of Europe. My suggestion is to use whatever loaf tin you have, making sure that when you fill the tin, leave about 2.5 cm (1 inch) between the batter and the top of the tin. Use any remaining batter to make small muffins. I found this recipe to be enough for a loaf tin measuring 13 x 23 cm plus one mini-loaf.
This cake keeps pretty well for about a week, either wrapped in foil or under a covered cake dish.
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 465
- Sugar: 23g
- Sodium: 58.2mg
- Fat: 26.4g
- Carbohydrates: 50.2g
- Fiber: 3.8g
- Protein: 10g
- Cholesterol: 97.8mg
This is indeed a classic recipe from Betty Bossi – my Swiss colleague made this cake regularly for her childrens birthday parties! Everyone always a piece with the marzipan carrots 🙂
I have a question: I would like to make this as a birthday cake in a round pan. Do you know how I would convert this recipe as far as the time and temperature and also how many times I would need to multiply this recipe? If you don’t have all that info just knowing the volume of batter this recipe produces would be very useful. Thank you!
From my notes, I made this cake using a 13×23 cm loaf pan with some excess batter. My guess is that you could bake the cake in a round cake pan measuring either 23cm or 25cm for a similar amount of time. Fill the pan until it is about 2/3 full and bake until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. I hope this helps.
If you add cardamom and nutmeg it is decidedly North American and not Swiss any longer! Your adaptation also has way too much flour to be Swiss (if you look up truly Swiss recipes, let’s say for Christmas cookies, you will note that most of those also use lots of nuts, eggs and sugar, and very little to no flour). The original recipe also adds a glaze which is crucial for both, taste and moisture.