Kolač od rogača (Carob cake)

Carob is one of those things that’s either completely unknown in the US or maybe known as the “fake chocolate” since its used as a chocolate substitute in “healthier” versions of desserts. Ok, so there’s absolutely nothing wrong with trying to make something a bit healthier–I mean, I do it all the time–, but sometimes the end product is so gross tasting/looking that I wonder why people even bother. Now that that’s off my chest, back to carob. Carob, or rogač, is actually amazing and part of a number of traditional cakes and desserts in Croatia. And not as a chocolate substitute. The easiest and maybe most common way you’ll see it made is in cake form, but more like a tea cake.  It’s incredibly easy and the end product is just a really nice and fluffy little cake that I like to serve on the side with coffee or tea. I wouldn’t call it healthy, but its a kid pleaser so if your little one is asking for something a little sweet, this is a bit better than a cupcake or brownie.

  • 4 eggs, yolks separated from the whites
  • 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • 6 tablespoons of carob powder
  • zest of one large lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 package of vanilla sugar
  • powdered sugar for garnish

In a medium size bowl, mix the flour, carob powder, baking powder, vanilla sugar and lemon zest.

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer, then add the milk and oil. Next add in the previously mixed dry ingredients, incorporating well.

In a small bowl, beat the egg whites until a bit foamy (you basically just want to aerate the mixture) then fold into the rest of the ingredients.

Pour the mixture into whichever pan or mold you have. I prefer to use silicone molds since they don’t require greasing, but you can even bake this in a pan and simply cut into squares (which is how its traditionally done.) They bake quite quickly, so depending on the size of your mold/pain, check after 10 minutes or so. The cake will be done when its a bit springy to touch.

When cooled, dust with powdered sugar.



2 thoughts on “Kolač od rogača (Carob cake)

  1. I think that this kind of traditional cakes are making their big return to the coffee shops, bakeries and pastry shops around Croatia. As you say, it’s a better for us and the kids to eat rogač cakes than a classical muffins or cupcakes, but it also in some way connects us to our culinary history and identity.

    1. I completely agree! It makes me cringe any time I walk into a place in Croatia or Belgium (where I now live) and see things like cupcakes and muffins. Ok, a little slasticarnica like Amelie, that’s their concept to have a mix of different things like macarons and such, and thats fine. But not everywhere! All of the cafes here in Brussels are full of disgusting (and bad quality) American desserts like doughnuts, chocolate chip cookies, and cupcakes. Why?!?! I’m so happy that when we go to Croatia, we can still get my favorite slatki when we go for coffee. For me, the problem I see is that more and more people are not preparing food homemade–and more importantly, don’t know how to. At least in the traditional, non-short cut way. From time to time I’ll get lazy and make strudle with phyllo dough, but thats really only when I want to make something quick. I know how to make it properly because my baka showed me and we made it together my whole life for every single holiday. Aside from health, that’s really the meaning of food. For example, I always used to look forward to having homemade sok od bazga when I would go visit my inlaws in Osijek because my husband’s baka would make it. Since she passed away, I feel lucky if my punica and his tetka take the time to make it. But it’s not simply that they don’t make it, but that the knowledge will die with my punica because my sister-in-law definitely doesn’t know how to make it or wants to.

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