Mother Monsen’s Pound Cake

IMG_20180606_132652495-editIn Norway, one of the classic cakes is called Mother Monsen (Mor Monsen). It is a pound cake baked in a square tin, and cut into diamond shaped rectangles before serving. It is typically made for Christmas, and it is topped with currants and flaked almonds.

Since I am on a mission to explore the boundaries of recipes, I wanted to know if I could make this rich, “contains everything” cake into a milk free, gluten free equally yummy treat. My favourite gluten replacement is mashed boiled chick peas (aka “Cake hummus”) and maize starch, so here it is, Mother Monsen v. 2.0.

The classic Mother Monsen contains no added liquid, except for the eggs and the butter. In contrast, here the mashed chick peas contribute with additional liquid (approximately 60-70% of the boiled chick peas is water). This will make the cake more moist than the classic version. Also, the fibers and proteins in the chick peas do not have the same chemical properties as gluten, and will not make the dough as viscous as with gluten. Thus, upon baking more of the currants sink to the bottom of the cake.

If you have xanthan gum available, you could mix 1 tea spoon of xanthan together with the mashed chick peas before you add them to the batter. This will increase viscosity of the batter, and help keep the currants at the surface of the cake when baking. The cake is enough for 10-12 people.


250 g milk free margarine
250 g sugar
5 small pr 4 large eggs (a total of 250-300 g)
300 g mashed chickpeas (cake hummus)
zest from 1 lemon or lime (preferably organic)
100 g maize starch (Maizena or similar)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
50 g flaked almonds
50 g currants (small raisins)
coarse-granulated sugar (“Perlesukker” or “Pearl sugar”)


Heat the oven till 175 gC. Cover the bottom of a small square pan (20×30 cm) with a sheet of baking paper. Grease the sides of the pan with milk free margarine.

Whisk margarine and sugar until it is light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, and whisk inbetween each addition, so that the egg is fully integrated with the fat. Add the mashed chickpeas and the zest and mix well. Mix the starch and the baking powder in a separate bowl, and add to the batter together with the Vanilla. Blend carefully until the starch has been well incorporated.

Sprinkle first the flaked almonds then the currants and some coarse sugar on the top of the cake. Bake in the oven at 175 gC for 20 minutes, or until the cake is light brown and firm to the touch. It should not be baked for too long.

Cool the cake and cut into diamond shaped pieces. The cake will keep for 2-3 days in an air tight cake box.

This cake is gluten free and milk free. If you tolerate milk, you can replace margarine with butter. If you tolerate gluten, you can replace the chick peas and the starch with 250 g all purpose baking flour (NB not self-rising type).

Blogpost by Anne Spurkland, published 6th June, 2018

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