How to make cakes from vegetables

Yes, it’s true. Carrots are not the only vegetables you can use to make cakes. (Although they’re popular for good reason  – feels semi-healthy anyone…?)

Whether you’ve got a glut of beetroot, parsnip, courgette or carrot, or just a bit looking lonely in the veg drawer – find out how to use them up in your baking.

How to make cakes from vegetables

What are the best vegetables to use in a cake?

Naturally sweet, carrots, beetroot, parsnips and courgettes add flavour and texture to cakes, and help keep them fresh and moist.

Parsnips

While we all know that the nation’s favourite root vegetable (probably) carrot is a classic addition to lightly spiced cakes, parsnip is more unusual and works well with spices such as ginger and cinnamon, and juicy dried fruits.

For a recipe, try this carrot and parsnip cake, with a rose frosting.

Courgettes

Courgette makes the best moist, light muffins. Try our courgette muffins recipe, or go savoury and experiment with courgette and cheese muffins.

Beetroot

Beetroot and chocolate are great partners. The beetroot gives the cake a fantastic fudge-like texture, making it great served warm with ice cream. Try our beetroot and chocolate traybake, or this round chocolate beetroot cake, which has chocolate icing to top it off.

Pumpkin and squashes

Also, try pumpkin or squash with mixed spices. Eric Lanlard’s carrot and pumpkin cake is spectacular, especially if you go with the candle decoration for a birthday celebration.

Carrot and pumpkin cake
Eric Lanlard’s carrot and pumpkin cake is a celebration of veg, as well as a spectacular showpiece

 

How do I vary the flavours and change the frosting? 

Now you have the basic cake mixture, why not try out different flavour combinations? You can vary the kinds of dried fruits, nuts and spices you use in the cake mixture, and experiment with different flavourings for the frostings.

For example, pecan and dried cranberry would work brilliantly together in this easy carrot cake mix, and you could then flavour the frosting with maple syrup instead of the vanilla used in the master recipe.

Or you could try pistachios and dates in the courgette muffins and flavour the frosting with a little cinnamon and orange juice.

 

Vary the kinds of dried fruits, nuts and spices you use in the cake mixture, and experiment with different flavourings for the frostings.

Do I need to line the cake tin?

To make life easier and forgo the hassle of greasing and lining a cake tin, you could use a shaped baking case instead. These sturdy, single-use paper bakers’ moulds from lakeland.co.uk are great. Oven-safe up to 220°C, they come in three sizes.

Use the largest moulds for any of the recipes here, or the small, individual moulds for the courgette muffins.

Can I freeze vegetable cakes?

Yes, you can freeze this type of cake. Wrap the cooled cakes (without frostings) in cling film, then foil, and freeze for up to 2 months.

Or to store, keep in an airtight container for up to 4–5 days.

Still want more?

Have a scroll through our entire vegetable cake collection.

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