Vegetables? In a cake? No, we've not gone mad! Vegetables like carrots, parsnips, beetroot and courgette lend their natural sweetness to lots of classic bakes...
These vegetable cake recipes are sure to inspire. These delicious bakes are much healthier than your average cake and count towards your 5-a-day (well, only a little bit!)
Vegetables? In a cake? No, we’ve not gone mad! They might not seem like the most obvious cake ingredients, but vegetables like carrots, parsnips, beetroot and courgette can lend their natural sweetness to lots of classic bakes – and we’re here to show you just how delicious they can be.
From bundts to loaf cakes, cupcakes to muffins, we’ve got lots of vegetable cake ideas for you to choose from, so you can follow the seasons and cook with whatever produce is at it’s best.
Cooking vegetables in this way completely transforms their flavours, and they will work their magic making your cakes more moist and delicious than ever before. Who knows, you might just get the kids eating their veggies after all!
Click through to see all our delicious vegetable cakes…
First on the list is this courgette muffin recipe! Another sneaky courgette recipe – this one with a pretty swirl baked into the centre. There’s no need for fancy frosting or drizzles with this recipe – just courgette, apples, and a handful of ingredients that you’ve already got in your cupboard, to allow the natural flavours to come through.
This delicious sweet potato and pecan cake is full of spice with a light and airy sponge. The sweet potato not only gives the sponge an orange glow, it also keeps it extra moist meaning this sponge shouldn’t dry out too quickly and can be kept for up to 3 days.
Spicy ginger and sweet, tangy rhubarb are a match made in vegetable cake heaven – as this yummy loaf proves. The rhubarb releases a lot of moisture during the cooking process, ensuring that your cake is sticky and moist rather than dry and crumbly.
Even those who can’t stand the taste of beetroot in their salads will gobble this chocolately cake up in no time! The strong flavour of the cocoa masks the beetroot, so all you taste is an rich, fudgy chocolate cake.
Rhubarb is often thought of as a fruit, mostly assigned to crumbles, so you might be surprised to hear that it’s actually a veggie – and a remarkably delicious one too. Rhubarb’s vibrant pink colour looks beautiful atop this simple sponge, while the hidden pink peppercorns give an added boost of flavour.
An oldie but a goodie, carrot cake is probably the least scary vegetable cake to try. The familiar soft sponge is packed with crunchy nuts and sweet shredded carrots, and a generous layer of cream cheese frosting is (literally!) the icing on the cake.
These bite-size cupcakes are the perfect way to get littles ones eating an array of veg without batting an eyelid. The different colours are created with blueberries, carrots, parsnips, apples and bananas, as well as a few drops of natural food colouring, so you can be safe in the knowledge you’re giving the kids a natural treat.
Clever gluten-free bakers have been using potato in their cakes for quite a while now, and it’s about time the rest of us jumped on the bandwagon. These sticky, sweet squares are absolutely scrumptious, and don’t taste like spuds in the slightest – the only clue is in the deliciously dense crumb.
Okay, so we know basil isn’t technically a vegetable, but it’s still a savoury plant that you don’t expect to find in your cupcake! However, this fragrant herb works surprisingly well with fresh summer strawberries – perfect for baking and berry recipes like jam as well.
Get the recipe: Strawberry basil cupcakes
Pumpkins are for more than just carving! If you’ve got some leftover flesh from your Halloween creations, put it to good use in these easy cupcake recipe from our baking queen Victoria Threader. If it’s not the right time of year but you want to try them anyway, you can use butternut squash instead.
This simple loaf cake recipe is perfect for using up the glut of summertime courgettes in your garden (or the supermarket!). You’ll only need a few storecupboard ingredients to whip up this moist teatime treat – and the kids will never guess that there’s a big dose of green goodness hidden inside.
The courgettes in these zesty cakes help create some of the lightest, fluffiest muffins we’ve tasted in quite some time! They take less than an hour to make from start to finish, and are perfect for lunchboxes or served as an afternoon snack.
Butternut squash is one of the most logical vegetables to use in baking, as it’s full of natural sweetness. This ring-shaped bake is scented with cinnamon and mixed spice and smothered in a generous layer of caramel and ginger cream cheese frosting – and if that won’t convince you to tuck in to a vegetable cake, we don’t know what will!
This twist on a classic carrot cake turns one of our favourite bakes into a handy loaf, making it ideal when you want a fuss-free way to feed a crowd. Click the link to see a video of this cake being made from start to finish – veg cake baking doesn’t get more foolproof than this!
Most red velvet cakes get their distinctive colour from food colouring, but for those who’d prefer to go down the au naturel route, we’d recommend this beetroot-infused version. You’ll get all of the richness and vibrancy and the same distinct flavour, without any hidden nasties.
Get the recipe: Natural red velvet cake
Where to next?