Yummy Cakes With Veggies
Carrot Cake and Beyond!
If you are making a cake for a special event, but don't want it to be empty calories, you may want to consider including some grated vegetables in the list of ingredients. Most people have heard of carrot cake before, but carrots are not the only vegetables that make good additions to a cake recipe.
This hub is about eating your veggies for dessert. I will introduce you to one surprising recipe -- a beet cake -- and a couple of old faithfuls, but be assured, all of these vegetable cakes have been tested and found delicious by dessert connoisseurs.
Enjoy your dessert adventure. After all, everything that goes into our mouths matters. And if we are going to venture into the world of desserts (and all those calories), it had better be worth it. We may as well enjoy some nutrition along the way!
Who's Ever Heard of a Beet Cake?
Beet Cake to Celebrate a Birthday
I surprised my husband on Valentine's Day with pink heart-shaped pancakes that were delicious. Refusing to answer the question, "How did you make them pink?" I made him guess. He gave all the reasonable possibilities -- raspberries, strawberries, even food coloring, all of which were so wrong!
Because we had beets in our root cellar, I had decided to grate some and add the beets to the pancake batter as an experiment. They were a big hit, and even my brother-in-law who is squeamish about food out of the ordinary, enjoyed the beet pancakes. (We didn't tell him until after the pancakes were gone what went into them.)
When my husband turned 60, I asked him what sort of cake he'd like for his birthday. "Beet cake!" was his reply. What had I started? So out came the vegetable grater and on came the challenge. The results were so good that I was asked to repeat the beet cake for our son's 30th birthday a couple of months later. Here is the recipe for you to try. (Don't tell anyone what's inside -- make them guess!)
Beet Cake Recipe
1 1/2 cups melted butter
1 3/4 cups brown sugar or 1 1/2 cups honey
3 t vanilla extract
Grated rind of one lemon
4 cups flour (can be 2 cups white and 2 cups whole wheat)
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 T baking powder
2 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
About 2 cups of grated beets (1 to 3 beets, depending on the size) soaked in the juice of one lemon.
Dried cranberries or raisins, nuts (optional)
Beat wet ingredient together well. Mix dry ingredients together. Add a third of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and blend gently, followed by half the beets, another third of the flour, the second half of the beets, and the remaining flour. Mix gently between additions. Do not overbeat as doing so will dry and toughen your cake. Add dried fruit and nuts last.
Grease the cake pan or muffin tins (for cupcakes), then sprinkle with poppy seeds.
Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes for cake, 20 minutes for cupcakes or until tester comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan to continue cooling.
Ice with cream cheese frosting.
Beets Are Nutritious!
Nutritional Value of Beets
I am not a nutritionist, and so my information about healthy eating is based on research I've done on the internet. If you are interested, you may find more about the beet's nutritional value by googling beets and nutrition.
Quite honestly, until I did some reading about beets, I didn't think of beets as being all that big of a nutritional source. Boy, was I wrong! Beets and beetroot juice have been found to contain antioxidants, so important for keeping our bodies healthy. Beets are also known to possess anti-inflammatory properties. And, of course, beets have fibre that keeps our digestion operating smoothly.
But did you know that beet juice can also enhance your workout performance? Turns out, beet juice increases your stamina and also improves your speed and overall energy. Beet juice is also a great addition to a body-cleansing routine and can help lower your risk for dementia.
Scientists have explained these benefits by pointing to the beet's high concentration of nitrites, which widen the blood vessels and increase the amount of oxygen that gets to our muscles.
Here are some other health benefits to eating beets or drinking beet juice: beets are jam packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, iron and calcium. In addition to these goodies, beets contain carotenoids -- lutein and zeaxanthin -- which support healthy eyes.
All these things in beets add up to one healthy vegetable. Who says cake can't be good for you?
If You Can't Beet Them, Eat Cake - Making Cake with Cooked Beets
Now I really had thought that I'd invented Beet Cake. Silly me. Not only have I found more recipes out there, here are videos of people showing you how to make beet cakes and beet brownies. In this video, they use cooked beets. My recipe uses grated raw beets.
Ye Olde Carrot Cake
A Favorite Recipe
2 cups (260 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) brown sugar
1 cup (240 ml) canola or other mild-tasting oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 pound (340 grams) raw carrots (about 2 1/2 cups finely grated)
1/2 cup pineapple or apple sauce
1 cup (100 grams) pecans or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1. Preheat oven and grease or spray two 9" round cake pans or muffin tins (for cup cakes).
2. Combine wet ingredients, beating well.
3. Mix together dry ingredients.
4. Add dry ingredients alternately to wet ingredients with the carrot and pineapple/applesauce mixture, blending gently between each addition, being careful not to beat or overmix. Fold in nuts and raisins last.
5. Pour into the greased cake pan or into greased muffin tins. Bake for 30 minutes(for cakes) or 20 minutes (for large cup cakes) or until cake tester comes out clean.
6. Let cool in pan about 5 minutes and then invert on a cooling rack. Remove pan and continue to let cool. To frost, place the cake top side down and frost. Place the second cake on the first. (If you want the top to be rounded, place the second cake bottom side down or top side down if you want the cake top to be flat.)
Some More Carrot Cake Recipes to Peruse - Carrot Cake Recipe Variations
Food Processors - Ease in Preparing the Vegetables for Your Cake Recipe
Handy to have if you do lots of cooking. The differences in these products have to do with the amounts you are working with and the types of preparation you do. For the amount of grating you do for making a cake, you only need the smaller processor, but if you prepare larger quantities of vegetables, or if you preserve vegetables, it may be worth it to get a sturdier model.
Try One of These Zucchini Cake Recipes
© 2010 Sheilamarie