A good carrot cake is a hard thing to beat. Granted, there are some less-than-tasty ones out there (too oily/wet, too sweet, to dense), but when it hits the right combination of sweetness and moistness – combined with cream cheese frosting – it’s great. Carrots are veggies that are high in sugar and don’t have a strong flavor of their own, so they work well in cakes and breads. Some other vegetables fit this profile, too, like pumpkin/squash and zucchini. Cake Spy wanted to see exactly what other veggies would work out when incorporated into cakes and did a veggie cake taste test to see.
Broccoli, snap peas, radishes, parsnips and brussel sprouts were all tested. Carrots were included as a baseline. Broccoli turned out to be a bit bitter and “healthy” tasting – not great for a cake. Brussel sprouts, with their similar flavor profile, fared even worse. Sweet snap peas, on the other hand, were tasty and added a pleasant texture to the cake. Radishes turned out surprisingly well, as their naturally spiciness added complexity to the cake. Parsnips had virtually no flavor of their own and the cake tasted virtually identical to carrot cake.
Overall? Carrot cake reigns supreme and it doesn’t look like you can pluck any old veggie out of the produce aisle and substitute it into a cake. But since some of the veggies worked out to be pretty good, it might be worth a bit of experimentation with fresh produce this summer to see if you can fine tune a recipe and use up some veggies from the garden.