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Cake-plus-vegetable taste testing

veggie cakes from Cake Spy!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.

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  • Allison
    April 15, 2008

    I’m surprised that they didn’t include beets. That would be the first vegetable I would try since the texture is similar to carrots and it’s also got that vital sweetness.

  • marci
    April 15, 2008

    You forgot zucchini. A good zucchini cake (especially made into cupcakes) is fantastic, and the moisture in the zucchini helps them keep for several days.

  • nipsum
    April 15, 2008

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    I hope to see blog.
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  • Rachel
    April 16, 2008

    I’ve made a chocolate cake with beets in it, and it was fab. They add an earthiness that works really well with the chocolate, and the color is great. And, as Marci says about courgettes, the beets keep the cake moist for days.

  • courtney
    April 17, 2008

    what a great idea…taste testing different vegetables in cakes. i just made a carrot cake and it was pretty dang good, even though for some reason, the idea never appeals to me, i usually go for rich chocolate. anyways, i love your blog, especially the fact that almost every day there’s something new i can look forward to!

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