Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Kale Apple Cake and The Veggie Desserts Cookbook

Kale Apple Cake with Apple Icing

Book Reviews, Layer cakes | 5th August 2017 | By

Kale may not be the most obvious thing to put in a cake, but as many of you will know, I’m all for adding nutritious ingredients to my bakes. Flavour and texture are massively important, but I do derive quite a bit of pleasure from a naturally colourful cake. This kale apple cake with apple icing hits the spot on all counts.

Veggie Desserts

Time to come clean: the idea and recipe for this kale apple cake are not mine. They come from the just published and very exciting Veggie Desserts + Cakes: carrot cake and beyond by Kate Keckworthy. Kate is a fellow food blogger who just loves baking with vegetables. She’s won many awards including the much coveted Soil Association BOOM award for Best Organic Blogger.  If she’s not already well known to you, I urge you to follow her blog Veggie Desserts, buy her book, or both. Kate uses vegetables of some kind or another in all of her bakes and desserts. Adding vegetables to bakes is nothing new of course, but Kate takes it to another level and gives us some quite extraordinary and creative recipes. This kale apple cake is her signature bake.

Veggie Desserts & Cakes Cookbook

The cookbook Veggie Desserts was published just two days ago, so this post is hot off the press. It’s a hardback with 144 pages of mouthwatering recipes and beautiful illustrations. For those of you who have a sweet tooth like me, but prefer to eat relatively healthily, this book is the business. Who needs food colouring when you can have purple beetroot and vanilla sorbet or green pea and mint cupcakes with rosewater buttercream? The vegetable-dyed rainbow cake sounds so much nicer than the artificially dyed ones that have become so popular recently. Vegetables add flavour, texture and nutrients as well as colour.

Veggie Desserts

The book has chapters for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, squares & tray bakes, pies & pastries, frozen desserts and more sweet treats. Veggie Desserts is not about sneaking a few vegetables into something the kids might eat, it’s a celebration of the vegetables themselves. It’s a positive dream for someone like me. I’m used to baking with root vegetables, but sweetcorn and white chocolate cookies, chocolate aubergine truffles or cucumber and lemon cake are a real surprise. There are plenty more where those came from. 

Veggie Desserts Cookbook

The Kale Apple Cake leapt out at me as just the thing to celebrate CT’s Birthday Cake. As a botanist, green is very much his colour and kale is one of the few veg we’ve actually grown this year.

Head over to Kate’s Virtual Book Launch page to find out what other bloggers have created from the book and what they thought of it.

Kale Apple Cake with Apple Icing

Kate’s Kale Apple Cake is the most popular recipe on her blog. It incorporates kale to give it a beautiful green colour and it also contains apple puree to cut down on some of the fat and sugar normally used in cakes. I made a brave effort to follow the recipe, but when it came to the flour I just had to use wholemeal. I made a few other tweaks too, but in essence I made Kate’s recipe. Mine turned out to be pudding like rather than cake like in texture which I put down to using some dodgy baking powder. But wow, it was so delicious and I like a pudding texture anyway.

Kale Apple Cake

We couldn’t really detect a kale flavour as such, but it did give it a slight umami flavour which complemented the tangy fruitiness of the apple very nicely. The apple icing, whilst rather on the sweet side had a wondrous flavour. And of course everyone was wowed by the vibrant green colour when I cut into the cake. I used our own homegrown kale, so it was super fresh and green. CT was absolutely delighted with his birthday cake – “a real winner” he said. I found the cake kept well for a couple of days, though by day two, a pool of apple syrup had formed on the plate. The recipe below is Kate’s rather than mine.

Kale Apple Cake with Apple Icing
Print
Kale Apple Cake with Apple Icing
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hrs
 
The most popular recipe on Veggie Desserts, this cake incorporates kale to give it a beautiful green colour. It also uses apple puree to cut down on some of the fat and sugar normally used in cakes.
Course: Afternoon Tea
Serves: 12
Author: Kate at Veggie Desserts
Ingredients
Cake
  • 200 g fresh kale leaves woody stems discarded
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 100 ml vegetable oil I used rice bran oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract I omitted this
  • 100 g apple sauce
  • 175 g granulated sugar I used cardamom sugar
  • 2 eating apples - peeled and grated I didn't peel mine
  • 250 g plain flour I used wholemeal flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
Apple Icing
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter I used 30g
  • 2 tbsp apple sauce
  • 250 g icing sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract I omitted this
  • Blueberries optional
Instructions
Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line two 20cm/8in round cake pans (I used silicone ones).
  2. Steam or boil the kale leaves for a few minutes until tender. Refresh under cold water, drain and squeeze out any excess moisture. Use a hand blender to purée.
  3. Beat the eggs, oil, vanilla, apple sauce and sugar together in a large bowl.  Beat in the kale and grated apple.
  4. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and gently combine.
  5. Divide the mixture between the two pans and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Apple Icing
  1. Beat the butter and apple sauce in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. Sandwich the cakes together with a quarter of the icing, then spread the rest over the top and sides of the cake.
  3. Top with blueberries to finish.

 

Baking Crumbs BadgeI’m linking this kale apple cake to a new blogging event over at Only Crumbs Remain. It’s called Baking Crumbs!

 

 

 

Other naturally green cake recipes you might like

Kale Apple Cake. PIN IT.

Kale Apple Cake with Apple Icing

 

I was sent the book for review purposes. Opinions are, as always, my own. The post contains affiliate links. Buying through a link will not cost you any more, but I will get a small commission. This helps keep Tin and Thyme blithe and blogging.

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Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    johanna @ green gourmet giraffe
    5th August 2017

    kale cake is such an exciting colour – I have bookmarked this cake but when I made a kale cake years ago we used a different recipe – but I love the white frosting on the green here and the blueberries – who could resist all the wonderful colour and a bit of good nutrition as well

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      8th August 2017

      Well exactly Johanna. It’s irresistible. The green goes rather well with the fruity apple flavour and the blueberries definitely add something too.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Galina V
    5th August 2017

    I have noticed the release of this book, there was a competition on Twitter to win one of the copies. Your cake looks very festive and pretty. Grated apple – yes, kale -perhaps not for my fussy family. 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      8th August 2017

      Oh the book is definitely worth getting hold of. Not everything is green – honest 🙂

  3. Leave a Reply

    Kate | Veggie Desserts
    7th August 2017

    Thanks for such a lovely review of my cookbook! I love your pictures of the kale cake and your tweaks sound really nice. I’m so pleased that you all liked it. 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      8th August 2017

      Thanks Kate, glad you liked it. Your book is just brilliant and I’m looking forward to trying out some more or your recipes 😀

  4. Leave a Reply

    Emily C
    9th August 2017

    Aamazing! Her recipes on Instagram always look incredible and this looks delicious too. Feeling inspired x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      9th August 2017

      Yes, Kate is a genius when it comes to baking with vegetables. The cake was delicious and we loved the colour.

  5. Leave a Reply

    Angela / Only Crumbs Remain
    9th August 2017

    I absolutely love the sound (& most definitely the look) of this Choclette! I have to admit that I don’t use veg in my bakes anywhere near as often as I should do – I think a copy of Kate’s book would definitely help put that to rights. Thanks too for joining in with #BakingCrumbs 🙂
    Angela xx

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      9th August 2017

      Well there’s no should about it, but they do often make a very good and interesting addition. Kate’s book is great for ideas.

  6. Leave a Reply

    Ceri Jones
    9th August 2017

    Such an amazing colour, though interesting you couldn’t try taste the kale! i hope to make it soon!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      9th August 2017

      There’s definitely a different taste there, but it’s pleasant and I think it would be pretty hard to identify.

  7. Leave a Reply

    jenny paulin
    9th August 2017

    I love seeing Kate’s colourful recipes and being in awe of her creativity. Thank you for featuring my recipe too x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th August 2017

      Thanks Jenny. Kate’s creations are all so exciting. I really enjoyed trying this one out.

  8. Leave a Reply

    Jemma
    10th August 2017

    I’m so excited for this book. Love the bright green colour of the sponge.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      11th August 2017

      It’s a really exciting book Jemma and even more so as it’s from someone we know.

  9. Leave a Reply

    Lucy
    10th August 2017

    This is one of the cakes I have bookmarked to try too from Kate’s book! the apple flavour sounds amazing and the green of the sponge is so deep.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      11th August 2017

      It’s a delicious cake and well worth making. Plus it has a wow factor with the green. I guess it depends on the kale you use.

  10. Leave a Reply

    Janice
    11th August 2017

    I can’t believe how brilliant that Kale and Apple cake looks! Such clever ideas in this book.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      14th August 2017

      I loved the green of the cake, but it also tasted gorgeous. Kate is wonderfully creative.

  11. Leave a Reply

    kellie@foodtoglow
    12th August 2017

    What a stunning recreation of Kate’s recipe! I adore Kate’s book so much and have tried two recipes – Avocado Chocolate Cupcakes with Cherry Icing *and* Sweet Potato and Salted Hazelnut Cookies. In fact, I’ve made three different sorts of tweaky batches of the latter! I just know that anyone who buys this book will get a lot of use – and joy – from it.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      14th August 2017

      Kate’s book is fantastic and I’m looking forward to trying a few more of the recipes. You’ve been busy. Those hazelnut cookies sound wonderful and cherry icing? Who could resist?

  12. Leave a Reply

    Jane
    13th August 2017

    Love this book SO much! Gorgeous cake Choccy 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      14th August 2017

      Thanks Janie. It’s a wonderful book. I’m looking forward to getting a lot of use from it.

  13. Leave a Reply

    Anca
    15th August 2017

    The cake looks amazing, I love that intense green colour. It’s so different. I never made a cake with kale, so I should try it.
    I saw a couple of recipes from Veggie Desserts cookbook and I think I should buy it, it’s really great.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th August 2017

      I have to confess, this was the first ever cake I made with kale. I was really pleased with it though and loved the colour. The book is a definite boon to any baker’s bookshelf.

  14. Leave a Reply

    Julie McPherson
    17th August 2017

    Wow, the green colour sponge looks incredible. It’s an amazing cake you’ve baked Choclette. Well done Kate, you are a blogging inspiration. Commenting as BritMums Baking Round-up Editor. 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      18th August 2017

      Thanks Julie. Kate is a real inspiration and the cake was delicious.

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