This Vanilla Spinach Cake is bright green, but the flavour of the spinach fades away so it just tastes like a vanilla cake – but it has an incredible colour! It’s a fun hidden vegetable cake, that’s delicious and slightly healthier. Perfect as a birthday cake or for any occasion.
This Vanilla Spinach Cake is so green! The hidden vegetable flavour fades away though – so it just tastes like a vanilla layer cake. But that incredible bright green colour (and a little of it’s goodness) stays behind.
It’s a fun way to surprise people with a vegetable cake, but also to get people thinking about how to blur the lines between sweet and savoury, as well as how to tweak cakes to make them a little healthier.
I’ve been making this cake for years and it never fails to surprise and delight. It’s a great cake recipe for a kids party, and I’ve turned it into a dinosaur cake for my Son’s birthday before!
I baked a cake and it changed my life.
Seven years ago, for my son’s first birthday, I stood in my tiny kitchen on a narrowboat in London and baked his birthday cake. I had been attempting to create a healthier version and I came up with my first vegetable cake.
One layer was chocolate and beetroot, the other layer chocolate squash. The icing was avocado chocolate frosting. It went down a storm and my obsession with cramming as much veg as I could into desserts was borne.
Fast forward a few years and I turned that moment into a full-time food blogging career, this very magazine column and eventually a cookbook about vegetable cakes and desserts.
That’s one heck of a life-changing cake.
Vegetable Cake Recipes
I’ve since baked all sorts of crazy cakes for my kids’ birthdays and other celebrations. Even sometimes just because it’s a Tuesday or to bring a ray of sunny cake joy to a rainy day.
So now I wanted to share with you all a show-stopping bright green spinach and vanilla cake.
You can’t taste the spinach at all, so it’s a vanilla cake with a leafy green secret.
My kids are my number one taste testers and they gave this recipe very enthusiastic thumbs up. I hope you’ll enjoy it as well and surprise your family, friends or colleagues with the secret behind it’s vivid colour.
My cookbook, Veggie Desserts and Cakes, full of creative desserts with vegetables, is now available on Amazon (UK, Canada, USA, Australia and more) – affiliate link
How To Make Vanilla Spinach Cake – Step by Step Tutorial
Step 1: Steam or simmer the spinach for a few minutes until wilted.
Step 2: Run the spinach under cold water to refresh, then drain.
Step 3: Lightly squeeze out any excess moisture.
Step 4: Puree well with a hand blender and set aside.
Step 5: Add the eggs (or flax eggs to make it vegan), oil, vanilla, applesauce and sugar to a large bowl.
Step 6: Mix well until all combined.
Step 7: Mix in the pureed spinach.
Step 8: Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and gently stir to combine. Pour into prepared baking pans and bake for 25 minutes. Then cool completely and cover with vanilla frosting.
- Add a tiny bit of water if necessary to puree the spinach easier
- Try to get the spinach to a paste for a vibrant and even green colour
- Don’t over-mix the batter after adding the flour – just combine it well with no streaks of flour.
- Make it vegan – use flax eggs instead. To replace each egg in the recipe, mix one tablespoon ground flaxseed meal with three tablespoons of water then leave to stand for 10 minutes. Add in the recipe where it calls for eggs. Also swap to dairy free butter and milk in the frosting.
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Get the Vanilla Spinach Cake Recipe
- 150 g (3 cups) raw spinach
- 3 large eggs (or flax eggs, see note)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
- 100 g (2/3 cup) smooth applesauce
- 100 ml (1/2 cup) vegetable oil
- 250 g (2 cups) plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 75 g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 250 g (2 cups) powdered sugar sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp milk
- Optional - sprinkles to decorate
Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease and line 2 x 20cm (8 inch) cake tins.
- Steam or simmer the spinach for a few minutes until wilted.
- Run under cold water to refresh, drain and squeeze out any excess moisture.
- Puree well with a hand blender and set aside.
- Beat the eggs, oil, vanilla, applesauce and sugar together well. Beat in the spinach puree.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and gently stir to combine.
- Pour into the prepared tins and bake for 25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Beat all ingredients together until fluffy. If necessary add a little more milk to thin or icing sugar to thicken.
- Refrigerate until ready to spread on the completely cooled cake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.
- The nutritional information provided is approximate and is created with online calculators. Info will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
- Puree the spinach to a paste for an even bright green colour. Add a tbsp of water if necessary to make it easier to puree.
- Make it vegan: Use flax eggs (see below, dairy-free butter and dairy free milk!
- Flax eggs: For each egg (there are 3 in this recipe) mix 1 tbsp of ground flax with three tbsp of water. Allow to stand for 10 minutes and then use in the recipe where it calls for eggs.
Thanks for checking out my recipe! I love hearing from my readers. You all allow me to do what I love and write this UK food blog, sharing vegetarian and vegan recipes, hidden vegetable cake recipes and also easy vegan desserts.