Friends, gather ’round to bear witness here to the near miraculous transformation of the humble root vegetable.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. You know carrot cake? It can be made using pretty much any root vegetable! This one is made with carrots, beets and sweet potato; I brought it in to the Eyeopener this morning and made myself plenty of friends. The best part: I found mid-cake making that I was out of applesauce, and used instead a jar of baby food squash, and it worked just perfectly. (Generally I would use a cup of applesauce, but I got away with one 125 mL jar of baby food.) Canned pureed pumpkin would work as well, and both have far more nutrients than applesauce.
Root Vegetable Cake
This is just like a carrot cake – after all, carrots are root vegetables – but using any combination of beets, sweet potatoes and carrots you like. If you like, use baby food squash or sweet potato puree in place of the applesauce, or replace half of the oil with applesauce (use 1 cup oil and 1 ½ cups applesauce) or pumpkin puree, which is nutrient dense and goes well with grated root veg.
3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour
2 cups (500 mL) sugar (I sometimes use half white, half brown sugar)
1 Tbsp. (15 mL) baking soda
2 tsp. (10 mL) cinnamon
1 tsp. (5 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) canola or vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger (optional – or 1 tsp. dried)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 packed cups coarsely grated carrots, beets, sweet potatoes or a combination
1 cup (250 mL) applesauce (sweetened or unsweetened)
1 cup (250 mL) chopped walnuts, pecans, raisins, or dried cranberries, or a combination of dried fruit and nuts
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a Bundt pan or two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, ginger and vanilla. Add the oil mixture, grated vegetables and applesauce to the dry ingredients and stir by hand until almost combined. Add the nuts and dried fruit and stir just until the batter is blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes for a Bundt cake, or for 40-45 minutes for layer cakes, until the tops are cracked and springy to the touch and the edges are pulling away from the sides of the pan.
Cool the cake(s) in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then loosen the edge with a knife, and invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. If you decide to frost the cake, make sure it is completely cool first, or the frosting will melt and slide down the sides. Makes 1 cake, serving 16.
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