spinach cake © 2012 theCrackerBoxKitchen. All rights reserved.

Spinach Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

OK. I know, you’re already freaked out. “Spinach cake? She’s lost her mind.” Hold on, let your nausea subside, and trust me. The black bean chocolate cake didn’t turn out so bad did it? And I can’t tell you how many people said, “ewe” before they tasted it.

I love coming across recipes that use unexpected ingredients. And I especially love this one because you can make a novel (St. Patrick’s Day) dessert and not use ANY food colouring. (Well, except the sprinkles, but those were homemade, and optional.)   I stay away from red velvet cake for that very reason, all that red dye #40 can’t be good for you. Someday I will try my hand at an au natural red velvet cake.

But back to the green.

I made two batches of batter: one for a cake using olive oil; and one for cupcakes using veggie oil. I was a little worried about the strong aroma of the olive oil (and I didn’t want a cake that tasted like olive oil and spinach), so I switched to veggie oil for the cupcake batch, (which I took to work.) As it turned out, all olivey flavour disappeared with the baking.

Haha, I just realized that this cake has olive oil and spinach. Popeye would be proud.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1.5-2 cups fresh spinach (not frozen)
  • 3/4 cup of olive oil or coconut oil; can sub for vegetable oil, or apple sauce, or plain yogurt…
  • 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • 2 cups flour, sifted with
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

FROSTING

  • 1 8oz package cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or lemon, which is quite tasty, or almond if that’s your thing)
  • 1 1/2 TBS half-and-half or milk (add more if consistency if too thick)

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350°

Put away your mixer and get out your blender!  Add eggs, vanilla, sugar, lemon/lime juice, and spinach to the blender and blend (“puree” if your blender has that setting) until smooth.

Next, pop the top off that hole in the blender lid and slowly pour in the oil while the blender is on a low setting– you don’t want spinach goop on your ceiling! (Update: If you’re using coconut oil (which has become my favourite oil to use) – heat it in the microwave until liquid.)   In adding the oil this way, you’re basically making an emulsion (think Hollandaise sauce), which I think makes a really smooth, silky batter.

Then, if you don’t want to dirty up your mixer,  sift together your dry ingredients and add them directly to the blender about a 1/4 cup at a time. (Again through that little whole in the lid.) Pulse to “mix”.

Grease pan of your choice, line with parchment (parchment is your friend!), lightly grease top of parchment,  then pour in batter.

  • cupcakes: makes 18 “overflowing” cupcakes; you could probably put less batter in each tin and come out with 22 cupcakes
  • 9 x 13 sheet cake
  • 2 9″ rounds
  • 3 6″ rounds (as seen in photo) (for evenness of layers – there are 2 1/3 cups batter/tin)

Cupcakes: bake for 15-20 minutes, check with toothpick @ 15min
Rounds/sheetcake: 30 minutes, check with toothpick @ 20 min

When done, remove from pans (except sheetcake) and let cool on wire racks for at least an hour. Whip-up your frosting, slather, and serve!

Oh, and if you want homemade sprinkles: Pour white sugar (or you can you raw sugar – larger granules) into a sealable plastic container, add a few (3-5) drops of green food colouring, seal container and SHAKE! Add more food colouring to achieve richer colour.

Recipe source: Adapted from MomWhat’s4Dinner.com

12 Comments

  1. Made this cake today with two changes:

    I used frozen spinach and my trusty blender.
    1 Avocado substituted the olive oil.

    yum yum yum

    • theCrackerBoxKitchen

      I highly recommend using fresh v/s frozen spinach– makes a much smoother batter. I do however like the idea of using avocado instead of oil. Might try that myself!

  2. jill

    Interesting! I think I’ll try this, but make it vegan.

  3. I love this! I will definately try this on my picky eater. How do I subscribe so I can know of future recipees?

    • theCrackerBoxKitchen

      Thanks for reading! To subscribe, scroll up on this page and look for “Subscribe to this blog!” on the right side bar. (Under “Search the Recipe Box” and “Categories”.)

  4. Anna

    Awesome cake. I followed the recipe exactly (using extra virgin olive oil) and it came out very very good. For the frosting I used light cream cheese, a tbs of butter, no milk only about half the sugar, and thought it was sweet enough. I’ll definitely make it again. Thanks for posting this!

  5. Diane Cheng

    ◾1 1/2 half-and-half or milk (add more if consistency is too thick)
    On the frosting is it 1 1/2 tsp or tbls or oz or cans or ????
    I just made the cake its in the oven baking cant wait to share with friends and family. I used my Nutri Bullet to juice the spinach with a bit of water. I also used my Nutri Bullet to whip the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beautifully whipped and light! If you could add the amount of milk or half and half greatly appreciate it it would save me time on checking another cream cheese frosting recipe or make an educated guess. Again Thank YOU!! Who knew! SPINACH CAKE! Love it!

    • theCrackerBoxKitchen

      Thanks for your comment! I’m pretty sure I meant TABLESPOONS of half and half. (More or less as needed.) Happy baking!

  6. Melissa

    There are some excellent red velvet cake recipes out there using beets and they look bright and healthy. I love this green cake and plan on making the cupcakes to go with a beet Red Velvet Cake for my mother-in-law’s birthday. So thank you, as she loves her veggies!

    • theCrackerBoxKitchen

      That sounds like a fun, festive birthday! I have a red velvet with beet juice recipe as well, just haven’t had a chance to try it out yet.
      If you want something *really* delicious (though not quite as colourful) check out my black bean chocolate cake: http://crackerboxkitchen.com/cooking/black-bean-chocolate-cake/– it’s to-die-for!
      (Please ignore the bad photo– that was from way back when I first started blogging. :-)

  7. This is a very fun cake, and it tastes pretty good. The texture was perfect, and it was a bright, vibrant green (the most important part). I personally thought that it tasted too much like olive oil, though. Maybe the olive oil I used was a particularly strong-tasting one? In any case, if I made this again I would probably use a less flavorful oil, like canola or some such. Overall, however, I am very glad I found your recipe!

    • theCrackerBoxKitchen

      Give it a try with coconut oil. That’s pretty much all I use now. It’s a solid at room temperature, so you’ll have to melt it. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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