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.
- 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 unsweetened apple sauce, (or a combo of plain yogurt and oil.)
- 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
- 2 cups flour, sifted with
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 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)
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