How to Hide Vegetables in Your Favorite Baked Goods

Jessica Bolewski

Contributor

Chocolate cupcakes with beetroot, cinnamon rolls with pumpkin, and cake with zucchini? At first these combinations sound fairly unusual. But there are so many vegetables that are ideal for baking sweet treats—it almost makes you believe these cakes are healthy. 

Adding vegetables to your batter also helps produce a moister cake by replacing some of the flour with fresh produce. The use of veggies also allows for butter and oil to be reduced or left out completely since vegetables like pumpkin or zucchini naturally contain a lot of water. You can also use vegetables as an addition to a standard recipe – without replacing anything. 

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Depending on the vegetable used, you will only taste it very faintly after baking. Vegetables like zucchini, carrot, sweet potato, or parsnip are naturally sweet and mild in flavor. You can add the vegetables raw and grated, or bake and purée them first before adding them to the batter. Roasting your vegetables is a great option when you want to use naturally firmer vegetables, or ones that enhance their aroma or texture in the oven, such as pumpkin, beetroot, eggplant, and zucchini. 

If you’ve never baked with vegetables, it is easiest to start with adding grated vegetables to your classic sponge cake batter. The baking time might have to be adjusted since vegetables do contain extra moisture. 

Have you ever baked with vegetables? Let us know in the comments, or simply upload photos of your favorite creations! 

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The 5 Best Vegetables to Bake With:

Hokkaido-Pumpkin

Small, round, and particularly healthy: the Hokkaido pumpkin! It provides your body with Vitamin A, as well as beta carotene. Vitamin A aids cell growth and promotes the health of eyes, skin, and mucous membranes. Roasted and puréed Hokkaido is ideal for cupcakes, cakes, and cinnamon rolls. It pairs best with cinnamon and ginger!

Pumpkin cinnamon rolls

Pumpkin cinnamon rolls

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Carrot

Carrot cake is amongst the more popular vegetables cakes and is commonly known around the world. There are as many names for it as there are recipes. But they all have one thing in common: They are made with grated carrots. They act as a natural sweetener and add moisture to the cake. The orange root vegetable is also quite healthy, as it contains beta carotene that gives your skin a healthy glow!

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

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Beetroot

This deep red root is a nutrient goldmine—a great source for plant-based protein, fiber, vitamin B, C, and potassium. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure and is important for muscles and nerves. It doesn’t only add a beautiful dark red color to baked goods, it also makes cakes, sorbets, and more sweeter, too. Therefore, you can confidently hold back the sugar!

Double chocolate beetroot cake

Double chocolate beetroot cake

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Sweet Potato

If you’re looking to bake moist, low-calorie, and low-fat treats, sweet potato is your guy! Simply replace some of the flour with sweet potato purée, which supplies our body with plant secondary metabolites, which help our body protect itself from radical elements. After 20 minutes of roasting, the sweet potato is tender and easily blended into a purée. The purée is then added to the batter and baked as usual. Thanks to sweet potatoes, waffles, brownies,  and more get a beautifully sweet and nutty flavor. Try it for yourself by switching out the pumpkin purée with sweet potato in this brownie recipe!

Pumpkin-swirl brownies

Pumpkin-swirl brownies

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Zucchini

This green vegetable is low in carbs and fat, which is what makes it ideal for the low-carb kitchen. Additionally, zucchini contains potassium, magnesium, and iron, which are important for the transport of oxygen thoughout the body. Since zucchini is consistituted of so much water, you could replace most butter or oil with it and still get moist cakes. But because of the high water content, baking time might have to be adjusted. 

Zucchini-lime cake

Zucchini-lime cake

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