Kale cake? Yes! You can’t taste the kale, but it gives this cake a bright green colour and leaves some goodness behind. Hundreds of readers have made it and loved it.
I love this kale cake so much, that I’ve included it in my debut cookbook, Veggie Desserts + Cakes! It has long been popular on this blog and hundreds of readers have written to me to tell me how much they’ve loved it. I hope you love it too.
Kale has risen up the ranks to become the world’s trendiest leafy green, but I’ve shunned the usual kale chips and smoothies, and made it naughty by baking it into a cake.
It has a delicate apple-flavoured sponge, topped with a zesty apple icing and, although there is quite a bit of kale, the flavour doesn’t overpower the other ingredients.
I’ve found that the fresher the kale, the brighter the colour of the cake. When I can get my hands on freshly picked local heads of kale, the green is incredibly vibrant. Supermarket bags of chopped kale also work fine, but the colour can occasionally turn out a little less bright. But don’t be tempted to add more kale to make the colour brighter or its flavour will come through too much!
I’ve added applesauce to this kale cake, so less oil needs to be used. This kale cake is sweet without being too sugary and has moist texture, as vegetable cakes often do. For the icing, instead of the usual buttercream I beat the powdered sugar with applesauce and just a little butter to solidify it. The tangy sweet icing compliments the veg-packed kale cake well.
I know that you’re still skeptical. Heck, I would be if I hadn’t tried it.
I’ve had LOADS of readers make this kale cake again and again, so here are some of their thoughts:
“This was great – and I entered it to a competition and won first prize! Thanks!” – Mark
“It was fun to keep people guessing as to why it was green. Needless to say, the cake received lots of compliments and there was none left. Several people asked where I found the recipe.” – Megan
“It was very tasty!” – Laurel
“I just made this cake.. It’s delicious!!!!! Will definitely make it again” – Caroline
Vegan Kale Cake
And a reader successfully made it into a vegan kale cake:
“Delicious! I made it with flax “eggs” – came out great! Thank you for the beautiful recipe.” – Lyd
Hints and Tips for Making Kale Cake
- Puree the kale very well, making a slightly stringy paste, in order to get an even green colour.
- If necessary, add a little of the applesauce to the kale to make pureeing easier.
- A hand blender/emersion blender works best to puree the kale.
- Readers have had success using flax eggs to make a vegan kale cake.
- Use any apples that you like to eat, gala, cox etc…
- Fresh kale can produce a more vibrant colour, though supermarket bags of chopped kale still work well.
- Don’t be tempted to add more kale to get a brighter colour or the flavour will come through too much.
Kale Cake Recipe
- 200g (2 cups, packed) fresh kale leaves, woody stalk discarded
- 3 eggs
- 100ml (1/2 cup) rapeseed or vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 100g (1/2 cup) applesauce
- 175g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 2 regular eating apples, peeled and grated
- 250g (2 cups) plain (all purpose) flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 250g (1 ¼ cups) powdered icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons smooth applesauce
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease and line 2 9” cake tins with baking paper.
- Tear the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces and boil or steam for a few minutes until tender. Refresh in cold water, drain and puree well with a hand blender. Kale is one of the more difficult vegetables to puree since it's quite fibrous. I've found that a hand blender works best. Persevere for a few minutes to blitz the fibrous leaves to a paste. If necessary, add a little of the applesauce when pureeing to make it easier to blitz. It will still be slightly stringy. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs, oil, vanilla, applesauce and sugar together well. Beat in the kale puree and grated apple. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and gently combine.
- Pour into the prepared tins and bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool for 2 minutes in the tins and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the Apple Icing:
- Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add the other ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Store in the fridge until ready to use. Frost the cooled cake.
My local market is still piled high with bunches of kale as big as umbrellas. Green kale, purple kale… great giant stalks of it beckon. I’ve used it in green smoothies, kale and orange cupcakes, kale and ale slow cooker stew, sparkling kale lemonade and even my kale pesto.
But I still can’t stop buying great heads of the stuff. Those huge crinkly leaves just scream, “Who cares that you wolfed down a big bar of dark chocolate and drank a whole bottle of Prosecco last night – you’re eating KALE!”
My mum is a huge convert to the green smoothies and is often seen wandering into town with a trendy jam jar of the vivid drink, like a walking Pinterest board. So, when it came time to make a vegetable cake for her birthday, it had to be kale.
Check out my other Vegetable Desserts on Pinterest – including a few kale cakes!
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