Cakes and Bakes with a Secret!

These cheeky cakes and bakes have a secret…not only are they delightfully scrumptious, they’re also packed with fruits or vegetables! What better way to boost your nutrient intake – with dessert. Get ready to welcome pumpkin, beetroot, zucchini, sweet potato and even black beans into your baking pantry as we explore our favourite fruit and veggie recipes from foodies across the web. Click on the images to see the original recipe or visit our Baking with Fruit & Veg recipe collection for more.

Why don’t we use pumpkin in Aussie baking more often? It seems like we’ve relegated it to our scones and nothing else. Which isn’t to say that pumpkin scones aren’t delicious, but there’s a whole world of pumpkin bakes that we need to embrace. From pumpkin pie to pumpkin ice cream, to this beautiful Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting. 


The best kind of treats? Those that taste totally indulgent, but are secretly packed full of goodness! This Raw Choc Raspberry Slice is gluten free and sweetened naturally with dates and Queen Pure Maple Syrup.


There’s nothing better than a beautiful apple cake, jam packed with naturally sweet apples. This gorgeous Golden Delicious Apple Cake by The Healthy Chef is tender with vanilla scented red apples that are high in fibre, dense with almond meal and moist with honey and extra virgin olive oil. Plus it’s gluten free and dairy free.



Carrot is the classic baking vegetable; the one we’re all used to. Zucchini is the slightly less-well known contender, even though it’s equally suited to the job! This green veg brings much less sweetness to the table than a carrot, but it makes up for that with buckets of moisture, meaning any zucchini cake comes out with a perfect texture. This Lemon Zucchini Cake is the kind of simple bake that packs perfectly into a lunchbox.

Dark, rich, earthy, complex – when you think about it, a lot of the same words we use to describe chocolate can also be applied to beetroot. And that’s what makes these two flavours work unexpectedly perfectly together in this decadent Seriously Healthy Chocolate Beetroot Cake from Jamie Oliver. Next time you’ve got the family around for dinner, surprise them with this for dessert and see if anyone can pick the secret ingredient!



Carrot cake is no surprise. We all know it and we all love it (especially that cream cheese frosting!). So since this round up is all about cakes with a twist, this carrot cake is not just any ordinary carrot cake. No, instead of simply folding through grated strands of raw carrot, the Silver Palate Carrot Cake calls for cooked mashed carrot in the batter. This means extra sweetness, extra moisture, and a cake that will win over any vegetable-phobes!


Oh, but carrots aren’t just for cakes… Piled high with whipped vanilla cream, this Carrot Cake Cheesecake is a truly decadent reinterpretation of classic flavours. The secret to maintaining that silky smooth cheesecake texture? The carrots must be cooked first, then fully blended in a food processor along with Vanilla Bean Paste and spices. Garnish with a sprinkle of crunchy pecan praline for the ultimate indulgence!


This recipe’s secret ingredient is a little bit out there – black beans! Not exactly what we think of when we think of a luxurious chocolate brownie. But this recipe for Vegan Black Bean Brownies really works. Any lingering flavour from the beans disappears in the baked brownies, leaving nothing but a squidgy gorgeous texture and seriously chocolate-y flavour.



Sweet potatoes have become a staple in many people’s kitchens. And why not? They’re inexpensive, easy to store, and they’re completely delicious. Not to mention they’re much more nutritionally packed than regular white potatoes. This Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread (more of a loaf cake, really) makes the most of sweet potatoes’ simple sweetness, by pairing it with warming winter spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.



Poor old lemons. Too often we just want them for their zest and their juice and the rest goes straight into the bin. Not so in this recipe for Whole Lemon Bars by The Baker Chick. These call for an entire lemon to be blitzed with eggs and sugar, forming a jiggly almost-lemon-curd on top of a biscuit base. These are extra zingy from all that lemon, just the thing of the lemon lover in your life!

So there you have it, you can boost your daily fruit and veggie intake one slice of cake at a time! For more recipes with fruit and veg, visit our Baking with Fruit & Veg recipe collection.

Happy baking!

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