For Saint Patrick’s Day this year, I feel like cake – but a healthy kind. Along the lines of carrot cake, I decided to use a neutral vegetable that would also serve as a natural colorant. You got it – spinach!
The end result is a moist cake with a texture as smooth as pudding. Moms – when your little Leprechans eat this delicious cake, they’ll have energy to play for hours. Just be sure to serve this cake early in the day – lol!
Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Bake time: 25 to 35 minutes
Makes One 9-inch round cake
2/3 cup thawed spinach, packed (thaw a package of frozen spinach first, drain it and then measure)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup cold water
1-3/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil (safflower or sunflower preferred)
1/2 cup milk (whole or 2% milk fat)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
Candy sprinkles (nonpareils)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform or regular cake pan; set aside.
2. In a blender, purée the spinach with 1 egg and 1/3 cup water until mixture becomes creamy and uniform. If needed, add 1 to 2 more tablespoons water until spinach mixture is uniform. Set aside for later use (you will only need 1 cup of this spinach mixture).
2. In a 1-quart bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
3. In a stand mixer or in a 4-quart mixing bowl using a hand mixer, beat together 1 cup of the spinach mixture, sugar, cream cheese, vegetable oil, milk and vanilla.
4. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients and beat until batter is smooth.
5. Pour the batter into prepared pan.
6. Place the pan on a rack positioned in center of oven.
7. Bake the cake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, insert a knife in center of cake. If knife comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes and test doneness again.
8. If needed, bake for an additional 5 minutes.
9. Cool Leprechan Cake completely.
10. Mix 1 cup confectioners’ sugar with 2 to 3 tablespoons milk to make a glaze. Pour it over cake and decorate with candy sprinkles.
Text and Cake Photograph ©2013 Nancy DeLucia Real