50 shades of cake

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50 shades of cake

We all love a novelty rainbow cake, but all that artificial colouring? Not so much. Baking with veg like butternut, beetroot and peas paired with flavours such as matcha, rose and turmeric means cakes that turn out naturally sweet and colourful.

Fruit and vegetables contain natural pigments that make them great alternative food dyes. They aren’t as concentrated as regular dye, so you might have to use more than usual. Blend the fruit and veg with a little water or juice until smooth, pass through a sieve to remove the fruit or veg pulp and save the liquid dye to add to icings and batters.

Or expand your horizons and dye white cotton napkins with fruit and vegetables dyes. Simply, place the napkins in the dye for about 30 minutes or until the desired colour is achieved, dry and iron to set the colour.


Use radicchio or red cabbage.


Use spinach or other leafy greens.


Use carrots or mangoes.


Use pomegranate juice with raspberries or roast beetroot. Beetroot juice is an excellent alternative colouring for coconut ice.


Use blueberries cooked in the microwave and strained.


Simmer water and ground turmeric for several minutes and cool.

Pro-tip: Save the pulp for use now or later (frozen in resealable plastic freezer bags) in soups or veggie burgers.

Beetroot cake with rose-geranium frosting

Beetroot and cocoa result in a moist, dark cake and the floral flavours finish it off beautifully.

Get the recipe here.

Natural rainbow cake with cream cheese frosting

Raspberry, carrot, turmeric, spinach, blueberry and beetroot create the subdued shades of this rainbow cake.

Find the recipe here.

Celeriac-and-nut cake with date butter

The celery-like nutty flavour of celeriac is enhanced by the almond flour and butter.

Get the recipe here.

Gingery butternut cake with coconut-butterscotch drizzle

Cinnamon is the obvious match for butternut, but try ginger for something spicier. The double dose of coconut takes it to the next level.

Find the recipe here.

Pea-and-matcha cake

Grassy matcha and sweet garden peas are perfectly matched. Almond, coconut and white chocolate are also great matches for matcha.

Get the recipe here.

Discover more cakes and dessert recipes here.

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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