Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Vegan Kale Cake with Sweet Potato Filling

Photo by CSA shareholder and professional food photographer, Evi Abeler (

This has to be my new favorite dessert! It's a creation of CSA shareholder Laura Forer, who picks up her share in Harlem, NYC. Her online bakery, Waltzing Matilda's NYC, specializes in unique Australian pastries. Laura adapted a carrot cake recipe that she found on Hell Yeah It's Vegan! Blog to create the cake, and a vegan vanilla-banana custard recipe from to create the fabulous filling. (, Thank you, Laura!

Kale Cake with Sweet Potato Filling
Filling Ingredients
2 cups soymilk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
⅓ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 sweet potatoes, boiled and blended until smooth
1 tablespoon vegan margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pinch nutmeg

Cake Ingredients
2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspon baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons flax seed meal
¾ cup warm water
1 to 1½ cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups blanched, shocked, and chopped kale (about 2 bunches)
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Icing Ingredients
2 8-ounce containers Tofutti cream cheese
¼ to ½ cup vegan margarine
¾ to 1½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Filling Directions
1. Whisk cornstarch, sugar, and salt together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
2. Add milk and sweet potato and whisk until lumps disappear.
3. Heat over medium heat, whisking, until the custard thickens.
4. To test whether the custard is thick enough, dip a wooden spoon into the mixture and run your finger through the coating.
5. When the custard is thick enough, the trail will not close back up.
6. Take the custard off heat. Whisk in vegan margarine, vanilla, and nutmeg.
7. Cool with a plastic sheet pressed to the surface to prevent a skin from forming.

Cake and Icing Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 8×8″ pans with parchment paper. In a small bowl, sift together dry ingredients (flour through salt). In a large bowl, whisk together flax seed meal and water. Beat in sugar and oil. Add vanilla and blanched and shocked kale and mix until combined. Add dry mix and stir until moistened. Fold in walnuts. Pour equal parts into pans. Bake for 18-20 min, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pans 10 minutes.
2. For the icing, beat together Tofutti cream cheese and vegan margarine. Add vanilla and powdered sugar; whip until smooth. Do not overbeat.
3. Use a knife to loosen edges of cake from pans. Using parchment paper, lift cakes out of pans. Carefully remove parchment paper from one cake. Frost one cake with sweet potato filling and one cake with icing. Layer and serve chilled.


  1. Just found this and I am so excited to make it! Is the flax seed meal necessary? Is there a substitute?

    1. probably applesauce, i know thats a good vegan egg replacer. if you want to use real eggs or applesauce or even vinegar I'd google the conversions for them

  2. Has anyone tried this? its a little intensive for me to just try out but it looks really interesting!!

    1. my friend just made this for her birthday and this is what she said: "the kale cake was kind of like carrot cake, but just without the after taste of the carrot and instead the spicyness of the kale. It was really good with the cream cheese icing on top"

  3. I made this but it didn't turn out green like yours... just a plain cake with green leaves mixed in. Was I suppose to puree the batter? Or maybe just puree the kale before adding it?

  4. This looks fantastic.. and is just adding more fuel to a raging kale-obsessed fire.

    Melissa posed an excellent question-- should the kale be pureed prior to being mixed into the batter? The cake pictured above has that lovely green coloring to it, and I definitely want mine to come out looking as similar as possible.

  5. Came here through the Sweetest Vegan. I love kale, and this looks absolutely divine :) no off to try and make a glutenfree version of it.

  6. Hi all,
    I'm so sorry I missed these posts. I realize it's been a while now, but if it's not too late I'll try to answer your questions here:
    BBR - The flax seed is the egg substitute in this cake. You could probably try 3 eggs if you didn't mind a non-vegan version. (I make my flax seed meal by grinding whole seeds in the coffee grinder.)
    Melissa - Yes, you are right--the kale should be pureed! My apologies that that part of the recipe didn't make it here. In fact, I mix the whole batter in a food processor in this order:
    1. Kale with some oil to get it moving.
    2. Add sugar, vanilla, and rest of oil.
    3. Pulse in dry ingredients (previously mixed together) or stir in by hand.
    4. Stir in walnuts by hand. (These must have been added in a translation of the recipe as I don't use walnuts, but I'm sure they are good!)

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  8. This cake is simply divine, for those who can enjoy something a little different from the typical dessert. I have made it multiple times and am always sure to puree the kale (otherwise you will have a chunky cake- ergh). Add raisins for a more muffin-like treat. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

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