With it’s excess root veggies and temperatures that are more conducive to baking, autumn is the prime time of year to explore baking desserts with vegetables. Most of us will automatically think of pumpkin desserts, but there is an entire realm of veggies we can use from spinach to corn, even peas! These are some of our favourites and how to use them in your everyday baking.
11 Vegetables to Bake into Desserts
- Spinach: While it doesn’t add much flavour, spinach can add a vivid green colour to desserts as well as some added vitamins. Use in homemade ice creams, cakes, and pancakes. Recipe for Spinach and Yogurt Cake.
- Squash: Types of squash like butternut, acorn, and kabocha can be used to replace pumpkin, yam, apple sauce. They add both a sweetness and a subtle flavour while also adding moisture. Recipe for Brown Butter + Squash Bread Pudding
- Pumpkin: Tis’ the season. Most people like pumpkin desserts, and if you’re one of the few who don’t I guarantee it’s the spices you are adverse to and not the actual pumpkin. Pumpkins are great because they add moisture to desserts as well as flavour and natrual sweetness. In the case of pumpkin pies, they also make up most of the texture. Try adding pumpkin to your cookies, scones, and custards for some seasonal flair. Recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Layer Cake
- Beets: Besides a bright pink colour, beets add natural sugar to desserts and a flavour that pairs perfectly with chocolate. Replace typical food colouring with beets in a red velvet cake, or add to hot cocoa, or in icings for a fun pink colour. Recipe for Chocolate Beet Muffins
- Zucchini: One of the most common veggies to bake with, using zucchini often feels like it’s the result of having an excess amount. But beyond necessity, zucchini adds moisture to baking (in the form of water) making it a good replacement for eggs or excess oil. Try adding it to muffins, cakes, and loafs. Recipe for Chocolate Chip Zucchini Loaf
- Parsnip: We don’t often think of adding parsnips to dessert, but parsnips have a super rich flavour and sweetness that lend themselves well to baking. Add them to crumbles, muffins, and bread puddings for a punch of autumn flavour. Recipe for Parsnip Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
- Sweet Potato: With it’s natural sweet flavour, yams make for a great sugar substitute. They can be used in frosting recipes, brownies, and as the base for puddings. Recipe for Sweet Potato Blondies
- Sweet Peas: Sweet peas add a natural sweetness as well as a gorgeous green colour. Try using in homemade mint ice cream, panna cottas, or cakes. Recipe for Sweat Pea and Pistachio Cake
- Beans: Common in Asian desserts, beans can be used as a filling (like mochi), added into cakes (as well as cookies and brownies), or mixed with sugar to make a dessert of their own. I like to add chickpeas to blondies, black beans to brownies, and sweet adzuki beans to cakes. Recipe for Black Bean Fudge Brownies
- Purple Sweet Potato: Very similar to conventional sweet potatoes, but purple sweet potatoes add a fun and vibrant colour. Recipe for Purple Sweet Potato
- Sweet Corn: Sweet corn can be used to add a ton of natural sugar to desserts just like a fruit would. Try in anything from anything to a corn custard pie, sweet corn ice cream, and sweet corn cakes. Recipe for Sweet Corn and Coconut mini Cakes