Colourful Fruit means No food coloring: pretty easter cakes!

First and foremost, I have to thank Nora for nominating me for the versatile blogger award!  This made my day!  I’ve got a recipe planning, and a final this week, so doing my own ‘versatile blogger’ post is going to have a wait a little while, but I am super excited about it.

This was one of those ideas I just could not get out of my head.  I see all these pretty rainbow cakes on foodgawker…and I’m jealous.  Once, before I got super healthy, I made rainbow cupcakes.  Using A LOT of food coloring.  It felt kind of wrong (and not in a good way) adding that much fake stuff to food.  Here it is.  That was before the days of food photography. Since these day’s of being healthier, I did miss those crazy colours a bit.  And when I make a smoothie, and grab some frozen blueberries from the bag…sometimes they stain my hand.  That was my first clue.  And beets stain.  And all dye used to be natural…so, it was time to dye some cake, and add some colourful flavor using FOOD itself!

The experiment involved making a giant batch of thick batter, dividing it into 3 bowls, and adding different fruit (or vegetable…yep) puree into each bowl.  I used raspberries, blueberries, and spinach.  Yup.  The disguiseable veggie.  Since the whole cake is so colourful, I figured I could get away with some green cakes. I mean, no one would think this colour was real anyways, would they?

I was very pleased with the results.  When they first came out of the oven, I thought they were too dark, but that was just the outside that had been browned.  Once I sliced in, beautiful colours were revealed!  I think it’s time to get to the recipe.  Beat with me, because it’s a bit one.  You can divide it and make less.

Total cakes made from this recipe, and their respective baking times, at 350:

  • 2 x 6″ springforms: 55 minutes
  • 2 x mini springforms: 30 minutes
  • 3 very full muffins: 25 minutes

Ingredients for the big giant neutral batter:

  • 5 bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 1 cup almond milk (or other milk)
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup spelt bran (or more flour, or oat bran)
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes (or oatmeal, or flour, but quinoa flakes make things fluffy!)
  • 4 t baking powder
  • 1/4 cup stevia powder
  • 4 T coconut oil

Ingredients for cake flavour and colour additions:

  1. 2 cups frozen raspberries, defrosted, and pureed (with their water)
  2. 2 cups blueberries, defrosted and pureed (with their water)
  3. 2 cups packed fresh baby spinach, pureed with a little batter, and a big splash of almond milk

How too:

  1. combine all liquids from the first ingredients list, including mashed bananas
  2. fold in dry ingredients, and mix well
  3. divide mixture equally into 3 bowls
  4. with clean and separate utensils, blend puree into each respective bowl of neutral batter
    1. be sure to take a moment to admire the colour
  5. preheat your oven, and grease your pans
  6. distribute batter however you’d like
  7. bake (check out the times above for different sizes), and take it out when a toothpick comes out clean
  8. ENJOY, and brag to your friends…shock them with some green cake!

How I put together the pink and purple cake:
After the cakes cooled, I put them in the fridge overnight.  This mean that they were pretty sturdy when I went to slice them in half, horizontally. That would probably not be okay with a more delicate cake, but this one is moist and tasty, but not exactly fluffy. So I had a pink cake, and a purple cake, and I sliced them each, and then put them together, alternating cakes.  I woke up before my alarm early on a Sunday morning to do this.

For the icing:

Combine equal parts vanilla greek yogurt, and protein powder (I used about a cup of each in total), and 1/2 tsp lemon extract. Depending on how much cake surface you want to cover, adjust your amount.

Feel free to divide the recipe into something smaller, or make all cupcakes, and have fun and experiment.  Of all the flavours the pink/raspberry was my favorite. It’s got a nice tarteness to it.  My mom liked the spinach, which actually tasted the most like vanilla cake.

What a pretty cake!


8 thoughts on “Colourful Fruit means No food coloring: pretty easter cakes!

  1. oh wow what a gorgeous cake and a great idea! the finished product looks absolutely splendid. This easter I’m going to try to dye easter eggs with natural dye … this was good inspiration!

  2. Hey Lauren! I KNEW you would have the perfect recipe for family easter dinners!! You’re so creative:) I am going to make this colourful cake tomorrow. Would the recipe make two decent sized cakes? Also, what are the orange flakes you sprinkled on top of the cake…?

    • Hey Chelsea! I was just thinking of getting in touch with you today. Hope we’re in the same class again one of these days!

      Yeah, this makes a lot of cake. Just watch the baking time depending on what size pans you’re using. It’s pretty dense, and there’s a lot of it, so you should be able to get lots of servings out of it.

      I finely chopped some lemon zest, and put it on top, along with some blackberries. It adds a little more lemony-flavor.

      Let me know how it goes! The raspberry was the favorite here.

  3. I’m planning on making this beautiful cake for my daughther’s birthday.. But I can’t get my hands on Stevia powder.. Is it possible to “unhealtify” this cake & use raw sugar? And how much should I use? I’ve never heard of stevia powder til reading your recipe so I’m not sure how to convert the sweetness to raw/brown sugar.
    Please let me know! Thanks

  4. Hi Daniella! I’m so glad that you’d planning on making this cake! While I’m all for substitutions, my only concern is that Stevia is so sweet that the substitution wouldn’t be a 1:1 ratio at all..so I definitely couldn’t guarantee it’s success. Have you tried a local health food store? I’ve never found a health food store that didn’t have it. Otherwise, you could definitely find it online (provided you have the time to wait on the delivery). Stevia is a naturally sweet leaf that’s grown in popularity over the last few years. It’s nice because it’s super sweet, calorie free, and natural.

    If you’re going to use sugar, I think you’d need at least 1 cup, maybe up to 2? Hopefully 1 cup would do, given the sweetness of the bananas, though it’s a large cake. I think you should probably decrease the amount of flour by at least a cup when you’re adding the sugar. No guarantees on my part, though! I’ll be crossing my fingers, and do hope you find some Stevia, or have some luck in making a variation (tip: I often taste the batter to see how it’s doing before baking)…though raw batter does taste different than cake!

    • Thanks for your suggestions! The party is tomorrow & I reckon I’ll do my best to get my hands on some stevia powder. Not brave enough to risk it with sugar :)
      I’m only planning on making the blueberry cake because my daughter loves blueberries! I hope mine turns out as good as yours.
      Just out of curiosity does stevia have a weird after taste like other sweeteners?

      • It depends on the brand. Given that this recipe is using some natural sweetener as well, I wouldn’t worry. I find it can be more noticeable when it’s the only sweet element. I hope it works out!

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