Choc-chip zucchini + beetroot “donut” cake.

“I want to make a cake that looks like a donut.”
A bundt tin, a couple of summer squash and a couple of leftover roast beetroot later…
Zucchini beetroot cakeDon’t be perturbed by the vegetables — I promise nobody will even know they’re there (until you tell them).

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.

1 cup grated zucchini*
1 cup grated beetroot**

1/2 cup walnuts (roughly chopped)
1 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup white chocolate chips

2 + 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

225 g butter (room temp.)
1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)

1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs

For the glaze
1.5 tbsp Cointreau (or other sweet liqueur)
1 tsp coconut essence (but vanilla would work too)
A few drops of pink food colouring
Mini M&Ms (or rainbow sprinkles)


  1. Preheat the oven to 176º C, and butter the inside of a bundt tin.
  2. Grate the vegetables, then put them in medium bowl with the walnuts and chocolate chips, mix gently with a wooden spoon, and set aside.
  3. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into another medium bowl. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and thick — about 3 minutes.
  5. Still mixing, add the egg and vanilla, and mix until fully combined.
  6. Mixing on the slowest speed, gradually add in the flour mixture a few tablespoons at a time until fully combined.
  7. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the gated vegetables, walnuts and chocolate, making sure everything is evenly distributed.
    Beetroot batter
  8. Spoon the batter*** into your prepared bundt tin, making sure the tin is filled evenly and the surface is relatively smoothed out.
  9. Bake for 40–50 minutes, or until a bamboo skewer comes out clean when you stick it into the deepest part of the cake.
  10. Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool completely in the tin before inverting it onto a plate. (If your tin is non-stick and you buttered well, you shouldn’t even need to jimmy the cake out with a knife.)
  11. For the glaze (once the cake has cooled completely)
    Whisk together the icing mixture, Cointreau, essence and food colouring until you have a smooth, flowing liquid — about the consistency of craft glue. Add a tiny splash of water if you need to loosen it up a little.
  12. Carefully spoon or pour the glaze over the cooled cake, allowing it to run down the sides and into the middle hole.
  13. Before the glaze sets, decorate with mini M&Ms or rainbow sprinkles.
  14. Serve to unsuspecting grown-up friends, and delight in the looks of disbelief when you reveal the secret ingredients.

*I used three large summer squash, but two regular-sized zucchini would do the trick.
**There were two medium-sized roast beetroot left over in my fridge, but since  you’re grating and baking them I reckon raw beets would work too.
***It will be quite lumpy and heavy — don’t worry, it will transform into a smooth, moist, surprisingly light crumb cake in the oven.

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