Leftover vegetable and orange cake

A novel way to use root vegetables is to bake a sweet, moist sponge cake with citrus flavors. This Leftover Vegetable Orange Cake recipe features a delicious combination of earthy and spicy notes. The addition of grated vegetables gives the cake a unique texture and moisture, while the zesty orange tones add a refreshing touch. This cake is perfect for using up excess vegetables and satisfying your sweet tooth. It is a delicious choice for both dessert and afternoon tea. Enjoy a piece of this surprisingly delicious and nutritious treat!


  • 200g butter, melted, plus a little butter for greasing
  • 140g sultanas or raisins
  • Zest and juice of 2 oranges or 4 clementines
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 300g light soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp spice mix
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 large eggs, beaten with a fork
  • 300g carrots, parsnips, pumpkin, butternut squash or turnips or a mixture, grated
  • 200g powdered sugar or fondant powdered sugar
  • a few crushed white sugar cubes


Vegetables have different water content. Therefore, keep an eye on the cake towards the end of the cooking process – it may take a little less or a little more time to cook.

Preparation steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
  2. Grease a 30 x 20 cm baking or roasting tin and line it with baking paper.
  3. Mix the sultanas and the zest and juice of 1 orange (or 2 clementines) in a bowl.
  4. Microwave the mixture on high for 2 minutes.
  5. Mix flour, powdered sugar, spices, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt in a large bowl.
  6. Mix the eggs with the melted butter and sultana mixture.
  7. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon.
  8. Stir in the grated vegetables.
  9. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan.
  10. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Let the cake cool in the tin.
  12. Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl.
  13. Stir in the remaining orange peel and enough juice to create a liquid glaze.
  14. Drizzle the frosting all over the cake.
  15. Sprinkle the crushed sugar cubes on top.
  16. Allow the cake to set.
  17. To serve, cut the cake into 15 squares.

Nutritional Information

346 13g 7g 54g 40g 1.2g 4g 0.7g

Equipment and tools

  • mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • grater
  • baking tray
  • baking paper

Allergen information

This recipe contains the following allergens:

  • butter
  • Eggs

Please be aware of these allergens if you have dietary restrictions or allergies.

Storage and leftovers

This cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days. Alternatively, you can store it in the fridge for a longer shelf life.

If you have leftovers, you can freeze them for up to 3 months. Simply wrap the slices tightly in plastic wrap or place them in a freezer-safe container.

To defrost, simply let the cake stand at room temperature or warm it in the oven before serving.

Health Benefits of Leftover Vegetables and Orange Cake

This leftover vegetable and orange cake may sound unusual, but it is a delicious and nutritious treat. Packed with a variety of ingredients, this cake offers several health benefits that make it a guilt-free treat.

1. Vitamins and minerals

This cake is rich in vitamins and minerals thanks to the addition of grated vegetables and oranges. Carrots, parsnips, pumpkin, butternut squash and turnips are excellent sources of vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining healthy vision, supporting the immune system and promoting cell growth.

Oranges, on the other hand, are rich in vitamin C, which is known for its antioxidant properties. Vitamin C helps protect the body from free radicals, strengthens the immune system and helps absorb iron.

2. Fiber

The addition of grated vegetables in this cake also ensures a good amount of fiber. Fiber plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy digestion, preventing constipation, and regulating blood sugar levels. In addition, fiber helps you feel fuller for longer, thereby supporting weight control.

3. Antioxidants

The combination of oranges and mixed spices in this cake provides a generous amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that help protect the body from oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. They also have anti-inflammatory properties and promote general well-being.

4. Reduced sugar content

This recipe uses light brown sugar instead of refined white sugar. Brown sugar contains molasses, which provides some important minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium. While it’s still important to consume sugar in moderation, using brown sugar may be a better alternative because it goes through fewer processing steps compared to white sugar.

5. Little fat

The recipe calls for melted butter, but in moderation. Butter adds richness to the cake while providing a small amount of fat. However, by using grated vegetables and a little butter, the cake remains comparatively low in fat and is therefore also suitable for fat-conscious people.

6. Gluten-free option

By using self-raising gluten-free flour instead of regular flour, this recipe can easily be made into a gluten-free treat. This is beneficial for people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

As with any dessert, moderation is key. However, the inclusion of leftover vegetables and oranges in this cake makes it a healthy and delicious treat that offers several health benefits. Try it out and enjoy this unique and delicious creation without a guilty conscience!

Note: Vegetables have different water contents. Therefore, keep an eye on the cake towards the end of the cooking process – it may take a little less or a little more time to cook.

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