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  • Els Kenney

green kale cake

I know what you’re thinking. Kale, the leafy green vegetable, in a cake? Gross! Well trust me when I say this recipe yields a delicate apple-flavoured sponge cake, topped with zingy icing and packed full of goodness, without tasting like leafy greens.

Kale is one of the hardy greens in the brassica family, also known as cruciferous vegetables. It’s becoming increasingly popular due to its superfood reputation and high nutritional content, including folic acid, vitamins B6, A, C and K. Kale can help to lower cholesterol, protect the eyes and aid a weight loss diet… But let’s talk about cake!

This recipe is a real showstopper, as when you cut into the cake, a vibrant green middle is revealed. Try to #shoplocal and get your hands on freshly picked kale from your community’s market or grocers, as the fresher the kale, the brighter the colour of the cake.


  • 200g raw kale, woody stalks discarded

  • 3 eggs*

  • 100ml vegetable oil

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 100g applesauce

  • 175g granulated sugar

  • 2 green apples, peeled and grated

  • 250g plain flour

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • pinch of salt

  • 250g icing sugar

  • 85g soft butter*

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 tbsp smooth applesauce (optional)

  • lime zest (optional)

* to make this recipe vegan, substitute your eggs for 4 1/2 tbsp oil, 4 1/2 tbsp water and 3 tsp baking powder, mixed together in a small bowl. remember to use vegan butter, too!


  1. heat the oven to 180°C. grease two cake tins, or line with baking paper.

  2. tear the kale into bite-size pieces and boil for five minutes, until softened. drain the kale and rinse with cold water, then puree with a hand blender. expect your end-result puree to still be slightly stringy. set aside.

  3. mix the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, applesauce and sugar together with an electric mixer. next, beat in the pureed kale and grated apple.

  4. sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, and gently combine. be careful not to over-mix.

  5. pour your cake mixture equally into each cake tin, and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

  6. leave the cake in the tins for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  7. meanwhile, mix the icing sugar, butter, vanilla and applesauce together in a bowl until you have a smooth and creamy icing. fold in half of the lime zest, and spread over the top of both cooled cakes, then sandwich the cakes together to create a two-tier cake.

  8. sprinkle the remaining lime zest on top of the cake, and serve to impress!

Leave a comment on how your kale cake turned out, and any other creative ways you’ve cooked or baked with leafy greens!


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