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Garden Patch Cake

Total Time

Prep: 1 hour + drying Bake: 35 min. + cooling

Makes

12-16 servings

This moist cake combines shredded zucchini, carrots and beets with chocolate chips for a deliciously different dessert. It's a sweet reward for the time you spent weeding and watering your garden. -Kimberly Speta, Kennedy, New York
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrots
  • 1 cup finely shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded beets
  • 1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • FROSTING:
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • GARDEN PATCH CAKE DECORATING:
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 7 wooden craft or Popsicle sticks (4-1/2 inches)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking cocoa
  • Red, yellow, orange and green liquid or paste food coloring
  • Pastry tips - #5 and #10 round, #67 leaf and #20 star
  • 5 pastry bags or small heavy-duty resealable plastic bags

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, beat oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; add to egg mixture and mix well. Stir in vegetables. Add chips and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  2. For frosting, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over cake. Store in refrigerator.
  3. Editor's Note: See below for decorating frosting recipe and directions.
  4. GARDEN PATCH CAKE DECORATING:
  5. In a bowl, cream shortening, extracts and salt. Gradually beat in sugar alternately with milk until smooth and stiff. Cover with a wet paper towel and plastic wrap until ready to use.
  6. TO MAKE TRELLIS:
  7. Lay 5 craft or Popsicle sticks on a sheet of waxed paper with 1/4 in between bottom of sticks (ends that are inserted into cake) and 1/2 in. between tops. Spread back side of remaining sticks with frosting; position across the 5 sticks 1 in. and 2 in. down from the top. Allow to dry, about 1 hour. Press bottom of sticks into upper left corner of cake.
  8. TO MAKE GARDEN PATCH:
  9. Using a toothpick, mark a 5-1/2x3-1/2-in. patch in lower right corner. Lightly sprinkle with cocoa and gently press into cake.
  10. TO MAKE VEGETABLES AND BORDER:
  11. Cut a small hole in corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert #10 round tip. Combine 1/4 cup frosting and red food coloring; fill bag. Holding bag straight up and down, form 8-10 tomatoes in front of the trellis. Prepare another bag, inserting #5 round tip. Combine 1/2 cup frosting and yellow food coloring; fill bag. Using the same procedure, form rows of small dots to create kernel of 8-10 ears of corn in upper right corner. Wash #10 tip and insert into a third bag. Combine 1/2 cup frosting and orange food coloring; fill bag. Using the same procedure, form 3 rows of 4 carrots on the garden patch. Add green food coloring to remaining frosting. Prepare a fourth bag, inserting leaf tip; fill with some of the frosting. Form husks on edges of ears of corn; add stems and leaves to tomatoes and carrots. Add vines to trellis. Prepare a fifth bag, inserting the star tip; fill with remaining green frosting. Form a border around base and upper edge of cake.

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