Daring Baker's Challenge March 2013: Hidden Vegetables.

Ruth from Makey-Cakey was our March 2013 Daring Bakers’ challenge host. She encouraged us all to get experimental in the kitchen and sneak some hidden veggies into our baking, with surprising and delicious results!

I kind of opted out on the challenge this month - in part because I've done my fair share of hiding vegetables in baked goods.  Instead of making something new,  I have quite a few successful experiments that I'll list here for you.

For example:

Beet Cake.  This was de-gluten-free-ified  from one of my favorite local bakers, Annie Wegner-LeFort. It was also a hit with my son, who would never touch a beet if prepared traditionally.  Click the photo for the recipe (and a link to the original, gluten-free recipe) on flickr.

chocolate beet cake

Hidden Veg Muffins.  There is pureed carrot in here, and some banana, making for a muffin with very little refined sugar.  For some reason, my kid will not eat carrots - but I try and sneak them in where I can, and this is one place where they went undetected.  Recipe is also linked to the photo on flickr.

hidden veg muffins.

And speaking of muffins, these Sweet Potato Muffins went over well at my house as well.  A whole cup of sweet potato puree in these!

sweet potato muffins

I mentioned in the notes for these Vegan Zucchini Carrot Muffins (also posted on flickr), that the world really doesn't need another muffin recipe - but that sometimes a good muffin recipe is hard to find.  I've made these several times - and they are deliciously able to hide about 2 cups of shredded vegetables and keep them hidden from suspecting children.

vegan zucchini carrot muffins

On a more desserty note, I had tinkered for some time with black bean brownies.  I probably haven't made them again in the 3 years since I wrote about them, but they were good, and vegan to boot.  I do highly recommend whipped cream with cayenne pepper though, which is what made these brownies not truly vegan.

Deena's Chocolate Zucchini Cake is probably one of my most favorite cakes ever - if you don't include her Honey Cake.  So much of what Deena writes sticks like glue in my  head.  The opening of her post on this worthy cake says: "My friend's husband once left her a note in the kitchen that read: Honey, we're out of bundt cake."  I always think of this when I want to make a bundt cake, because I grew up in a bundt cake-eating family, and I long to hear (or see)  these words lingering around a bundt in my own house.  My Husband is not so much a sweets eater, so I live vicariously through these words - and I make this bundt cake in the height of zucchini season when I have friends for supper.  Perhaps when my kids grow big enough to leave me notes, I'll be as lucky as Deena's friend...

chocolate zucchini bundt cake

Since adding copious amounts of shredded vegetables to cake is usually always a good idea, I took Susan from Wild Yeast's lead and made a cake with a whole lot of shredded parsnip.  The original cake was made with carrots, and it too is one of my favorites.  I try to leave myself a supply of sourdough ends to dry and grind up, just so I have the ability to make it on a whim, since there is no flour in this recipe - only dried bread crumbs!  I wonder how this cake would fare with well-drained zucchini?

baked parsnip bread crumb cake
Sourdough Breadcrumb Parsnip Cake.

Most recently, I made these Carrot-Banana Muffins, which were devoid of refined sugar and gluten.  In my opinion, they are the perfect near-dessert muffin - and they really satisfy a sweet tooth.  And we all know that I have a whole mouth full of those that I'm trying to deal with.

carrot banana muffin

Hopefully, I'll be bake to my Daring self next month and able to concoct something new and exciting.  But I'm glad I had a chance to think back on all of the ways I've been successfully able to hide vegetables in the baked goods here at my house.  Be sure to check the Daring Baker blogroll and website for more inspiration!