St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to get Max excited about eating something green. Food coloring is one of those things that I try to stay away from so I started researching baking sweets with spinach. Apparently, spinach lemon cake is a traditional dessert in Turkey. After reading dozens of similar recipes, I knew it would work in theory but I wasn’t convinced that it would be delicious. I am now thoroughly convinced! This cake is spectacular!
Some of the recipes I found called for lemon juice and others called for the fresh squeezed juice and zest of a lemon. I didn’t have any lemons or lemon juice so I used organic lime juice. Max, my dad and I tried a piece right after I iced it and it was a perfect cake but the lime flavour was not apparent at all. We all had a piece after dinner today and the lime flavour was there but very light and subtle. For the icing, I knew I wanted a light cream cheese frosting that wasn’t too rich so I eased up on the normal amount of powdered sugar and added some ginger syrup. The texture was beautiful but the ginger didn’t pop as much as I had imagined it would.
We enjoyed this cake so much I am already dreaming about making it again with more lime in the cake, more ginger in the icing and some candied ginger sprinkled on top.
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1½ cup of sugar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 TBS lime juice (can use up to ¼ cup)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 10 oz organic baby spinach
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened and at room temperature
- ½ cup butter, softened and at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 TBS chopped ginger
- ½ cup water
- 3 cups (approx) of icing sugar.
- Remove any stems from spinach and puree in food processor until creamy, this could take 10 minutes or more.
- Measure out 1 cup of puree and set aside.
- Combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and mix until incorporated.
- Continue mixing and add in olive oil, lime juice, vanilla, and 1 cup of spinach puree.
- In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
- Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
- Whisk the egg whites until peaks are firm and fold gently into cake batter.
- Divide batter between 2 greased and floured 9 inch round pans.
- Bake at 340 for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then on a rack until cool.
- Bring water and ginger to a boil and then simmer until it is reduced into a thick syrup.
- Strain and set the syrup aside to cool.
- Cream together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
- Gradually add icing sugar until you are satisfied with how sweet it is.
- Continue mixing at high speed and add in vanilla and ginger syrup.
- Icing should be glossy and very easy to spread.
Are you one of those parents that loves to make “themed” foods for all of the holidays? I haven’t been disciplined enough to do much of it but it really is fun!