Sunday, 16 April 2017

Rutabaga aka Swede Date Cake with Miso Caramel Sauce

This handsome dark Rutabaga Cinnamon Nutmeg Cake has been a long time coming.  I bookmarked it way back in 2010.  For those of us living in the UK, Rutabaga is known as Swede and it is quite an underrated vegetable and also one that causes much debate Is it a Swede or a Turnip... 
I baked this Swede aka Rutabaga Cake on Good Friday.  The original recipe for Rutabaga Spice Cake hails from American Chef Patrick Fahy in an article titled Our chefs can make anything magic, even Rutabagas. I adapted the recipe a little in relation to the spices and the addition of dates.  I also decided to serve it with a lush homemade Miso Caramel Sauce which transformed it from a cake to a pudding mimicking the British Sticky Toffee Pudding found on the menu of most traditional pubs. The idea to serve it with miso caramel sauce came from one of my favourite experimental chefs in the UK Stevie Parle who made a Miso Sticky Tofee Pudding a couple of years back for Christmas eve and I have been wanting to try it for long while. 
Although I have cooked with Swede a lot.  My approach to it was often one of I could take it or leave it, I  found this muted orange waxy root vegetable too sweet in savoury dishes.  I found that like  parsnips and sweet potatoes, that the swede would be better appreciated in a Sweet cake like carrot cake.  So when I started blogging in 2009, it was nice to find some cookbooks and chefs using vegetables in cakes, veggie desserts and puddings.  

Julia Belluz in Globe Life writes an interesting article  Have you Rutabaga Cake and eat it Too.  This is praise to Harry Eastwood, British celebrity chef and cookbook author of Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache (2009).  Harry Eastwoods 80 cakes are super loaded with vegetables, but the vegetables are hidden under beautiful cake names like Orange and Drizzle Cake which is made with rutabaga, Heartache Chocolate Cake made with whole aubergines and a Victoria Sponge made with Potatoes that you would never know that this is a veggie dessert, veggie pudding and veggie cake cookbook.   Harry Eastwood is perhaps the first Veggie Desserts food writer and vegetable cookbook author in the UK.  She  opened up the imagination of chefs, home cooks and food bloggers alike. 
Other cookbooks I highly recommend with vegetables in cakes are 
 called Vegetable Desserts: Beyond Carrot Cake and Pumpkin Pie by Elizabeth Schafer and Jeanette L Miller (1998).   Much more than carrot cake for sure - a cake called Web of Intrigue described as a beetroot cheesecake.   There is also cabbage, jicama and turnip in cookies and pies.   Greens such as cucumber and peas, as well spinach, nettle and turnip greens in sweet cakes, and much much more.  Its not often obvious by the names of the recipes to what vegetable they have in them, such as Orange Drop cookies and a Mystery Pie which both have beetroot as an ingredient; or Davids Pleasure, a lemony cake which has spinach and turnip greens as the unique ingredient.  Other unusual ingredients in sweet cakes and bakes are tomatoes, onion, peppers and  honey and garlic ice-cream.  And that is not all, the cookbook also contains recipes made with lentils and beans!  I made celery cookies from it a while back. 

There is also an e book called 50 Decadent Vegetable Cake Recipes by Brenda Van Niekerk; and Baking With Vegetables (2015) 
Other Rutabaga Sweet Cake Recipes from around the world
Norwegian Rutabaga Cake with Cream Cheese Topping 
Swedish Rutabaga Cake by Viva City

City Market Rutabaga and Honey Cake
Foodland Ontario Rutabaga and Molasses Cake
Vegan Lovelie Vegan Crust less No Bake Rutabaga Pie Infused with Maple Syrup Cake

Affairs of Living with Gluten Free Honey Cake (2010) also has a fantastic recipe for Rutabaga Vanilla Mash and Rutabaga Apple Salad.

I am sharing this Rutabaga aka Swede Cinnamon Nutmeg and Date Cake with Miso Caramel Sauce with CookBlogShare hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie; and Honest Mum for Brilliant Blog Posts.
Serves 8 - 12
115g soft butter
210g golden caster sugar
110ml vegetable oil
2 eggs

175g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

280g grated Rutabaga aka Swede
80g dates, sliced
Soften and cream the butter with the sugar, then stir in the oil and eggs, then stir in the dry ingredients, followed by the grated vegetables and dates.
Spoon into a 10inch round baking tin
Transfer to oven gas mark 4/180oc
Bake for 50 minutes to an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Adapted from Patrick Fahy Rutabaga Spice Cake

For the Yummy Miso Caramel Sauce 
Follow this link for the recipe from Naturally DIY (vegan)
Follow this link from Food 52 (vegetarian)


  1. I like these rutabaga (which I think are the neeps that accompany haggis if I have it right) for stews but not much else. I love the idea of them in cake and yours sounds wonderful. Caramel miso sounds sounds great - there is a recipe for miso brownies that I have wanted to try but never got around to it. I also have made a "healthy" sticky date pudding that had carrot and perhaps parsnip in it so I like your idea of comparing this cake to the pudding.

    1. Yes they are Johanna. The miso caramel is amazing, it has hat umami flavour that we get from marmite and vegemite in your part of the world. Miso caramel brownies sound yummy, do make them or share the recipe, so that i can :) I have heard of the healthy sticky toffee puddings made with carrots!

    2. I can't promise I will make miso brownies any time soon but this is the recipe I saw -

    3. So Ms GGG are you trying to tempt me to make them then - torn now, between this and the Black Treacle Brownies I saw recently in a cookbook....

  2. I'm glad you kept this in your bookmarks list as it seems worth waiting for and very intriguing. I am embarrassed to say that I didn't know rutabaga was swede so am also grateful to you for letting me know that!

    1. Thanks Kari. I seem to have lost most of my bookmarked recipes for vairious different reasons, moving home and then change of computer etc. but the book ones I have are on hand if i remind myself Please don't be embarrassed there are lots of names for veg in the Uk that are known by different names overseas ie courgette - zuchinni and aubergines - eggplant, its just a different name.

  3. Wow - what a fab idea! I love swede as a vegetable, but I've never thought of putting it in a cake - I bet it works brilliantly...especially with dates and spices...mmmm!! Thanks for linking up to #CookBlogShare :-) Eb x

    1. Thank you so much Eb. It was really delicious esp with the miso caramel sauce which transforms it to a sticky toffee pudding.

  4. That looks delicious and so unique!

    1. Thank you so so much. It really was delicious.


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