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Garden Patch Cake

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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour + drying Bake: 35 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    12-16 servings

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Editor's Note: See below for decorating frosting recipe and directions.
  • GARDEN PATCH CAKE DECORATING:
  • 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.
  • TO MAKE TRELLIS:
  • 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.
  • TO MAKE GARDEN PATCH:
  • 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.
  • TO MAKE VEGETABLES AND BORDER:
  • 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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Reviews

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  • sgronholz
    Oct 24, 2018

    This cake was delicious and fun to make with my homegrown beets, carrots, and zucchini!

  • Vegagal57
    May 10, 2012

    I had made this cake several times many years ago, but lost the recipe. I wanted to make it for my gardening daughters birthday, I searched all over for this recipe, and remembered it had gotten it from Taste of Home and decided to search for it. You still have it, you made my day!

  • SophieS
    Aug 12, 2011

    This is an excellent cake. Everyone loves it, even the ones who think they won't like it because of the vegetables.