Spinach and Strawberry Swiss Roll

Thursday 10 August 2017
Pushing the boundaries of baking with a naturally green cake. Spinach and Strawberry Swiss Roll from the debut cookbook 'Veggie Desserts & Cakes - Carrot Cake and Beyond' by Kate Hackworthy.

My daughter is a vegetable hater. If it's green its a definite no no. Carrots, Sweetcorn and Baked Beans are pretty much the full extent of her 'healthy eating' repertoire. Once when asked what vegetable she'd had with her school dinner the reply was 'spaghetti hoops'. Sometimes I feel that I've failed as both a mother and a food blogger. However when it comes to dessert, cake, sweet treats and chocolate she's first in the queue. Could the book I'm sharing today by my blogging friend Kate Hackworthy of www.veggiedesserts.co.uk be the answer to my prayers? Her newly published debut cookbook 'Veggie Desserts & Cakes - Carrot Cake and Beyond' celebrates vegetables loud and proud. It's not about sneaking them into food or disguising them in cake but instead making them as much a part of dessert as they are any main course. Why shouldn't they bring their vitamins, goodness, nutrients and amazing colours to any dish?

The book itself is absolutely stunning to look at. It's the perfect coffee table hardback but one that you actually want to bake the recipes from with the confidence that you can achieve the same results as Kate has. It's divided into seven colourful chapters which I've shared below along with a couple of my 'bookmarked to try' recipes from each. Hopefully this will give you a feel for the innovation and variety of it's contents.

Cakes - Carrot Victoria Sponge with Carrot Jam, Cucumber and Lemon Cake with Gin Icing
Cupcakes - Chocolate Mashed Potato Cupcakes with Espresso Icing, Spinach and Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Icing, Spiced Butternut Squash Muffins with Crystallised Ginger
Cookies - Sweet Potato and Salted Hazelnut Cookies, Pumpkin Gingernuts, 
Squares & Traybakes - Sweet Potato and Pecan Blondies, Beetroot Seedy Squares, Carrot Gingerbread
Pies & Pastries - Carrot Meringue Pie, Avocado Lime Tarts
Frozen Desserts - Cucumber and Lemon Granita, Avocado and Lime Ice Cream
More Sweet Treats - Butternut Squashed Cinnamon Rolls with Almond Glaze, Sweet potato Dessert Waffles

Throughout Kate's book the sheer variety of vegetables used is astounding. There are bakes featuring - kale, beetroot, carrots, pumpkin, peas, parsnips, courgettes, spinach, cucumber, asparagus, potato, avocado, cavolo nero, butternut squash, sweetcorn, sweet potato, swede, romanesco, black beans, cauliflower and aubergine. 21 different vegetables! What a way to get your 5-a-day. I did notice that Kate's innovative baking hasn't stretched quite as far as the dreaded Brussels Sprouts!

Image Credit - Clare Winfield, Pavilion Books

From the list of press recipes to try out from Kate's book the one that immediately caught my eye was the Spinach and Strawberry Swiss Roll. In it's original form it's something that I first made many years ago in my Home Economics class at secondary school and have made many times since. Goodness knows what my rather austere cookery teacher would have thought about the addition of spinach. 

Kate says: "I first encountered spinach and strawberries together in a salad and loved the pairing so much that I was inspired to combine them again in this colourful Swiss roll. The spinach flavour fades away and the vanilla-laced sponge is light and springy – perfect for rolling up with refreshing strawberries and cream."

I admit I was slightly apprehensive when adding the spinach but it really turned the sponge a spectacular colour and made it so moist. I struggled to get the small amount of spinach to puree successfully so added a couple of spoonfuls of the batter mixture which worked well. When it came to rolling I rolled from the shorter side rather than the long so it was smaller but thicker than it should have been - no bad thing! Following my own slice the remainder of the Swiss Roll headed to work with my husband and received a big thumbs up from his colleagues. As for my vegetable avoiding daughter - alas she refused. Way too green! However she's really keen to try the Carrot Victoria Sponge, Chocolate and Mashed Potato Cupcakes and Sweetcorn and White Chocolate Cookies - so all is not lost.

Spinach and Strawberry Swiss Roll
Serves 8 

For the cake 
75g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling 
100g spinach leaves 
3 large free-range eggs 
½ tsp vanilla extract 
75g self-raising flour 
1 pinch of salt 

For the filling 
120ml double cream 
2 tsp icing sugar 
100g fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into small pieces. 

To serve 
1 tbsp icing sugar

To make the cake 
Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/375°F/gas 5. Line a 23 x 30cm/9 x 12in Swiss roll pan or shallow baking pan, with baking parchment and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of caster sugar. 

Steam the spinach over a pan of boiling water for a minute or so until wilted, then briefly rinse under cold water, drain and squeeze out any excess moisture. Purée with a hand blender until smooth, then set aside. 

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer for about 5–10 minutes until very light and fluffy. Add the puréed spinach and beat again until just combined. Sift in the flour and salt, then very gently fold it in, taking care not to overmix. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, carefully spread to the edges, then bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the sides begin to shrink from the edges. 

To fill and assemble 
While the cake is cooking, lightly dampen a clean tea towel, lay it out on the countertop and sprinkle it with 1 teaspoon of caster sugar.

When the sponge has finished cooking, immediately turn it out onto the tea towel and carefully remove the baking parchment. Roll the sponge up along the longest side with the tea towel, tightly but gently. Unroll it carefully and allow it to cool completely on the tea towel. This will make it easier to roll with the filling when it’s cool.

While the cake is cooling, whip the cream and icing sugar together until thick, then store in the fridge until ready to use.

When the sponge is completely cool, spread it with the whipped cream, leaving a small border around the edges, then sprinkle with the strawberries. Using the tea towel to help, very carefully roll the sponge up along the longest side. Try to keep it tight, but without splitting the sponge or squeezing out the filling. Sift the icing sugar over the roll, then slice into rounds to serve.

Recipe Credit - Veggie Desserts + Cakes by Kate Hackworthy, published by Pavilion Books

Some of my blogging colleagues have also been trying out and sharing the recipes from Kate's book with great success
Recipes from a Pantry - Chocolate Cauliflower Ice Lollies 
Natural Kitchen Adventures - Beetroot and Vanilla Sorbet
Baking Queen 74 - Courgette and Poppy Seed Loaf
Farmers Girl Kitchen - Carrot Gingerbread 
The Veg Space - Avocado Lime Tarts
Tin & Thyme - Kale Apple Cake
Ren Behan - Carrot Gingerbread
Veggie Desserts - Cucumber Lemon Granita
Family Friends Food - Courgette and Poppyseed Loaf
Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary - Pea and Vanilla Cake with Lemon Icing

Veggie Desserts + Cakes by Kate Hackworthy, published by Pavilion Books.
Available at Amazon, Waterstones and Wholefoods.

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www.foodiequine.co.uk Pushing the boundaries of baking with a naturally green cake. Spinach and Strawberry Swiss Roll from the debut cookbook 'Veggie Desserts & Cakes - Carrot Cake and Beyond' by Kate Hackworthy.


  1. I tracked down a copy of the book in Waterstones the other day, and can't wait to bake form it! No surprise that I LOVE the colours as well as the veggies. Genius. Your Swiss Roll looks great... Fingers crossed your daughter is converted soon...

    1. It never crossed my mind how 'Fanny' these recipes are in terms of colour. I wonder would she approve or not? Do let me and Kate see what you bake.

  2. Thanks for such a lovely review, Claire! I love your Swiss roll and it's so funny that your veg-phobic daughter wouldn't go near it. You'll have to build her up to trusting the green cakes! :)
    Spaghetti hoops as veg is hilarious!

    1. She will never live down the Spaghetti Hoops comment! I'll be sure to let you know the moment she tried a green cake.

  3. I keep hearing good things about the book I must get myself a copy. The spinach swiss roll looks excellent. Thank you for sharing on #CookBlogShare

    1. Its an absolutely fascinating book. SO many things in it that I really want to make.

  4. This looks like so much fun! I find rolls a bit challenging, but this is tempting me to give it a go!

    1. Give me a swiss roll to bake over a tiered cake any day of the week - I find them terrifying!

  5. Great job on choosing a challenging recipe, pity your daughter wouldn't try it, maybe one day! It's such a good book, so many interesting recipes.

    1. I actually thought I'd chosen the easiest of all the press recipes!

  6. This is so beautiful, I can't believe your daughter wouldn't even have a taste! Maybe next time. Still, more for you! :-)

    1. Alas only a tiny slice for me as it all headed to my husbands work colleagues!

  7. What a great recreation of Kate’s recipe! I adore Kate’s book so much and have tried two recipes – Avocado Chocolate Cupcakes with Cherry Icing *and* Sweet Potato and Salted Hazelnut Cookies. In fact, I’ve made three different sorts of tweaky batches of the latter! I just know that anyone who buys this book will get a lot of use – and joy – from it. I note what you say about Brussels sprouts, but I think she could work magic on even these little "fragrant" orbs ;-)

    1. Those cookies are mos definitely on my to bake list. I reckon anything I make from the book will prove to be a real talking point.

  8. Mmmmm, that one does sound good. I feel a baking session coming on today!

    1. Really very quick and easy to make once you get over the greenness!

  9. I've been hearing great things about Kate's book - and the use of spinach in the swiss roll and another great reason why I need to order one. #CookBlogShare
    Angela x

    1. I am SO impressed with it as a book. Love Kate's blog but this takes it to a whole new level.

  10. Well you can't win them all, but I'd be more than happy to share a slice with you. It looks amazing.

    1. Yup perhaps a green cake was a wee bit too out there for a first try!

  11. such a creative idea for a cake. I would never think to add spinach to strawberries! I think your roulade looks delicious, although I too might be little apprehensive about it. There again I have made a cake using purple sprouting and that was nice, so I am sure this is delicious . Also, my kids don't like many veggies -not even sweetcorn and one of them does not like baked beans either! Kids hey?
    Thank you for linking up to #Bakeoftheweek x


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