Vegetable desserts

Jun 24, 2010 at 6:32 p.m. ET

Everyone knows it is sometimes difficult to get kids (and adult) to eat vegetables, but it is always easy to get them to eat dessert. So in an effort to get them to eat vegetables, why not try combining the two for delicious desserts made with fresh veggies. Although these treats probably won’t give you the recommended daily servings and they are still dessert, at least you can feel a little less guilty for enjoying a hunk of cake made with carrots.

Rhubarb Pie

Tips for Making Vegetable Desserts

Don't go too Sweet:

For vegetable based desserts like carrot cake, zucchini bread, or even pumpkin pie you don't want to add too much sweetness or you will completely lose the essence of the vegetable. You don't want to totally mask the flavor of the vegetable with loads of sugar so try to balance the sweetness with the savory flavor of the dessert.

Shred Well:

You don't want huge chunks of vegetables in your cakes or cookies so be sure to shred or mince the veggies into bite size pieces before adding them.

Use Slightly Sweeter Veggies:

Vegetables that are starchy also tender to be slightly sweeter. Sweet potatoes, pumpkin, zucchini, corn, rhubarb, and squash are good examples of vegetables with a good amount of starch that have just a hint of sweetness that will come out even more after baking.

    Rhubarb Pie

    Makes 10 to 12 servings


    • 5 cups sliced rhubarb
    • 2 cups sliced strawberries
    • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
    • 2 9-inch refrigerated pie crusts
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, cubed


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
    2. Toss rhubarb and strawberries with sugar, flour, cinnamon, and allspice
    3. Roll out pie crust onto the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Spoon rhubarb mixture into pie crust then dot with butter cubes. Top pie with other crust, crimping edges and poking holes in it with a fork to vent
    4. Place pie in oven and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is crispy and golden brown. Let cool before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

    Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bars

    Makes 8 to 10 servings


    • 1/4 cup butter, softened
    • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 cup shredded zucchini
    • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9-inch square pan
    2. Beat butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and egg together. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, and cinnamon together. Gradually beat dry mixture into wet mixture until well combined. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips
    3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool before cutting into squares

    Pumpkin Cookies

    Makes 3 dozen cookies


    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
    2. Mix flour with baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt
    3. In a separate bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Then beat in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla Gradually beat dry mixture into wet mixture until well combined
    4. Spoon batter onto baking sheet by the tablespoonful. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through. The cookies should remain fairly soft

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