leftovers cake

Roast vegetable cake

Photographer: Kate
Serves 8

Anyone that knows me knows that I have an enormous sweet tooth, so naturally when we were discussing what we could make as a part of the 2016 Love Food Hate Waste campaign to “use up your leftovers” I immediately thought of something sweet.

Love Food Hate Waste are doing some incredible work showcasing simple ways in which the everyday consumer can decrease the amount of food waste in their household. Per annum, a massive 79kgs of food is thrown into the bin in the average Kiwi household.

In a bid to help the cause I wanted to create something that I knew would easily be devoured in its entirety; no leftovers going begging or into the bin! Combined with zesty oranges, last night’s roast vegetables are given a new lease on life in this recipe for a gluten free orange cake! Drizzle with the thyme infused syrup to subtly compliment any savoury notes from the vegetables and you have a match made in leftover heaven.

Pop over to the Love Food Hate Waste website (https://lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz/) to find more ways in which you can reduce your food waste, and not only help save your back pocket but also the environment.

Luisa works in our refrigeration evaluation team.  An ardent lover of food and a resident expert on how to care for food while we are storing them for use. Luisa jumped at the opportunity to make this cake.  Honestly it was extraordinarily delicious and a fantastic use of a pile of leftover roast vegetables.  Thanks again and- Kate


For the cake:
150g butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
Juice and zest of two oranges
A few drops of vanilla extract
2 cups leftover roast vegetables, pureed*
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup almond flour
1 cup gluten free flour (Healtheries or Edmonds baking mix)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon of each ground ginger and nutmeg
2 teaspoons of cinnamon

For the syrup
Juice of four oranges
4 tablespoons of sugar
4 sprigs of fresh thyme


1. Pre-heat oven to 160°C on fan bake. Generously grease a 20cm springform cake tin.
2. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (either with an electric mixer or by hand). Add the orange zest and juice, the vanilla extract and the pureed leftover roast vegetables. Mix until combined.
3. Lightly beat the eggs with a fork then fold into the mixture.
4. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients. Once combined fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top using a spatula.
6. Bake for approximately 60 minutes or until the cake is a nice golden colour. Using a skewer, test whether the middle of the cake is cooked. Set aside to cool.
7. Add all syrup ingredients to a pot and simmer on medium-low heat for approximately 10 – 15 minutes or until the syrup is glossy and will coat the back side of a spoon.
8. Remove the thyme from the syrup using tongs or strain using a sieve. Drizzle or brush the syrup over the top and sides of the cooled cake.
9. Serve with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and a spoonful of the remaining syrup.
*For the leftover roast vegetable puree; place vegetables in a food processor with a knob of butter. Blend until smooth. Do not use vegetables that have cooked alongside meat. Remove any large cloves of garlic or onion but feel free to leave any fresh herbs in there.