Cinnamon Cauliflower Coffee Cake & Caramel Sauce

November 19, 2012
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Since we got back from our adventure I have been on a much needed clean-eating kick. If you were following along at any point you know we were quite literally consuming everything in our path as we made our way around The America’s for almost three months – and it wrapped-up for me with a gluttonous weekend at EDB2012.

Back in my own kitchen I gravitated immediately to the quinoa, brown rice, kale and eggs. It’s how I prefer to eat, honestly, and a bit of ingenuity makes for some pretty tasty dishes.


My usual breakfast is oat porridge with some natural yoghurt, but I’ve had no desire for oats or dairy recently. And pretty much anything with gluten, even homemade bread, didn’t hold any allure.

Rather than fight it I embraced it, and working from home these past few weeks allowed me to cook whatever I wanted without working around a dirty office kitchen microwave. It is still odd to be home, but good food and exercise make it easier to settle in.


Of course, as it does, the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop rolled around and as hostess I needed to find something good to create. I’ve been baking with both carrots and pumpkin these past few weeks but wanted something new. Something a bit… really? you did what?

Cauliflower was the first thing that came to mind. So I went searching on the Google-machine and would you know it but I couldn’t find a single sweet cake made with cauliflower. True, I may not have looked particularly hard, but the absence of immediate recipes solidified my thinking to use the cruciferous platinum veggie for my Sweet Adventures Blog Hop ‘Cake & three Veg’ creation.


I ended up with the perfect substitute for dairy without involving nuts or soy. My mind is spinning with ideas, there is no doubt cauliflower will show up again in a dessert somewhere… But lets focus for a moment on this recipe because we have cake to eat.

All the details on how to link up are below the recipe, I can’t wait to see what everyone has come up with!



Cinnamon Cauliflower Coffee Cake

Yes, I made cake with cauliflower, are you really surprised? Didn’t think so. Cauliflower puree is combined with lemon juice to make a perfect dairy-free substitute for the traditional sour cream or buttermilk usually seen in coffee cakes. Whole spelt flour and absence of refined sugar makes this a perfect breakfast or morning tea treat for everyone. In other news, I cannot believe how good this cake is, seriously.



  • 2 c whole spelt flour
  • 1/4 c arrowroot or tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon*
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 c cauliflower puree from approx 500g [1.1 lb] florets
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 c coconut oil, melted – divided
  • 1/4 c rice syrup
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 3 eggs


  • 1 Tbsp dark rum or bourbon* + 1 Tbsp warm water
  • 1/3 c sultanas [raisins]
  • 1/3 c walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar


Preheat oven to 180C [350F]. Grease and flour a 24 cm [10 inch] bundt/tube pan.

Prepare Filling:

Combine sultanas with rum and water and set aside to soak for 15 minutes. Squeeze liquid from the sultanas and reserve to drizzle over batter later.

Chop sultanas roughly, combine with remaining filling ingredients and set aside.

Prepare Cake:

Sift together dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

Steam cauliflower florets 10-15 minutes until very soft and allow to cool. Puree steamed cauliflower well and measure out 1 slightly heaped cup. Set any remaining puree aside or eat it immediately, whatever.

Blend the 1 cup of puree with half the coconut oil and all the lemon juice, until very smooth and velvety like sour cream.

Add remaining oil, syrup, honey and eggs to the cauliflower mixture and whisk or blend briefly until well mixed. Fold wet ingredients into dry, stirring only until just combined.

Spoon just under half the batter into your prepared pan and smooth with the back of a spoon, being very careful not to hit the side and scrape off your flour. Sprinkle 1/2 a cup of the filling evenly around the centre of the batter*. The leftover filling will be used for your Caramel Sauce.

Top filling layer with remaining batter, making sure to scrape as much as possible out of the bowl. Smooth gently with the back of a spoon. Drizzle over 1 Tbsp of the reserved sultana soaking liquid – do not stir.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Dust with a bit of icing sugar if desired – it covers a multitude of sins and looks posh. Serve with Coffee Cake Caramel Sauce – see recipe below.

Makes 1 cake. Serves 8-12 people.


  • If you can get your hands on Vietnamese Cinnamon use it here. The scent and flavour is intoxicating.
  • I layered the filling twice, first spooning in 1/3 of the batter topped by a handful of filling and repeating the layers, ending with the final 1/3 of the batter. However I felt that there was not quite enough batter to cover the filling well, so the above recipe simply puts it all in the middle of the cake.
  • Rum or burboun can be replaced with apple juice but it’s not nearly as fun.


Coffee Cake Caramel Sauce

Use this sweet sauce to drizzle over your Cauliflower Coffee Cake for an extra special treat. You won’t need much!


  • leftover sultana and walnut filling from Coffee Cake
  • 1 Tbsp rice syrup
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 c water
  • 2 tsp dark rum or bourbon


Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Simmer for 8 minutes until it just starts to become syrupy, sauce will thicken further as it cools.

Serve over Cauliflower Coffee Cake, ice cream, yoghourt, porridge… well you get the point.

Makes enough for one cake.


Sweet Adventures Blog Hop – Link-up Instructions

SABH November - Cake & three VegThe SABH is brought to you by Delicieux, The Hungry Australian, Dining With a Stud, The Capers of the Kitchen Crusader, and myself, 84th & 3rd. This blog hop is open to all food bloggers.

This hop is open from 9am 19 November 2012 – 11:59pm 26 November 2012 [Sydney time]. Please only link-up new posts published on or after this link went live.

IMPORTANT - The instructions below explain how to link up and how to get the hop to appear on your post. If you aren’t sure of something leave a comment or send me an email and I will help where I can.

  1. Add a link to THIS POST from your post.
    * You can create a text link or link the hop badge in your post. Save badge by right clicking on the image to ‘save as’.
    * Providing a link to this post means others can view the instructions and join in!
  2. Click here for the Thumbnail List code – Copy the code and add it to the bottom of your post, you will need to do this in HTML view.
    * Adding the code will create the thumbnail link list on your post so people can hop from one entry to the next!
    * REMEMBER – if you are on [not self hosted] the list will not show on your blog. The link back you created in Step 1 to this post means others can hop through the entries!
  3. Click here to Enter the Hop – This is the really important bit! The badge and thumbnail list are on your post, make sure to enter the hop so you appear in the list too.
    * On the entry screen, please add the link to your SABH post [NOT your homepage].
    * Your entry will be submitted when you click ‘crop’ on your photo.

PLEASE NOTE – your linked post WILL NOT appear straight away in the blog hop thumbnail list. To combat spam this is a moderated hop. Your post will be visible in the list after approved. Entries are approved in the order they are submitted during waking hours in Sydney. A girl needs to get her beauty sleep. If you aren’t sure of something leave a comment or send me an email and I will help where I can.

If you are on Twitter use the #SABH to tell the world about your Festive Faves post and follow us @SweetAdvBlogHop for new hop announcements and general deliciousness. Thanks for joining!




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48 Responses to Cinnamon Cauliflower Coffee Cake & Caramel Sauce

  1. K-bobo @ Gormandize with A-dizzle & K-bobo on November 19, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Looks fantastic JJ, a great idea! Shame I can’t pin it to my “to make” list.

    Can’t wait to see what the rest of the entries are like!

  2. Martyna @ Wholesome Cook on November 19, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Oh yum, that looks amazingly delectable JJ! And made with cauliflower – looking forward to seeing all of the other veg cakes and desserts!

  3. [...] month’s theme on SABH is Cake & Three Veg. I toyed with the idea of a chocolate-beetroot cake or a chocolate and [...]

  4. Swah on November 19, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Thanks for letting me try a piece JJ, it was delicious! I can’t wait to buy some Vietnamese cinnamon :)

    • JJ on November 23, 2012 at 12:28 am

      Glad you liked it and you must get some – so very good!

  5. Claire @ Claire K Creations on November 19, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Wow cauliflower in a cake is a bit more adventurous than my carrot cake biscuits. Sounds rather interesting!

    • JJ on November 23, 2012 at 12:28 am

      I’m drooling over your biscuits though!

  6. Cauliflower and white chocolate pannacotta on November 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    [...] think that’s something that myself and many of the other bloggers joining this month’s Sweet Adventures blog hop may be repeating to potential taste-test subjects as we get creative for the theme of [...]

  7. Cathy @ Noble Pig on November 19, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    This is crazy awesome! Glad you are home safe.

    • JJ on November 23, 2012 at 12:29 am

      heehee thanks Cathy

  8. [...] legumes and vegetables into sweeties, so I was fairly stoked to find that this month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop theme is “Cake and Three Veg”. However this time, I may have developed a slightly [...]

  9. Nic@diningwithastud on November 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I love eggplant as a potato mash sub and can see how it would be great as a dairy sub too. Such creamyness :D I expected something out there from you JJ and you def delivered haha. Thanks for hosting :) x

  10. Spiced Beetroot and Chocolate Cake | Wholesome Cook on November 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    [...] so happened that JJ from 84th and 3rd was popping over for a cuppa and mentioned to me, over the cake, that she was hosting this [...]

  11. vegeTARAian on November 19, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Wowee, it’s sounds so kooky but I bet it tastes just great!

  12. Nic on November 19, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Truly amazing! You did it! I knew you’d come up with something a little left of centre but this trumps any crazy ideas I would’ve come up with! I love your creativity :)

    • JJ on November 23, 2012 at 12:30 am

      aww thank you, i specialise in crazy ;D

  13. Ashley on November 19, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Cauliflower cake?! Sounds so odd as you mentioned, but looks amazing! And yum yum caramel… :D

  14. Erin @ she cooks, she gardens on November 19, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    This is so freakin cool, well done!

  15. Christine @ Cooking Crusade on November 19, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Oooh yum! I had no idea you could even put cauliflower in a cake – what a great idea, and dairy free too! Sauce looks delectable too :D

  16. Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy on November 20, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I am sending this to my friend who has a little one who is not eating her veg. She loves caramel though so I think we can fool her and maybe get her loving cauliflower in the process!

  17. Hannah Hayes on November 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    only you could make a cauliflower cake look and i am sure taste absolutely amazing!
    well done, as always.

    • JJ on November 23, 2012 at 12:31 am


  18. [...] vegetable based sweets then visit the website for this month’s Sweet Adventure Blog Hop host, 84th&3rd or click on the SABH logo [...]

  19. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella on November 21, 2012 at 4:23 am

    I’ve seen plenty of vegetables cakes but this is the first cauliflower cake I’ve seen. Great job JJ! :D

  20. [...] why am I making a cake with mushroom in it, you ask? It is time again for the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop, hosted this month by the effervescent JJ from 84th & 3rd. JJ has just returned from an [...]

  21. Helen (Grab Your Fork) on November 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Whoah now that’s one way to eat your veggies! Adore the tiny jug too!

    • JJ on November 23, 2012 at 12:32 am

      so cute isn’t it – yet another oppshopobsession find!

  22. Red Bean Soup | The Hungry Australian on November 21, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    [...] Pin It   Sweet Adventures Blog Hops are a monthly dessert event brought to you by 84th & 3rd, Delicieux, The Hungry Australian,Dining With a Stud, and The Capers of the Kitchen Crusader.   This blog hop is open to all food bloggers.  This hop is open from 9am 19 November 2012 – 11:59pm 26 November 2012 [Sydney time]. For details of how to link up your post, check out JJ’s post. Don’t forget to check out all the other great vegetable dessert recipes this month. [...]

  23. Pumpkin and Walnut Cake | ice-cream & jelly on November 21, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    [...] So the latest Sweet Adventures Blog Hop theme: ‘Cake & Three Vege’ hosted by JJ at 83&3rd was a good opportunity to try a [...]

  24. Christina @ The Hungry Australian on November 21, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Trust you to come up with something original, JJ. What an interesting idea and how good that cake looks! Lovely!

  25. [...] month’s Sweet Adeventures Blog Hop was ‘Cake & three Vege’, I knew JJ from 84th & 3rd had to be behind it. Sure enough, the maven of making vegetables into sweet delights was indeed [...]

  26. Monica (@gastromony) on November 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I think it’s safe to say that only you could make a Cauliflower cake happen, and make it look amazing! I bet it’s delicious too :) Thanks for such a fun hop theme :)

    • JJ on November 23, 2012 at 12:33 am

      Cheers and glad you like it – very impressed w your spinach cupcakes too :)

  27. Chris on November 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    What a fantastic cake. The subject is so exciting. I would just think of using carrots or beetroots in a cake, but that here is amazing.

  28. [...] see this month, JJ from 84th&3rd is our host for the November Sweet Adventures Blog Hop, and knowing JJ, I was prepared for [...]

  29. [...] (and healthy right, I mean they have VEGETABLES in them) treats, including host JJ’s Cinnamon Cauliflower Coffee Cake with Caramel Sauce – cauliflower in a cake? Sounds, interesting – looks [...]

  30. Mel B (Honey, You Baked!) on November 26, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Am still getting over cauliflower in a cake – it looks so good!!

    We’ve just linked up, with our slightly more mainstream fudgy beetroot chocolate cupcakes, but just wanted to let you know, we are so not self-hosted. We’ve linked back on the SABH image and a few links within the post too :)

  31. Erica @ Mixotrophy on November 26, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Love the look of this cake! Cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable, it’s great to use it to make a dairy free ‘cheese’ sauce for lasagnes and things too.

  32. [...] Cake and Three Veg (November 2012) [...]

  33. brenda hayes on December 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Wow, your creativity keeps spilling out. Nice job. You’ll have to make it for me sometime.

  34. [...] we have hosted: Cake and Three Veg (November 2012); High Tea (October 2012); Feeling Saucy (September 2012); Berry Nice to Meet [...]

  35. [...] we have hosted: Sweets for Santa (December 2012), Cake and Three Veg (November 2012); High Tea (October 2012); Feeling Saucy (September 2012); Berry Nice to Meet [...]

  36. [...] we have hosted: Tropical Paradise (January 2013), Sweets for Santa (December 2012), Cake and Three Veg (November 2012); High Tea (October 2012); Feeling Saucy (September 2012); Berry Nice to Meet [...]

  37. [...] Hosted this month by JJ from 84th & 3rd [...]

  38. [...] 10. Cinnamon Cauliflower Coffee Cake with Caramel Sauce [...]

  39. Peter on January 15, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Cinnamon Cauliflower Coffee Cake, I like this served on my breakfast table! And my favorite Paradiso Pizza for lunch. I guess I just discovered a new target for recipe-to-learn on my list. Thanks for the recipe..

  40. Strawberry Granita | The Hungry Australian on October 17, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    […] we have hosted: Tropical Paradise (January 2013), Sweets for Santa (December 2012), Cake and Three Veg (November 2012); High Tea (October 2012); Feeling Saucy (September 2012); Berry Nice to Meet […]

  41. […] Cake and Three Veg (November 2012) […]

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