Savory Spinach Cake with Raisins, Walnuts and Feta

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Rocco officially outgrew some of his newborn clothes last week, an event we marked with photos and exclamations and the reorganization of his top dresser drawer. I am ever comparing the Rocco Today with the Rocco [Insert Age Here], something that’s pretty easy to do when you have an ongoing chronology building in your phone’s photo album, but what can I say? I’m nostalgic. It’s not that I long for those first few emotional, sleep-deprived days; it’s just that I like to remember them.

savory spinach cake from honey and jam-3

They are part of Rocco’s story; they are part of ours; and, because those first early weeks were so hazy and slow, there’s a lot about them that would be easy to forget or neglect—namely, other things happening in the world outside this one. One that’s especially worth noting, for example: the release of Honey & Jam, a beautiful, seasonal baking book by Hannah Queen.

In the same way I rehearse details of Rocco’s beginning, sometimes I think about the first days of this place. In August 2008, when I first bought the domain name and set up a WordPress site and began regularly coming here to publish and post, I found one blogger after another who was also out there, sharing his or her recipes and stories, interacting in comments on other sites.

Honey and Jam: Seasonal Baking from My Kitchen in the Mountains (via Amazon)

I read their stories, they read mine, we remembered each other and cared about each other and, sometimes, extended our friendships offline. I met Jacqui for Thai food in Naperville and now, seven years later, here we are with baby boys playing together in her living room.

I hung out with Tim on a weekend in Nashville and now, who would believe it, I’m at home with him in Tennessee. Also, when I first moved down here in early 2011, a little lonely and trying to adjust, I met up with Hannah at a sort of halfway point between us, in Chattanooga, where she taught me about the tilt-shift feature in Instagram and we walked together through a giant antique market near Whole Foods.

savory spinach cake from honey and jam-5

I am as enamored with Hannah’s new cookbook as I was then with her site, which any of her readers will tell you is almost magical with its moody photos and Appalachian charm. The book is broken up by seasons, with recipes and dreamy full-page photographs of things like spring honeysuckle breeze cake, summer lavender-blueberry cupcakes, autumn apple rosemary skillet cake and winter pear and almond chocolate cake with cider glaze. It’s worth having both for the foolproof recipes (which I’ve been swapping einkorn flour and coconut sugar in and still finding stellar results) and for the drop-dead gorgeous images that make you want to pack up everything and move to the mountains.

The spinach cake pictured here in this post is one of the book’s most unusual recipes in that it’s a savory option and, although I’ve already made a couple of the sweet recipes with happy outcomes, I had to try this one, if only because it sounded like nothing I’ve ever made before.

savory spinach cake from honey and jam-4

So here’s what you need to know about Hannah’s spinach cake: it is like nothing I’ve ever made before: a creation with a savory flavor that makes you think cornbread or biscuit, but yet with the texture of an afternoon cake. Dried fruit mixed throughout the batter provides pops of sweetness alongside the creamy feta cheese and ribbons of spinach, and the whole thing works wonderfully alongside a salad (like this one!). I also have to tell you as an added bonus, whether or not you’re baking around the schedule of a newborn: every recipe I’ve made so far, including this cake, has come together quickly, easily, like it’s almost too good to be true.

Savory Spinach Cake with Raisins, Walnuts and Feta
Serves eight

Hannah’s original recipes calls for dried cherries instead of raisins and she uses Greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt. I didn’t have any creme fraiche on hand to drizzle on top, but she recommends serving it with that and/or honey alongside a salad.

Ingredients:
Butter, for greasing pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used einkorn)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup packed baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup feta cheese

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and grease a nine-inch-round baking dish or cake pan with butter.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt and olive oil.

Pour the egg mixture into the bowl of flour; stir to combine. Next, stir in the spinach, walnuts, raisins and feta.

Pour the mixture into your prepared cake pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly before serving.

Adapted from Honey & Jam

*disclaimer: we were sent a review copy of this book! all opinions expressed are our own.

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About Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.

72 thoughts on “Savory Spinach Cake with Raisins, Walnuts and Feta”

  1. I will tell you that the idea of a savory cake seemed ridiculous to me until you described it and I saw the pictures and now I WANT IT. It sounds like an embellished biscuit and I can get behind that. Or anything biscuit-adjacent.

  2. I LOVE savory cakes! They feel healthy but decadent at the same time. Belinda Jeffrey has a recipe for a tomato upside down cake / tart that is made from a cheesy scone dough and I could live on it in the summer. I think simple, afternoon cakes are my favorite though. Hold the frosting, give me dried fruit and loaf pans and the kind of cakes that can be spread with butter. So good!

  3. I’ve been following Hannah’s blog for ages! Her recipes and photos make me super happy and this book of hers did not disappoint! Love what you did with her recipe. The raisins in there sound great to me!

  4. My favorite cake: my daughter, Lauren’s raspberry ricotta cake, I can eat an entire one with a cup of coffee all in one sitting!! My favorite way to use spinach: really, I love spinach raw, sauteed, in a smoothie…I can’t choose just one! Do I stare at my children?: yes, all the time, in amazement of the people they have become; how they are lovely and caring and just vibrant for life…and then, when I’m finished staring at them, I take millions of pictures of my grandson!!! 🙂

    • Oh, I can definitely get down with some ricotta cake. I want that! And, Lori, I love the way you love your kids and your grandkid. It’s so lovely.

  5. I stare at my child and take hundreds of photos of him, too. 🙂 And then when he’s sleeping I scroll through the pictures and marvel at him some more.

  6. Chocolate cake is one of my favorites! I love spinach mostly in salads or smoothies. I stare at our two kids all day and take way too many pictures. 🙂

  7. Such a lovely book by a lovely girl – looking forward to trying some of the recipes! And my favorite cake? It would have to be carrot cake… there’s nothing quite like that goodness.

  8. Shanna, i loved how you described the beginnings of FLW and the relationships formed as a result of it – your reaching out to Jacqui, Tim and Hannah – and it makes me think of sweet beginnings. Starts that make friendships blossom without us even realising so, and then as time passes, we realize that the friendship has solidified and is strong; stronger than we might even have ever imagined.

    So happy Rocco grew out of his newborn clothes.. but definitely cherish every single moment (I’m not a mom but I can imagine these early days are precious ones).

    Sending much love from DC.
    F.

    • Hi Felicia, I do cherish these days indeed (hence all the photos, haha), and I also cherish the passing of them. Every new thing is so exciting and I love watching him grow.

  9. My favorite kind of cake is cheesecake, does that count? 😀

    Spinach has always been my favorite vegetable – I was that weird kid in Kindergarten who listed it as my favorite food in the “All About Me” books we made when all the other kids were choosing pizza and ice cream. My favorite way to prepare it is sauteed in butter, with sliced black olives and Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Ah-may-zing!

    • Ha! I was the weird kid in kindergarten who, when tasked with writing a recipe, described how to make a bowl of cereal. : ) And the way you saute your spinach sounds so good!

  10. I was a single mom of twins. So, talk about thing about their infancy being fuzzy and a blur. Still I remember those infancy days as the best, even with, as you say, sleep deprivation. I took many photos (and some pre-digital). I love those photos and wish I’d taken even more. We look at them often. And, then in August, my beloved Dad passed away, and I, again, was so grateful for all the photos of my Dad with his grandchildren he loved so deeply. We can see it in the photos. Those photos make us laugh and cry. Keep documenting all that you can. My twins are ten. It goes by, as the cliché goes, in an instant. Click away. Enjoy your beautiful baby boy. The spinach cake sounds delicious although I don’t think the twins would agree. I might try it anyway.

    • Oh, Liz, wow! Twin moms terrify and amaze me. High five because hellllooo you have earned it. I like your thoughts on photographs — it’s true they are such a gift in helping us remember. I’m sorry about your dad and so glad you have these mementos to treasure.

  11. My son is 6. I still stare and take a million photos: -). Everyone will tell you – and it is soo, soo true – babies grow up so fast! Too fast!! Having millions of photos is so awesome, to look back at and to relish the memories…..

    Speaking of memories – my favorite cake is a shredded apple cake w/ merengue top my mom always made this time of year when the local apples start to ring in the autumn.

    As for spinach – I love it with eggs – in a quiche, or a simple spinach omelet.

    This spinach cake sounds divine though. I must try!

    Thank you for the give-away!

  12. What a lovely looking cookbook. I think my favorite cake would have to be any coffee cake, or maybe even just plain vanilla birthday cake.

  13. I brought my daughter into my kitchen when she was still a newborn. Set her up in the bassinet, sometimes the Snuggle Bunny. Now that she’s a toddler we pull her Kitchen Helper up to the counter and she kneads and stirs and whisks right along side me. And I’m doing the exact same thing with my second daughter. She’s a touch older than your Rocco and sleeps in her bassinet set up right beside me almost every day.

    • Aw, Molly, what a great image! We’ve started bringing Rocco into the kitchen, too — bouncing in his Baby Bjorn while I gather ingredients and bake. I am hopeful we’ll have a little food lover on our hands in the next few years, but if he surprises us and isn’t into it, that’s OK, too. : )

  14. My favorite doesn’t happen to be as unusual as this spinach cake.. I absolutely love my coffee cake adapted from a version of a baked oatmeal recipe. It’s vegan, gluten free, has loads of seasonal fruit, is healthy (not just claiming to be), and it’s so adaptable to different seasons and flavors!

  15. I don’t miss those sleepless nights either! It’s amazing how slowly things change the first as you transition along with your child week by week and month by month. So much changes in the first year for everyone. I’ve really been trying to stay in the moment to appreciate each transition, and yes it’s easier to do once the baby sleeps through the night.

  16. Hi, my favorite kind of cake is a rosemary olive oil cake and my favorite way to eat spinach is either in an omelet or in a salad. Thanks!

  17. Love the concept behind this cookbook! It took awhile for me to start eating vegetables (as in, I didn’t until I was college-aged), but surprisingly, spinach was one of the first greens I ate (broccoli was actually the very first and still my fave). I keep it simple though and I admit it’s not the most unique thing, but my favorite way to prepare spinach is in smoothies. My spinach-mango-ginger-avocado smoothie is the #1 go-to. But when I’m in the mood for something more like a milkshake, I’ll make a chocolate-mint protein shake with almond milk and still throw some spinach in there. Really I’m just very into throwing spinach into smoothies no matter what the flavor and it actually tastes great (most of the time).

    I would love to win a copy of Honey + Jam for new ideas and more inspiration on how to prepare my vegetables though =)

    Hope you’re having a sweet day!,
    Ashley

  18. This recipe looks AMAZING! In fact, I’m going to check out her blog! Oh I’d really like to win this cookbook!
    I’m trying to start cooking regularly again, and your blog and this recipe will help!
    ThankS!

  19. Growing up my favorite, always-requested-for-birthdays, cake was a plain chocolate bundt with nothing on it other than (maybe) a dusting of powdered sugar. I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth, and this actually sounds perfect for our next occasion… Cheers, and thanks for an opportunity to receive Hannah’s much-anticipated book!

  20. I like cake when they come tiny… CUPCAKES!:) I had a strawberry shortcake cupcake in Atlantic City a few months ago that was delicious! Love your blog and your recipes! Also your baby boy is absolutely precious!

  21. I love chocolate cake, but I just started thinking about apple cake and now must find time to make one.
    I love spinach in pasta dishes!

  22. I love strawberry shortcake!!! Only with really ripe, fresh berries and real whipped cream!! Yum! Spinach has som many great uses! I love to make spanakopita or creamed spinach or just a salad. Sometimes I even throw a few handful in pasta or soup for some added color and nutrition.

  23. I absolutely love vegetable cakes—zuchinni, carrot…and the like, but always they are sweet…I am intrigued by a savory vegetable cake! Thank you for sharing, Shanna.

  24. I preordered Hannah’s cookbook and have enjoyed quite a few recipes so far, but not this one yet – I’ll have to give it a try! But I can tell you the blueberry-lavender cupcakes are worth the price of the book times ten! Love those things and have made them 3 times so far. Looking forward to fall apple cakes now!

  25. The recipe instructions doesn’t say when to add the spinach. I’m guessing it’s added with the walnuts, raisins, or feta? Did you leave the leaves whole or chop them up first?
    Many thanks for your help. I look forward to trying this.

    • bethany, I’m sorry for taking so long to get back to you! Yes, add it with the walnuts and raisins! You could chop them up or leave them whole; since I don’t mind the size of baby spinach, I left them whole.

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