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The Original Veggie Cakes Recipe

Crispy, easy veggie cakes are made with grated vegetables – carrots, zucchini, broccoli and corn for a touch of sweetness. Vegetable patties are a tasty way to get more veggies into your diet, especially if you have picky eaters. They’re great for lunches, meal prep or a side dish for dinner. This recipe is also very customizable – you can swap out ingredients and substitute with what you have.

I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.

You may also be interested in my sweet potato cakes and my baked broccoli cakes recipes. For ease of browsing, you can find all of my veggie cake recipes in one place.

The original veggie cake recipe from Pook's Pantry.

Pook’s Pantry participates in affiliate programs. If you make a purchase through one of my links, I may earn a small commission. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.

Why you should make this recipe

  • Make Ahead – You can prepare the ingredients ahead of time to cook later, but you can also make them and store in the fridge for a day or two before serving.
  • Versatile – You can swap out vegetables that you don’t like with ones that you do!
  • Big batch – This recipe makes 30 vegetable fritters, which is great for larger families or those who want to freeze a portion of them for later.

Veggie cakes recipe

These fluffy and easy vegetable fritters are cooked on the stovetop, but can be baked in the oven for an even healthier option. Those with an air fryer can follow the directions in my butternut squash fritters recipe for this cooking method.

Breakfast is perhaps where we all have the most difficult time fitting vegetables into our day. Veggie patties make a great “grab and go breakfast”, but if you have 5 minutes to cook an egg and slide it on top of your vegetable patty, it is a delicious way to start your day.

Vegetable patty with egg on top.

Learn how easy it is to make this veggie cake recipe yourself instead of buying them. You can customize your vegetable patties to suit your tastes or simply to use up what you already have. Once you get the hang of it, the possibilities are endless.

Watch the full video – How to Make Veggie Cakes

These are spectacular! I followed the recipe exactly as written, and made a large batch intending to freeze some- there were non left to freeze! The whole family loves them.

– Jennifer

Ingredients

  • Broccoli – A food processor grates the broccoli in mere seconds.
  • Zucchini – Because this vegetable is watery, it must be drained well before used.
  • Carrots – They add sweetness to the vegetable patties.
  • Onion – I use yellow onion, or a sweet onion. Whatever you have is fine.
  • Corn – Fresh summer corn is great, but I use frozen corn the rest of the year.
  • Eggs – Eggs help bind everything together and they add protein.
  • Salt, pepper and granulated garlic – Everything needs to be seasoned. You can use fresh garlic instead of granulated, if you prefer.
  • Panko breadcrumbs – Also known as Japanese breadcrumbs, they are coarser than fine Italian breadcrumbs.
  • All-purpose flour – Helps the veggie cakes to hold their shape.
  • Baking powder – Gives them a little lift.
  • Parmesan cheese – Gives them a bit of richness and umami flavor.
  • Cajun seasoning – Optional, if you like a little spice.
  • Neutral oil for pan – Don’t use your best olive oil for frying. Stick with a neutral oil like grapeseed or canola.

How to make veggie cakes

Grating vegetables in a food processor makes this go much quicker, especially because this recipe does make a large batch. In a few easy steps, you’ll know how to make vegetable patties that will make even the pickiest eater happy.

Zucchini for veggie cakes in colander.
  1. Grate zucchini first. It needs time to drain. After you’ve grated it, set it in a colander over a bowl to catch the liquid. (See photo above)
  2. Grate the rest of your veggies in the food processor and set them aside, ready to mix with the remaining ingredients.
  3. Mix everything up in a large bowl and scoop out in equal portions.
  4. Once you’ve cooked them, place them on a parchment lined sheet pan to cool, or to chill for freezing.
Step by step photo instructions for making veggie cakes.

A food processor makes quick work of grating the veggies, but don’t worry if you don’t have one. A box grater does the same job with the added benefit of an upper arm workout.

Grated broccoli in food processor.

Veggie patties are one of my favorite ways to use up vegetables that I have in the refrigerator. That’s how this sweet potato and beet fritter happened.

Veggie cakes FAQ’s

This recipe has lived on my blog for about 11 years. In that time, many things have changed (like the availability of gluten-free flour). Here a few answers to the most commonly asked questions about Pook’s Pantry veggie cakes.

Can I freeze them?

You can absolutely freeze them. In fact, they freeze beautifully! The recipe does make a large batch, so freezing is a great idea.

Can I bake veggie cakes?

Yep! Bake them at 350°F // 180°C // Gas mark 4 for 20 – 25 minutes. This is a healthier option than frying, but they will not be quite as crispy. Spray the tops with cooking spray to help them crisp up in the oven.

How can I serve veggie patties?

They are a great side dish for dinner or a light, meatless dinner. They are perfect for little hands as they can be held without falling apart. As mentioned above, they make a stellar breakfast, topped with an egg.

Can I make them gluten-free?

Yes! Swap all-purpose flour for a gluten-free flour (like Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur GF flour).

These veggie cakes are so easy to make and are so very delicious!! And they looked so pretty on the plate too! Definitely make this recipe!

– Eileen

Serving suggestions

Having a party? Make them a little smaller and use as an appetizer topped with a tiny dollop of sour cream.

I have tucked them into a small roll for a veggie sandwich on the go. You could swap them out for a falafel in a pita. There are so many ways you could eat them.

Consider serving them with any of these dishes:

Veggie cakes on platter with parsley.
Veggie cakes make a great afternoon snack too with a dollop of sour cream

Easy make ahead meal

This is a great make ahead meal. You can grate vegetables ahead of time and refrigerate until you are ready to cook. The leftovers will keep in the fridge for lunches for the rest of the week, or you can pop a few into the freezer for later. Do the work once and when you are having one of those days, pull them from the freezer & voila! Dinner is done.

If you don’t like something, swap it out for something similar as suggested in my Italian vegetable cake recipe. Want a vegetable cake with a little more protein? Try these lentil patties!

Do you have a handful of something hanging out in the fridge that needs to get used up? Toss it in – just make sure that if you use a watery veggie (like spinach), you press the water out, otherwise they will be soggy instead of crispy.

Veggie cakes stacked on white platter.

Variations and substitutions

These vegetable fritters have endless variations. Swap cauliflower for broccoli, parsnips for carrots, scallions or shallots for onions.

You can use gluten-free flour instead of regular all purpose flour. However, because they vary quite a bit by brand, you may need to adjust the amount slightly to get your desired texture.

Add in a teaspoon or two of any dried herbs or spices that you like to give them a different flavor.

Helpful tools and equipment

  • Food processor: This appliance makes grating all of the vegetables a snap. Also, if you have problems with your hands or joints (like arthritis) and can’t grate vegetables by hand, this is a lifesaver.
  • Scoop: I use this scoop for everything: vegetable cakes, muffins, cookies, etc. It gets so much use in my kitchen and it holds up through lots of wear and tear.
  • Sheet pans: Buy commercial sheet pans. They are thicker and better quality, they won’t warp in a hot oven. They aren’t fancy and they’re not supposed to be. They are a workhorse in your kitchen and if you take proper care of them, you’ll never buy them again.
  • Cast iron skillet: Just like sheet pans, a cast iron skillet will last you a lifetime if cared for properly. There is a reason that these are passed from one generation to the next – they last forever. It is my preferred pan for cooking any kind of fritter or vegetable cake.

I was looking for a way to get some healthy veggies into my grandkid’s tummies. They loved these! My husband and I did too! Yum!

-Lisa

More veggie cakes recipes

Need a few more ideas or inspiration? These vegetable patties or fritters will help you get more vegetables into your dinnertime routine.

If you still want more, I made a veggie cake e-book!

veggie cakes e-book

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Stack of veggie cakes with black background.

Veggie Cakes

Cheryl Bennett
Fluffy veggie cakes are a perfect side or Meatless Monday meal.
4.46 from 332 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Veggie cake recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 30 cakes
Calories 109 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups broccoli grated
  • 3 large zucchini grated and drained
  • 6 medium carrots peeled and grated
  • 1 onion diced and sautéed (optional)
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs I used panko
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning optional, if you like a little kick
  • oil for pan

Instructions
 

Prep the zucchini

  • Grate zucchini, sprinkle with 1 tsp salt, toss to combine.
  • Place a fine mesh strainer on top of / inside a large bowl. Add salted zucchini to strainer. Place a heavy bowl or plate on top of the zucchini to weigh it down. Liquid will drain from zucchini into bowl underneath.
  • Let it sit for AT LEAST 30 minutes, up to 1 hour. After it has drained, wrap it in a clean kitchen towel or a piece of cheesecloth and SQUEEZE! Even more water will come out, we want it as dry as possible!
  • Set the drained zucchini aside.

Make the Cakes

  • In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, pepper, granulated garlic or Cajun seasoning, if using, breadcrumb and cheese together. Add all the vegetables and toss to combine, making sure to break up the zucchini and coat everything with flour mixture.
  • Crack eggs into a small bowl, give a little whisk and pour over veggie mixture. Mix to THOROUGHLY combine.
  • Heat a sauté pan (skillet) over medium-high heat, add a drizzle of oil (a teaspoon or two) and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Using a scoop (or a large spoon), drop mixture into the hot pan and flatten out with your fingers to form a patty.
  • Cook for 4 – 5 minutes on each side, turning down the heat if they begin to brown too quickly.
  • Remove from pan to a cooling rack placed inside a sheet pan, or a paper towel lined baking sheet.
  • Repeat until mixture is gone.

Video

Notes

Zucchini is very watery and needs to be drained well, otherwise your cakes will end up a soggy mess. It loses most of it's volume once it's drained (think spinach). You start out with a full pot and it cooks down to nothing.
To freeze: place squares of parchment paper between the cakes and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or slide into a zip-top freezer bag.
A cast iron skillet works the BEST, but any skillet will do!

Nutrition

Serving: 2gCalories: 109kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 5gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 537mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day 🙂

Questions? Send me an email, I’m happy to help. I’d love to send you weekly tips and recipes, so you can get updates about what’s happening in the kitchen!

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my photos or recipe (other than for personal use) without prior written permission. Thank you!

Originally published June 2012.

115 Comments

  1. These veggie cakes were delicious. The pouches egg on top was a nice touch. I highly recommend this dish.

  2. All these recipes look amazing. I can’t wait to try them all. My daughter Juliana is a vegetarian and we will make the veggie cakes together!!!

      1. I’m thinking healthy for Super Bowl Sunday and these look so good! Since we won’t be able to eat them all on that day, some will be frozen. These will be great also when the grandkids come to visit to sneak in some veggies. I was wondering about how to reheat after freezing.

        1. Hi Lisa! I reheat them in the oven. Let them thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat in the oven (350°F) for 20 minutes. They’ll be as good as when you made them!

        2. Do you have any suggestions for an egg substitute to make these vegan? I usr applesauce when baking but not sure what would work in these.

          1. Hi Amy, a chia seed egg or flax egg would work perfectly here. Mix chia seed or flax with water and let it sit for 5 minutes until it becomes gummy, then mix it in and proceed.

  3. The sweet potato veggie cakes are fantastic. I know because I have eaten them, and I highly recommend. Really
    great food!!

    1. Any suggestions for an egg substitute in these or would it not work? My toddler is allergic to eggs but I’d love to make them. Thanks in advance.

      1. Dana, that is an excellent question. The egg is there as a binder and to give it a little lift. You could bump up the baking powder to a tablespoon and add in either chia seeds (a few tablespoons), extra flour, potato starch or arrowroot.
        I have not tried this, so I can’t guarantee how it will affect the veggie cakes, but I should think it would be ok. If you do try it, please let me know how it turned out. I’d love some feedback! 🙂

  4. Normally not a huge fan of veggies but these veggie cakes are great! Especially with the egg on top. Easy instructions to follow as well. Highly recommend, especially for picky eaters

  5. These veggie cakes are a great option as a healthy side! Pooks Pantry does my meal prep and I am always excited when I see these on the list! 🙂

    1. Yes they can, Michelle! Bake in 350°F oven for about 20 – 25 minutes.
      They will not have the same crispy outside, but you can dredge in breadcrumb and mist with olive oil to get a little bit of crunch on the outside 🙂

      1. Would there be a good alternative for the zucchini? I can’t get zucchini in my small town in the winter, thanks! Or could we use frozen zucchini?

        1. Hi Aud, you *could* use frozen zucchini, but it will be really watery (you’ll have to REALLY squeeze out the water) Or, you could add in other veggies already (broccoli, carrots, etc) in the veggie cakes to equal the amount of the zucchini.
          I hope this helps! 🙂

      2. I baked them, per your directions, then I put them under the broiler for 2 minutes on each side. That made them a little crispy without the extra carbs.

  6. Hi! Would it be possible to substitute almond flour in place of regular white flour?? This recipe sounds amazing but we don’t use white flour anymore. Anxious for your thoughts! Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Connie! You certainly can substitute. I have not done this before, so I can’t say that they will turn out exactly the same. White flour has gluten, which helps to hold them together, while almond flour does not. You may need to add an extra egg for binder. I would love to know how they turned out, if you would be so kind to let me know! I’d love to update the recipe with that substitution for people who don’t eat white flour.

        1. Hi Michele, I don’t see why not. I’ve never tried it, but the flour is just there to act as a binder, so in theory, it should work. If you give it a go, please let me know how it worked out, I’d love to know. I’ll update the notes section, in case others out there are wondering the same 🙂

  7. These were delicious! I added a bit of red bell pepper, italian seasoning and some garlic along with feta to make this a meal. It does make a ton so I am hoping it freezes well and will taste as great when I reheat in the oven or warm skillet.
    I only wish I could make these without so much oil. I am on a restricted calorie diet and these are perfect for my vegetarian lifestyle. I will try to make them in a non-stick pan next time with very little oil and see if they are any good that way, but with all the veggies it is hard to think of these as anything but healthy.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thank you, Julie! I really appreciate your kind words. I’m so happy you liked them! You can make them with less oil, they will be just fine 🙂 You can also bake them (350°F for 20 – 25 mins) to make them even healthier! Enjoy!

    1. Hi Amy!
      Sure! You could substitute spinach instead, but the same rule applies with the zucchini. It is a watery vegetable and needs to be drained VERY well so it doesn’t make your veggie cakes soggy.
      Hope that helps! Thanks for reaching out 🙂

    1. Hi Helen! I’ve never made them in an air fryer, but I don’t see why not. I would suggest putting a couple in to test it out before you try a big batch. If you do try it, please let me know how they turned out, I’d love the feedback! 🙂

  8. I cant’ wait to try these out! I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate fresh veggies in the morning. I’ll certainly be taking the onion route, and maybe add bell pepper too! I tend to stay away from any refined carbohydrates though; what do you think about using oats and oat flour instead of breadcrumbs and white flour? Oat would seem like an obvious choice for a whole grain alternative at breakfast but I’m not sure how the combined flavor would pan out (though I do love savory oatmeal with eggs and veggies on top already).

    1. Hi Kyle, I think oat flour would be DELICIOUS! I might give that a try myself! I think of savory oats like grits, they can be really good as a savory route instead of sweet. If you do make them with oat flour, PLEASE let me know how they turn out & what you thought about the change 🙂

    1. Hi Casey, you can just omit the corn. The recipe will still be delicious. If you want to substitute it with something, you could try baby butter beans (lima beans) to get some extra fiber and protein!

    1. Hi Ricki! I freeze them after I’ve cooked them. Here’s how I do it: Place them on a small baking sheet, lined with parchment (so they don’t stick), in a single layer and place in freezer for 30 minutes.
      Then, I put pieces of parchment in between stacks of veggie cakes and store in the freezer.

        1. Hi Susie, if you freeze them in a single layer on a sheet pan before putting them in a freezer bag, they should be fine. However, the extra precaution of using parchment is never a bad idea. 🙂

  9. Oh my! Made these today for my seven year old granddaughter. She loves them, as do I.
    I used a 1/3 cup measuring cup. The yield was 22. I may or may not use a 1/4 cup next time. I like the bigger size a lot!

  10. This was such an easy recipe to follow. The cakes came out great! I think I need to make them a little bigger next time.

    1. Hi Melinda! I’m so happy you like them! And I’m really happy the recipe is easy to follow and gave you good results! Thank you so much for the feedback 🙂

  11. These were absolutely delicious. I did not have zucchini but instead added mushrooms and spinach. I will definitely make these again!

    1. If I would add spinach, would I sub out some of the other veggies to equal the same amount or would I need to adjust the rest of the binding ingredients? Thanks!

      1. You can do either 🙂
        Just remember that spinach will cook down A LOT and it’s really watery, so drain it REALLY well!

  12. Help. These ‘veg.’ cakes look delicious; BUT my husband would DIE (very dramatic) if I used zucchini. Could I substitute with grated potato – drained to get rid of the excess moisture? From Sydney, Australia

    1. Hi Gabrielle, you can substitute the zucchini with whatever you like. As long as you drain any watery vegetables, the recipe will work just fine 🙂 Hope all is well in Sydney!

    1. Hi Sarah! They sure will! They may not be as crispy (because of the microwave…) but they will still be DELICIOUS! I’ve microwaved them plenty of times, so I can speak from actual experience 🙂
      Let me know what you think when you’ve made them!

  13. It took me quite awhile to find the actual recipe on this page. Please consider adding a “jump to recipe” link at the top. The recipe sounds great, though.

      1. Awesome sauce. Thank you for replying. I’ve made them a few weeks ago and OMG delicious. I even made an egg white omelette with veggie cake can you say hmm hmm good.
        My oven went out so I’m having to be creative lol 😆. Have you ever made them in the air fryer?

        1. Hey there! I’m so glad you liked them! I am going to make these in the air fryer for a class I’m teaching in 2 weeks 🙂 But, there is a recipe for air fryer butternut squash fritters that is also reallllly good! <3

  14. A recipe like this always inspire and I truly appreciate the way you made this. Everything is so nicely described that really helped. I am looking forward for more such delicious recipes in future too.

  15. How long would you say they last without freezing? (my son does not eat sweets and I’m thinking this would be a fun way to send him a “cake” for his birthday at college! lol

    1. Hi Tracey – I store them in the fridge for up to a week, but if you want to ship them, I’d consider freezing them, then shipping them in a cooler or with ice packs. By the time they arrive, they will be thawed out.They need to stay cold so they don’t spoil 🙂

    1. Hi Eileen – I would just halve all of the ingredients. As far as the odd quantities – do 1 1/2 zucchini and 2 eggs. It’s just 2 of us here too, so I usually freeze a bunch so I can have them for later 🙂

  16. Well for heavens sakes! My husband LOVED these! Totally messed with my brain. So glad I came across this recipe! Thanks for posting!

  17. Delish…. but I grated amount of LARGE carrots as the recipe states and I got a LOT… So I didnt add them ALL as it seemed to be way too much… how many cups would you say the carrots should equal??

    1. Hi Debbie, I think I got about 4 1/2 – 5 cups of carrots. The recipe does make a ton. I like to freeze half of the batch for later.
      I changed it to medium carrots, because that is most common for a bag of carrots. Thanks for the feedback.

    1. Hi Susan, it doesn’t have to be exact measurements, so as long as you are in the ball park, the recipe will work. I don’t list it in cups because the sizes in carrots and zucchini vary, plus the volume in the measuring cup can vary as well. You may not pack it into the cup as firmly as I do, or vice versa, and that will yield different measurements. When you make them, make a note of how many cups you used and let that be your guideline for next time. I promise as long as you stick close to the recipe, it will work out.

  18. Could you please tell me how to grate broccoli florets?
    I understand how to grate carrots and zucchini using my box grater, but how do you grate the broccoli florets? Or do you grate only broccoli stems?

    1. Hi Leslie, I put them through the food processor. If you don’t have one, or don’t feel like dragging it out, I would chop them up by hand into small pieces. For a shortcut, I know that they sell it “riced” in some produce sections, so that might be a good option too.

  19. I made these today! Delicious! I used a 1/3 cup for each pattie and fried them in coconut oil. I ended up with 25 patties and froze half. Greek seasoning instead of cajun and will serve with tzatziki. Thanks!

  20. Made the first time exactly is the recipe said and they were delicious. The second time I tweaked it I use Jiffy corn muffin mix instead of the flour and Panko breadcrumbs, added more seasoning and switch the cheese out for mozzarella. They were so good they will definitely be in our weekly rotational.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe and also tweaked it to make it work for you! I’ll bet they are SUPER tasty with mozzarella!

  21. Hi Cheryl,
    I just made these for the first time. I used California veggie mix, onion, mushrooms and white corn. I will be making them again.

  22. These veggie cakes were very good. Being from Cajun country in Louisiana, I added more Cajun seasoning. I’m thinking about adding a little bit of jalapeños next time I make them. Thanks for the recipe!

  23. Added the can of beans. Cooked in the air fryer.
    They are delicious!

    Thank you for the awesome recipe

  24. These are crazy good! I’m a vegetarian who HATES veggies. I added a can of chickpeas just for some extra protein. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe.

    1. Thank you SO MUCH, Bianca! I’m thrilled that you like them 🙂 Adding some chickpeas for extra protein is a great idea! <3

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