cauliflower-and-parmesan-cake Recipes

cauliflower and parmesan cake

I used to make a lot of quiches and savory tarts. I still think they’re one of the food Greats; a delicious, buttery crust and almost any filling you can think of. With a salad of mixed greens and some crisp-tender green beans with flaky salt, I’m not sure I’ve ever needed anything else to fill out a meal. Oh wait, a glass of wine. Now that there is some Deb Meal Bliss.

cauliflower head
boiling

But as you know, things shift. They change. Suddenly, I’m feeding three mouths instead of two and I’m kind of hoping for leftovers and those delicate little tarts don’t stretch as far as I want them to. I want heft. I’m pretty at peace with not rolling out a pastry crust on a harried Monday afternoon.

cooking the red onion and rosemary

cauliflower cake batter

If you’ve been hanging out in the comment sections lately, a dude named Ottolenghi has been coming up a lot. “Ottolenghi has an eggplant soup…” “I had something like this at Ottolenghi’s restaurant in London…” or more succinctly, “OMG I LOVE Ottolenghi.” It seems that a case of Ottolneghi Fever is going around and I’ve caught a fierce case of it, too. Yotam Ottolenghi is the chef/owner of four self-titled restaurants in London that I haven’t been to (sigh) but showcase food I can only describe as clever. Sure, they’re they’re all from scratch, wholesome, organic and locally sourced; all of those hashtags we go for today but more too: innovative, drawing influence from all over the Mediterranean, fusing ingredients together that you might not have expected to work but will think of nothing after you’ve tried them. Can’t make it to London? Don’t worry, he’s got a an addictive cookbook (fried beans with feta, sumac and sorrel, anyone?) and a weekly column in the Guardian called The New Vegetarian, an endless source of Exactly What I Want For Dinner Tonight.

cauliflower cake

Earlier this month, I bookmarked this funny-named dish he calls a cauliflower cake, part of his ongoing campaign to give cauliflower, which he considers as versatile as the beloved potato, “some well-earned glory”. With the better part of a dozen eggs, this at first reminded me of many of the quiche and tart fillings I used to whisk up, but what makes it different is the baking powder and quantity of flour. Sure enough, this makes a sturdy omelet that slices like a cake and works as a hefty main course. But rather than being humdrum, as big baked egg dishes can be, there’s red onion and parmesan aplenty and signature Ottolenghi cleverness like a springform lined with black sesame seeds, a bit of turmeric, minced rosemary and a big handful of basil. It’s unusual and completely addictive and contains magical powers that get 13 month-olds to stay still long enough to eat that entire slice you see above.

cauliflower cake pac-man

One year ago: Apple Cider Doughnuts
Two years ago: Molly’s Apple Tarte Tatin and Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad
Three years ago: Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Four years ago: Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons

Cauliflower and Parmesan Cake
Adapted, only a little, from Yotam Ottolenghi

Ottolenghi suggests serving this “cake” (think: sturdy baked omelet) as a light dinner with a “makeshift salad of sliced cucumber, dill, mint, a little sugar, cider vinegar and grapeseed oil”. I say make a salad with whatever you’ve got on hand; I was messing around with brussels sprouts and green beans yesterday, so that’s what I made a salad from.

My main changes were to change the weights in the recipe into “American” with cup measurements where I could. He calls for 100 grams of olive oil, which works out to about half a cup, which seemed like a lot to me. I used a generous quarter-cup in the end. Should you use the whole amount, I am sure your cake will just be that much more moist. I also balked at using nearly half a pound of Parmesan (he calls for 220 grams, which is about 2 1/4 cup grated), and used about a quarter instead (1 heaped cup, grated). I might have enjoyed a stronger Parmesan presence so will be less stingy with the good stuff next time.

Ottolenghi says serves 4 to 6, I’d say 6 to 8

1 medium cauliflower (1 1/2 pounds, 23 to 24 ounces or 650 to 700grams)
1 large red onion, peeled
7 1/2 tablespoons (100 grams or 3.5 ounces) olive oil (I used 5 tablespoons, see Note up top)
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
10 medium or 8 large eggs
Handful (3/4 ounce or 20 grams) basil, chopped
Scant 1 1/2 cups (180 grams or 6.3 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 cups finely grated parmesan cheese (200 grams or 7 3/4 ounces, see Note up top) or about 1 generous cup of grated Romano cheese
Salt and black pepper
Butter, for greasing pan
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) degrees. Break cauliflower into medium florets (this will cause less mess than chopping it). Place floret in a pot with a teaspoon of salt, cover them with water and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until quite soft. Strain and let drip in the colander for a few minutes so they dry and cool.

Meanwhile, prepare the batter. Halve your red onion and cut a few thin rings off the end of one side; set them aside. Coarsely chop the remainder of your onion. Heat all of your olive oil in a saucepan (I won’t tell if you use the one where you cooked your cauliflower) and saute the chopped red onion and rosemary together until soft, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Whisk eggs and olive oil and onion mixture together. Stir in basil. Whisk flour, baking powder, turmeric, cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (use 1 teaspoon if you are nervous about this amount) and many, many grinds of black pepper together in a separate bowl and add to egg mixture, whisking to remove lumps. Stir in cauliflower gently, so most pieces remain intact.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch (24cm) round springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the sides generously. Put the sesame seeds in the pan and toss them around so that they stick to the sides. Pour in the cauliflower batter, arrange the reserved onion rings on top and bake cake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes, until golden brown and set.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Before you serve the cake, be sure to run a knife around the pan. This was probably the first time in my life I forgot, and several parts of the seed-crusted sides tore off!

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289 comments on cauliflower and parmesan cake

  1. As someone who went to Ottolenghi a week ago (sigh, I want to be back NOW), I can tell you it was the best eating experience we had in London – and it was fantastic! It was everything I wanted a place to be. Were I to live across the street, I’d be there nightly, it’s that good. I’ve also been addicted to his weekly column – clipped a bunch of stuff, maybe it’s time I got to make some of it.

  2. Hmm, you know, I’d never thought about cauliflower having a bad rap before, but then, when I saw the title, the first thing I did was go “ewwww”. I think it’s the gas factor.

    However, I’m totally intrigued by this. By savoury cakes in general. I tried making bacon and egg muffins for breakfast once, but I couldn’t get my mind around the texture (being one that called for sweet things) and the flavour (fry up).

  3. That is ridiculously pretty. I’ve been trying to incorporate more vegetarian cooking, and embracing the Meatless Mondays movement. I guess I’ll have to add his colum to my RSS feed!

  4. I love making frittatas and often throw whatever leftovers I have into them. This sounds like something I’d really enjoy! It looks so easy to serve in cake form.
    I fully agree about cauliflower: it’s fantastic and often forgotten.

  5. mary

    I will definitely try this, but will be roasting the cauliflower instead of simmering. I’ve got my kids hooked on roasted cauliflower (tossed with olive oil and a little kosher salt in the oven for about an hour) and this will be another way of serving it

    i’ll keep you posted

  6. LisaA

    You know, I’ve never been a big fan of cauliflower, but this recipe makes me want to give it another chance.

    Oh and those pictures of Jacob…what gorgeous hair! What deliciously chub cheeks, what a blissful expression! Thanks for sharing him with us :-D

  7. Wow! I was noticing all the Ottolenghi comments also, but for some reason didn’t check him out. Thanks for this wake up call! Such a brilliant recipe…I love clever things, especially if they’re vegetarian. :) Will definitely check out his column in the Guardian. Appreciate your conversions, as always!

  8. Cayla

    This looks amazing!!!! I’ve never been a huge fan of cauliflower….the photographs alone have convinced me to be a bit daring and give this recipe a try. The combination of flavors sound heavenly to the point where I’m drooling as I type this =)

    Jacob and that hair!!!! He’s so adorable!!!

  9. Gorgeous! I know that cauliflower is endlessly versatile and wonderful, but it definitely has taken some time to embed that fact into my mind. This cake most definitely gives it the glory it deserves!

  10. I never imagined cauliflower could be so exciting. The best I’ve ever done with it was cauliflower cheese but sometimes, you need a change. The other night I tried a soup which was awful so this will be perfect.

  11. I’m all about some cauliflower. I guess it’s a hold over from when I succumbed to the low carb phase and was making mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes. I still happen to love it so I’m sure I’d love this!

  12. There is no American counterpart for the Ottolenghi book. My friend who brought it back to me from London has previously given me an English Pyrex (yes, Pyrex) measuring cup as Imperial measurements are different from American and metric.

    What else do you expect from a country who drives on the wrong side of the road!

    I love Ottolenghi too.

  13. Joan

    I imagine you place the set aside onion rings on top, raw, before you bake the cake? I don’t see anything about that, or am I completely blind?

    Looks yummy!

  14. Rebecca

    I love the cauliflower/parmesan combination, and this looks absolutely delicious. I will definitely try this soon!

    Also, thank you for the link to Ottolenghi’s column. I love how he starts every recipe with a one-sentence tantalizing summary: “Sweet, spicy and smoky, every mouthful is a voyage of discovery.” “A gorgeous, unctuous pyramid pointing all the way to heaven.” Just makes me smile :-) I can see why he’s so popular!

  15. ive never seen or heard of anything like this! wow um….i don’t know that i can tackle such a recipe but maybe i can try for a very special occasion and realize it is not so hard after all. i love cali and i love eggs so this sounds very good. you never fail to bring something new to the table, literally!

  16. I have just recently found your blog and I am in love! Your photography really adds to my “I have to get home and make this today” desire! I see that others feel the same way above.
    I am a lover of cauliflower, my husband not so much so I often don’t cook with it. I think though that this recipe will be the perfect way to try it in my kitchen.
    Keep up the tasty choices and photos! Great blog!

  17. beth

    If you swap a pecorino romano for the parmesan, you might still be able to get away with using the smaller amount. I always think Locatelli just gives you more “bang for your buck”.

  18. Josh

    Deb,

    First things first – get yourself to London and go to the restaurant, it’s fantastic.

    I made this recipe when I saw it on the Guardian website and was very pleased. I used white whole wheat flour which worked wonderfully. However, I had trouble getting the black onion seeds to stick to the sides of the pan. How did you do it?

  19. Susan

    What a lovely centerpiece for a small brunch this would make. I’ve been one of those souls who hasn’t found cauliflower wonderful…until I made your cauli potatoe indian side dish a few weeks ago. It was scrumptious. I bet this is too.

  20. kookie in London

    Hey Deb, this recipe has been burning a hole in my work top for a few weeks now. Looks great, I’m looking forward to trying it.

  21. Ok I’ll say it—I love Ottolenghi. I’m a fan of The New Vegetarian at the Guardian for quite some time now and have tried many of his recipes, which always turn out great. I made this one last weekend and we devoured it!
    Magda

  22. An Ottolenghi restaurant was around the corner from our vacation flat in Notting Hill a few weeks ago. We kept walking past, greedily ogling the snowy white spires of meringues piled on a cake stand and other treats. “Tomorrow, definitely tomorrow,” my husband and I told ourselves. Well, that day never came.

    Next year in London, however…

  23. Seriously? Where has this been my whole life? I love all brassicas, really. Is the basil necessary? My thyme plan is going wild but basil is just about done for the year (and I find basil tends to be a dominant flavor where I don’t want it to be.)

  24. elizh

    I’d like to try roasting the cauliflower and adding a bit of heavy cream to the mixture to compensate for the lost moisture. What happened to the baking powder you mention earlier?

  25. Theadora

    Ok Deb, I’m gunna trust you on this one. I’ve made many many of your recipies going in thinking, “This is going to be interesting” and you’ve never let me down. I love cauliflower but this sounds so odd I’m not really sure how it will taste but I’m curious to see what happens. I’m even more intrigued that your baby enjoyed it. I have a VERY picky hubby who would eat nothing but Pizza and Corndogs (shudder) if he had half a chance. Hopefully I have as much luck as you did.

  26. BarbaraFL

    Looks like a fabulous dish. I’m curious as to the cooking time. Since I hate mushy veggies I’d never cook cauliflower more than a few minutes. I hate to ask but doesn’t pre-cooking it 15-20 minutes result in mushy cauliflower? Does it need to be mushy/soft when it’s baking 45 minutes?

    1. deb

      Lawsy, this post might have a record number of typos! I was in a terrible rush to finish before the babysitter left this afternoon. As you all can see! Then we went to the park so I am only now getting to your comments.

      BarbaraFL — Actually, I felt that mine after 20 minutes was still firm-tender. (I’d been hoping to get it softer because I wanted the extra for a baby snack.) It might have been the cauliflower I had. Anyway, there’s no need to boil it longer that is to your taste.

      Baking powder — Yikes, forgot it. It is 2 1/2 teaspoons. Fixed now.

      Kate — Basil isn’t necessary, though it changes the flavor, of course. Funny, I had to go to like 5 stands before I could find some and it was not the best. I think there’s definitely room to play with the herbs, whatever you have on hand that you might prefer. Also, thanks for the nice tweet before!

      Elle — Weights in the recipe. Thanks. Fixed now.

      Josh — A very generous slick of butter. Oh, and now I remember: he suggests using melted butter. I schmeared (and suggest here) cold butter on. It probably makes a better wall of “glue”.

      Joan — Ugh, missed that too in my retyping. You put them on top right before you bake it. Fixed now.

      Pam — Ottolenghi suggests parmesan or another aged cheese. I suggested Romano, but I am sure there are other wonderful ones.

      Beth — Excellent point. You’d probably not want to go over 1 1/4 cups romano and I will update that now. It is much saltier with a stronger flavor.

      Cauliflower tart — I cannot believe I forgot that I just made one 8 months ago. I have such mombrain these days; I barely remember making it!

  27. No joke, I seriously remember eating this for lunch one day when out on a job interview when I was living in London. It was remarkably light! Thanks for sharing.

    Becca

  28. sarah

    I have been in vegetarian blah repeat blah recipe land lately. Thanks for the lowdown! I’m going to make a gluten/dairy free version of this bad boy with cauliflower that I’ve roasted on the grill. Charred cauliflower has AMAZING flavor.

  29. I have been so tempted to buy this cookbook many times, but I am always reading the amazon reviews about the Americans having trouble converting his metric to US measurements (which would be me!!!).
    I always consult the metric conversion charts online, but they don’t all say the same thing.
    Thank you for converting this recipe for me!!!!
    Can’t wait to make it. I love a quiche, and I love cauliflower!

  30. Marianne

    So I just realized that I have been following your blog for a whole year already because of the little link to: “One year ago: Apple Cider Donuts”. That was the first post I read.
    Thank you for being an amazing cook/recipe tester and tweaker. I can’t tell you how many compliments I’ve gotten for the crispy chewy chocolate chip cookies. Let alone every thing else I’ve made from this blog’s recipes!

  31. Lora

    I will definitely be trying this one…I love cauliflower and so does my family. (And I saw you mentioned in a magazine again this week…yay!)

  32. Maria

    I do not believe that this could possibly be better than the cauliflower & carmelized onion tart that I’ve made more than a dozen times since you posted it in February. Last week I made a fritatta version of it which was good, that recipe cannot be screwed up even by omitting the crust, however this cauliflower cake is exactly what I was imagining when I attempted that variation. Thank you for reading my mind and I cannot wait to make it! Although I’ll likely have to restrain myself from roasting the cauliflower, carmelizing the onions, and adding truffle salt and dijon mustard!

    1. deb

      Anina — It wasn’t. I promise, I don’t do any food styling voodoo in my photos! It would only make the experience disappointing for anyone who makes it at home.

  33. Elizabeth

    This is exactly what I’ve been looking for lately!! I’m making it for dinner tomorrow, except hoping it will still work if I sub almond flour for the wheat flour to make it low carb friendly.

  34. I love cauliflower and can never think of imaginative ways to make it, so will try this pronto! I’m going to make it as is the first time, but was wondering how you think it would do in a pastry crust cause I really, really like my savoury cakes in a crust. Thanks for the inspiration!

  35. This looks so cool! I’ve always been a bit of a cauliflower skeptic, but this is really winning me over. All of those spices and herbs sound amazing! I’d love to serve this for a yummy brunch dish.

  36. All i have to say is – what a brilliant idea. Never thought of making this with cauliflower. I bake them, eat them raw, mixe them with potatoes etc. But this is a new one for me. Thanks!

  37. Em from Oz

    I have recently fallen in love with Cauliflower. I grew up eating it when it had been boiled to within an inch of its life and couldn’t believe it could be anything other than bland and watery. Then, I saw someone make Cauliflower Puree on a cooking show, it was a life changing moment. It has replaced mashed potato in our house and everyone who tries it can’t believe that it is cauliflower, it is just so tasty! Also, a few people have commented on the ‘gas’ effect of cauliflower. An Indian cookbook I have suggests that this only occurs when you cook cauliflower with water in it (i’m sure there is a more science-ey explanation somewhere). I have noticed that stir-frying or using it in a tart (or cake, who knew?) does limit this side effect. I have half a cauliflower in the fridge at the moment that i’m going to use to make this tonight, although my 18 month old will be disappointed that he ‘fwowa’ has disappeared from the fridge!

  38. Erica

    Hi Deb,
    This looks amazing! I’m vegetarian but my hubby isn’t so I’m always excited to find dishes that do not have even a whiff of fake meat. I recently discovered Ottolenghi and I bought the new book “Plenty”. So far I’ve made the leek fritters (so amazing with the yoghurt sauce!); the fennel, chickpea, tomato and bread stew which was perfectly filling for cold winter nights here in Australia. That’s all so far, but his book is full of beautiful recipes with a middle Eastern twist.
    I also recently discovered Nigel Slater’s column in The Guardian online. I made his tomatoes stuffed with butter beans and I topped it with goats cheese. It was delicious!
    I love your blog, I follow every post, and of course my favourite part is the link to an always adorable photo of Jacob. Thanks!

  39. This looks fabulous. I’ve been thinking about cauliflower a bit too recently, and how I can work it into some interesting dishes, so this recipe really speaks to me. I can’t wait to try it! I alove love the idea of the black poppyseed crust. Mmmm

  40. Elizabeth

    Restaurant #1 for upcoming London trip identified. (Well, I guess I have to narrow it down to one of the four but it’s a start.) I had forgotten how much I enjoyed his fried beans with sumac and sorrel when I made them.

    Thanks!

  41. Such a small world that you just posted this today as I had a yearning for roasted cauliflower this evening and just baked a beautiful fresh batch…I am surely going to create this incredible recipe as it sounds divine…such beautiful photographs … Thank you for a unique spin on a roasted cauliflower recipe; I truly look forward to digging in and enjoying it!
    Enjoy your evening and happy eating…
    Best,
    Amie

  42. Catherine

    made this for supper tonight- I thought it was delish but the three other family members all thought it was so/so. I served it as a main and perhaps it would have been better suited as a side for my meat lovers. AND thank you for turning me on to this Ottolenghi stuff.. I had no idea! the Guardian link is fantastic

  43. Love this idea! I just made an amazing roasted cauliflower and swiss chard quiche for dinner last night. I’m definitely a fierce advocate of the under appreciated head of cauliflower and this looks like a yummy way to enjoy it!

    PS Super excited to check out Ottolenghi! I must be living under a rock, never heard of him…and I’m vegetarian!

  44. Pam

    I made this for dinner tonight and really enjoyed it. Mine didn’t come out as fluffy as the one in the pic for two reasons (I suspect): 1) I used 4 large and 2 extra-large eggs, and I guess I should have put in a third, and 2) I didn’t add the baking powder in until the very, very end because someone *cough cough* forgot to add it to the original recipe!

  45. raeanu

    If your 13 mo old loved it then I would give this a go at my 23 mo old. Before she loved vegetables now not so much, just pizza and bread and butter for her. Any baby recipes appreciated.

  46. Asli

    LOVE LOVE LOVE Ottolenghi!! I drove my husband crazy last time we were in London because I made him eat there breakfast lunch and dinner!!

  47. Jaya

    I live in London and have been to Ottolenghi a few times – while it good, it is not amazing and is also ridiculously expensive. For dinner, they do these tapas-style small plates which are between 10 and 15GBP each. You are supposed to order 2-3 of those per person! Really not worth it.

    Having said that, the food is good and the desserts very good.

  48. Noaya

    I think you misspelled Ottolenghi’s first name: It’s Yotam, a pretty common Israeli name, and not Yoham. The cake looks great, though! :-)

  49. I think that after reading this I will be hit by Ottolenghi fever too. And I also have a new mouth to feed and little time and never seem to have leftovers anymore. Also, I love cauliflower. Thanks for the idea. And, I know I shouldn’t say this, but I am a teeny bit relieved to hear you are also finding it a little harder to cook and do stuff now that you have a little one racing around touching and sucking on everything. Because I often feel more than overwhelmed myself and read your posts and looked at your lovely pictures and feel totally in awe about how you keep it all running so smoothly. ;o)

  50. This is a beautiful dish. It will be a great way to prepare cauliflower this Winter since it is one of the few fresh (and decent) vegetables available. I will definitely take a look at that cookbook. It sounds very intriguing.

  51. Deb, what a beautiful dish this is! Thanks for the link to the Guardian column – I bookmarked it. I am very taken with the spice/herb mixture lining the springform pan – what a fantastic idea!

  52. A Southern Cousin

    New to your website – – thank you!! I am up for trying any recipe that takes a much maligned vegetable like cauliflower and turns it into a lovely dish! Perhaps my little ones will partake of it with gusto! Off to the market for a head of cauliflower. . .

  53. Beautiful colours! I have to say I live close to Notting Hill (west London) and I frequently walk past Ottolenghi, but still haven’t gone in! My friend is always raving about how great it is for brunch. I must go soon…

  54. I’ve been looking for a good cauliflower recipe! Over my 24 years I’ve neglected this vegetable completely, and now I feel guilty. I was thinking about cauli + turmeric, baked with olive oil, salt & pepper…but when you make it a cake, I just can’t resist that.

  55. I’m going to go with “intriguing”…like cauliflower, love cheese…will have to give it a try. I have also been under a rock..thanks for the info on Ottolenghi!

  56. Eileen

    Wish I checked in yesterday. I made a big batch of cauliflower curry because I could not think of any other quick cauliflower dish ( We Love cauliflower). I look forward to making this. One question. Do you think white whole wheat flour will work in place of unbleached white? Or whole wheat pastry flour?

  57. My mother’s 70th birthday party was last weekend. I did all the catering- most of which was straight out of Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty. Everything was utterly delicious. It’s the best cookbook I’ve come across in a long time!

    (The other recipes were from Nigel Slater- somebody else whose recipes always go down well.)

  58. barleygirl10200

    I was going to make my out of town friend the Mushroom Lasagna you posted the other day, but now I must make her this. I keep pulling up this page and just drooling over the idea of it!

  59. Another Deb

    This looks very similar to a Tunisian tagine (not to be confused with Moroccan tagine!). I haven’t seen a vegetable recipe that calls for black sesame seeds (nigellas, btw), so I’m very interested in this. I’ll be checking out Mr. Ottolenghi at the Guardian as well! Thanks for the greats recipes and tips.

  60. Oh, how I love Yotam Ottolenghi! The restaurant(s); the cookbook; the column; the man! The Notting Hill branch of the restaurant is worth a visit for the spectacular window display alone. Both his cookbooks are permanent fixtures on my kitchen counter. I use them weekly. I’ll be trying this recipe tonight.

  61. Christy B.

    I made this CAKE for dinner last night.

    I used what I had on hand, which meant using a yellow onion, no turmeric, and a glass Pyrex pie pan instead of the spring form pan suggested. Anticipating that it would stick to the pan I skipped the crust of sesame seeds. I was pleasantly surprised that my non stick spray actually worked.

    Review? Yum. My one year old gobbled it up. Even my husband liked it and went back for more. I will cook it a few minutes less next time because some of sides seemed a little dry. I warmed up leftovers for lunch? Still good. Thanks for inspiring me to try something new!

  62. i am on the ottolenghi bandwagon – i recently made his smoky omelet, which also featured eggs (obviously) and cauliflower. it was very good and on the make-again list, but i have noticed with the couple recipes that i’ve made from plenty that he’s very liberal with his use of expensive and fatty items. still, i love his ideas and the book has not moved from my coffee table since i got it as a gift two months ago.

  63. Gen Santanelli

    This looks amazing… Truly enchanting!! I am going to try it out this weekend… JUST TWO QUICK QUESTIONS that I hope you get to reply to. :(
    I don’t like brown sesame seeds (the regular ones I suppose)… Does black sesame seeds have the same taste?? AND on the pans: If I don’t have a 9″ inch spring form pan, is there another I can use? (what about a bundt cake pan? or an 8”x3″ round pan)? Again, this looks amazing… Thank you for sharing!

  64. Hey Deb – Cauliflower was one of those vegetables I was a little iffy about for ever so long, that is until I tasted mashed cauliflower as a lighter type mash & from there on in I’ve seen so many ways to make this little darlin’ do great things. I’ve not made a cauliflower cake, so I’m pretty excited to create one. Thanks for sharing.

  65. Oh. This seems unusual but is really dragging my curiosity! Well, actually it is really creative doing something like this with a veggie! Wonderful. I think I should try this out. Maybe my kids will be able to eat vegetables without them knowing. LOL

  66. A Southern Cousino

    Yummy! I did not have sesame seeds, so I substituted poppy seeds. . . After 50 minutes, my cake still did not set completely, but I could not wait any longer. I had to taste it!! Very good hot and straight from the oven. (I think next time I will use more parmesan, as 1C. did not seem to be enough.) However, at room temperature, it became divine!!!

  67. Sydney

    So I have been drooling over the cauliflower caramelised onion tart for a few weeks, but as I get home so late from my commute, never have time to bake in the evenings.

    Tonight I am going to make either this cauliflower cake or the cauliflower and caramelised onion tart from February.

    Deb or any other commenter who has made these recipes? Which do you recommend the most?

  68. I tried my first ottolenghi dish recently – it was also cauliflower – in a tahini sauce – but I too found that he used an obscene amount of oil – but had great flavours – so I was interested to see you also reduced the oil! Wish my 20 month old would still eat such food but it is all just plain jane stuff now!

  69. deb

    Hi Kate — I used everything.

    Syndey — The one with caramelized onion is very rich and absolutely delicious. Even a little sinful, which of course just makes it tastier. This is more of a main course, heavier, and more interestingly spiced. We’ve gotten a few days of meals out of it.

    Gen Santanelli — Black sesame seeds have a slightly different flavor but no reason you cannot swap what you have (or poppy seeds, as some have suggested). The reason for the springform is so the cake can be easily removed. It doesn’t have the lightness of a regular cake (and won’t pull away from the sides as it cools, like a layer cake would) so you may have trouble getting it out of other pans. Doesn’t mean you can bake it in, say, a square pan but you do risk having to cut it out of it.

  70. Cat

    Yes, yes, yes. Delicious and lovely and will make soon.

    But, BULK! That’s the ticket sister. My family doesn’t want to eat fast food or processed food ever – we all want homemade food all the time and I’m trying to not let my career go completely down the drain, so…

    Thank you for healthy – multi-meal food.

    xo

  71. Just had to check in – my husband and I are on a mini weekend in Barcelona and we are eating TAPAS, TAPAS AND MORE TAPAS. I’m thinking a skinny slice of your cauliflower cake on top of a toasted slice of bagette -and voila – just another tapas item! I am going to have to try this when we get home!

  72. Sarah

    So this recipe has forced me out of lurkerdom. I happened to have all the ingredients on hand so I made it last night.

    Umm.

    I wanted to love it, but we really didn’t. It was, truly, a not-sweet cake. For dinner. It was weird, honestly. Sort of bready, with hints of cauliflower and cheese flavor. On the upside, it was very easy and used only ingredients on hand, and aside from the cup of Parm it was cheap. It certainly may have been user error, but I don’t think I’d ever make it again–and I think a frittatta with cauliflower (maybe roasted instead of boiled?) and cheese would have been much more to our taste.

    FWIW.

  73. Sydney

    I think I’m just going to have to make both. I can’t choose. It’s like Sophie’s choice. I think I will attempt the cauliflower and caramelised tart first, as living in London I can make it to an Ottolenghi it out (on the to do list tomorrow!)

    Am a very basic cook, so a little bit nervous about attempting these and will comment again in the relevant posts to let you know how it went.

  74. Alixe&Lorenzo

    This is a triumph! I made it w almond flour (diabetic-friendly), dried rosemary and parsley instead of basil. Delicious and beautiful presentation for a tapas meal. Thank you!

  75. Sheila

    I tried this and it’s great! One ‘procedural’ note: I placed the well-drained florets in the pan and poured the batter over them. Less ‘breakage’ and it came out fine.

  76. Julie

    I changed almost everything about the recipe and it still turned out great. This recipe is super versatile and delicious (well, at least my version tasted great). Thanks for the awesome inspiration!

  77. Margaret

    I made this for dinner tonight, and my family and I found it pretty bland :(
    Like Sarah said, it’s like a not-sweet cake, but without any bursts of flavour to redeem it. I kind of think it’s a waste of 2 full cups (!) of parmesan….

  78. Vonada

    Greetings, Deb:

    I have cauliflower in frig waiting for this evenings dinner – which recipe would you suggest this one or the cauliflower and onion tart? Decisions, decisions. –

  79. Selkie

    You know Deb, I LOVE your recipes, your pics, your writing, but the REAL reason I check in nearly daily is for the latest pic of Jacob. He is growing so fast, and it has been wonderful watching from this side of the screen. Thank you so much to you both for brightening the week for so many of us with his new pic per posting! Hoping you won’t ever stop….

  80. Kathy in St. Louis

    Just slipped this beautiful thing into the oven. The major change I made was to use 10 ounces broccoli & cauliflower, plus a yellow and red pepper, in place of all cauliflower (fridge odds and ends, you see). And I used toasted sesame seeds in place of the black seeds. Oh, and I used the entire container of grated Parmesan that my thoughtful boyfriend bought yesterday — it was less than the amount in the recipe, but it’ll be fine, I’m sure (and I’ll buy a new container today to replace it).

    Smells lovely so far. I’m thinking the leftover chocolate souffle cupcakes will be dessert.

  81. Lea

    I love good cauliflower recipes– definitely an underrated vegetable! I’m a big fan of mashed cauliflower, or your cauliflower soup, and both are good enough to keep me from branching out. This, though, looks amazing. Can’t wait to try it.

  82. I am half of a small catering company in Oakland, Ca. We loved your sight first but we too caught a serious case of Ottolingi fever over the summer. I think we caught it from David Lebowitz.
    We are both in awe of Mr Ottolingi, and his partners’, innovative approach to combining flavors. We are very lucky to have the local resources and cooking influences of Northern California available to us; that said, it has been necessary to improvise on some ingredients not even we can find. ( Not even at the Bowl*)
    We ordered both cook books from Amazon, but haven’t really used the second one as it seemed better for colder weather. ( Which was here most of the summer and arrived in full force to day. But if you cook summer food in summer it helps it feel like summer no matter how cold it is.)
    We are making this cake for a brunch event next weekend.

    Hummm Baby, Go GIANTS!

    * The Berkeley Bowl is a Berkeley grocery establishment that if you are ever visiting the Bay Area, and you are a foodie, should be on your list things “todo” right after the seeing the other bridge.

  83. Meg McG

    This is the oven right now and it smells great! I’m serving it with some keilbasa in case the kids don’t love it. Thanks for all the interesting recipes!

  84. Meagan

    Throwing brunch tomorrow and successfully convinced my mom and cousin that we should make this. Any thoughts on making this in advance and then bringing it to room temp. to serve?

  85. Kimberly

    I am a long time reader, but this is the first time I have ever commented — I couldn’t resist commenting because this cake is simply wonderful! Thank you for always introducing us to fantastic recipes from unexpected sources. I think part of the wonder of this dish is that the name, ‘cauliflower cake,’ is just so unappealing, in sharp contrast to the lovely result. The cake almost reminds me of a Tortilla Espanola, the tapas dish…

    Incidentally, I used the full serving of parmesan and about 75grams olive oil, and it has an really irresistible flavor and is soft and moist and really just perfect… hmm, I’m leaving the posting and commenting going back for my second slice now!

    Thanks again!

  86. Agent Scully

    Just a little FYI: the baking powder is missing from your steps.

    I really hope this turns out tasty. It’s in the oven right now, but I’m making it for tomorrow as Ottolenghi’s recipe said it tastes better the next day.

  87. ohhh i wish i could replace the eggs with something else…. buttermilk like in cakes or milk n vinegar? I don’t know but i cant be eating eggs right now and I’d really like to try this out!

  88. Deb

    Made it today. Definitely missing the info about adding baking powder, in the steps, but I added it at the most obvious time (to me), with the other dry ingredients. Also, I don’t think it needs as much oil – in fact I think the amount of oil listed is absolutely ridiculous. I used about 3 tablespoons. The cake turned out really really well – it will be a recipe I make often in the future. YUM!

  89. Since I’ve been on low carb, I’ve learned about the wonders of cauliflower. It really is versatile and I love it. I’m thinking of low carbing this recipe by simply subbing some of the ingredients, specifically the flour. I would probably use flax meal. Is the flour there to bind?

  90. linda

    a question… recipe calls for a lot of eggs (flavor, color, binding agent, rise) but, could one sub egg beaters w/o dramatic consequences?
    i know there must be a lot of gasps @ this point.

  91. ijoemonkey

    I also made the cake last night while also making PW’s short ribs and goat cheese polenta so that I’m not stuck at school eating MSG laden chinese food for lunch.

    I had a slice this morning and it was delish. This was after I managed to:
    1. use 2 larger than medium heads of cauliflower
    2. add 3 eggs at the last minute because I worried about not having enough batter after I had added the cauliflower
    3. eyeball baking powder

    and general cooking mayhem all around. I was lazy and skipped parchment paper for the bottom of my 10 inch cake pan (no spring form yet) which is making pretty slices a challenge.

    But alas, if it came out with what I did, I’m pretty sure anybody can make it!

  92. docrock

    Looks awesome. Fits right into my current eating menu. You talked about getting more than one meal out of it. How did you reheat it and do you think it could be frozen? If so, how would you reheat that?

  93. Naomi

    I can’t wait to try this. But I gotta comment on quiches not being hefty enough for many, many meals. I have been making the quiche recipes form Thomas Keller’s Bouchon cookbook. He makes his in a 9X2 ring form, and the result is 9X2 of dense, thick and decadent quiche that we have a tough time finishing even over a few days. The quiche, made this way looks spectacular, too. I do end up putting in more veggies in mine as the custard in this recipe is quite rich as is. And the only negative is that it takes longer to cook (1 hr 30 min to 1 hr 45 min, plus pre baking the crust). Here’s a link for Michael Ruhlman’s (co-author) which is very similar to what’s in the cookbook. http://ruhlman.com/?s=Quiche

  94. kiera

    Thanks for this one! It was very tasty when I made it last night according to your recipe and I think it will be a great base to improvise from for next time. Yummmm!

  95. Cauliflower is starting to grow on me now that I am older, in fact I just posted a cauliflower recipe. I still find that it doesn’t taste good enough to eat on its own, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a great component in a recipe! This looks good I’d like to try, but I’d have to go shopping first, lots of ingredients I don’t normally use in this one!

  96. Amanda

    This was awesome! And, for once, mine actually came out looking just like yours does. Rarely do my versions look so nice, but this one was perfect.

    The only hiccup was that the innards of mine turned out to be nowhere near set after 50 minutes. Unfortunately I only noticed this after it had been cooling for a while. The top looked so set! I wasn’t sure if the clean-knife-test was applicable to this not-quite-a-cake, so I didn’t do it, but I wished that I had. Anyway, after it spent a lot more time heating back up in the oven and cooking, it did eventually pass the clean-knife-test and was terrific.

    I also substituted poppy seeds, since I had just assumed poppy seeds after seeing the picture and glossing over the recipe, and therefore had no black sesame seeds. Worked out fine.

  97. DAVID

    This looks great BUT wasn’t very good. Very spongy – the taste was bit off – I’d prefer less flour and perhaps more “eggy-ness”. But probably wouldn’t make it again –

  98. I will have to get me one of those cookbooks. I love to try dishes like that. I will have to give this recipe a try, too. You always make things look so easy to make.

  99. Cauliflower is sometimes one of those vegetables that we forget about. Usually we steam it and that’s about it. But it’s so versatile. Pasta with cauliflower or as a puree. It’s a great vegetable. I love this use of cauliflower. Great brunch dish.

  100. Rachel

    I think I may have done something wrong in cooking it — the flavors were there, but the cake part was dense. I did not see to add baking powder at the time I made it, and it seemed like there was too much flour. I’d love to try this again w/o the flour and just make it more of an egg fritatta type.

  101. I made this on Saturday, without baking powder, and it was delicious. Really excellent. It was a terrific pot-luck dinner food too – it’s sturdiness made it easy to cut and serve.

    I wonder how it would be different with baking powder… Only one way to find out!

  102. If I made this again, and was making it a day ahead of serving, I would use regular onions. The red onions look pretty, but they turn a green-ish color a day later as they react with the egg protein.

  103. I made this with a large cauliflower and 8 eggs on a Friday and it made 6 hearty meals for the two of us, so it was worth the effort. The sesame seed edge really made a great flavor and texture. This would be great a brunch party dish.

  104. Kay

    i made this with a gorgeous orange cauliflower (and less turmeric) and threw in some sorrel because it is growing so well at this time of year, and you made me think of it. lovely. My 2 year old chanted “yummy yummy”as she bit into her slice. Very quiche-y even without the buttery crust. Thanks for another winner!

  105. Malvina

    I saw this and had to make it. I did not have tumeric so I substituted sweet curry powder and I used panko bread crumbs instead of sesame seeds. It was delicious. My husband who does not like curry at all, let alone cauliflower, loved it. Thank you for the fabulous recipe. This will be added to my list of favorites.

  106. On my site, I mostly try and use recipes that I dig up from my stash of cookbooks, but when i see things like this, I get thrown all off track and just have to make it immediately. So damn you and thank you. This looks amazing.

  107. nora hennesy

    This was wonderful! Quiche to a whole new level. I totally forgot the parm, so we doted the hot cake with some goat cheese and it turned out great! Also, I had an unknown bag of spice that I’m pretty sure after tasting that it was curry. I made the kitchen smell fantastic! Thanks Deb for always opening us up to new culinary treats!

  108. jbird

    Have been looking for a tapas dish for my book club-this one looks just about perfect. Will cut it into small squares and arrange on a platter. Thanks for this lovely site.

  109. Michele

    Well this has to be the craziest thing I’ve ever attempted. As a recent convert to your Kitchen, I’ve learned not to question. In spite of some gitches (had to sub mostly whole wheat flour discovering too late that I was almost out of all-purpose) I was completely wowed when I cut into and tasted this last night. It didn’t look as pretty as yours as the ww flour made it brown and maybe that also had something to do with it being somewhat dry around the edge and not completely set in the middle but the flavors were lovely and though the texture was a little off I’m inspired to perfect this one. Thanks! One question: the red onion rings on top turned green, what’s up with that?

  110. Lori

    I’m not sure what I was thinking, but since this appeared just as I noticed a lingering head of cauliflower in the back of the fridge, I used this recipe for the head of *purple* head of cauliflower I found. That was a regrettable choice. It tasted fine but the cake is the most awful shade of teal.

  111. KateinDC

    I just made this this past weekend for a movie night I didn’t want to be in the kitchen for. Divine, divine, divine! It’s my – and my husband’s – new favorite meal. Reducing the oil and keeping the parm cheese at 2 cups were both great suggestions. Thank you for this recipe!

  112. Kathryn

    How pretty this would be with the purple and white cauli mix that Trader’s is currently carrying. So many mixed reviews, can’t wait to try it for myself! :)

  113. Nora H

    Had some for lunch today (leftovers) and it appears red onion doesn’t play well with eggs (?)…they turned a grayish green color. Still good, definitely not spoiled…but slightly weird to eat when your evolutionary senses are screaming at you to put*the*fork*down and step away. I’m glad I didn’t listen

  114. Lori

    Kathryn–A thousand times no on the purple cauliflower! The purple leaches badly, and it turned my cake an awful teal color. (I also don’t recommend boiling purple cauliflower unless you enjoy gray vegetables.)

  115. Katy

    Made this yesterday, and it’s delicious! Thank you for the recipe. FWIW I did not find that the black sesame seeds had such a distinctive flavor – so the other substitutions would probably be fine. I will likely just leave them out next time.

  116. Christina R

    I made this the other day. It was delicious. My 11-month old had a huge slice to herself. I made it again this yesterday, but switched out the cauliflower with broccoli and extra sharp cheddar, added an extra red onion and 3 cloves of garlic, used the 5 tbps of oil and added tbsp of butter. I actually think I could have put 2 tbsp of butter. Didn’t have tumeric or black sesame seeds either time but didn’t miss them. Oh, and i also rubbed a butter over the top when I took it out of the oven!
    This will become a staple at our house for sure! Thanks.

  117. Paige

    This is really, really good. I made the recipe as originally written, except that I was out of AP flour so substituted half white bread and half whole wheat pastry flour. It turned out fantastically so I think I’ll try all WW next time. This recipe took what I sometimes don’t like about quiche (watery, especially when reheated) and eliminated it. I have a hunch this will freeze well too. I’m just thinking of all of the variations I could do. Cheddar and broccoli is coming for sure, maybe gruyere and…I’m not sure yet. But it’s really a great format, which reheats beautifully.

  118. My husband is fully unwilling to own a springform pan, now, since during our last move we found SIX in the house. So I made do with an 8″ square pan, and cooked two of the cakes, each with half the mixture. To make sure the cake came out of the pan, I made a parchment sling (adhered to the pan with cooking spray), and then buttered the inside of the paper to make the sesame seeds stick. Worked perfectly, and I was able to wrap up the second cake in the parchment and put it in a gallon ziplock to keep it for another day of meals.

    The recipe is great! Even better now that I know I don’t have to buy a new pan. :)

  119. this was absolutely fantastic! thanks for the introduction into cauliflower… now if I could figure out how to make this in smaller portions since I’m just one person… any suggestions? or other one person recipes you love? thank you!

  120. Neomi

    I just HAD to make this cake even though I didn’t have all the ingredients (of course. It’s always that way isn’t it?) The biggest trouble was having only 6 eggs
    but I thought that if I use a bit less cauliflower it would fine so I plunged ahead. Also I subed the super awesome israeli Feta from TJs for the parm. The last minor hurdle was not having a red onion so I used shallots and just to have something to decorate the cake with I used half a red pepper (the other half I sauteed with the onion). As I was mixing everything I had a bit of panic attack that I didn’t reduce the flour enough (I used a full cup) so I added a nice glug of milk to make it all more liquidy and….Success!!! It rocked!! thanks so much, and also for highlighting Yotam– I never heard of him before but I am now a big fan!

  121. Ron

    Instead of boiling the cauliflower, I grated it using a box grater and sauteed it with the onion. It was a little dryer and more caramelized than the recipe, but it worked BEAUTIFULLY. Delicious with a salad of red onion, roasted beets, grapefruit and goat cheese, and, because I’m a pig, a nice hunk of sourdough. Thank you, Deb!

  122. I just put this in the oven. I didn’t have red onion or rosemary, so I substituted cippolini and sage. I used 8 large eggs, but after putting in two cups of flour, my batter was waaaaay too thick so I dropped in just a bit of milk until it was creamy again. I am very much looking forward to it! I had a little fingerful of batter and the flavor is delicious.

  123. Liz

    I made this with gorgeous golden/orange cauliflower (it always cooks so beautifully) but it was exactly the same color as the “cake” and lost in the white whole wheat flour and turmeric colored batter. Next time, no turmeric, white onions. I substituted raw sesame seeds which browned beautifully. During cooking, my pan leaked oil/melted butter – do I not know how to put it together (it was my first use) or is this a common occurance?

  124. Mimi Wan

    I made this based on Ron’s suggestion to grate the cauliflower. Very tasty and I loved the sesame seeds. I think I didn’t have enough onion and perhaps not enough Romano. It was good but did not blow my socks off. I do like the cauliflower theme since you won me over with the cauliflower tart. Maybe I should try again with whole cauliflower.

  125. Victoria Zaldivar

    I made this last night, and it was DELICIOUS! It’s the first time I’ve been able to get my 3 year old to eat cauliflower since she was a baby. Thank you!!

  126. Charlotte

    Made this last weekend when my date came over and we both really liked it. Served it with your tomato sauce with onion and butter, roasted baby new potatoes and green beans. Had plenty left over and it made some lovely lunches.

  127. Great recipe, I just made it for lunch! I live in Barcelona, Spain and I have to say it reminds me the Spanish Tortilla, but flavors are completely different, and I prefer baking than frying. Thanks for this post!
    Ana

  128. Emma

    I just made the second batch of the week. My kids ate it without complaining! For those wondering about a gluten free version, I substituted brown rice flour for the flour (equal amounts) and added a pinch more baking powder. I don’t think you would be able to tell it was gluten free. Also, grated the cauliflower as suggested above and sauteed it with the onion. Just doubled the saute time. I think the grating helped with the texture for the little ones.

  129. Sea Salt

    Delicious!! Great new recipe to add to our collection. I am excited to try it with different add-ins too. How about add a little bacon for more of a brunch flavor, or mushrooms and spinach. Thanks for your inspiration!

  130. Andi

    Delicious! And I definitely agree that it serves closer to 8; it’s remarkably filling. I used poppyseeds instead of sesame seeds because I had them on hand. I also (unintentionally) had a few larger chunks or cheese in my finely grated parmesan and I might increase that next time– it’s nice to discover a melty ooze of cheese here and there. Makes excellent leftovers for several days, at least. Thanks for the recipe!

  131. Anna

    It took about an hour and half at 350F for this cake to turn dark yellow. Do you think it’s my oven? I looked in after 45 minutes and some of the egg mixture was still liquid so I left it alone for another 45.. I think I put it in at 8:48 and took it out around 10:15:(
    Other then using 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder instead of 2 1/2 I cannot figure out where I went wrong. It’s very pretty but tastes kind of blah. I kind of think maybe it’s not fully cooked or not fully cooked and missing salt .. I only used 1 teaspoon? I am not sure. I would like to try this again but I am not sure what to change. I was hoping you can help me out.
    Thanks,
    Anna

  132. Made this last night in a cast iron skillet (45min @ 350) and it came out beautiful and cooked perfectly. The flavor was subtle, but savory. And it’s very filling. Instead of rosemary I used some French Provencial herb mix I had on hand, and poppy seeds by accident instead of sesame. I paired with a spinach, tangerine and cranberry salad. The meal looked and tasted straight out of the local gourmet cafe. The cake would be great for breakfast or brunch too. Thanks Deb!

  133. Martha

    This is beautiful, but I found it to be so subtle as to be tasteless. Maybe some green chile. And mine also needed a much longer cooking time. Do usually have success with your recipes, so thanks,
    Martha

  134. Kristin

    I am so excited, this is in the oven right now and smells delicious! I adapted it very heavily to fit with what I had on hand.
    – used 7.75oz of a mixture of goat + cream cheese (no parm) and used my hand blender to combine it with the eggs and oil + a healthy dollop of homemade pesto
    – roasted the cauliflower with olive oil + salt + pepper (instead of boiling)
    – used sauteed leeks instead of the onion
    – did not use any of the other herbs, spices, or seeds

  135. Laura

    Just made this and thought I would let everyone know that for a more rustic version (and if you don’t have a springform pan), you can make it in a cast iron skillet. I preheated the oven with the skillet in it, then add a pat of butter to the hot skillet, swirl it around, toss in the sesame seeds, and pour the batter right in. No parchment paper needed, and it didn’t stick at all. It also cooks more evenly in cast iron, for those of you who commented that the top was done but the middle was still gooey :)

  136. VL

    Have not made it yet but am now looking forward to more cauliflowers from my CSA basket, instead of fretting about what to do with them. Bonus points that the presentation is so kid-friendly, and the crust-less-ness mom-friendly.

    I do not have black sesame seeds on hand, but think I now found a new way to use up the poppy seeds lying around in my pantry.

    Thank you for the inspiration, as always!

  137. allison

    Deeelicious! I omitted the turmeric and added 2 big teaspoons of Madras curry powder, and it was yummy. Even my 12-year-old, who firmly believes he hates curry, loved it. He also hates the texture of cooked onions, so I cooked the chopped onions in the oil with the rosemary, let them cool, and then strained out the onion (I know, I know). But the flavor was there (I used the full 1/2 cup oil), so I was happy. Thanks for taking up the caulifower banner!

  138. kathy in st louis

    Deb, wanted to tell you that we had great success in freezing these slices. Leaky veg? No way! It reheated like a champ (and tasted great with hushpuppies). I hope others have the same success in freezing the cake.

  139. Sage

    absolutely lovely! a friend of mine brought this to a brunch over the weekend and it was amazing…i’m going to attempt making it for breakfast tomorrow and see how it goes. nervous about the spring form pan but going to give it a try!

  140. NancyB

    This was wonderful, and I’m adding it to both my “meatless meals” and “different things to do with cauliflower” repertories. I did a half recipe (the other half of the cauliflower was destined for cauliflower rice) and baked it in a Corningware casserole. While I couldn’t get the effect of a slice of cake, it dished up nicely and the sesame seed crust came along with the cake.

  141. Lindsay

    I’m planning on doing this next week (my meals for this week are already planned out and consist primarily in leftover – boo), but I am sitting here at my computer, wondering why on earth someone who is into healthy and good eats would boil cauliflower, rather than steaming it. Doesn’t boiling fresh produce leach the good nutrients from veg and into the water, thus discarding it? Methinks I’ll use my steamer to cook it before proceeding with the recipe, which has the added advantage of cooling vegetables more quickly than those that are boiled, and not requiring time for water to drip out before using.

    Also, in regards to the comment in your description about breaking off the florets instead of cutting so as to be less messy, I have found over the last couple of years that snipping off florets using my kitchen shears is even neater, and lets me get more of the stem into the usable final amount. Enjoy!

  142. kookie in London

    Finally got round to making this as part of my Christmas party food selection – I also did your empanadas (perfect, as ever) and I was absolutely delighted with the results. Lots of curious looks but everyone raved and went back for more once they tasted it. I used all the cheese (all parmesan) and I found the seasoning to be just right given that ~I served it at room temp. Mine was slightly moist in the centre which was fine with me – that was after about 40 min, I whipped it out quick because my oven is very efficient. Try it if you haven’t already!

  143. Deb, how well does this cake hold up over the day? I was planning to take this to a dinner, but it’s a 45-minute drive. Do you think that baking it at home, letting it cool, and then reheating it the dinner destination would work out? Or, is the cake too delicate and souffle-like to be carted around and reheated?

  144. Kate

    This is a FANTASTIC recipe. I made it in October for a zombie themed book club (cauliflower=braaaains) and have been asked to make it 5-6 times since. I find that an hour in my oven instead of 45 minutes makes it perfect. When I travel with it, I leave it in the springform pan and just take the whole thing with me. It’s gotten the best reviews when it’s at room temperature. Also, I’ve made a gluten-free version twice with my celiac mom, who uses a pre-made gluten-free flour substitute mix (like Pamela’s or Bob’s Red Mill), and it’s become one of her favorites — it tastes just like the original, you can’t tell it’s gluten free! Thanks for this, SK!

  145. Matt

    Made this last night it was awesome. My wife was skeptical, but loved it in the end. Had no sesame seeds, but poppy seeds were a nice sub.
    Went light on the salt and regretted it a little. Went with about two cups parm, I thought it was a good amount.
    Really filling.

  146. Hawra

    This is amazing and like you said my 2 year old cleaned his plate and asked for more. Since I didn’t have cauliflower on hand I made the cake with broccoli, halved the recipe and baked in mini cupcake pan got 2 dozen mini cakes out of it. Absolutely delicious! Thanks

  147. Emma

    I had the end of a cauliflower left and no idea what to make for dinner tonight – this recipe turned out to be just right! I’ve never seen a savory cake recipe before, but I really rather liked it.

  148. Julie

    Amazing…have made this twice and can’t convince myself that it isnt the best thing in the world….it is!!! thank you for sharing, I wouldn’t have known!
    JS

  149. made this and added a bunch of tofu instead of one egg, and beat up a “raw seed bar” to put on the sides and bottom.

    tips: Definitely add as much crunch to the outside/bottom as possible, it is terrific with a crust.
    Eat within a day, the onions turn a disgusting shade of green and it sweats. Still tastes good, but looks horrible.
    bake more than you think it needs, you really want a firm middle.

  150. Alison

    I thought this was really good–the texture was awesome. But honestly I’d trade it for the cumin roasted cauliflower you posted any day– much less effort, way more WOW factor.

  151. Melanie

    I’ve made this twice, for a dinner with a friend and for the husband and toddler. Big hit all around. Making it again tomorrow for a potluck lunch. It is every bit as decadent, satisfying and addictive as it looks. Thanks Deb!

  152. Giordana

    Made this last night and substituted saffron for turmeric, since I didn’t have any in the house. Turned out beautifully and absolutely delectably delicious. If you ever have extra eggs in the fridge, this is the way to make sure they don’t go bad! Thanks so much for your unendingly perfect recipes. I can never go wrong with SK!

  153. Humanus Genus

    I made this a few months ago but forgot to stir in the Parmesan before baking and had to settle for sprinkling it on top. No one thought anything was missing and I will probably skip the cheese in future also – it’s quite a healthy meal without it!

  154. Nika

    I’ve made this about 5 times so far, with little variations depending on what I have on hand (including a complete departure with broccoli and cheddar). GREAT way to use up excess eggs from my hens. Anyway, tonight I made it with sauteed mushrooms and have to say, that took it over the top. Also, after I made up the batter, I realized my springform pan had emphatically resigned a few months ago, so I poured it into an angel food cake pan instead. With the hole in the center, it seemed to cook up more evenly, and looked gorgeous.

  155. Mrs Journs

    I’ve just had this for dinner tonight and loved it. I only had a small cauliflower so halved the recipe and cooked it in a 7 inch springform pan, this made enough for a family of four with leftovers for a lunchbox for tomorrow. I didn’t haveany rosemary and was a little heavy handed with the turmeric, but liked the gentle flavour it added. Will definitely be making this again, might have to try some broccoli next time.

  156. Laura in Milwaukee

    SMITTEN! THIS. Yes to this! I found this after a desperate & panicked search of your archives and thank GOD I did. I own this cookbook and clearly need to run through it again because THIS. Amazeballs. (I subbed thyme for rosemary and next time I’m thinking of using spelt flour instead but don’t let those little bits let you think I didn’t love every second of this because… THIS. Yes.) /end scene

  157. Samantha

    I made this over the weekend and it is just wonderful! I did have to substitute curry powder for the turmeric as I had just run out. I enjoyed this dish a lot, but felt like the cauliflower flavor was rather muted. Perhaps substituting broccoli for the cauliflower would help. Although, then I wonder if the parmesan (which was quite strong!) would be the right cheese. Could I use cheddar instead or would it be the wrong flavor with the egg, rosemary, and basil?

  158. I just made this (yes, 2 years later). The texture was so interesting! My husband asked, “Is this a frittata or bread?” which was totally spot on. But we really enjoyed it. I think next time I’ll add more turmeric (I couldn’t really tell it was in there) and use more and fresher parmesan. Thanks for the recipe!

  159. Adrianna

    I was really skeptical about this one (so many different things!!) but holy crap! DELICIOUS! I made this with a side of your dijon brussel sprouts and it was simply magical when the dijon sauce “accidentally” soaked into the “cake” while on my plate. Yum. Definitely one of my favorite things you’ve ever had on here.

    On a side note my leftovers, unfortunately, were less than stellar. It lost a lot of moisture while in the fridge and heated up oddly (weirdly crunchy in places, super squishy in others). I wrapped mine in foil because it was all I had at the time, but did anyone else fair better with a zip top baggie or tupperware? I want to make this again, but not if I can’t get better leftovers out of it.

  160. Back again to say this is still DELICIOUS. I’m trying some wackadoo new diet so I subbed almond meal for the flour and used a combo of parmesan, gruyere and fontina because I had some odds and ends to use up. The almond meal still worked GREAT and we’re loving the leftovers. I also subbed a white onion for the red onion because in my last go of this, the red onion made the leftovers turn a super-odd shade of blue… I think just a reaction with the acid in the recipe. Thanks again, Deb!

  161. Linda

    I just saw this recipe and had to report that my mother in law, who hates to cook (and, to tell the truth, it doesn’t like her, either) has a similar recipe for a broccoli cake that she makes every Thanksgiving and I love it. I was horrified when I asked for the recipe (which she wrote down on a card after a home economics teacher told it to her years ago) for what I thought was quiche and saw that it has Bisquick in it but I got over my food snobbery and continue to make it when I don’t have much in the refrigerator because my kid will eat broccoli in anything. It’s similar to this cake but doesn’t have any fancy spices in it, just 3 cups of broccoli (or cauliflower), 1/2 cup of onion, 1 cup Bisquick, 1/2 cup of oil, 1 cup chedder, 1 tsp parsley and some salt and pepper. I’m also happy to report that my preschooler adores it. This post is inspiring me to tweak the recipe a bit.

  162. Joanne

    I made this last night from an old print out, so it was missing the baking powder. It turned out fine, but I think it would’ve been better with it (I was wondering if something was missing, but didn’t think to double check). We ate it with a little chutney – yum. On a separate note, I received your cookbook as a gift and I love it, but I keep looking for the comments!!

  163. kristin

    This recipe looks wonderful. Do you think I could ramp it up for 60 people for an outdoor wedding as part of a lunch buffet? I was thinking maybe cooking in a jelly roll pan? Do you think it would cook at the center? Really appreciate your advice.

    1. deb

      Hi kristin — Maybe? Sorry that was not more helpful. This cake was so dissimilar in texture to anything I’ve made before that’s harder for me to have an idea of other formats it would work in. I’d consider it halfway between a quiche and a cake, though, which might give you a better idea of what might work.

  164. Kelli

    Hi Deb- Thank you for providing a recipe that I’m completely addicted to. I’ve made this three times in less than two weeks- and have already bought the ingredients to cook it a fourth this week (my husband is starting to wane a bit, but I’m totally playing my six months pregnant card). I used broccoli instead of cauliflower – and added chicken sausage. I nixed the turmeric and basil. Good. Lord. Amazing. And it was only made more amazing by pairing it with the green bean and fried almond salad. I’ve shared the recipes, and your blog, with everyone I know. Thank you.

  165. Jill

    Hi Deb,

    Just wanted to add in my kudos for this recipe. I made this for a “fancy” vegetarian dinner party and everyone loved it. My only changes were (a) curry powder instead of the turmeric, and (b) a blend of poppy seeds and brown mustard seeds instead of the sesame seeds because I didn’t have any. I also needed to make it gluten free, so I just subbed in some all purpose gluten free flour + 1 tsp of xanthan gum, and it worked great. I thought the fresh basil and rosemary really made it pop.

    I paired it with your chopped minty/lime salad and it worked really nicely. thanks!

  166. Justine

    I made this a couple weekends ago for an outdoor dinner party as a vegetarian option (with adjustments to make it gluten free, for my little celiac self) and it was a huge hit. Even the non-veggies loved it, and the slightly-more-cake-like texture made it way better for leftovers than regular quiche. I would have never trusted a dish that included such an odd collection of ingredients were you not so convincing about it – and correct! Great job again, Deb. Your recipes never fail me.

  167. Smith

    This recipe sounded intriguing, so we made it asap. The top didn’t brown as much as in the picture. It seemed a little dry. The taste of the basil and Rosemary was really mild and nice. Could use more cheese. But what it really needs is a warm sauce! Too bad that a first class author won’t take the time to explain every detail of a recipe so it WILL turn out great.

  168. Michele

    I made this yesterday and it is delish. I can’t wait to eat it for lunch every day this week. I don’t have a springiform pan and did it in a regular round cake pan, turned out great. I love cauliflower and this brought out all of the great flavors it has. Sweet, earthy, great texture. Nice job, Ottolenghi!

  169. Sue

    This is DELICIOUS. But any idea why I’ve had a dark spot in the center everytime I’ve made it? Is it a baking powder problem? The dark spot tastes weird, too.

  170. Marina

    Debra, do you think it will be terrible to substitute white flour with matzoh meal flour, and would you substitute one to one,.. add potato starch.. any advise?

  171. deb

    You know, this is such a strange cake — kind of a cake, kind of a quiche — that it’s hard for me to imagine how it would work with a flour alternative. But I bet you’d be fine with the combo you mentioned.

  172. Starlene

    I made this last night and it was fantastic! I reduced the flour to 1 cup, used smoked asiago cheese, regular sesame seeds (I forgot black at the store) and fried up some fresh chicken sausage from whole foods (removed from casing and crumbled) with the onions and added all together. Just had some leftovers for breakfast and it was even better today!!

  173. Jennifer

    Hi Deb,

    Congrats on the baby girl! Wanted to let you know I made this last night and it was fantastic!

    Hope you’re doing well with the lil’bundle of joy!

  174. Made this for dinner last night, and it was superb! I roasted the cauliflower instead of simmering it (personal preference) and used a 9-inch cake pan instead of a springform (cake came out with no problem). Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!!

  175. MaMaBazork

    Does this freeze well? When reheating from frozen to you recommend heating from frozen like a quiche or do you think thaw first?

  176. Niki

    Made this yesterday with leftover riced cauliflower and subbed out the flour with almond meal (pantry/fridge clean out FTW). I couldn’t believe it but it worked perfectly and tastes amazing. My cauliflower hating husband requested the leftovers for lunch today. I’ve also made it as per the recipe above and honestly they were both delicious.

    1. deb

      MM — The issue here would be volume — a regular cake pan in the same diameter might overflow. Use a larger pan or bake some off in muffin cups.

  177. Rebekah

    Amazing. I made it over the holiday weekend, finally got around to having a slice last night and pretty immediately cut a second one for myself.

  178. Lily

    I’m with Ottolenghis when it comes to how many this serves – four, tops. The reason is that I just polished off one third of it all by myself and am pretty sure I’ll go for another slice in an hour. I should go and freeze it now, I think.

  179. Jessie

    Hello! I made this cake and loved it! I would like to make it for an upcoming dinner but would have to make it a day ahead. Was thinking of tightly wrapping it in foil. Would that work?