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Natasha's Spiced Rutabaga Loaf

Natasha Pickowicz, chef and author

Makes: 1 loaf

Natasha's Rutabaga Loaf
Photo by:  

Melati Citrawireja

Excerpted from More Than Cake: 100 Baking Recipes Built for Pleasure and Community by Natasha Pickowicz. Copyright © 2023. Available from Artisan Publishers.

We accept carrots and zucchini into our baked goods, but knotted, unglamorous root vegetables like rutabaga are often overlooked, despite their appealing nutritional benefits, inexpensive price point, and sweet, distinctive insides. Take a chance on these mottled root vegetables to refresh your morning pastry repertoire—you’ll be thrilled at how well rutabaga plays with zesty warming spices, earthy whole-grain flours, and sticky brown sugar.

Tip: Need to clean out your vegetable drawer? A dappled root vegetable medley featuring parsnips, celery root, beets, and/or sunchokes could also be added in concert with the rutabaga.

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  • 2 medium rutabagas (at least 17½ ounces/500g total)
  • 2 eggs (100g)
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (105g) dark brown sugar
  • 2⁄3 cup (150g) grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon Kaveri Vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups (180g) all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄3 cup (60g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Peni Miris Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Makhir Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Hariyali Fennel, toasted and lightly crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon grated Anamalai Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups (150g) pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
  • ¾ cup (60g) unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) turbinado sugar


  1. PREHEAT THE OVEN AND PREP THE PAN. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Drape a saddle of parchment paper into a 10-inch (25 cm) loaf pan. 
  2. PREP THE RUTABAGA. Peel off the outer skin of the rutabaga, then cut each one into quarters for easier handling. Grate the rutabaga on the largest holes of a box grater. Measure out 3 cups (400 g) of shreds and set aside. 
  3. WHISK THE WET INGREDIENTS. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer), whip the eggs on medium speed until frothy, about 15 seconds. With the mixer on medium-high speed, gradually stream in the granulated and dark brown sugars until the mixture is doubled in size, about 5 minutes. Add the grapeseed oil and vanilla and whip to combine. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. 
  4. ADD THE DRY INGREDIENTS. In a small bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, crushed fennel seeds, and salt. Tip the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir with a spatula until the ingredients are halfway combined and the batter is streaky. 
  5. FINISH THE BATTER AND BAKE. Add the grated rutabaga, pecans, and coconut flakes and gently fold into the batter. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Scatter the turbinado sugar on top. Transfer to the oven and bake until a cake tester comes out dry, about 1 hour.
  6. COOL AND SERVE. Let the loaf rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then tug the parchment liner out and transfer the loaf to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing. Store leftovers at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.

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