Kale Cake. Picture from hurstbridgefarmgate Instagram

Tiers of golden sponge sandwiched together with whipped buttercream . . . topped with chunks of crispy roasted kale.

That's right, kale. Leafy, green, found-in-the-vegetable-aisle kale.

It's not what I normally look for in a cake. But this unusual-sounding creation is a ‘kale gateau', part of a new trend for vegetable-based cakes which is taking the baking world — and, soon, your kitchen — by storm.

It may not look like the most appetising cake I've ever tucked into — there are flecks of green in the sponge as well as the pile of shrivelled leaves on top — but, according to fans, once you've tried a vegetable dessert, you'll never go back.

As a lifelong cake addict, I may take some convincing.

Of course, mixing veg and baking is not entirely new, with some ingredients more well-established than others: think carrot cake and pumpkin pie. 

But there have always been certain greens — kale being a prime example — that simply don't belong in sweet things. Until now.

Online searches for ‘vegetable cakes' have soared by 50 per cent in the past six months, while this year's The Great British Bake Off is due to have a ‘vegan week' — expected to include all sorts of weird and wonderful veg-based cakes — for the first time in the series' eight-year history.

In tandem, veganism — the practice of avoiding animal-based produce such as meat, dairy and eggs and replacing it with fruit, veg and grains — is on the rise, with 3.5 million Britons following a vegan diet, a whopping increase of 360 per cent in ten years.

Still, more are cutting down without totally renouncing animal-based produce — 40 per cent of Britons have reduced the meat, fish, eggs and diary in their diets, a recent survey found.