Baking Cake Vegetable

Parsnip cupcakes with treacle buttercream icing

Parsnip and treacle cupakes

Woooooah! Parsnip? In a cake? Are you for real? Yes, I am totes real. Don’t chicken out on baking this one, it is a taste revelation and you will never look at a parsnip in the same way again. Whilst plotting blog bakes for the past couple of weeks, I noticed that I naturally gravitate towards the same flavours all the time. I’m a sucker for my favourite white chocolate, walnuts, raspberries, vanilla and coconut, regular readers of the blog will know that I have used these in a lot of recipes on here and the last thing I want to become is predictable, yawn. So here I am,  thinking outside the box, pushing more cake boundaries and living life on the edge of a cake tin. There is def something smugly satisfying aswell about producing something that tastes lush from something that really shouldn’t, just like last weeks bake of beetroot chocolate cake  ( or my courgette and lemon cake ( Using vegetables makes a cake super moist and creates a much closer crumb, this is not a light, airy cake. No fluffyness here! Just lush, squidgy, spiced delightfulness.

Parsnip cake with treacle buttercream

As you are reading a blog about cake, I suspect that you may well be a fan of cake, yeah? Every cake fan across the UK will have seen the return of GBBO  (I’m not going to explain what it means, if you don’t know then you really shouldn’t be here). It’s pretty obvs the contestants are picked for personality rather than skill, out of the thousands that applied I can’t believe they are the best after Wednesday nights episode. Why would any baker go on national television to do their signature swiss roll, the swiss roll you are about to present to Mary Berry and the nation and just fills it with a splodge of lemon curd?! Not even a smear of buttercream or a scatter of fruit? And this is the best the UK has to offer? Totally entertaining (who doesn’t love the endless innuendo about soggy bottoms and nicely risen buns?!) but not entirely inspirational just yet…

These delectable and unusual cupcakes are just a dream, very satisfying with a hint of spice. Quite similar to a carrot cake but not as sweet. You can substitute the golden syrup  for honey or maple syrup. The walnuts can be pecans or you can even add a handful of sultanas. The buttercream is really rich thanks to the treacle. I have decorated these with shards of honeyed parsnip crisps which I have given instruction for at the end of the recipe, they give a great crunch and I think they look really unique!

Parsnip cupcakes with treacle buttercream

  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 250g light brown muscavado sugar
  • 100ml golden syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 250g parsnips, grated
  • 1 medium eating apple, cored and grated
  • 100g pecans or walnuts roughly chopped

Treacle icing

  • 1 heaped tbsp treacle
  • 200g unsalted softened butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp semi skimmed milk

1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees. Line your cupcake tin with cupcake cases.

2. Melt butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan over gentle heat, then cool slightly. Whisk the eggs into this mixture, then stir in the flour, baking powder and spices, followed by the grated parsnip, apple and chopped nuts. Divide between the tins, then bake for 20 mins until the tops spring back when pressed lightly.

2. Cool the cakes slightly in the tin before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely. Beat your butter with treacle and slowly add the icing sugar until desired sweetness achieved. Dollop oto each cake and top with any left over nuts or as I have here, parsnip crisps drizzled with honey. Finely slice your parsnip and lightly coat in olive oil and place in a pre heated over at 200 degrees. Bake for three minutes or until lightly browned, brush on some honey and bake for a further minute. Keep a very close eye on them as they will catch easily. Once out the oven, remove from the baking tray or they will stick to the tray. Break up once cooled and pop on top of your cakes.

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