Baking Cake Vegetable

Beetroot and parsnip cupcakes


I have found myself with an awful lot of unexpected extra time on my hands recently. You move to London and think to yourself PARTY TIME! I’m going to be a socialite, out for post work drinkies every evening, shimmying from the latest cool rooftop bar to the next uber cool cocktail bar in Dalston. It will be amazing. I will be rubbing shoulders with Alexa Chung and Nick Grimshaw no doubt! I quickly realised this would not be the case. Not when buying two drinks will set you back over a tenner (or in one particular public house which will remain nameless, I was charged £16 for two vodka sodas. £16!!!!!!!!!! That was my entire food budget for the week gone). And everyone works crazy hours. And so my unexpected extra time has been spent being creative, I’ve thrown myself back into this blogging lark, I’ve had the sewing machine out (I made my housemate Eilis a laundry bag out of some unused 1970’s pillowcases for her birthday. I know, I know, just too cool…) and took my camera out and about. I love to have a feeling of purpose with my spare time, it doesn’t feel like a wasted afternoon when I have some amazing photos or a patchwork quilt to show for it. So actually, Alexa and Nick, you can keep your latest pop up bar, I’ve got a hot date with the sewing machine.



This weeks bake is the result of spending a lost afternoon doodling and collecting ideas on Pinterest (seriously, actual whole days of your life can be lost on there, you sit down for a quick 10 minutes and the next thing you look up and its 3.30am and all you have to show for the last 6 hours is a folder of furniture inspiration pictures). I love the use of beetroot in these, they add a pretty pink hue to the cakes. The use of vegetables in cakes always mean you have a moist and denser bake which I adore. They are lightly spiced with cinnamon and have a great texture from the walnuts and sultanas. I topped them with a tasty cream cheese icing and homemade beetroot crisps. The beetroot crisps alone are great, super healthy snacks and not drenched in oil like their supermarket counterparts. Feel free to swap the veg round, you can use all beetroot or parsnip or perhaps carrot instead.


Beetroot and parsnip cupcakes

  • 150 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 g light brown sugar
  • 200 g grated beetroot
  • 100g grated parsnip
  • 100 g sultanas
  • 100g chopped walnuts
  • 180 g rye flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Beetroot crisps

  • 2-3 raw beetroot

Cream cheese icing

  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g full fat cream cheese
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Start by pre heating the oven to 170 degrees. Line your 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases.
  2. Add the grated veg, sugar, oil, eggs to the mixing bowl and stir thoroughly. Then add in your dry ingredients and stir again before adding the sultanas and nuts. Mix in until fully incorporated.
  3. Measure out evenly using an ice cream scoop into the cupcake cases. Pop into the oven for 20 minutes, or once a skewer comes out clean. Once done, leave to cool.
  4. As your cakes cool, make the crisps. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, slice the raw beetroot into very fine slices. Pop onto a baking tray and put into the oven at 100 degrees for an hour, turning over half way through. Remove from the oven once dried through and crispy.
  5. Make the icing by beating your butter for 3-4 minutes until pale. Add the cream cheese and beat again. Add the vanilla and slowly add the icing sugar until desired sweetness is achieved. Beat until pale and fluffy. You may need a little more or a little less than the recipe states.
  6. Once the cakes are cool, adda generous dollop of icing and top with the crisps



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  • David Horgan 16 March 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Hi Holly, your hermit like life style is certainly proving fruitful for your baking. I have always had a thing for beetroot, and the treatment here is wonderful. It will certainly improve my own baking skills trying some of your suggestions.

  • Molly McBride 25 March 2016 at 9:08 am

    Just come across your blog and I love it! Great recipe ideas that I will definitely have to try!

    • Holly Cartwright 26 March 2016 at 1:34 pm

      Thank you so much Molly :) Happy Easter! x