Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Fruit and Veg Cake

I know, I know, the title makes this cake sound disgusting. Especially when I add that there is a good layer of white chocolate cream cheese icing on top with a heavy garnish of chocolate curls. If you can just bear/bare (I'm never sure which one) with me I'll explain. 

This cake is a cake that will tolerate no arguments. It is what it is and is proud. It is a no nonsense cake, accept me or move on cake with a layer of creamy sweet deliciousness on top. What it isn't is a light and feathery cake. Carrot, cherries, parsnips, raisins and banana combine in the best of ways to give something that is so moist you wouldn't believe it with the squidgy texture you expect from a banana bread. It's also very forgiving. I made this particular one when I was so very tired but needed to do something I enjoyed and hence I wasn't really paying attention and eneded up melting half of my butter instead of softening it. I couldn't be bothered to wait for it to firm back up so I scraped it into the bowl and got on with the creaming anyway. It still worked like a dream. I truly think I might be in love with this cake.
The first couple of times I made this I didn't ice it and took samples into uni for people to try my invention. It was a resounding success and I only told people afterwards that it had parsnip in. They looked at me aghast but seeing as this was after they had said they loved it, there was nothing they could do. I suggested at the time a tangy lemon glace icing but never got to try that idea out because when I made it at home this time I really wanted to enter it into a particular blogging challenge so needed to include chocolate in it somewhere. I wasn't sure if white chocolate would work with the cake flavours but oh-my-goodness it does. The cake itself isn't too sweet so the flavour from the white chocolate works perfectly swithout being overpowering because the cream cheese still provides a bit of a tang. That is all I'm going to say on the matter though because I want to let you decide what you think. Please let me know if you give it a go. I promise it is good. And it practically counts as your five a day in one slice!

As I mentioned, I wanted to enter this into a blogging challenge. There are a few it is eligible for so I hope all the readers and followers of these agree that it is intriguing. Here we go...

First of all is We Should Cocoa, created by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog and Chele (retired blogger, sadly.) This month Ness at JibberJabberUK is guest hosting and has chosen the theme of vegetables. It was between making this and a chocolate cougette cake but my wish to remake this cake won.

AlphaBakes this month has the letter C as a starting point. Created by Caroline of Caroline Makes and Ros of The More Than Occasional Baker, Ros is hosting this month. There are a fair few C ingredients in my recipe so I'm sure it counts! There are carrots, cherries, chocolate, cream cheese...

Kate from Turquoise Lemons hosts a fantastic No Waste Food Challenge aiming to encourage people to reduce food waste and create something yummy from those ingredients instead. This month the theme is root veg and this recipe contains two - carrots and parsnips. Grating them when past their best is a great way to use them up without feeding them to the bin.

Finally I'm sharing this cake with a challenge I have been meaning to enter for a while - Credit Crunch Munch, currently guest hosted by Michelle from Utterly Scrummy Food for Families. This challenge is all about saving money in recipes and as well as the root veg mentioned above, this recipe utilises bananas that are going very ripe. Let's not foget the founders, Helen from Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla from Fab Food 4 All.

And simply because I'm not adverse to a shameless plug, I'd love it if you could share the story of my own challenge, the Biscuit Barrel. This month the theme is BOOKMARKED recipes.


print recipe

Fruit and Veg Cake
A deliciously moist cake packed with five tupes of fruit and veg and crowned with a smooth white chocolate cream cheese icing.
  • 115g softened butter
  • 125g soft brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 2 generous tsp cinnmon
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and grated
  • 1 large very ripe banana, mashed
  • 50g raisins
  • Orange juice
  • 75g glace cherries
  • 100g white chocolate
  • 25g softened butter
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 100g Philadelphia, full fat
1. An hour or two before starting, cover the raisins in orange juice, heat for 2 mins in the microwave and lset aside. When ready to start, drain and reserve the juice. Cut the cherries in half, rinse and dry thoroughly an toss in a spoonful of the measured flour with the raisins.2. Set the oven to 170 C/150 C fan. Grease and line a 9" square baking tin or traybake tin.3. Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy then beat in the eggs a little at a time. Add a spoonful of flour near the end if it threatens to curdle.4. Sift in the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and gently fold in. When almost flour free, fold in the fruit and veg a bit at a time. Use a splash of the reserved orange juice to loosen the mixture if necessary.4. Pour the mixture into the tin, level the surface and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 mins ish. When a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 30 mins before turning out and leaving to cool completely.6. To make the icing, melt 60g of the chocolate in the microwave and leave to cool. Beat the butter, sugar and cream cheese together then beat in the chocolate until smooth. Spread over the cake and decorate with curls made from the remaining chocolate and a vegetable peeler.


  1. Not one but two vegetables and a whole host of fruit! Thanks for linking up to this month's We Should Cocoa.

  2. wow what a moist looking cake and i think the topping looks great. i know so many people who turn their noses up at the thought of using parsnips in cakes, but they add a lovely sweetness and mositness and lets be honest before they were common, carrot and courgette in a cake would have been odd! x

  3. Thank you very much =) and I totally agree with you - my dad still wrinkles his nose at some ingredients even now after so many years of marriage to my mum who has baked since a girl

  4. I love this cake, a brilliant way of using up stuff you often have left in your fridge and cupboard. Thank you so much for entering Credit Crunch Munch with such a novel and thrifty cake:-)

  5. I've baked with parsnips before to good effect, so no surprises there, but I love your addition of fruit as well, especially the cherries. Sounds like a fabulous cake. Thanks for entering it into We Should Cocoa and for the reminder of the Biscuit Barrel - I do need reminders!

    1. Thank you very much and I'm glad you could enter the Biscuit Barrel =)

  6. What a brilliant cake! I love that your incorporated so much fruit and veg in the cake and I bet it tasted fantastic too. Love the white chocolate curls on top. Thanks for entering AlphaBakes.

    1. Glad you like it! It was a pleasure to enter AlphaBakes as always, I look forward to it every month =)

  7. What a perfect all rounder recipe for using lots of leftovers (I always have a brown banana). Thank you for joining in the No Waste Food Challange.

  8. Thank you - it was a pleasure to join in =)


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