Root Cakes

Do you remember the first time somebody offered you a slice of carrot cake? You probably went, “urghh” or, “you can’t make a cake out of carrots” or, “get away from me you agent of Satan!”

Then you tried it and more than likely thought it was very nice. Why carrots though, why not other root vegetables? What makes carrots better than, say, parsnips?

I intended to find out.

Firstly I needed a carrot cake recipe. A quick google later and I found this good food carrot cake recipe that seemed to fit the bill.

I didn’t bother with the cinnamon, walnuts or pineapple because I knew the cinnamon and walnuts would remain in the kitchen for the next 5 years. We all know pineapple is far better in a delicious cheese and pineapple smoothie. I did buy carrots but not as many as the recipe suggested as I also bought the following root vegetables :-

  • Carrots – These were used as a control just in case I messed the recipe up.
  • Parsnips – Start with the easy one. Looks like an emo carrot anyway even if they taste different.
  • Sweet potato – I hope the sweetness would make a good cake ingredient.
  • Celeriac – I wasn’t even 100% sure if this was a root vegetable. It looked like one and wiki confirmed it was one. It also told me it can be known as the knob celery which made me giggle a little too much.
  • Beetroot – I like to imagine all soviet cakes contained beetroot.

I prepared the flour part and the egg part as listed in stage 1 on the good food recipe. I didn’t add the carrots as I was going to split the mixture into 5 equal parts.

I folded the two together and then processed all the vegetables separately to make then as small as possible. I wasn’t hand grating that lot! I did 40g of each vegetable.


I broke the folded mixture into 5 parts and mixed each vegetable into 1 part. As they were small I used a tray for making tarts instead of a big cake tin. Each veg mixture made two mini cakes.

I baked them for 30 minutes checking with a skewer to see when they were done. Meanwhile I made the icing as per the original recipe. When the cakes were done I left them to cool.

Once cooled I haphazardly added the icing and popped them into the fridge for an hour.

Just as they were ready to taste Mrs Fatuous and her friend returned from the restaurant. When they heard what I had done they wanted to try them. This scared me, I’m used to eating my own daft food ideas but these were innocent bystanders. I warned them but still they wanted to try them so we tried half a cake each.We’d all tried a different vegetable but we all liked the one we had tried so we chose different vegetables again.

We found out that all of them were nice and all of them tasted very similar. The sweet potato cake was judged to be slightly superior and the beetroot one was the most distinctive. I thought the celeriac cake left a slightly nasty aftertaste but nobody else did.

So there you go, if you fancy carrot cake but only have parsnips you have nothing to lose.