Roots & Fruit Cakes

My 3 year old has been going through a very loving stage. It’s EXTREMELY cute when she says “You’re my best friend mummy” or “your dress is so pretty mummy.”

The only thing with 3 year olds are that the fickle sods change their mind in a heartbeat. I asked her at soft play, “who’s your best friend?” She said,

“…ummm probably that girl I just met over there.”

And never make the fatal mistake of asking if you look nice…

“your teeth are a bit weird…that one’s yellowy.”

Ummm WTF Angel? After a brief sob and trip to Boots for some Pearl Drops I’m seeking vengeance by slipping the better part of a Sunday dinner into these fruit cakes.

They’re not too revenge-y though: lower fat and sugar but still deliciously moist and cakey thanks to the vegetables being pre-cooked and mashed. They are a low guilt baking treat for your little BFF (or not if there is a stranger in soft play with more appeal).

You will need a 12 hole muffin tray lined with cases.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 small/medium parsnip
  • 1 beetroot
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 75ml sunflower oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g sultanas
  • Tsp ground cinnamon

For the optional buttercream

  • 100g soft butter
  • 220g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or bean paste

Preheat the oven to 160Β°C/ gas mark 3

If you’re super organised and like to fully prepare before baking with kids then it’s worth peeling, chopping and boiling the root vegetables before you start.

I’ve popped cooked mashed veg into these cakes for two main reasons-

1. the flavour is milder and easier to disguise

2. The moisture of the mash gives a traditional cakey texture without as much additional fat and sugar.

So with your biggest child friendly bowl….

Mix the oil, sugar and mashed veg together until combined.

Mix in the eggs and sultanas follwed by the flour and cinnamon to get a thick pink batter.

Divide into the muffin tray as equally as your kids will allow.

Pop into the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until raised and springy to touch.

These are delicious straight from the oven but as mentioned they’re not overly sweet. So if your looking to dessert things up, add a swirl of buttercream for a blob of indulgence.

With a whisk or determined arm and spoon, mix all buttercream ingredients together until pale and creamy.

Spoon or pipe onto the cakes once cool.

Enjoy!

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