Last week (September 15th-21st) was National Cupcake Week in the UK and I only found out on Saturday, this happens to me every year! So yesterday I decided to celebrate the last day by developing a new cupcake flavour – and so parsnip and raspberry cupcakes with raspberry swirl cream cheese frosting were born!
I love putting vegetables in cake, they give the cake a moistness you can’t really get any other way. The parsnip in these cupcakes also give them a depth of sweetness you just can’t get with sugar, they lend themselves really well to cupcakes and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to bake with parsnips! It’s weird though, when I told people I was putting parsnip in cake they were confused – the same thing happened when I made sweet potato cupcakes – yet nobody bats an eyelid at the idea of carrot cake! I made my mum taste these cupcakes before I would tell her what was in them so her opinion wasn’t swayed by the unusual ingredient – she loved them. She said she could taste something but couldn’t put her finger on what it was, when I told her it was parsnip she was surprised but definitely a convert!
I didn’t want to use just parsnip and raspberries really compliment the parsnip and spices in this cake, it’s definitely a winning combination. The raspberry flavour comes from a homemade raspberry sauce and raspberry cider. I’ve been baking a lot with raspberries at the moment, I want to use them as much as possible while they’re still in season, and Tesco’s raspberries have been really good lately! I’ve bought a bunch that I’ve frozen to use in smoothies later!
The raspberry swirl cream cheese frosting is a mixture of the homemade raspberry sauce and my absolutely favourite cream cheese frosting. It’s whipped cream and cream cheese with only a small amount of sugar – it makes a thick, creamy and slightly tangy frosting that isn’t overly sweet like a lot of cream cheese frostings. It pipes really well too, I wouldn’t use any other cream cheese frosting. To get the swirl, I split the frosting in half and mixed raspberry sauce into half of it, then spooned each frosting into one piping bag side by side. These cupcakes don’t need a lot of frosting, I only put so much on for photo purposes, I would definitely recommend being conservative with the frosting for these as you really want the cupcake to shine here! If you want a less indulgent treat, you can skip the frosting all together – these cupcakes are delicious and perfectly moist just by themselves, they’d be a great breakfast treat that way.
The combination of parsnip, the spices and raspberries make for a nice treat to transition from summer to autumn. So this recipe is the perfect one to post today, as it’s the autumnal equinox tonight (i.e. today is the last day of summer!). Autumn is my favourite season for many reasons, one of them of course being all the wonderful spices that show up in foods everywhere, so I will definitely be indulging in lots of yummy autumn spices and be sharing those creations with you guys soon! I will be sharing these little delights with the partiers over at Fiesta Friday, as everyone is winding down from the weekend I’m coming back with a booster to keep the party going!! If you haven’t partied with us before, do come along it’s a lot of fun!
- 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 2 tbsp raspberry cider
- 200g plain flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 115g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 225g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup grated parsnip (about 1 large parsnip)
- 120ml raspberry cider
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Half of the raspberry sauce
- 230g full fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 60g icing sugar
- 160ml double cream, very cold
- Heat all the ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat, stirring occasionally until all sugar is dissolved. Turn the heat to lower and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F and line a muffin tin with cases
- Put the grated parsnip, cider and vanilla in a food processor and blitz for a minute, set aside
- Put the flour, baking powder, bicarb, spices and salt in bowl, gently whisk together and set aside.
- Cream the sugar and butter together until pale and creamy.
- Beat the eggs in one at a time until combined.
- Add the flour mixture and parsnip mixture alternatively, starting and ending with the flour. Until just combined.
- Spoon a tablespoon of batter into each case, then spoon about 1/4 tsp raspberry sauce on top. Then repeat steps, using 3 tbsp of batter per cupcake and ending with raspberry sauce on top. This should leave about half of the sauce for the frosting.
- Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, until they are springy to touch and a skewer comes out clean (or a few moist crumbs)
- Cool in pan for no more than 5 minutes and remove to a wire rack to cool completely
- Using the whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese until smooth (about 30 seconds)
- Then whip in the sugar and vanilla until combined and smooth
- With the mixer running, gradually pour in the cold cream and whip until it is thick, ready to pipe and stiff peaks are just starting to form.
- Spoon half of the frosting into another bowl and gently fold in the remaining raspberry sauce.
- Spoon both halves of the frosting into a piping bag fitting with your chosen piping nozzle (or just the end snipped off) side by side. Don't worry if you don't get this neat or even, it will still come out okay.
- Pipe a small amount of frosting on each cupcake.
- You can skip the piping bag all together and swirl the sauce through all of frosting, taking care not to mix it in completely. Then spoon the frosting onto the cupcakes and spread it over with an offset palette knife or the back of a spoon.
- Due to the contents of the frosting, you'll want to store these in an airtight container in the fridge. They'll keep for 3-5 days.
- Skip the frosting completely for a sweet breakfast treat.