Caroline’s Parsnip & Walnut Cake

with Salted Caramel Icing


Parsnips make a great cake! Sweet like carrots they add moistness to the sponge. Combined with walnuts and salted caramel icing, this is a delicious and different combination for your tea-time cake. A really easy recipe too!


Preparation time: 25 mins

Cooking time: 30 – 35 mins




For the sponge:

1 and ¼ cups of sunflower or olive oil

1 and ½ cups of chopped walnuts divided into 3 parts

4 large eggs

3 cups of peeled and grated parsnips

1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla

2 cups of castor sugar

2 cups of Self Raising flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of nutmeg


For the icing:

1 and ½ cups of unsalted butter

3 cups of icing sugar

1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla

1 teaspoon of salted caramel essence




Grease and line two 20.5cm sandwich tins and pre-heat the oven to 160C / gas mark 4 (if using a fan oven heat to 180C)



  • Beat the eggs well and add to oil and vanilla then add sugar. Beat hard until all combined.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and add carrots and 1/3 of the walnuts.
  • Add egg mixture and stir mixture until all ingredients combined.
  • Bake for 30 – 35 mins until sponge springs back when touched.
  • Leave cakes in tins for 5 minutes then turn onto a wire rack and peel of lining paper. Allow to cool.



  • In a bowl beat the butter with a wooden spoon until soft. Add vanilla and salted caramel and beat until combined.
  • Gradually add icing sugar until you reach a smooth consistency – add or increase icing sugar to your taste.
  • Beat in 1/3 of walnuts.


Sandwich cakes together with icing, leave some icing for the top and sprinkle top with remaining walnuts. The cake will keep in an airtight tin for at least a week and will also freeze.











Chocolate Brownies




So, You Think You're A Celebrity...Chef?

Everyone loved Gorgeous Gary's Brownies!







350g good dark chocolate

250g unsalted butter - cut into cubes

3 large eggs

250 g dark Muscovado sugar

100g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder


Set your oven to 170 degrees C / Gas Mark 3

Grease and line a 22cm square tin




  • Break chocolate into pieces and add to butter, in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, stir with a metal spoon until melted and take off heat
  • Whisk eggs and sugar together until mix is smooth and paler and fluffy then fold the chocolate mixture in and combine
  • Sieve the flour and baking powder into the chocolate mixture and fold until all combined
  • Pour into the tin
  • Place in oven for 35 minutes - until the surface is set (slightly cracking on top)
  • Remove and cool completely in the tin
  • Slice into square and store in a tin or container in the fridge




You could substitute the Muscovado sugar for golden caster sugar. I often chop little chunks of white and milk chocolate and add to the mix for a different texture and very rich brownie. If you're feeling seriously decadent and naughty, these brownies are wonderful served slightly warm with ice cream or cream.






Scrumptious Chocolate Tiffin from Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me...


All Jo's guests loved Chocolate Tiffin, especially portly Peter Gavmin and his wife! 


Here's Jo's recipe for you with love x






  • 250g good quality dark chocolate
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 150g chopped glace cherries
  • 200g digestive biscuits chopped
  • 150g chopped stem ginger (optional)


  1. Grease and line a 20cm/8in square tin
  2. Melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water until smooth and well combined.
  3. Fold in the cherries, biscuits and stem ginger.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the baking tray and leave to chill in the fridge until set.
  5. To serve, remove the tiffin from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature, then turn it out of the tin and cut into squares.



Add a tablespoon of Christmas mincemeat (with brandy) for an extra rich tiffin!

Recipe from Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me
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© Caroline James Author