Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Vegan Violet and Parsnip Cakes with 'Cream Cheese'Frosting

As well as house-hunting, job hunting for a stable income, I have decided to continue on an ad hoc selective basis with my accidental career of vegetarian and vegan catering.  This weekend gone, I finally ventured into having my first vegan/vegetarian food stall at a Food and Crafts Market.    
I tried to make food that you wouldn't find ordinarily find at food markets and food that proved popular when I was working at the cafeteria.  I made a number of vegan pies: old favourites like the Paprika Mushroom Pies; Curried Parsnip Samosa Pies; Welsh Pie (made with leeks); and a new one Puy Lentil, Potatoes and Vegan Chorizo - all from scratch.  It was really hard work.  

I also made a number of vegan cakes: some with my homegrown produce: namely blueberries and rhubarb.  With the blueberries I made  a Blueberry and 'White Chocolate' cake; and my child friendly and popular Oreo Surprise cakes (neither pictured here).  With the sticker rock rhubarb sticks from the garden,I made Rhubarb and Rosewater Mini Loafs lightly dusted with icing sugar and studded with real rosebuds.
I also made these individual Violet and Parsnip Mini Loafs (adapted from this recipe).  In the past I've made these parsnip cakes plain and simple, maybe with the addition of some raisins and nuts.  but I've never slathered it with 'cream cheese 'frosting.  The violet not only perfumes the cake, its flavour is really delicate.  If you can't find violet syrup, you can omit it from the recipe. 

And to make it extra special, it was garnished with a final flurry of colour in the form of edible flower petals from cornflower, to rose and marigolds - after all its true what they say - People do eat with their eyes first! 
Both the Rhubarb -Rose and Violet Parsnip cakes proved popular.  Whilst the Beetroot and Chocolate Cake  was a conversation starter.    
I sharing one of these Violet and Parsnip cakes with What I Ate Wednesday#141 hosted by Peas and Crayons, as I will be enjoying the last piece tonight; and Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too

Vegan Violet and Parsnip Mini Loafs 
Serves 8 - 10
2 cups self raising flour
1 cup of golden caster sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of baking soda
2 tsp of cinnamon
3 cups shredded parsnips 
3/4 cup of vegetable or sunflower oil
1/2 cup of apple juice

1 1/2 tablespoons violet syrup
1/2 cup of golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x9 inch square pan with oil or 8 - 10 mini loaf tins.
Mix together the flour, sugars, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Add the shredded  parsnip and the oil to the dry ingredients and mix well with a spoon.
Add the apple juice, violet syrup and mix again, then fold in the raisins.
Put the batter into pan(s).
Bake for 45 minutes for larger version or 25-30 minutes for smaller versions; or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the centre.


  1. I used to have a stall at Bath Farmers' Market- it was fun (met some great people) but hard work. I used to sell soup, banana cake (which I just might resurrect for the blog one of these days as it has yummy chewy dried banana pieces in) and vegan pies. Your cakes look so amazing- dried flower petals are the perfect decoration. where would I get violet syrup? I'm longing to try it!

    1. Why did you stop your markets?

      I've brought violet syrup from Brittany whilst on holiday.
      This time round my friends brought me some over. I believe you can purchase it online, though I never have.

  2. you didn't tell us how your stall went - if I had been there I know I would have wanted to make a purchase - doing some catering sounds like a great way to spend your time while job hunting and house hunting (thought these pursuits must be taking quite some time as both are hard work)

    1. x Johanna, I know you would have been a fantastic customer. I need to let my custoemrs from the cafe know in advance too of the places I will be in the future. The stall was so so. Not that good and not that bad. Sold a lot of Rhubarb and Rose Cakes and Violet and Parsnip Cake - the Beetroot Chocolate Cake was a conversation starter - all were vegan. I will probably do it again end of this month, only reason I won't is if I find f/t employment and that is not happening as soon as I wish. I will be selctive with the ones I can afford to do and persevere with it until I am pulled in another direction.

  3. How did the stallholding escapade go? Was it popular? Did you make some money? I think trying to produce and sell somethig different is a good way to go, as there are lots of products you see at every market, and they get a bit samey.

    1. It was so so Mark. Sold a lot of Rhubarb and Rose Cakes and Violet and Parsnip Cake - the Beetroot Chocolate Cake was a conversation starter - all were vegan. Though a tad disappointing start, I will probably do it again end of this month, only reason I won't is if I find f/t employment and that is not happening as soon as I wish. I agree that there are producers who do always produce the same thing, but thats what some people what - familiarity! I gave away lots of free tasters - still Slow, but I will persevere until I am pulled in another direction.

  4. Wow, these looks genuinely stunning. I was at Vegfest this weekend looking at all manner of beautiful vegan cakes and this is easily as pretty as the ones I saw there :)

    Pinned and Stumbled. Thanks so much for linking up with #recipeoftheweek. There's a new linky live now for this week. Please do pop over and join in :D

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I missed the Vegfest this year, I know I would have bumped into loads of fellow bloggers had I gone, :( I am so please to read that my vegan cake is up there with the others, means a lot as I am not the most decorative of cake decorators. Can cook and bake - fine, but when it comes to making things look pretty, not a skill that comes easy to me.

  5. Hello! I can't find parsnip here un Argentina. May I replace it for turnip por carrot? Are they similar? Those cuales looks delicious!

    1. Of course you use carrot (but then it woudl be carrot cake) :) Nothing wrong with carrot cake. You can try turnip too, but i'd recommend the larger ones known as Swede rather than the small. I've made a Swede and Nutmeg cake in the past and it was good too.
      Good to hear from you.
      Happy New Year 2016 x


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