Skip to navigation | Skip to content | Skip to footer


'Veg patch' gnome cakes

These fab (and fatless) relatives of the fairy cake are a brilliant way to use up surplus produce from the veg patch. They are also perfect for enticing young reluctant veg eaters. Camouflaged in a sweet cake mix, you ll find grated pumpkin, parsnips, carrots and courgettes disappear without a murmur of dissent...

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. Beat the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl with a hand-held electric whisk for 5–6 minutes until the mixture is thick, creamy and pale. Fold in the flour, half at a time, using a large metal spoon. Finally fold in the pumpkin and orange zest.

Carefully spoon the mixture into the paper cases so they are three-quarters full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden and springy to the touch. Leave in the trays for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

When cool, top with the cream cheese topping and add decorations of your choice. These will keep for 2–3 days in an airtight tin.

Variations

Carrot gnome - replace the pumpkin with carrot and the orange zest with lemon.

Parsnip gnome - replace the pumpkin with parsnip and the orange zest with lime.

Courgette gnome - replace the pumpkin with courgette, the orange zest with lemon and add ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg.

River Cottage Gifts - Shop Now

Ingredients

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 200g uncooked, finely grated pumpkin
  • Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed orange

For the icing

  • 1 quantity Cream cheese topping flavoured with orange zest

To decorate

  • Edible flowers (borage, marigolds, fennel), Marzipan vegetables or other decorations of your choice

Equipment

  • 12-hole muffin tray, holes about 6.5cm in diameter and 2cm deep, lightly greased or lined with paper muffin cases, or 2 x 12-hole bun tins, lined with small paper cake cases

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage Cakes Handbook

Exclusive to members

There are many more recipes which are exclusive to members of River Cottage. Simply login or become a member to access these.

Become a Member of River Cottage and take advantage of the many benefits this has to offer!

Full details

10% OFF SELECTED COURSES AND EVENTS