– A quick breakfast cake recipe for those snowy winter mornings –
As anyone with a CSA membership knows, winter can be a season of consistency; when you open your weekly winter produce box, you generally find a rotating cast of kale, beets, fennel root, carrots, celeriac, parsnips, and other cold-weather goodies. I’m 100% pro-hearty greens and root vegetables, but even I can only make so many root-based soups and creamy gratins. After a while, I get bored and need something else to do with all of these starchy roots… I need a recipe compelling enough to curb my winter veggie box ennui.
This breakfast cake recipe is an ode to my January/February CSA produce box. I needed a dish that would put all those carrots, beets, and parsnips to good use, along with anything else that has been languishing in my root cellar (read: forgotten in the bottom drawer next to my refrigerator). Born of
necessity desperation, I’m hoping this quick loaf will help you use up the roots you’ve been hiding for weeks because your family threatens mutiny at the mere mention of one more roasted beet or carrot. Veggies for breakfast? Who would’a thought?
I opted to use half cake flour in this dish, as the lower protein content makes for a finer texture that still holds solid chunks, such as walnuts and dried cranberries, in its clutches. That said, I did want to keep a little of the chewy gluten that AP flour brings to the table. Hence the half-and-half mixture.
Why a mellow breakfast cake and not a crazy dessert concoction? When it comes to late winter, I’m not feeling the huge, lofty tower of flour that comes with the layer cake experience. Sure I love a superlative dessert, but during the short days of February I’m searching for real culinary comfort, not just a binky for my inner four-year-old’s sugar cravings.
You’ll like this breakfast cake recipe if you’re looking for something that’s sweet enough for breakfast but not cavity-inducing. It’s tender of crumb and incredibly comforting, but if you’re looking to add a bit more sugar for a full-blown dessert, you can easily pour a little glaze over the top and voila — instant after-dinner sparkle.
This cake is hugely forgiving. It can be made with all AP flour, or all cake flour, or even whole wheat flour if you’re looking for some added bulk. You can make it with all carrots or beets or even zucchini, and you can toss in a teaspoon of whatever spices you prefer if you want to change it up a bit (I like cinnamon and coriander). If you want, try making this cake in a bundt pan for an interesting presentation, but you’ll have to carefully gauge your baking time to suit whatever size pan you’re using.
If you’re looking for another use for your root vegetables, check out this winter root soup with chorizo. A little heat in your winter soup certainly warms your bits.
- Butter for greasing
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) white sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (about 4 1/2 ounces) brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, (or 1 teaspoon dry)
- 1 1/2 cups(about 7 ounces) cake flour
- 1 1/2 cups (about 7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup peeled, grated raw beets, (about two small beets)
- 1 cup peeled, grated carrots, (about one large carrot)
- 1/2 cup peeled, grated parsnip, (about one small parsnip)
- 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped lightly
- Set oven rack to middle of oven and preheat to 350°F (176°C). Generously grease two 5- by 9-inch loaf pans and set aside.
- In a small frying pan, heat walnuts over medium heat to toast, agitating every few seconds. Once the walnuts turn fragrant and change to a deeper shade of brown, remove them from the heat. Allow to cool completely.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs and add white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest. Whisk until well mixed, then add in sour cream and whisk until uniform consistency. Beat in baking soda, salt, and rosemary, mixing well.
- Using a large spoon, stir in cake flour until no white powdery bits are visible. Follow with the all purpose flour, stirring just until there is no more visible flour. Use a rubber spatula to fold in shredded beet, carrot, and parsnip, followed by dried cranberries, followed by the walnuts. Stir just until combined.
- Divide the batter equally between the two loaf pans and bake until top splits slightly and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pans half way through baking. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a cooling rack and let sit until fully cooled. Serve with salted butter.
Special Equipment: Two 5- by 9-inch loaf pans
Nutritional analysis is based on each loaf serving 8.
This content was originally posted on FearlessFresh.com.