40. Village survival, a guaranteed muffin top!


Now, I’m not a recipe type of a person. I do attempt recipes occasionally and think to myself that’s nice but I’ll just tweak it, or add this and leave out that because fundamentally I don’t think I like being told what to do! Anyway, recently I had two limp left-over parsnips and an abundant crop of strawberries from the garden (about 8 actually which were fairly manky and half chewed by a band of bastard slugs). So with these delicious ingredients, I decided to make some Parsnip, Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes and like todally make it up as I went along.

Here’s the recipe (if you like being told what to do) which Lottie and I haphazardly cobbled together. We measured stuff and everything so I’m hopefuls that if you try this at home you’ll get the same mediocre and decidedly soggy arsed muffins too. You’re so welcome.

Now – many children like raisins and this is an ideal way to add a sweet taste to cakes and muffins but of course, Lottie will have no truck whatsoever with dehydrated fruits. Undaunted (ok, slightly daunted) I wanted to make our muffins sweet but without too much sugar which I was (first world) worried would negate the use of fruit/veg. I thought rather over-zealously, and some would say quite naively, that perhaps the naturally sweet taste of the parsnips and strawberries would add to the overall sweetness value. Did they hell as like. Parsnips everywhere – you have let me down.

Parsnip, Strawberry and Chocolate Muffins.

Stuff that went in it.

2 average sized parsnips – limp and bendy is fine by me. Relax, no need to be too judgy about your root veg on this occasion.

150g of strawberries – or 8 slightly rank and gnarly ones from your veggie patch. This is perfectly acceptable and includes guaranteed self-satisfied strawberry growing smugness, or your money back.

3 large eggs (we get ours from our neighbour down the road and love playing rancid egg roulette – enjoying the frisson of tension at never knowing if we’re going to crack a manky one). Spoiler Alert – always use a separate container to avoid – a rotten egg straight into your cake mix sitch.

150g butter (you can try a healthier alternative here but you do so at your own risk, I’ll have no part in it).

250g self-raising flour.

50g castor sugar (or if you’ve run out – the last of the granulated from the sugar bowl complete with brown stained clumpy bits from making tea and coffee).

50ml of honey (we used the last of the spreading honey which was full of toast crumbs which we may not have scraped off).

3 heaped dessert spoons of cocoa (I would advise here – not a crap brand otherwise the quality of the finished product will be chocolatively compromised).


When you use stock photography because your own strawberries look like sh*t.

How we cobbled it together.

  • Put oven onto 180 degrees to pre-heat. I couldn’t be arsed to look up what regulo that is if you’ve got a gas oven. Not even sorry.
  • Start by peeling and chopping parsnips then steam or boil until really soft. I always find the smell of boiling parsnips quite gag worthy – enjoy!
  • While they are cooking: cream together the butter, sugar, and honey, add the eggs individually with a small amount of flour each time. Combine the rest of the flour and the cocoa. If it looks like cat-sick you’re doing it right – keep going.
  • Chop up the strawberries into small chunks. Drain and cool parsnips with running cold water then mash them up, if they are rank and fibrous you may want to whiz them up with your handheld blender or in a food mixer. Yes – some more sodding washing up. Again, not even sorry.
  • Fold in strawberries and pulped parsnips. Love fold in – it sounds so proffesh and like I have half a bollocking clue what I’m going on about.
  • Hunt for the muffin tin which is right in the bottom of the cupboard, have a little eff and jeff as you pull out the contents of the bastard baking shelf to locate the darn thing. Spoon the cake batter into muffin cases – the mixture will make 24 stingy ones or 18 fat-knacker ones – s’up to you.

Baking time.

I’m still not friends with my newish oven which likes to over complicate my life. It’s a touchscreen jobby that beeps at me in an accusatorially way like it’s swearing at me in Ovenese. Hopefully, your oven is far more amiable and your relationship with it is at least companionable.

15 mins on 180 degrees in the middle of the oven. Avoid a nasty bout of food poisoning by popping a knife in one just to make sure it comes out clean and gunk free and shiz.

Before decorating.

cakes copy.png

Decoration, if you can be arsed.

For a guaranteed muffin top – A drizzle – in our case it was more of a dismal of icing. We used a homemade pink icing with shop bought chocolate sprinkles (from Sainsbury’s). You could use butter icing and chocolate shavings for a more indulgent and indeed lavish finish.

Store in a cutesy not really vintage tin (may I recommend – Emma Bridgwater or Kath Kidston here) but not for very long because they go proper rank after a day or so.


Pop a cake fork in it for a trying-too-hard recipe book style photo!


Ted from Devon (my husband): “Remind me again why there’s parsnip in it?”

Lottie from Devon: “Yum, I really like this Mummy…….err actually I don’t.”

Toby from Devon: “Yuck, that’s really gross.”

Me from Devon:  “Hmmm yummy and nice texture too!”

Julie from Devon (neighbour who happened to be watering her hanging baskets and then attempted to hide in the shed when I approached with a muffin): “You’re breaching the terms of the restraining order.”

As you were!

If you try this at home I’ll be amazed frankly but do let me know your results in comments! Or perhaps you have a vegetable-based cake that you would like to share from your blog – just pop the link in comments. Thanking you.

A big yay! I’m a featured blogger on #fridayfrolics with this post. Big thanks to Claire, Emma and Lucy xx

Island Living 365


15 thoughts on “40. Village survival, a guaranteed muffin top!

  1. Very very very funny all the way through. My favourite yet. Please can we have a regular baking feature?
    ***if it looks like cat sick you’re doing it right***

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Perhaps a series of cooking posts: Baking Bad? Point Bake? How to bake by mistake? Perhaps I should showcase Lottie’s home grown peas in a chilled Gaspachio ****if it looks like pond sludge you’re doing it right!***


  3. Personally I make it my business to not ever be “chocolatively compromised” and so this is a recipe I can totally go with. I too have a bulk supply of granulated sugar with clumpy bits in and have been waiting for such a perfect opportunity to utilise my stash! 😂 You are hilarious. Cook book please! xx


  4. I personally think life is too short for castor sugar, tea stained granulated is far more user friendly and can even pass as brown sugar on occasion! Fabby to see you ‘virtually’ lovely lady xxx


  5. Best recipe I’ve ever read. Cat sick!!! Every time I try and put vegetables in cakes they taste awful so I have given up and come to the conclusion that cakes aren’t meant to be healthy if they are to be enjoyed! I always have that same hunt for the muffin tin. Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love that you hate recipes as you hate being told what to do! But parsnips in a cake! I think I might have done a Julie and hid in my shed 😉 However, they do sound delicious, even if they do have parsnips in them! #FridayFrolics

    Liked by 1 person

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