Winter Harvest Cake

When I started volunteering for Edible South Shore magazine, I was so generously given their signature cookbook, Edible. The cookbook is amazing in that it tells the reader numerous farming and foodie stories from across the nation. There are few tidbits in the book about Allandale Farm in Brookline, and I happen to frequent there a lot, so it was pretty cool to see such an awesome write up about it.

The book's recipes are toward the end, and are divided amongst the four seasons. Edible magazines and books have a huge focus on supporting local farmers and eating in season, so the sections in the book were written accordingly. On a snowy night in New England (haven't they all been recently?), I decided it was time to look into the book once again. This time, I wanted something sweet, easy to bake, and I needed to have all items on hand. Luckily for me, I stumbled across the Harvest Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting. The recipe was actually submitted from Edible Rhody (Rhode Island's version of Edible Magazine).

The cake's ingredients were pretty different from most that you would normally have, but me, being a big proponent of eating in season, actually had all of the veggies necessary to bake this cake. Harvest Cake is a winter dessert because it includes parsnips, carrots, squash. The veggies blend together well with the other sweet ingredients. The best part about this cake though is that it is totally justifiable! I mean, it has veggies in it after all!

Unfortunately, I did not have cream cheese on hand to make the proper frosting, but it turns out, the cake worked wonderfully with just a sprinkling of cinnamon and powdered sugar. If you have some leftover root veggies to use up, this is a great way to put them to work in a sweet way!

Harvest Cake with Cinnamon Cider Frosting
adapted from Edible Communities cookbook

2 Large carrots, grated
1 large parsnip, grated
1 medium zucchini, grated (I used frozen summer squash that I had)
1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and grated
1 3/4c APF
1/2c Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2tsp baking soda
3/4tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 eggs
1c granulated sugar
1/4c packed brown sugar
1/2c grapeseed or other neutral oil

Cider Cinnamon Frosting
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4c cream cheese
2 tsp apple cider
1c powdered sugar,
pinch of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x9 baking pan, and line bottom with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, stir together carrots, parsnip, zucchini and apple. Set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk together APF, Whole Wheat Flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside. In a large bowl (a lot of bowls here!), whisk together eggs and sugars until frothy. Add the oil and vanilla, and whisk until blended. Add the flour mixture into the wet mixture, and stir until just combined. Add the veggies/apples last, and stir until completely coated with the batter. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake until the cake is brown and quite firm with lightly touched in center, and a toothpick comes out clean- 45-55 minutes. Mine actually took 60 minutes. Cool on baking rake at least 1 hour before frosting.

To make frosting, if so desired, put cream cheese and butter in small bowl. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, whip the butter, cream cheese, and apple cider together until smooth, about 3 minutes. At low speed, slowly add powdered sugar, and cinnamon, and beat until blended. Taste and see if more sugar and cinnamon need to be added. Spread over cake when the frosting meets your taste standards.

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