turnip the heat cake

By Louise Oliver

Turnip may seem like a strange addition to a cake but trust me it works! The neeps’ sugary flesh adds a delicious sweetness to the cake allowing for less sugar to be used. The turnips moistness lets this large cake store well, if it is not all gobbled straight out of the oven that is. So turnup the music and get baking. It really lifts the soul on a wintry day when only cake will do. Why not try experimenting with other root veggies?  Parsnip and honey are great partners. To save energy, pop your cake in the oven alongside some veggies or meat that you are roasting.


4 eggs, 2 separated
200g sugar (dark sugar works particularly well)
150g treacle/honey/ golden syrup
180ml of oil
300g turnip/swede, grated finely
4 nuggets of preserved ginger chopped roughly
150g walnuts chopped roughly
100g plain flour
125g wholemeal flour
2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
3 heaped teaspoons of ground ginger


Firstly line a 24 cm round cake tin – ideally springform or one with removable bottom- with baking paper. Turn on the oven to gas 4/180°C/160°C fan/350°F.

Put the two egg whites into a clean bowl and whisk them until they hold in soft peaks, and then put them aside for later. Using a separate, large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, the two whole eggs, and the sugar for around five minutes until the mixture is thick and frothy. Add the treacle/honey/ syrup and the oil and beat again until smooth. Next mix in the grated turnip, chopped ginger and the nuts.

Mix together the flour, ginger and baking powder and then add to the bowl, giving them a gentle stir. Finally add the fluffy egg whites evenly and gently- using a spatula or a large silver spoon, which helps keep the air in them.

Put the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the oven for around 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out with just a few crumbs stuck to it. Allow it to cool in the tin for a good 15-20 minutes before removing and enjoying with a hot cuppa.

turnip the heat cake

  • Ruth February 19, 2013 at 21:12

    Was given a slice of this and couldn’t believe there was turnip in it…and was yummy! As there’s no way I would get the kids to eat turnip sticking in a cake is a great idea!

  • Ingrid Glendinning February 18, 2013 at 21:28

    What a great idea for a cake!
    Can’t wait to try it.

  • Louise February 18, 2013 at 20:38

    Who would have thought the boring turnip could be so good! A really lovely moist cake. And no one will ever guess what is in it!