I find a lot of AIP treats too sweet now that my palate has acclimatised somewhat. My January Whole30 certainly helped on that front and I'm all for keeping it up, if my lowered inflammation is anything to go on. As much as I love you, my friends, I can't post too many treats. You see, by the time you've tried (and hopefully enjoyed) whichever of my baked creations I've been there already - several times - and it ain't doing me any favours!
So my way of getting around that little conundrum (ahem) was to seek out a replacement for the likes of honey and maple syrup and where better to look than Mother Nature's soil no less. Of course, I wouldn't have been making this on my GAPS diet but, just like the AIP, that isn't a forever way of life. You assess the situation, hone into your gut (feeling) and move with the times. What I'm trying to say, in a round about nonsensical way, is that we're now eating parsnips. In cake!!
I don't make too many desserts these days because I want to concentrate on nourishment, which excludes giving in to cravings. I know only too well about the slippery slope that calls like the sirens once you give in. However, once in a while it is downright critical for happy existence and particularly so with having a family who can develop non-AIP self help shopping skills at breathtaking speed when denied, if you know what I mean 😉 . Relying on the natural sweetness of parsnip and pears, this cake is sweetened by fruit and vegetable alone. As is typical when baking with coconut flour, it yields a dense cake in the realm of my Banana Cinnamon Teacake, if you've tried that. Again extremely moist, but this one has a fudgy, almost creamy buttery texture and a granular bite from the pear. Put simply, it is pretty darn "kick you in the crotch, spit on your neck fantastic"!
If you want to hurry up the how-long-do-I-have-to-wait-before-I-can-sink-my-teeth-in-this process, wait for it to cool down and then pop it into the fridge, still in the tin. That way you only need salivate for three or four hours or so.
pear and parsnip teacake
Most things baked with coconut flour tend to be better next day and this one certainly fits into that category. However if you're keen to get tucking in, wait until the cake has cooled down and pop into the fridge still in the tin. You should be able to cut into it after 3-4 hours.
(makes one 9x5 inch loaf)
Print the recipe here
2 large firm red pears, unpeeled
1/2 cup coconut oil
generous pinch sea salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 large parsnip, peeled and finely grated to yield 2 packed cups
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 gelatin eggs as follows
gelatin eggs -
2 tbsp grass-fed gelatin
5 tbsp hot water
for the top (optional) -
1 firm red pear, unpeeled
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
sprinkle ground cinnamon
Start by cooking the pears. Cut them into quarters and remove the core. Chop into pieces and put into a medium pan with a tablespoon of filtered water. Put a lid on the pan, bring it up to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until softened. If your pears are juicier than mine and there is a fair amount of liquid left, remove the lid and bubble away to evaporate the excess. Remove from the pan and put into a food processor and purée. You should have 3/4 cup purée. Transfer to a small plate and cool the purée completely.
Place a baking sheet into the oven and preheat to 350F. Line a 9x 5 inch loaf tin with parchment paper. *
Put the pear purée, coconut oil and salt into a bowl and, using a stand or handheld mixer, combine well. Next add the coconut milk and grated parsnip and mix again. Sift in the coconut flour and baking soda. Mix again until well combined.
Now make the gelatin egg. Put the gelatin into a small bowl. Add the water and quickly whisk until melted and the mixture looks frothy. With the motor running, pour this mixture into the cake and whizz again for a few seconds to fully incorporate. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.
For the optional topping:
Cut the pear into quarters and remove the core. Place flesh side down on a board and cut each quarter into 4 slices lengthwise and press into the top of the surface of the cake down the centre. I like to make slight indentations at the quarter way mark which helps put the slices in evenly and that way you'll use them all up. Using a clean pastry brush, brush the melted coconut oil over the pear slices. Dust with a little cinnamon, if you like. Now place the cake onto the hot baking sheet and cook for about 65-70 minutes until golden brown, firm to the touch and coming away from the sides of the parchment. Allow to cool in the tin for 2 hours, before transferring to a wire rack to cool down completely. Note: If you don't put the pear topping on, the cake will cook in less time, so check after 1 hour.
Once completely cold, wrap the cake up and keep in an airtight container in the fridge overnight, or if you are making this in the morning, wrap it up, put in the fridge and cut into it during the evening. Restrain yourself because if you cut too soon, the cake will likely fall apart.
Store in the fridge or freezer.
This looks incredible!! I've never had luck with my gelatin eggs. I've tried them in a handful of other recipes and it's always a flop. Any tips? I would love to make this and/or your banana cinnamon tea cake 🙂
Hi Kayla, sorry to hear the gelatin eggs haven't been successful. Here are some tips: Make sure you have everything prepped before you start the process as it happens fairly quickly, basically you don't want the gelatin setting up before it reaches the cake. So have two small bowls, put the gelatin in one and the water in the other. Make sure the water isn't boiling but still hot enough to dissolve the gelatin. It's important not to have boiling water because that can affect the setting quality of the gelatin, either by decreasing the setting power, and/or making it smell nasty. When you're at the point that you are mixing the flour into the large bowl, start making the gelatin egg. Pour the hot water into the gelatin powder, whisking constantly so it dissolves and you will notice it also goes frothy. Now, with the motor running pour in the gelatin egg, making sure you get it all in. Turn the power up and give it a good whizz for 2 or 3 seconds so you know that the gelatin is now throughout the entire cake mixture. Then transfer the mixture into your cake tin and follow the recipe instructions. Hopefully you should find these instructions straightforward (let me know if not) so good luck and enjoy the cake 🙂
Thank you! I will try again 🙂
Thanks for this extra tip ! I’ve been having issues with my gelatin eggs too!!!
Glad it helps!
Wow, this is so inventive, and I happen to love both pear and parsnip and together they are heaven. But I only have apples and applesauce on hand. I'm wondering if this would work using them instead of the pear and pear puree, since I'm not on as restricted a diet.
Also, where do you find your brown parchment? It's lovely, as is are all of your functional and styling components!
Hi Susan, thank you kindly and yes, though I believe pears are a tastier match for parsnip, apple sauce/slices will be lovely too I'm sure.
This is the parchment paper I use in my kitchen. The company also make parchment muffin cases which I highly rate too. I buy them from my local grocery store but I gave you the Amazon link just in case you can't find it.
Perfect, thanks Kate; I happen to agree with you about the pears! Truth be told, I'm feeling lazy at the moment, thus the sub question.
Thanks for the parchment link -- I love that brand; their muffin cups are the best! I'll pick up a roll!
Haha nice Friends reference! 😉
Love that scene - been waiting for my moment to get that one in haha 😉
I can't have coconut at the moment. oil and milk I can replace with what I can have but not sure about the coconut flour? Recommendations? Cassava maybe? I just know coconut is very specific in recipes. Thanks for any thoughts:)
The short answer is no. I only tested the cake with coconut flour and have no experience with cassava so I can't say for sure. However, given the conversion for coconut flour:wheat flour is 1/3 - 1/2 cup:1 cup and cassava:wheat flour is supposed to be 1:1 (although in truth it isn't!) you could try substituting the coconut flour in this recipe for around 3/4 cup cassava but will obviously be trial and error. As you say, coconut flour is completely different to any other flour so how this cake will work, I really can't say. If you try it though, please do let us all hear your thoughts, I'm sure others would be interested too 🙂
Thanks for your advice!! If I try it all definitely post results
oh wow!!! this looks awsome, do you think i could substitute parsnip somehow? thank you
I haven't tested with anything else but you could try finely grated white sweet potatoes. There is also this cake I wrote for the Paleo Mom's site and depending on how you do with sugars, you can cut one of them out. http://www.thepaleomom.com/2015/04/guest-post-by-kate-jay-roasted-rosemary-butternut-cake-autoimmune-protocol-friendly.html
thank you , will try that
I can't wait to try this tea cake. Was wondering if the ingredients and measurements would be the same if I wanted to make cupcakes instead? In parchment cupcakes?
Hi Patty, the ingredients/measurements for the cake will be the same and I imagine it will make 10 large muffins. They will take less time to cook though, if there are no fruits on the top check them after 35 minutes and with fruit, I'd say check them after 45 minutes.
It's in the oven right now and looks/smells heavenly on this rainy day! Only one problem with this recipe -- the overnight wait time -- I want to dive into it as soon as it's ready! I took the liberty of adding cardamom too, because I love it so and it works so well with pears. I suspect that it's a nightshade spice (?) but since I'm not AIP I indulged in the addition and hope I won't be sorry. What a great recipe!
Hi Susan, the reason cardamom isn't AIP-friendly is because it's a seed spice (not a nightshade) but I have to say it sounds delightful with pears. I hope you enjoy the cake!
I made this yesterday and it turned out wonderful! I think it can classify as AIP breakfast foods!
I've been looking for an AIP friendly zucchini cake recipe, if you happen to have one, can you please share? 🙂
I also made your thai inspired pork salad over the weekend, yum it was so tasty!!!
Hi Olga, I'm so pleased you're enjoying the recipes here. I have written a zucchini cake, as it happens, but I tested it several times and never felt I had it right. I'll have to pick up the recipe again and have another tinker some time. Watch this space 🙂
Thank you, will do! Btw, your other cake recipes are outstanding too. I have made the banana cake and rosemary butternut squash cake on many occasions now and they had always turned out great even with some unplanned modifications on my side (like I forgot to put honey in the banana cake one time).
Finally saw parsnips at the market last weekend but couldn't remember what I wanted them for!! Will get some this weekend for sure and the pears and I'll let you know how I go. Was actually looking for the banana teacake recipe as I picked up a couple of kilos of ripe organic bananas for $3 this morning and I saw this 🙂 So good that your cakes are freezable and I now have a second freezer in the garage so even more out of sight out of mind which my eczema certainly appreciates
I hope you didn't buy the second freezer for storing cakes Amanda 😉
Yes, please do keep me informed - you are, after all, my Number 1 cake tester!!!
PS - $3 for 2Kg bananas = scoop!
Sheri Ziehl says
Wow! I made this today exactly as the recipe called and it's amazing. Yes, I sliced a little off before it had cooled completely, and as you said it would it crumbled. And it was worth it! The rest is in the fridge. Can't wait for dessert tonight! Thanks for another great recipe.
Hurrah - I'm so pleased you like it. You make me laugh about cutting an early slice, I have to fend the family off or they'd do exactly the same (well, me too actually) 🙂
just had this for breakfast (is that allowed?) and LOVED it. it was so, so hard for me to not cut into it right away last night.
I know the feeling, the restraint that's needed.
So pleased it was worth the wait - even though it was only until breakfast, haha!! 🙂
Veronica Cardozo says
HI I've read a little about you. Will surely read much more. I'm in India . Would love to try your tea cake, but I don't think we have parsnips. I'll try it with apples and ( I'm not sure right now). But I'll give it a try.
Hi Veronica. My husband and I have had some wonderful holidays in India, you live in a beautiful country. I hope you enjoy the teacake, however you try it - I also have a banana cinnamon teacake which you may like too 🙂
Hi, I made this cake yesterday in the evening and tried it in the morning. I really had to resist from trying it yesterday 🙂 but it was worth to resist, the cake is really amazing!! not too much of coconut flavor and perfectly wet!
I admire your restraint 😉
And glad you liked the cake!
This is the first baked good recipe i can remember following without altering! I don't bake much because, with all my food issues, I don't follow recipes and the results tend not to be encouraging. My results with this recipe ARE encouraging, but not great. I hope you can help. My bread turned out very wet. Setting in the fridge overnight, it turned kind of...gelly. The top is lovely-looking: browned and pulling away from the parchment. Is this because I didn't notice your instruction to set the pan atop a preheated sheet pan? Because I used Trader Joe's coconut milk, which is woefully low-fat? Too much parsnip (I packed the cups; had to use three medium snips)? Also, is there any reason not to melt the gelatin in the coconut milk? The extra liquid would help prevent lumps. Thanks for a great recipe and blog!
That's a tricky one but I'm certainly suspicious of the low fat coconut milk, I would start with that as your problem. The point of the preheated tray is to help give the cake a rise and an even cooking but are you sure you added the correct amount of flour? The cake is supposed to be extremely moist, more like a pudding cake but your mix was too wet, so adding more liquid (when you mentioned preventing lumps) would make it worse and I can't see that the parsnips would have caused a problem. Gelatin doesn't do too well in coconut milk as it just sits on the top and won't result in the nice gelatinous mass that you get when you sprinkle gelatin onto water. Which reminds me, are you sure you are using gelatin for the cake and not collagen?
Just made this and I am so happy to be eating a CAKE! Especially one that is made mostly of fruit and veg! I used 2 medium parsnips and it didn't quite fill 2 packed cups. I'll try 3 parsnips next time. I messed up by not measuring my pear puree, and since mine were pretty ripe, I suspect I had too much puree. I tried to compensate for too little parsnip and too much pear by only using 4 tbsp water with the gelatin and using a scant half cup of coconut milk. I sprinkled a bit of powdered ginger on top of the pear topping in addition to the cinnamon. It turned out, but I suspect it's a little denser than intended. I'm definitely going to make it again though! It's good and so pretty. I'm into stronger flavors, so next time I'll add cinnamon, ginger, vanilla powder, and/or cardamom (I've successfully reintroduced the latter 2) to the batter for a little more spice.
Haha, who needs sugar anyway?!
Quick question, wanted to know if I could substitute 2 actual eggs for the gelatin eggs?
Yes you can, I haven't myself but two medium sized should do it.
Awesome! Thanks so much. This sounds delicious and I can't wait to make it :]
Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! This will be awesome as I am very sensitive to sugar. I cannot wait to try it out. Thank-you for all the wonderful and creative recipes 🙂
Meagan Faeth says
Hello! Curious if this will work with green pears?
yes, no problem 🙂
Given my extreme dietary restrictions, I try many different online recipes in an attempt to give my diet variety...and usually have great, tasy outcomes. However, sadly, not with this recipe! In reviewing my baking experience with these ingredients, I would do the following differently:
1) Use your recommended brand of coconut milk. As I had only canned coconut milk in my pantry, that is what I used. Thus, mistake #1.
2) The coconut oil needed to be thoroughly melted. Mine was not. Therefore, I believe I had a wee bit too much oil in the cake.
3) Squeeze all liquid out of the grated parsnips.
Because I did not follow through on these three items, my cake was very heavy and oily. Interestingly, it raised well while in the oven, but the outcome was not very different in the end.
In addition, I'm not overly found of parsnips. If I were to attempt this recipe again (as I love red pears), could I use a different root vegetable such as carrots or beets? Thank you...and I'm sorry not to have posted a better experience!
*In addition, I'm not overly fond of parsnips.
I haven't tried making the cake with other vegetables so I can't advise I'm afraid. If you give it a go, do let me hear the results though, I'd be interested to hear.