Walnut, Pea & Vanilla Cake

Not only is this cake packed with veggie goodness (a slice may even count as one of your Five-a-day) but it’s subtly sweet and delicious. The lovely crunch of walnuts also give it a great texture. When offered this cake you really must say, “Yes, peas”.

IMGP3915 Tue 13th - My Walnut, Pes & Vanilla cake for school - 8+

Servings: 10 – 12 slices               Difficulty: Easy             Time: About 2 hours + fridge time

Ingredients

    For the cake
  • 275g fresh or frozen peas
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • 150g plain white flour
  • 100g wholemeal flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 5g salt
  • 60g – 70g chopped walnuts
  • For the filling and topping
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 250g full fat cream cheese
  • 450g – 500g icing sugar
  • 2 – 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 – 12 walnut halves
  • Green food colouring gel or paste
  • Equipment
  • Two 8″/20cm round, loose bottomed cake tins.

Directions

    Preparation
  1. Grease and base line the two tins + dust lightly with flour.
  2. Boil the peas, drain and cool under cold water, drain fully. Puree them until smooth* and then set aside. (*Use a food processor or a stick blender.)
  3. Weigh out the ingredients and soften the butter if necessary.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 170C/150C fan/Gas 3.
  5. For the cake
  6. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  7. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in a teaspoon of flour with each egg to avoid curdling. Beat in the pea puree, vanilla extract, lemon zest and juice. Stir in the walnuts.
  8. Sift in the flours, baking powder and salt. Stir or fold in gently to combine.
  9. Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins, then bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 5 – 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. For the filling/topping
  11. Beat the butter until creamy, then lightly beat in the cream cheese.
  12. Sift the icing sugar over the butter and cheese. Mix in well. Add the vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
  13. Use sufficient of the mixture to assemble the cake then crumb coat the whole cake and place in the fridge for an hour or more.
  14. Cover the cake with the remaining topping (reserve some if you want to create green swirls on top, later.)
  15. Use the walnut halves to decorate the top and/or create green swirls by mixing food colouring into the reserved topping mixture. Place small blobs on top and use a cocktail stick to create swirls.