Christmas Teacakes

OK, really quickly, here’re two recipes. The first is standard ginger teacakes, the second is a parsnip version of those same teacakes. Yes – parsnip cookies. When you live in the UK, and you’ve subscribed to an organic vegetable cooperative, you end up with these things … in bulk! What the heck do you do with parsnips?! Particularly if you’ve only ever seen them once before! Well, cookies, of course!

Ginger Teacakes

  • Flour
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp ground Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground Cloves
  • 1 small “arm” Star Anise (optional)
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds, ground (linseeds)
  • Granulated sugar, for rolling
  1. Combine everything except for the flour (well, and also leave out the granulated sugar that’s for rolling, of course).
  2. Gradually work in enough flour to make a very stiff dough. We used strong, wholemeal flour, but you could wimp out and use something light-colored.
  3. Form into 1 inch balls, roll in sugar, and place upon parchment paper, with about 1.5 inches in between each cookie.
  4. Bake at 300F / 150C for around 12 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool completely before removing from parchment.

So, that’s the Gingerbread version. They turned out wonderfully, all light & fluffy inside. We used whole, dessicated ginger for our powder (you can find them at, item # 87 or 687). This kind of ginger is much better than just plain old ginger powder, as it’s much hotter & more potent. We made two batches, one with the Star Anise & one without (because some of us don’t like the flavor it takes over the flavor of the cookies, and pretty soon it’s like you didn’t have any other spices in there). One note: be sure to use a mildly flavored honey, as somehow the flavor comes through (yes – experience speaking, here – we tried to use up some really strong honey, and can taste it in the end product).

Parsnip Teacakes

  • 4 cups steamed parsnips (without the bitter core)
  • Guts of 1 Vanilla Bean
  • 1/4 of a nutmeg nut, microplaned
  • 3 Tbsp coriander seeds, ground & sifted
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup flax Seed, ground (linseeds)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup xylitol (can substitute granulated sugar)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar (can substitute honey or corn syrup)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp baking powder
  • 5 cups flour
  1. Mix everything except the flour and baking powder.
  2. Let stand for 15 minutes, to allow the flax seeds to hydrate.
  3. Mix in baking powder.
  4. Mix in most of your flour, reserving some in case you don’t need it.
  5. Once you’ve got a really arm-breakingly stiff dough, let rest for 5 minutes or so, to let the flour hydrate & let the dough relax.
  6. Form into 1 inch balls, roll in sugar, and place upon parchment paper, with about 1.5 inches in between each cookie.
  7. Bake at 300F / 150C for around 12 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool completely before removing from parchment.

These could’ve been a bread, maybe, except that they’re way too tender for that. We concluded that they might have wanted to be muffins, really, because they are so incredibly tender. We’ll have to see what happens when they finish settling, but we’re certain that they won’t turn out to be “snaps” by any means, since they have the different sugars in them to keep them tender, and the honey to pull moisture from the air (fun stuff, food science).

They could have taken way more spices than we added, because the flavor of parsnips really overwhelms anything we threw at them. They could have used maybe the zest of 4 lemons instead of just 1, and, strangely enough, they smell & taste like they really would pair well with coconut – so the next try at these will probably involve the use of coconut milk powder (again, found at, item 251).

The parsnip teacakes are heading off to our neighbors and our local health-care professionals (the ladies at the pharmacy and the doctor & nurse at our local surgery). There’s really no way we can leave these sitting about in our house, lest we eat them all up (as happened to the first batch of ginger teacakes).

Now, what could we make out of these silly swedes…?

2 Replies to “Christmas Teacakes”

  1. Hi, just blog hopping and came here from The Kitchen Pantry blogroll. This looks like a great recipe. I probably won’t try the parsnip version as they are not really common here. I do have some applesauce in the fridge I need to use so this will help. I have enjoyed touring your blogs.

  2. WOW – parsnip cookies – I must adnmit I’d never have thought of that one – LOL! But now that you’ve planted the seed, I’ll hae to pick some up next time I’m at the market and give it a go. Oh, and I never knew that linseed oil came from flax seeds. Sheesh.

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