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I, for one, always look forward to the delicious delights that are served at bridal showers and hen’s day parties. There’s nothing more inviting than walking into a do when there’s a grazing table set up with bites such as dips, sausage rolls, mini pizzas, and of course, something sweet like this healthy cake from Australia’s favourite nutritionist, Lola Berry. We love the pretty addition of the flowers that make this cake extra inviting. We hope this recipe inspires you to get busy baking for your next wedding celebration!

Lola says, “I know this sounds more like a savoury vegetable dish, but bear with me here; it’s a lovely treat that not only feeds the skin but also encourages the whole body to thrive. Extra-virgin olive oil is a bit of an all-rounder and delivers many health benefits to the body, whether applied topically or eaten, like this. When consumed it’s said to aid the digestive system, help to reduce our levels of bad cholesterol and even help lower blood pressure.”

Ingredients 

coconut oil, for greasing

3 cups (300 g) almond meal

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

pinch of salt flakes

1⁄2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

5 large eggs

1⁄2 cup (125 ml) maple syrup (or honey or coconut nectar)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups (210 g) grated parsnip 1 large granny smith apple,

grated

1⁄2 cup (60 g) sultanas

1⁄2 cup (60 g) raisins

1⁄2 cup (60 g) roughly chopped walnuts, plus extra to serve

1⁄2 cup (60 g) roughly chopped pecans

Icing

2 cups (500 g) ricotta

1⁄2 cup (125 ml) maple syrup

1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped (or 1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract)

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 20 cm cake tin with a little coconut oil and line the base with a circle of baking paper.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Make a little well in the centre and crack in the eggs, then add the maple syrup and olive oil and mix together really well to get rid of any lumps. Stir through the parsnip, apple, sultanas, raisins, walnuts and pecans.

Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the surface, then bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

While the cake is cooling, whip up the icing. The easiest way is to mix the ingredients in a food processor or blender, but you can do it by hand; you just want to make sure everything’s mixed evenly and there are no lumps.

Slather the icing over the top of the cooled cake, then slice and serve.

Serves 8–10

Images by Armelle Habib

Recipes and images extracted from Beauty Food by Lola Berry, published by Plum, RRP $24.99, available in all good bookstores from 31 October.

About Lola Berry: Leading Australian nutritionist Lola Berry appears regularly on television shows such as The ProjectThe Today Show and A Current Affair. She is a spokesperson on nutrition and general wellbeing in print and on radio, and has a huge and interactive online following. She is the bestselling author of nine cookbooks: Inspiring Ingredients (2010), The 20/20 Diet (2012), The 20/20 Diet Cookbook (2014), The Happy Cookbook (2015), LolaBerry‘s Little Book of Smoothies and Juices (2015), The Happy Life (2016), Lola Berry‘s Summer Food (2016), Food to Make You Glow (2017) and Beauty Food ( November 2017).

I adore a Bellini for a breakfast celebration, so we decided to combine two of our favourite fruits for this celebratory cocktail. Rhubarb is tart and delicious and when combined with strawberries, giving this cocktail a flavour that is just the ticket for a bridal brunch or the morning of the wedding when bubbles are flowing en masse!

Ingredients

  • 15ml strawberry liqueur
  • 30ml rhubarb compote or puree
  • Champagne or prosecco
  • Fresh strawberry for garnish

Method

If you can’t find rhubarb compote in your local supermarket, try creating it yourself. Combine fresh rhubarb with caster sugar (6:1 ratio) in a pot and bring to the boil. Cook slowly over low heat until the rhubarb breaks down and the sugar melts.

Once your compote has cooled, strain it for later.

For your bellini, pour 30ml rhubarb compote into the bottom of a Champagne flute and add the strawberry liqueur.

Top with cold Champagne or prosecco.

Garnish with a fresh strawberry.

Recipe and image by Ms Polka Dot.

If your bridesmaids love a luxurious soak in the tub, why not consider making them some sweet smelling bath salts? It’s super quick and easy, and you can personalise the fragrance if you know what they love. Wrapping can be great fun too! If your wedding theme is earthy and woodsy, pop the salts into thick paper bags and tie with a wooden scoop. You could also adorn jars with fresh herbs or even sew the salts into fabric bags – the options are limitless!

These can be made well in advance and could even be a lovely group activity. A bath salts bar, set up with different scents and herbs, would be great fun! These easy bath salts are a gorgeous gift for guests at your bridal shower or even for the big day – they’re just that simple.

What You Will Need:

  • Epsom salts
  • Rock salt
  • Essential oil (I’ve used lavender)
  • Fresh herbs and flowers – (I’ve used rosemary and rose petals)
  • Your choice of suitable container – (I’ve used mini glass jars from the dollar shop)

What To Do:

Step One. Mix together 50% Epsom salts and 50% rock salt. You can find Epsom salts at your local health food bulk store, and rock salt in your nearest supermarket.

Step Two. Add in up to 20 drops of essential oil. Do some research to discover which oils promote relaxation and calm. Lavender is perfect for this but consider also peppermint, geranium or citrus.

Step Three. Add in your chosen dried herbs and flowers. These are mainly for aesthetic appeal, but herbs will add a gorgeous aroma to the salts. Ensure both herbs and petals are completely dried. Rosemary and rose petals add a beautiful touch, but consider also mint, eucalyptus, tea tree or even cloves for a spicy scent.

Step Four. Once your salts are well mixed together, pop them into your chosen containers. Ensure the containers are clean and dry, and if you’re packaging these in advance of gifting them, make sure the jars have an airtight seal.

Step Five. Once your salts are packed into their containers, wrap them with ribbons, string, fresh flowers and herbs or whatever your heart desires. You can easily theme these to match any wedding or party colour scheme and your guests are sure to be impressed!

Ms Zigzag says: I love a good soak in the tub, so I’d certainly appreciate these homemade bath salts as a wedding favour. Thank you Ms Honeycomb for the beautiful post.