It’s not what you think.


I’m not even sure where I found it, but with a name like that, and more so, what was in it, this recipe piqued my curiosity. Finding it again in one of my old recipe books, I put it on my ‘to make’ list months ago… I had just never had the opportunity to make it. So when I saw that mushrooms were on special this week, I jumped at the chance, and bought half a kilo, for the express purpose of making my very first mushroom cake.


Even then this cake almost never got made. It took a full two days to get from mise en place to cake on plate. What with chores that needed doing, a husband working late, and a child who will not let me use any electrical appliance without protesting loudly, the butter was soft to the point of melting, the eggs were well and truly at room temperature, and the mushrooms were chopped hours before they entered the mix!


Of course, the creators of this particular recipe were the good old mushroom growers association… who else would think of putting mushrooms in a cake? It’s just weird. But I like weird… and I like this cake!


The combination of honey and walnuts in itself is divine, but with the addition of a heaped pile of finely chopped mushrooms, this cake has a moist richness that only the inclusion of fruit or vegetables can provide. {Think your best banana cake, but with the crunch of walnuts and the scent of honey}.


I think it’s wonderful, and if you’re up for the challenge, I think you’ll find you love it, too!


Magic Mushroom Cake
The original instructions said that a medium sized cake tin would do. I used a 7-cup capacity fluted ring tin, which was a smidge on the small side… an 8-cup capacity ring tin would be perfect. Or a deep 20cm round cake tin, as I’ve noted below.

And whilst the instructions say just to dust with icing sugar, I made a benighted attempt at a maple glaze. Sadly it was too thin, so I covered it over with a dusting of drinking chocolate (as per she cooks, she gardens). Either could work; the cake is sweet enough without icing.

125g butter
¾ cup caster sugar
Few drops vanilla essence
½ walnuts, chopped
½ cup honey
½ cup milk
400g fresh button mushrooms, finely chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups self raising flour, sifted

A generous sprinkling of icing sugar or drinking chocolate

Pre-heat oven to 180degC. Lightly grease a 20cm springform baking tin. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the vanilla essence. Add eggs, slowly, beating well. Add flour alternately with milk, finishing with flour. Sprinkle in Merbein mushrooms, walnuts and honey, combining thoroughly. Spread into prepared tin. Bake on centre shelf of oven at 180degC for approximately 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow cake to cool for about 5 minutes in the tin, then remove to wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with icing sugar, drinking chocolate or if you’re feeling fancy, mix up a maple glaze to decorate.

Glaze: Whisk together one and a half cups pure icing sugar with one tablespoon of milk and one tablespoon maple syrup. Add ½ teaspoon more milk if glaze too thick to drizzle.

2 thoughts on “Magic Mushroom Cake”

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