I really love autumnal flavours. The hot ginger, warm nutmeg and all of the other spices that suddenly find their way into my porridge, lattes and desserts.
Parsnip and nutmeg pair beautifully together in savoury parsnip purees and in soups, but here I’ve sweetened them up with maple syrup and put them into a vegetable cake (for my birthday, actually). Parsnip works just like carrot in cakes, adding moisture and sweetness with a mildly earthy flavour. This cake takes a huge 4 cups of grated raw parsnip so you’ll definitely be getting your vegetables in this cake – and it won’t dry out. I’ve also used maple syrup in place of refined sugar and replaced much of the fat with Greek yogurt.
I topped this cake with pureed sweet potato, subtly spiced with freshly grated ginger. It’s so easy to make – you just blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth (I used my Froothie Optimum high-speed blender, but you can try it in a mini chopper or food processor). The results are thick and frosting-like, but without any butter or oil. I only frosted the top, but the recipe below makes quite a lot of icing so you’ll be able to frost the sides and inside of the cake if you wish. Two parsnips, two sweet potatoes, one vegetable cake. My perfect birthday treat.
- 300g raw parsnip (approx 2)
- 200g (1 ½ cups) plain (all purpose) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 180ml ( ¾ cup) maple syrup
- 120ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
- 120g (1 cup) plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 sweet potatoes, cooked and peeled (boiled, steamed or baked)
- 3 tablespoons powdered icing sugar
- Small piece of fresh ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease a tall 9” cake tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.
- Wash well and grate the parsnip. (You should have about 4 cups, grated). Set aside.
- Sift the flour, bicarb of soda, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the parsnip.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, maple syrup, oil, yogurt and vanilla together with an electric mixer.
- Fold the wet ingredients into the dry gently.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin and then remove and spread with the sweet potato frosting when completely cool.
- Ensure the sweet potato flesh is cooled and pat dry in a clean tea towel. Place into a food processor or blender with all of the other ingredients (ginger to taste) and blitz until smooth. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
Still have some parsnips to use up? Don’t let them go to waste, try these recipes:
I’m definitely going to try Jac’s Home-baked Honey Parsnip Crisps
Camilla’s Curried Root Vegetable Soup sounds lovely
Helen’s Rainbow Vegetable Fritters sound amazing, too!