This parsnip cake is a delicious alternative to carrot cake. It has a rich, nutty flavour that’s perfectly complimented by the maple and nutmeg. The cake is refined sugar free. To add even more vegetables to the cake, I’ve added a tasty ginger and sweet potato frosting!
Nutmeg and Parsnip Cake
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.
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 so this cake is rather healthier than most!
Originally posted 16 November 2014
Updated 18 October 2018
Ginger Sweet Potato Frosting
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!
There’s also far less sugar than most frostings, with only a few tablespoons for the whole cake. The sweet potato adds such a wonderful natural sweet taste.
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 delicious vegetable cake.
Hidden Vegetable Cake Recipes
I love making vegetable cakes and hidden veg recipes. So much so that I started this blog to showcase them and recently wrote a cookbook all about vegetable dessert recipes!
If you’re looking for other parsnip cake recipes, be sure to try my Winter Spiced Parsnip Cake with Mulled Wine Drizzle or Parsnip Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Lemon Drizzle. Looking for more unusual vegetable cake recipes? You must try my Apple Kale Cake with Apple Icing.
My cookbook, Veggie Desserts and Cakes, full of creative desserts with vegetables, is now available on Amazon (UK, Canada, USA, Australia and more) – affiliate link
Get the Parsnip Cake Recipe
Parsnip Cake with Sweet Potato and Ginger Frosting
- 300 g raw parsnip (4 cups, grated) approx 2
- 200 g (1 ½ cups) plain (all purpose) flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarb of soda (baking soda)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 180 ml (3/4 cup) maple syrup
- 120 ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
- 120 g (1 cup) plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Sweet Potato and Ginger Icing
- 2 sweet potatoes - cooked and peeled (boiled, steamed or baked)
- 3 tablespoons powdered icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- 1/4 tbsp grated fresh ginger (or more to taste)
- 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.
For the Sweet Potato and Ginger Frosting
- 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.
Thanks for checking out my recipe! I love hearing from my readers. You all allow me to do what I love and write this UK food blog, sharing vegetarian and vegan recipes, vegetable cake recipes and also easy vegan desserts.