This winter-spiced parsnip cake is moist, earthy and quite similar to carrot cake. It is enrobed in a rich vanilla buttercream and then striped with a spiced, boozy, mulled wine drizzle to make it taste of Christmas.
Mulled Wine Drizzle
The scent of mulled wine hangs in the air. Those heady smells of cinnamon and nutmeg wrap the house in a hug of Christmas as we clink and drink and be merry. Quite merry. Isn’t that one of the best things about this time of year? Meeting up with friends, gathering family together, togetherness?
As the mulled wine simmers on the stove and the doorbell rings with welcome guests, the mistletoe hangs and the tree is trimmed, that yearly feeling of excitement mingles with cheesy festive songs that blare out from the radio.
More than a hundred Christmases have been celebrated in this house, but this is the first one that is ours. Did the past inhabitants feel the same sense of joy, did their children run in circles through the dining room, did they place their tree in the window, too? In Victorian times did they cook a goose and send out the newly-popular Christmas cards? In wartime did they make do, mend and worry? Did the people who lived here in the sixties dance to the Ronette’s Sleigh Ride in miniskirts, like I did yesterday?
I love this time of year. So we’ll celebrate it with a parsnip cake festooned with a mulled wine drizzle.
Parsnip is wonderful in cake. It’s similar to carrot, and although similarly sweet, it brings a lovely nuttiness. I’ve used all sorts of roots in cake, from parsnip cake to Root Vegetable Waste Cake – which uses roast dinner peelings! You could also try Recipes from a Pantry’s Cassava Cake (which uses the root in a Filipino style dessert).
Get the recipe for Winter-Spiced Parsnip Cake with Mulled Wine Drizzle
- 300g raw parsnip (approx 2)
- 250g (2 ¼ cups) plain (all purpose) flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 145g ( ¾ cup) sugar
- 120ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
- 120g (1 cup) plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 140g (½ cup) butter, softened
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 250g (2 cups) powdered icing sugar
- 30ml (1/8 cup) mulled wine
- 100g (3 ½ oz) powdered icing sugar
- Edible glitter (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease 2 x 9” cake tins and line the bottom with baking parchment.
- Peel and grate the raw parsnip. (You should have about 4 cups, grated). Set aside.
- Sift the flour, bicarb of soda, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the parsnip.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, 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 30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin.
- Beat the butter until smooth, then add the milk and vanilla. Add the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
- Beat the mulled wine and icing sugar until smooth.
- Spread the completely cooled cake with the vanilla icing between layers and around the top and sides. Drizzle with the mulled wine drizzle and decorate with the edible glitter if using.
Now that we’ve finished our kitchen extension at the new house, replacing what was essentially a broom cupboard with a prehistoric oven in it, we’ve set about kitting it out.
Although my husband loves to cook, he’s allowed me free reign to decorate it as I like. My favourite colour now covers the walls and the cupboards that I’ve lusted over are installed. We’ve had to make a few compromises, but I still have my wish list of products for when we’re able to upgrade. We’ve got our old faithful fridge, but I would love to change it one day to this beautiful cream coloured Smeg fridge freezer. As for the cooker, we’ve left a space big enough in the hopes that soon we can get this lovely range cooker. I dream of having a Christmas dinner cooking (stress-free, natch) in the multiple ovens and hob rings, with Bing Crosby crooning in the background. If money were no object, I’d also treat myself to this insane Heston Blumenthal for Sage Oracle coffee machine. It would set my inner barrista free.
For now it’s back to debating the curtains for the French doors. Seriously, we are unable to make a decision on curtains. I don’t know why this is the hardest decision of all in the house! Too much choice, I despair.