Parsnip cake

By Annegret Henninger
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A subtle and tame flavour that’s way more interesting than plain ol’ vanilla cake.



For the cake:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups packed grated parsnip (about 3 medium sized parsnips)

For the icing:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 3 teaspoons whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • Chervil, grated nutmeg, or roasted halved hazelnuts to add decoration on the icing


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease two mini loaf pans. If slanted, it should measure 3” by 5.75” at the top- otherwise approximately 2.5” by 5.5” will do nicely.
  2. Mix together the flour, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon and salt and sift them together. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs, oil, grated ginger and vanilla extract until homogenous.
  4. Mix the parsnip into the egg mixture, then fold in the dry ingredients.
  5. Pour the batter into the loaf pans 75% to the top and bake for approximately 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let loaves cool on a wire rack.
  6. To make the icing, use the standing mixer and whisk attachment on medium-fast speed to beat the butter, icing sugar, milk, maple syrup and almond extract until fluffy.
  7. Once the cake is cool, ice it with the icing and decorate with the chervil, grated nutmeg or roasted halved hazelnuts.


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