Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lydia DeGaris-Pursell
18 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

One way to make certain you get your veggies is to put them in a cake. Just like carrots do for carrot cake, parsnips make this aromatic spice cake moist.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare cake, preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Place the parsnip in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer over medium heat 20 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Step 3

Place the parsnip, 1 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, 5 tablespoons butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a food processor, and process until smooth, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. With the processor on, slowly add apple juice through the food chute, processing until well combined. Place the parsnip mixture in a large bowl.

Step 4

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and 3/4 cup milk alternately to parsnip mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour batter into 2 (9-inch) round cake pans lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

Step 5

To prepare icing, combine 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup milk, 2 tablespoons butter, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer until slightly thick (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; beat with a mixer at medium speed until icing is smooth and only slightly warm. (Icing will continue to thicken as it cools.)

Step 6

Place 1 cake layer on a plate. Working quickly, spread the layer with half of the icing, and top with the remaining layer. Spread the remaining icing over the top layer, and sprinkle with toasted pecans. Cool to room temperature. Store cake loosely covered in the refrigerator.

Ratings & Reviews

CyanEclipse's Review

January 26, 2010
This is a pretty good cake. It's wicked dense and I wonder if that might be helped by using cake flour or sifting the regular flour. The cake is mildly spicy and I didn't think I tasted the parsnips at all. I struggle with icing, so I used a commercial buttercream frosting. I think the icing recipe that goes with the cake would be better. Overall, it was a good way to use up the boat load of parsnips furnished by my CSA farm share.

EsterGold's Review

December 13, 2009
This cake tastes good but the texture is literally too spongey. The batter was too thick and gooey so I added more milk to it. Next time, I will add an egg. The cake needs to be 'fluffier', lighter. I served it with pomegranate seeds. It's a nice autumn coffee cake.

petservant50's Review

December 31, 2008
This cake was terrible. I could taste the parsnips, which have a very nasty flavor. I made it in a bundt pan, baked it until a toothpick came out clean, however it managed to be both tough and dense. Took it to a potluck and wanted to put it in the garbage after I tasted it.