Move over, Carrot Cake! Here Comes the Parsnip!

Published January 23, 2014 by The Feminist


There is a new vegetable on the cake block and it is here to steal all the carrot’s glory. I am talking about the parsnip.


Yes, that weirdly white cousin of the pristine carrot.

Who would have thought this would ever happen?

Certainly not me.

For some idiotic reason, parsnips have always been associated with Medieval peasants, bumpy carriage rides and pigs rolling around in the mud (or maybe that was just me?) but the humble parsnip can actually be really regal if it is used the right way.

I might even go as far as to say that parsnips are even better than carrots, definitely when used in cakes, because parsnips provide a distinctive spiciness that your favourite carrots lack.

Conclusion? Move over, carrot cake! Because the parsnip cake is ready to be in the spot lights. This parsnip cake is even more special because I added a heavenly spiced date and walnut swirl, which gives the cake a fragrant whiff of Middle Eastern flair. Add to that the honey cream cheese frosting and you just now this cake is about to rock your world.

So, in all honesty, I believe it is time for a revolution. A Parsnip Revolution. (Just bake the cake and you’ll understand what I’m talking about)

Who is with me? 😉


Parsnip Cake with Spiced Date and Walnut Swirl and Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 150gr parsnips, grated
  • 150gr caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml Vegetable oil
  • 150gr plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the date and walnut swirl:

  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 60gr chopped walnuts
  • 75gr dried dates

For the honey and cream cheese frosting:

  • 100gr cream cheese
  • 1 ½ tbsp honey


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Make the swirl mixture, by blending the dried dates and spices together until you get a smooth paste. Stir through the chopped walnuts and set aside.
  3. Put the sugar, eggs and oil in bowl and mix on high speed until  all the ingredients are incorporated. Slowly add the flour, baking powder, salt and bicarbonate of soda and beat until everything is combined.
  4. Stir in the grated parsnips until they are evenly dispersed.
  5. Pour two third of the mixture into the prepared baking tin.
  6. Spread the date and walnut filling onto the cake batter and now carefully spoon the remaining parsnip batter on top of the date and walnut spread.
  7. Bake in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes.
  8. While the cake is cooling, make the frosting by mixing together the cream cheese and honey. It’s as easy as that.
  9. Spread the frosting onto the cake and decorate with some nuts and extra cinnamon, if you like.

21 comments on “Move over, Carrot Cake! Here Comes the Parsnip!

  • I’ve substituted parsnips for carrots in savory dishes and soups, but never thought about it as a dessert ingredient. Since I love carrot cake, I’d probably like parsnip cake. Thanks for the heads-up!

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