Parsnip and Ginger Cake

About two years ago I baked a parsnip cake for a Clandestine Cake Club meeting. I’d found the recipe in a Country Living Magazine and it was delicious. Much like carrots, parsnips add a lovely moist depth to a cake. Recently I’ve had a yearning to make parsnip cake again – mainly since I visited Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s café in Axminster. His parsnip cake was served as a dessert, it was a traybake, deliciously moist and served with salted caramel sauce and sweet parsnip crisps. Yum!

Unfortunately, I’ve mislaid my original parsnip cake recipe so in an effort to replicate something like it I’ve made three attempts! This is my most recent and the one I’ll bake again. It’s adapted from a recipe in the Riverford Farm Cook Book. I’ve added ginger to it simply because I had a jar of Marks and Spencer Crystallised Stem Ginger Curd which I’d been lured into buying at Christmas but didn’t know what to do with. The label says ‘slather on toast, brioche or croissants’ which had me drooling but as I rarely actually eat any of those it just hadn’t happened yet. I’m quite glad it was still there as it’s perfect with this cake. If you can’t buy any, I would recommend making a cream cheese topping and add some syrup from a jar of stem ginger.

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250g Butter, softened

250g Soft Brown Sugar

4 Medium Eggs and top this up to 250g with a little milk, beaten

250g Self-Raising Flour

2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger

250g Parsnips, peeled and grated


Preheat the oven to 170c and grease and line an 8” round cake tin.

Beat the butter together with the sugar until soft and creamy. Add the eggs and milk, flour and ginger beating to combine, only for a minute. Fold in the grated parsnips. Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes.

When cooked allow the cake to cool in the tin then remove and slather over your topping of choice. The ginger curd was stunning and still tastes good the next day. I served the cake with some whipped double cream with a spoonful of the ginger curd added to it. Alternatively, a spoonful of ginger curd could be added to a cream cheese frosting made with 75g cream cheese beaten together with 175g icing sugar.

Warning! This cake is extremely moreish making it very difficult to stick to the ‘one small slice’ rule 🙂

P.S. Just to make you feel better if you should break the rule (I have too) –parsnips are very nutritious. They contain vitamins from the B-complex group, vitamin C, K and E. They contain age-defying antioxidants (I feel another piece coming on) and a high mineral content.



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