I've always loved sweet recipes that incorporate vegetables or fruit into the bake, adding a natural earthiness and helping to keep a cake moist.
I was surprised to find parsnip cake on a recent visit to Borough market and although I've tried carrot cake, courgette muffins and dark chocolate beetroot cake, I'd never thought of using parsnips.
So this cake recipe contains the same base as my tangy carrot cake but I've spiced it up and substituted the carrots for parsnips and apple which give the cake a wonderfully deep earthy flavour- accompanied by a sweet maple syrup and cream cheese frosting.
It's a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea away from the snowy January weather.
200ml sunflower oil or any vegetable oil
200g light brown muscovado sugar
1tbsp maple syrup
225g gluten-free self raising flour
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp mixed spice
3 small parsnips
1 eating apple
50g slightly salted butter
150g icing sugar
225g philadelphia or any cream cheese
2tbsp maple syrup
Preheat your oven to 190 degrees C.
Whisk together the sunflower oil and light brown muscovado sugar and then slowly add in your eggs, whisking between each addition.Whisk in the maple syrup.
Next measure out your flour, spices and salt and mix them into the wet ingredients.
Once fully incorporated, peel and deseed your apple and the parsnips, cutting the ends off each parsnip.
Grate your parsnips and apple and add to the mixture, stirring thoroughly and pouring into two greased and lined cake tins.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 mins and then cool the cakes on wire racks.
To make the frosting, whisk together the icing sugar, butter and cream cheese.
Spread a thin layer of frosting on the bottom half of the cake and then sandwich the two halves together. Swirl the remaining frosting generously on top of the cake and then drizzle over the maple syrup.
Eddie couldn't sit still with all this snow- he was super excited!