Parsnips used to puzzle me. They look like a carrot but aren’t and I never really knew what to do with them. I had them mashed once and, though memorable, I did not rush out to recreate the dish myself. The other day I used them as part of a vegetable medley along with sweet potatoes, carrots and potatoes at the base of a roasted chicken and that was nice. And then I found the ultimate use for parsnips. And so I share a recipe for Maple Parsnip Cake.
This cake is delicious! The texture resembles carrot cake – moist and dark – and the maple syrup adds sweetness that cannot be derived from sugar alone.
And so I am now left with a big decision to make. Maple Parsnip cake instead of Pumpkin Pie this Thanksgiving?
Maple Parsnip Cake
Recipe adapted from Sweet Magic: Easy Recipes for Delectable Desserts, by Michel Richard
2 cups almond meal or very finely ground almonds
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup pure maple syrup
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
6 medium parsnips, peeled and grated (about 2 cups)
½ cup toasted pecans
1. Preheat the oven to 350° and position a rack in the center. Butter the bottom of a 9-inch-round cake pan and line it with a round of parchment paper. Butter and flour the parchment paper and sides of the pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the almond meal with the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the maple syrup, butter and eggs. Beat at medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute, scraping the side of the bowl as needed. Add the reserved dry ingredients a cup at a time, mixing between each addition until just combined. When all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated, stir in the ginger and parsnips.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and scatter the pecans over the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes before unmolding. Let cool to room temperature, slice and serve.