Parsnip cake gets to root of sweet

Posted April 24, 2009, at 6:37 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:49 a.m.

Not everybody likes parsnips but my bet is that anyone will like this parsnip cake. Some nice reader whose name became separated from the recipe shared this almost a year ago. Many thanks to you, whoever you are.

I’ll bet anything that the idea for this recipe originally came from carrot cake — both carrots and parsnips being grateable, sweet roots. If you have a favorite carrot cake recipe, you could, in fact, use parsnips in place of the carrots.

The original recipe calls for ground walnuts and I did use those, but I think you could leave them out if there is a nut allergy in your household. Typically, Jamie, my husband, said the cake would be good with raisins in it.

Of course it would.

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I like to bake cakes like this in a tube pan, because they are sweet enough. To make a layer cake with frosting between the layers and on top I think would be just a bit much. If you have a very sweet, sweet tooth, then by all means, bake them in layer pans, double the frosting recipe and slather away.

You also could increase the brown and white sugars by a quarter-cup each.

Come to think of it, these would make dandy cupcakes, too.

Send queries or answers to Sandy Oliver, 1061 Main Road, Islesboro 04848. E-mail: tastebuds@prexar.com. For recipes, tell us where they came from. List ingredients, specify number of servings and do not abbreviate measurements.

Parsnip Cake

Yield: 12-18 servings.

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup sugar

4 eggs

2½ cups shredded parsnips (3 average-size parsnips)

3/4 cup walnuts ground

1 teaspoon vanilla

milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a tube pan. Sift dry ingredients together and set aside. Beat together butter, oil and sugars. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Gradually add dry ingredients, beating, then add parsnips, nuts, and vanilla. If batter is stiff, drizzle in a little milk until the batter is soft enough to drop. Spread in the pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a tester inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.

FROSTING

1/4 cup butter, softened

4 ounces cream cheese

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat all together until smooth enough to spread.

Send queries or answers to Sandy Oliver, 1061 Main Road, Islesboro 04848. E-mail: tastebuds@prexar.com. For recipes, tell us where they came from. List ingredients, specify number of servings and do not abbreviate measurements. Include name, address and daytime phone number.

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