Parsnip Spice Cake

Parsnip Spice Cake

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Think carrot cake, only better! Parsnip Spice Cake is moist, nicely spiced and delicious with cream cheese icing.

Parsnips add an unexpected twist to this delicious cake, and while most people don’t think of adding parsnips to baked goods, it’s just like adding grated carrots. The parsnips have a naturally sweet nuttiness that comes out when they’re cooked. This flavour is also enhanced when combined with a little sugar and plenty of spice. It’s quite lovely!

Raw parsnips stacked in a wicker basket lined with an orange checkered napkin and scattered with pinecones.

I’ve gone and made the recipe into a 3 tier cake for presentation purposes, but the recipe can be simplified by making as one 9×13 cake. I’ve included preparation and baking methods for both. However you choose to make it, you won’t be disappointed.

Tips for great cake layers:

– weigh or measure the batter into each pan for uniform baking.
– line pans with a parchment circle so the cake comes out easily.
– don’t over bake.
– allow the cake to cool completely in the pan prior to removing.
– brush the layers with simple syrup to help keep the cake moist.
– if baking and using at a later date, wrap each layer individually and freeze for up to one month.

Parsnip Spice Cake on a wooden cake stand with a wedge cut out and plated for serving.

Parsnip Spice Cake
Print Recipe
    Servings
    16-18
    Servings
    16-18
    Parsnip Spice Cake
    Print Recipe
      Servings
      16-18
      Servings
      16-18
      Ingredients
      Cake
      Simple Syrup
      Cream Cheese Icing
      Servings:
      Instructions
      Cake
      1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake pans as per option 1 or option 2 below.
      2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt.
      3. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, oil, milk and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Stir in parsnips.
      4. Option 1: Line the bottoms of 3 - 8" round cake pans with parchment and spray sides with non-stick spray. Divide batter evenly into each pan and spread out with a spatula (about 13 ounces per pan). Bake on centre rack for 17-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
      5. Remove cake from pans and peel off parchment. Brush each layer with the simple syrup. Arrange one layer on a serving plate and spread with approximately 1/4 of icing. Top with another layer and repeat with icing and top with the remaining cake layer. Ice the top, reserving a small amount of icing to fill in the layer sides. Run a bench scraper or long straight edge spatula around the outside of the cake to smear and flatten the icing into a "naked cake" look. Dust the top with cinnamon and cut into desired wedges.
      6. Option 2: Spray a 9"x13" pan with non-stick spray. Pour batter into the pan and spread out evenly with a spatula. Bake on centre rack for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Brush with simple syrup and spread evenly with frosting. Cut into desired squares and serve.
      Simple Syrup
      1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil stirring until sugar is dissolved. Once at a boil, allow syrup to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in brandy. Allow to cool completely before brushing on the cake.
      Cream Cheese Icing
      1. Beat butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, spices and vanilla. Beat until just combined. Frost cake as desired.

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      Gingerbread Roll

      Gingerbread Roll

      For me the perfect holiday roll is light chiffon gingerbread cake rolled with a cloud like brandied whipped cream, crowned with silky sweet icing and caramel drizzle. This lovely Gingerbread Roll not only signifies the holidays with its spices, but is also the perfect ending to a heavy turkey meal. With its featherlight cake and dreamy centre your guests will thank you!

      While the original recipe is not my own and pretty darn good as it is, I have made it several times and made a few adaptions along the way to suit my tastes. For my Gingerbread Roll I long ago omitted making the glacéed fruit from the original recipe, because frankly, there’s barely enough time during the holidays to get the cake done let alone fancying up the fruit. I find it quite a bit easier to dredge a cluster of fresh cranberries with sugar and place on the platter along side the roll. Simple, easy and you’ve probably already bought fresh cranberries for cranberry sauce. I’ve also omitted making the caramel from scratch and use store bought caramel sauce. For some this is sacrilege but for those who are pressed for time it’s a means to get it done with some sanity. Last week I worked 62 hours at my regular job and next week will be similar…..so in the end, something has to give. For me it’s fancy glazed fruit and homemade caramel.

      It’s important in this recipe to brush all the brandy on the cake. It seems like a lot, but it will help to keep the cake moist. Don’t worry about it being overpowering or too strong.  When combined with the cake and whipped cream it is quite subtle.  Secondly, it is important to dust the kitchen towel with plenty of icing sugar to roll up the cake. Without a good layer of icing sugar the cake tends to stick to the towel, so use a heavy hand here. The icing can also be made up to a week ahead and frozen. When ready to ice the cake, simply thaw completely and re-whip to fluff it up. The whole roll can be made up to one day ahead as well. Cover well and keep chilled.

      What I want people to see is a first rate dessert that doesn’t wear them down, because it is a lovely roll that is absolutely worth making. This Gingerbread Roll is one of my favourites because it’s light, festive and perfumed with ginger and allspice, making it the perfect addition to my holiday table.

      Recipe Source: Adapted slightly from Epicurious Gingerbread Roulade with Caramel and Glacéed Fruits

       

      Gingerbread Roll
      Print Recipe
      Light chiffon cake rolled with brandied whipped cream, crowned with a silky sweet icing and caramel drizzle.
        Servings
        10 people
        Servings
        10 people
        Gingerbread Roll
        Print Recipe
        Light chiffon cake rolled with brandied whipped cream, crowned with a silky sweet icing and caramel drizzle.
          Servings
          10 people
          Servings
          10 people
          Ingredients
          Cake
          Filling
          Icing
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          Cake
          1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Spray a 15 1/2" x 10 1/2" x 1" baking sheet with non stick spray and line pan with parchment paper. Whisk together egg yolks, sugar and ginger until light and tripled in volume, approximately 5 minutes. Add butter, molasses, and vanilla, whisking to combine. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Fold sifted ingredients into egg yolk mixture until just combined. Do not over mix.
          2. Using a separate clean bowl beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add 2 tbsp of sugar and continue to beat until egg whites are just stiff. Add approximately 1/3 of the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture and fold in gently. Fold in another 1/3 of egg whites until just combined. Repeat folding with the remaining 1/3 of egg whites. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading gently but evenly. Bake in preheated oven on middle rack for approximate 13 minutes until a tooth pick comes out clean. Do not over bake.
          3. Spread out a clean kitchen towel and dust generously with icing sugar. Loosen edges of cake and carefully invert cake onto towel. Remove parchment paper and brush cake generously with brandy. Roll warm cake in the towel starting at the long end. Tuck in ends of towel and allow cake to cool in towel.
          Filling
          1. Whisk together heavy cream, sour cream, brown sugar and brandy until stiff. When cake has completely cooled, unroll and spread filling evenly over surface. Reroll cake without the towel and place on serving platter with seam side down. Cover and refrigerate while icing is prepared.
          Icing
          1. In a small sauce pan combine brown sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla. Heat over medium heat until sugar has dissolved and the mixture begins to simmer. Remove from heat and allow to chill completely in the refrigerator or freezer, stirring once or twice.
          2. While mixture is chilling, beat together butter, icing sugar, allspice and ginger until light and fluffy. Gradually add chilled cream mixture and continue to beat until combined and fluffy.
          3. Evenly spread icing onto cake and drizzle with caramel sauce. Chill cake for at least 2 hours. To serve, cut into thick slices on a slight angle and serve with extra caramel sauce.