Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tropical Parsnip Cake

So... cake probably isn't the first thing you think of when you hear "parsnips". 
Am I right?
I mean... parsnips are all "look at me I'm a long tuberous root vegetable" .... not exactly dream dessert material.
That is.... until now.
Now you can take their pale little bodies of oddness and turn them into cake. 
Cake is always good.

Tropical Parsnip Cake

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2/3 cup coconut flakes
2/3 cup craisins
2 1/2 cups grated parsnip
2 cups pineapple tidbits, drained

1 brick cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups icing sugar

24 pecan halves 
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 X 13 pan with cooking spray, set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, applesauce, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla until well combined.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut flakes, and craisins. 

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just mixed. Stir in the parsnips and pineapple, again, until just mixed. 
Spread into prepared pan.

Bake in 350 oven until top is well browned and  toothpick inserted near center comes out clean, about 45 - 55 minutes.

Let cool on cooling rack before frosting.
Prepare frosting: In a mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until creamy and smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat in icing sugar until you reach the proper consistency for spreading. (*If it is too thick you may need to add a bit of milk to thin or more icing sugar to thicken*)
You can either frost the top of the cake in the 9 X 13 pan OR run a spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake and then invert the cake onto a serving platter and then frost the top and sides of  the cake. (I did the latter.)

I decorated my cake with the 24 pecan halves so it would be easier to cut 24 pieces of cake the same size. I also sprinkled about 1/4 cup chopped pecans on top (basically because I'm terrible at frosting cakes and sprinkling them with nuts covers all mistakes.)
Of course, the pecans are optional. 

In case you haven't guessed it yet... this parsnip cake is just a different take on a carrot cake. 
A deliciously different take. 
A few notes:
I used toasted coconut AND regular coconut (that's why it look odd in the photo up above of the ingredients).
Don't like craisins, use raisins.
Don't like cream cheese frosting (umm...what? Is that even possible?) then use a vanilla buttercream or a browned butter buttercream.
Don't have coconut oil, use regular oil.
We hope you give it a try - especially if you are looking for something a little different! It's a moist, dense, delicious dessert that will have everyone asking for the recipe. 
Be sure to check out these fantastic linky parties - Ms. enPlace, The Chicken Chick, Flamingo Toes,


  1. Parsnip - very interesting! Cake looks delicious and very moist. Stopping by from Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Would love for you to stop by my baking blog to say hello!

  2. I am intrigued, I love parsnips but have never had them in a cake before. I can't wait to try your recipe. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  3. Parsnips are so...ugly. This cake is not. Clever idea to use 24 pecans as a guide for portioning the cake. And hiding mistakes.
    BTW, making your butter pecan oatmeal in the morning.
    Thanks for sharing!