Parsnip Cake Recipe: our new fave for every occasion

Parsnip Cake with Cranberry-Orange Sauce

When I started making parsnip cakes about two months ago the first tests turned out so surprisingly delicious that I was tempted to hoard them. But sharing is more fun than hoarding and I couldn’t help myself from playing with the recipe and sharing each new version with the inner circle — friends, neighbours and family. This final recipe was requested right through the Christmas season and beyond and has become everybody’s new fave.  The best news is: this parsnip cake recipe for Thermomix TM5 is so versatile you can serve it all year round!

Almost guilt-free, not quite dressed, Parsnip Cake

I made several versions trying to decide which one to put on the blog… but all were so yummy that I couldn’t choose just one. Should I post the “Parsnip Cake with Candied Ginger and Buttery Peanut Frosting” recipe? Or the “Parsnip Cake with Orange Cranberry Sauce” recipe?  Hmmm….

So I’m leaving it up to you. Here is a recipe for the simplest most surprisingly more-ish of cakes. It’s not too sweet, and the earthy toothsome parsnip component balances out the “guilty pleasure” factor. Perfect! Except that this parsnip cake recipe is for a naked cake. (!) You will have to dress it yourselves ;-) Feel free to use this cake as a blank canvas for your own decadent choice of layers, frosting, and topping. Go nuts. yes, literally, add nuts. Between layers and on top. Or fruit. Or something that pleases those you love best.

Parsnip Cake with ginger peanutParsnip cake recipe with Ginger

Parsnip Cake frosting and topping tips

The recipe below is for the basic cake. Feel free to find or create your own frosting recipe, to enhance this cake the way you like it best. I enjoy it two ways:

  • with candied ginger inside the cake and peanut-buttery frosting (blend peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar and butter or coconut oil) Topped with crushed peanuts and candied ginger as in photo
  • with fresh cranberries in the cake (or craisins), and an orange cranberry sauce topping slopped over a simple cream cheese icing. I know, I know… sounds almost too decadent, but the parsnip crumb will keep you slim ;-)
  • push this parsnip cake recipe over the top: mix your own Thermomix Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting with Mara’s recipe

Parsnip cake with cranberries

5.0 from 4 reviews
Parsnip Cake Recipe: a versatile new fave for every occasion
A surprisingly delicious cake that stands out in a crowd. Includes instructions for cooks using Thermomix TM5 in USA and around the world. (tested in TM5)
Cuisine: Thermomix, American
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 150 g. (5.3 oz) dried fruit (try a combination of apricots & candied ginger, or raisins, craisins, figs, etc.)
  • 400 g. (14 oz) parsnip, cut into large chunks
  • 400 g. (14 oz) all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 250 g. (8.8 oz) sugar (Add more sugar if you have a real sweet tooth. In my house we like it like this.)
  • 200 g. (7 oz) neutral oil or coconut oil (or combination of both)
  • 100 g. ( 3.5 oz) yogurt
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Prepare 2 round cake tins (8-9 in) by greasing and flouring. (I like to add a circle of parchment in the bottom as well, it guarantees a nice finish to the cakes). Preheat oven to 175C (350F).
  2. Place dried fruit into mixing bowl and chop 5 sec/speed 5 or until well chopped. Remove from bowl and set aside.
  3. Place parsnip chunks into mixing bowl and chop 6 sec/speed 5.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, salt and mix 6 sec/REVERSE/speed 6. Remove from bowl and set aside.
  5. Without cleaning the bowl blend eggs, sugar, oil, yogurt, and vanilla and mix 10 sec/speed 7.
  6. Add half the flour and parsnip mixture and mix 6 sec/speed 4.
  7. Add remaining flour and parsnip and the chopped dried fruit. Mix 10 sec/speed 6 until fully incorporated and moistened.
  8. Fill prepared cake tins and bake approx. 35 minutes at 175C (350F) or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Allow cakes to cool, then stack them, with layer of frosting or fruit in the middle. Cover with more frosting, slice and enjoy. Share with others who will be amazed... Keeps well for 2-3 days refrigerated.

Parsnip Cake recipe with cranberries

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See 10 comments from people who cook with Thermomix:

  1. A Canadian Foodie January 13, 2016 at 10:03 am #

    This looks spectacular – brilliant idea! YUM!

  2. ThermomixBlogger Helene January 13, 2016 at 10:56 am #

    Hi Valerie — thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoy the cake but consider yourself warned… it’s a big cake!

  3. Jules
    Jules January 14, 2016 at 4:31 pm #

    I was lucky to get to try some of this amazing cake. I was lucky to try a different version with peanut butter-frosting as well and myyyyyyy was it delicious!!

  4. ThermomixBlogger Helene January 14, 2016 at 5:58 pm #

    Hi Jules, so glad you enjoyed the cake… it seems to be quite a popular recipe :)

  5. Stacey January 15, 2016 at 5:16 pm #

    This sounded insane, I thought I would have to call an intervention for Helene, but once I saw a bag of parsnips for sale in the Warehouse store, they were in the cart. I had to give it a try. I did cupcakes since I needed a desert for a party but wanted to have my cake and eat it too. Also, I don’t own any round cake tins. It’s delicious and very fragrant. Reduced cooking time to 21 mins, and subbed coconut milk + lime juice for yoghurt. Thanks Helene! Beautiful recipe and a conversation starter. Can’t wait to ice these babies.

  6. ThermomixBlogger Helene January 16, 2016 at 5:04 pm #

    LOL Stacey, your comments always make me smile :) I am thrilled that you tried this recipe and especially as cupcakes, as that’s something I’ve been meaning to do myself. Just love that you tweaked it to be dairy free tweak with the coconut milk substitution! You are right Stacey, this recipe IS a conversation starter… and perfect for those of us who are not that much into sugar. I’m not saying this cake isn’t sweet, I’m just saying that you can up the sugar level with choice of icing, or keep the sweetness turned down a notch… up to you. Thanks so much for taking time to try the recipe and for sharing your feedback :)

  7. Kalayra January 17, 2016 at 8:44 pm #

    This is a BIG CAKE!! I made this tonight and it was a fantastic and moist cake! Everybody enjoyed it. I made the buttercream recipe and it
    DID turn out beautifully :) It was a good thing I read the comments first as it seems there was some success and some misses on the swiss meringue buttercream. I think the important part was putting the bowl into the fridge once you finished the meringue part…let it get cold and then proceed to the next step by adding the cold butter. Thanks Helene!!

  8. ThermomixBlogger Helene January 18, 2016 at 5:09 pm #

    Ha – yes, Kalayra, this is indeed a BIG cake… makes for lots of sharing! I think that’s probably why I think of it as a perfect party cake :) I’m SO pleased that you were inspired to give it a whirl and also try the swiss meringue buttercream frosting. I usually just blend up some cream cheese and butter, maybe yogurt if I want it less sweet, or maybe add something sweet — I’m quite lazy that way. As long as there is some component in the icing that will help it to get a tad solid when it cools (like butter or cream cheese or coconut oil), then I’m good to go! I’m glad you found your way, thanks for your tips!

  9. Elizabeth July 4, 2016 at 4:16 pm #

    Made the cake yesterday as cupcakes (a generous 36 of them!) with addition of dried figs & glace ginger then topped with buttercream icing & a swirl of ginger marmalade added. So delicious!!
    Thanks Helene – fantastic recipe.

  10. ThermomixBlogger Helene July 4, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

    Wow Elizabeth, that’s such great feedback :) Thanks so much for taking the time to write. I LOVE this cake too! And I knew it was a BIG one, but 36 cupcakes is truly overwhelming… hope you managed to find homes for them all ;-) Best wishes and happy mixing to you. (and thanks again for visiting my blog!