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Spiced Parsnip Cake with Pecans

Spiced Parsnip Cake with Pecans

Move over carrot cake! The parsnip has arrived and wants some of the action. Good, fresh, firm parsnips have a wonderful, natural sweetness that makes them ideal in baked desserts. Read on for this inspired recipe that will have you singing the praises of parsnips.

This cake is delicious with a traditional glaze or frosting, but if you’re running short of time, serve it with a warm fruit compote or applesauce. This recipe calls for mace, which is the dried and powdered outer surface of nutmeg. Mace has a wonderful, nutty flavor, like nutmeg—and it has a brighter, zestier edge that won’t fade during baking. A touch of mace adds complexity to the warm, familiar spiciness of cinnamon. If you cannot find mace, you can substitute 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg.

Butter for greasing the baking pan
2 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground mace
1 ¼ cups Sucanat (as a wholesome alternative to refined sugar, read more about natural sweeteners here.)
¾ cups organic butter softened
½ cup mild vegetable oil
4 eggs, at room temperature
3 cups peeled and grated raw parsnips (about 3 large parsnips)
1 ½ cups finely chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly coat a 10-inch Bundt pan or tube pan with butter.

2. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and mace.

3. In another bowl, combine the Sucanat, butter and oil; beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add one egg and beat well. Add about one-quarter of the flour mixture and beat well. Repeat the process until all of the eggs and flour mixture are used and well combined.

4. Stir in the parsnips and pecans.

5. Pour the batter into the pan and bake until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about one hour.

6. Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the cake from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Read more: Food, All recipes, Desserts, , , , ,

Adapted from Farmer John's Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables by Farmer John Peterson and Angelic Organics (Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2006).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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Farmer John's Cookbook

The Real Dirt on Vegetablesbuy now


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8:57PM PDT on Apr 23, 2013

Intriguing and marvellous.

5:25AM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

What an amazing recipe, can't wait to give it a try...thank you!

6:30AM PDT on Oct 1, 2011

Great recipe. Thanks.

6:13AM PDT on Oct 1, 2011

Fabulous, thanks so much!

11:40PM PDT on Sep 30, 2011

I think this cake has too high of a fat content. Love to see a healthier version!

10:27PM PST on Feb 3, 2008

What a terrific cake. I wasn't sure about the cup measurements (being USA) but it turned out lovely and I put an orange frosting on it and everybody love it.

6:10PM PST on Feb 3, 2008

Mum made this and it's a very yummy cake.

6:14AM PST on Jan 27, 2008

mmmm yummy

6:25AM PST on Jan 18, 2008

American cup measure sets are available in UK shops and online. They're actually quite convenient to use.

5:22AM PST on Jan 18, 2008

Funny how supermarket checkout staff have a hard time recognizing parsnips, rutabagas, turnips. Haven't tried them with endives,chicory or artichokes yet. I'm off to buy the parsnips. We have tons of pecans here in SC.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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