Catherine Berwick's Parsnip & maple syrup cake

Catherine Berwick's Parsnip & maple syrup cake

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(132 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 45 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 8

The winner of Good Food's 20th birthday cake competition, we think this is the new carrot cake

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Unfilled sponges can be frozen
Nutrition info

Nutrition

kcalories
697
protein
8g
carbs
79g
fat
41g
saturates
22g
fibre
3g
sugar
52g
salt
1.12g

Ingredients

  • 175g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 250g demerara sugar
  • 100ml maple syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 250g parsnips, peeled and grated
  • 1 medium eating apple, peeled, cored and grated
  • 50g pecans, roughly chopped
  • zest and juice 1 small orange
  • icing sugar, to serve

For the filling

  • 250g tub mascarpone
  • 3-4 tbsp maple syrup

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Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease 2 x 20cm sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Melt butter, sugar and maple syrup in a pan over gentle heat, then cool slightly. Whisk the eggs into this mixture, then stir in the flour, baking powder and mixed spice, followed by the grated parsnip, apple, chopped pecans, orange zest and juice. Divide between the tins, then bake for 25-30 mins until the tops spring back when pressed lightly.
  2. Cool the cakes slightly in the tins before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely. Just before serving, mix together the mascarpone and maple syrup. Spread over one cake and sandwich with the other. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2009

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Comments

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magrat3d's picture
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I brought this cake in to the local primary school to see if the children could identify the parsnip as they are studying vegetables for the harvest. Not one person could think of what it was made with. I didn't add nuts as I was bringing it into a school. Nearly everyone liked the cake and I will definitely be making it again.

riawilson's picture

A very easy cake to make - very moist! I used golden syrup instead of maple syrup and everyone loved it.

FlourCoveredGirl's picture
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Have baked this recipe twice now (to the overwhelming appreciation of friends and colleagues). Once as a full size cake (it took 45 mins in the oven as otherwise also suggest), and then as 18 x muffins.
Both were excellent. The muffins looked superb (cooked without cases in a silcone tray so the edges did not go crusty, and had straight rather than sloping sides of the metal tins). With a neat dollop of the marscapone on the top, a very light sprinle of cinnamon, and half a pecan, they looked very professional, and were equally good as a cake with a nice cup of tea, or as a dessert.
There are various grades of maple syrup available, and I found the lighter (and cheaper) version was better suited to this cake as it was not so overwhelming.

This is a dense cake recipe, but very lovely indeed. Definitely comparable to a good carrot cake, and quite a 'comforting' experience to both make and eat.

BTW, I can concurr that no one can tell what the magic ingredient is!

megamuffin89's picture
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Amazing! Made this as a birthday cake for my Dad. It was very moist and tasty! After baking in the oven for the recommended time it was nowhere near ready - i would suggest baking for about 40-45 minutes as many have already said, and don't worry about the rapidly darkening colour of the tops of the cakes - its nowhere near burning!

Great recipe!

eforsey's picture
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This is, without a doubt, the best cake I have ever made or tasted. I am not very good at baking but this recipe never lets me down. Admitedly, all the grating involved is a little hard work but it's well worth the (husbands!) effort. I have made this cake several times, mostly for a special occasion and the compliments I receive are heart warming.

terrybrooks's picture
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I did not have an orange so I left out the zest and added about a 1\4 cup of mango and apple juice that I had in the fridge. Next time I will use cream cheese instead of the marscapone . This is possibly one of the most delicious cakes I have ever eaten. A REAL winner !

schizofish's picture
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Used this recipe as a base - my family wanted to try something we had seen on TV, a maple and bacon cupcake. We used this recipe, just swapped out the pecans (which none of us like) for finely chopped crispy bacon. It actually worked quite well - very interesting, not too sweet and quite subtle. Husband insisted buttercream icing, after tasting we think a cream cheese topping would have worked better. Will make both versions again. :)

sophieredican's picture

Not sure if I did something wrong but mine came out far too wet. Not very nice texture because it's so wet but tastes nice although far too sweet. I used honey instead of Maple Syrup for economy reasons. Instead of grating the parsnips and apples I just blitzed them in a food processor without peeling them - took seconds!

kibwito's picture
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One of the best cakes I've had, ever! and from the amount of compliments other people seem to agree.

Forgot the pecans but absolutely yummy.

Don't like mascarpone so used a mix of 25g butter, 100gish of soft cheese, tbspn maple syrup, a little lemon zest and juice and icing sugar (to make up to whatever texture you like) for the icing and filling.

wartski's picture
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I've made this recipe twice now for special occasions and it has gone down very well. Delicious and very moist.

chez-ray's picture
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Truly exceptional cake which I made for my wife's birthday. Everyone at the party enjoyed it and not a crumb was left.

leppie's picture
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Made this with two four year olds who loved the fact that there parsnips and apples in it. The cake turned out beautifully and was delicious. It froze/defrosted well too. Next time I think I will use cream cheese and lemon instead of mascarpone and maple for a slightly tangier flavour. Three people have asked me for the recipe so it's a winner!

anniefiddle's picture
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Six months after making this for my work colleagues, it still gets talked about every time cakes come out.

plushthebear's picture
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Forgot to say -

As the cake is too much to eat very quickly, I only put the filling over half the cake. Keep the rest in the fridge for when you want to eat the other half. This way the filling stays nice and fresh for the second half, and the cake doesn't get all soggy.

plushthebear's picture
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I have made this cake several times now, and it is a family favourite. I would give it more than 5 * if I could.

I always pick out the very baby parsnips, and never grate the very core. (Yes I know I am fussy). If I run out of pecans, I use walnuts.

It seems that whenever I make this cake there is more mixture than will go into 2 x 20cm sandwich tins, so I now leave out the apple - at least it doesn't go over the top now. Nobody had noticed the lack of apple, so hasn't spoilt the taste, and is still nice and moist.

rosie1066's picture

THIS CAKE IS ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS, I DEFY ANYONE TO REALISE THAT THERE IS PARSNIPS IN IT, GO ON GIVE IT A TRY IT IS WELL WORTH IT.

fubitzmum's picture
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Made it exactly to the recipe. Don't like parsnips much but liked the idea of a healthier veg cake! There was a LOT of parsnips going in to this so was really unsure about it. Peaked in the oven at 25 mins past and decided this was going to be horrible. Cooked in 30mins cooled and made the filling. Gave 2 slices to Dad to take home to try. Had tea then dished it up and it has to be the nicest cake I have ever eaten. Delicious. Then the phone rang, Dad and Mum just trying theirs and had to let me know it was so nice. Recipe will be dished out to all and I will definitely make this again. Unbelievable and highly recommend!

thegrantgrants's picture
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Absolutely delicious! I hate grating fruit and veg and it takes some time (I think the prep took me nearer to 40 mins than the 20 mins stated), but for once it is definitely worth it - and actually once all the ingredients prep is done, it is a very easy recipe. My friends were full of praise for it - the sweetness from the parsnips and maple syup is quite subtle resulting in a lovely moist cake but not overly sugar-y.

woodcon's picture

Typed in Parsnip and got this recipe, had all ingredients (amazingly).
Wow, it was fantastic , took it to work and was gone in a flash !!
Making it again tomorrow for those who missed out.

flare222's picture
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This got great reviews from the people I fed it to at work - I had to substitute Maple Syrup for Golden Syrup, as I think everywhere was sold out after Pancake Day, but it came out wonderfully sticky and delicious! I'm making again this weekend!

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