Catherine Berwick's Parsnip & maple syrup cake

Catherine Berwick's Parsnip & maple syrup cake

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(145 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 45 mins


Serves 8
The winner of Good Food's 20th birthday cake competition, we think this is the new carrot cake

Nutrition and extra info

  • Unfilled sponges can be frozen


  • kcal697
  • fat41g
  • saturates22g
  • carbs79g
  • sugars52g
  • fibre3g
  • protein8g
  • salt1.12g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 175g butter, plus extra for greasing



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 250g demerara sugar
  • 100ml maple syrup
  • 3 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 250g parsnips, peeled and grated



    The fact that the parsnip is a member of the carrot family comes as no surprise - it looks just…

  • 1 medium eating apple, peeled, cored and grated



    Grown in temperate regions, apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. There are…

  • 50g pecans, roughly chopped
    Pecan nuts



    Related to the walnut, pecans are native to America, and grow enclosed in a glossy, browny-red…

  • zest and juice 1 small orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • icing sugar, to serve

For the filling

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


  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.

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

Comments (184)

noirundblanc's picture


fluffyangel007's picture

Wow is all I can say this is my new favourite cake!

pochifiochi's picture

Easy to make and the end result was wonderfully moist and light. I loved the maple mascarpone cream filling!

itsame's picture

This was one of the best cakes I've ever made! Such a great recipe. One thing, I wanted to make this again for Christmas but wondered how long it would keep for? Does anyone know? The recipe says you can freeze the cooked sponges, but how long could this last after its compiled? Any tips much appreciated! :)

sarahpatience's picture

Made this last week. i also substituted the pecans for 50g of ground almonds. this was a delicious cake, would make again.
45 mins in oven, not the 25 stated in the instructions.

pamperedfiona's picture

Would this taste awful if you left out the nuts?

suse-the-slow-knitta's picture

oops, can't spell, I meant it's delicious.

suse-the-slow-knitta's picture

absolutely deicious, will definitely make this again

philipallan's picture

First 'sponge' cake I've ever baked - and it rose beautifully! Absolutely delicious! I substituted raisins for the pecan nuts, as my wife has a minor nut allergy - and we were both delighted with the result. Only 'bind' was grating the parsnips. Took a while, but well worth it for the end result!

fletchpix's picture

Incredibly simple to make and amazing results, even for a cake novice like me. It tasted devine and was really moist. Mum and Dad, and daughters 3 and 7 all gave it 6 stars. We did reduce the amount of sugar from 250g to 175g, which didn't upset the balance of flavours at all and was sweet enough for us. Brilliant recipe!

gxf00u's picture

Was intrigued by the maple syrup/parsnip combination but for all the effort involved much prefer carrot cake!

sdavis30's picture

Every one loved this cake!!
My husband said he thought it was even better than my carrot cake.
Gave it to a little girl who was visiting as she said she hated vegetables polished the lot off.
I will be making this again for a friend for his 40th I'm sure it will be a hit.

bizzeelizzee's picture

4got to rate

bizzeelizzee's picture

my teenage ''what are parsnips?'' son enjoyed this cake so much. light and tasty texture, delicious - i ate it with less guilt as it is a 'healthy' alternative! did use less sugar though and less syrup. thanks for the recipe!

smurffiss's picture

Gorgeous, this is my favourite cake. People try it and love it that would not try if I told them what was in it before eating! Great for using the glut of parsnips in my garden!

carolecream's picture

This is th 4th time I am making this cake. I have made it as a square cake before, and iced it as a birthday cake, also made for a BBQ, and it all went before the chocolate fudge cake. Everyone who trys some likes it, and loads of peope have asked for the recipe, i love it, but my hips don't!

hollypops's picture

this cake was beautifully moist and full of texture. the flavours were gourgous!! Instead if grating the apple I cut it into small chunks instead which added a sweet crunch. A very impressive cake for very little effort. Perhaps next time I might try a maple buttercream rather than the marscapone icing.

And to all the people moaning it requires a lot of preparation then why bother making anything?! Just go to Tesco and buy ready made!!

josh-eaton's picture

I actually love this recipe, i have made this cake several times making slight changes each time to try something different, and always i have make sure that many different people try it...they have always loved it! a few people have been dubious about the 'scary' word: Parsnip! but most have enjoyed trying something different.
generally i make the icing with vanilla, not mascarpone, but that's just because i put vanilla in everything (i also splashed a bit in the cake) but when i put some in the cake i don't think that it did too much as the syrup and fruits gave it a good, warm, distinct flavour anyway.

littlemefi's picture

I made this and took it to my baby and toddler group,; it was all gone in minutes!
I used light philadelphia cheese instead of mascarpone, next time I would add less maple syrup to the filling as it was a bit too runny, but otherwise it was perfect, will definitely be making this one again, yum yum!!

hannahness's picture

Light, moist and utterly scrumptious. No complaints here!

(Also did it for 45 minutes in the oven.)


Questions (3)

Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved…

Be the first to ask a question about this recipe…

Tips (0)

Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.

Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe…