Catherine Berwick's Parsnip & maple syrup cake

Catherine Berwick's Parsnip & maple syrup cake

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(180 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
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  • 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
    Maple syrup

    Maple syrup

    may-pul sir-rup

    The rising spring sap of a number of varieties of maple tree

  • 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
    Maple syrup

    Maple syrup

    may-pul sir-rup

    The rising spring sap of a number of varieties of maple tree


  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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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10th Oct, 2009
Delicious! I don't like carrot cake and I sometimes find maple syrup overpowering so I was sceptical about this but it is just lovely. My daughter is devouring it as I type! The use of mascarpone for the filling is inspired, so much tastier than just heavy cream (more delicate like a good tiramisu). I actually forgot to use the orange juice and zest so I shall be making it again just to make sure! I do not like pecans so I used 50g of ground almonds instead and the result was so moist, I would hazard a guess that it is possibly an improvement on the pecans....but that is a matter of opinion. Carrots have got no business being in cakes, but parsnips are now very very welcome!!
9th Oct, 2009
Great recipe, very moist, but although the top instructions say cook 45mins. The actual recipe says 25/30 mins. This was definitely a 45 min. Will certainly do it again.
8th Oct, 2009
just made this and its great! I would think you could use golden syrup as you heat up the butter syrup and sugar at the start - don't see why not! Fab cake - good twist on the original carrot cake.
8th Oct, 2009
can anyone tell me, is it possibble to use golden syrup in place of maple syrup? just don't like the taste of the stuff, sorry :(((((
7th Oct, 2009
My nine year old son made this cake as described for his dad who adores maple syrup and pecans. This was an easy cake to make, fantastic to look at and tasted light and full of flavour . The whole family enjoyed this cake and I have passed the recipe on to so many people who are keen to try. As long as you know people are not allergic to nuts this was fun when offering people the cake and asking them to try and recognise the flavours and texture, they were totally shocked when they learned they had eaten parsnips and it is a fabulous way to get your children to eat veg. Fantastic, well done.
29th Sep, 2009
This cake is just divine! I love cakes that use vegetable's in the recipe as they are usually so much moister - this recipe is no exception. 10/10 - Even the cat enjoyed it!


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