Catherine Berwick's Parsnip & maple syrup cake

Catherine Berwick's Parsnip & maple syrup cake

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(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
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
    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.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
19th Feb, 2014
This cake is simply the best!! 5 stars out of 5!!!
19th Feb, 2014
Fabulous,, lovely and moist, wondering what it would be like with less sugar!,,
3rd Nov, 2013
In a word, stunning! Think I may even prefer this to carrot cake! Kept it in the over for an extra 10 mins just to be sure but cooked perfectly, will definitely be making this again! Just a shame maple syrup is so expensive! Anybody tried an alternative?
Rachel Ivy
2nd May, 2014
I used golden syrup, which worked fine. Can you actually taste the maple syrup in the finished cake? In my cake, the flavour of the spices was the most dominant taste.
29th Oct, 2013
I have told so many people about this cake, what really parsnip - yes it's gorgeous!!! This has to be a massive cake success and is now one of my all time favourites. Everyone who has tried it has enjoyed it, my only bug bare is having to grate the parsnips but apart from that yum!!!
16th Oct, 2013
Used magimix so was dead quick to make, but maybe could have been better done with a hand grater as veg was quite course. Have faith in the filling I didn't like the flavour on its own but in the cake it was delicious . Did take 45 -50 mins to cook. Lovely moist cake that kept for a few days in fridge.
14th Oct, 2013
Made this today for a birthday cake. I used walnuts instead of pecans and golden syrup for maple syrup. I held back some of the orange juice & zest to mix in to the filling. Made my filling with a mixture of marscapone and philadelphia cream cheese about half and half. I also made extra filling to use on the top. For the top I added a little vanilla. Before I baked this cake I read comments here that referred to baking time. I went for 180 in my fan oven and extended the time from 25mins to about 40. Have to say it is still moist but not overly so, and delicious!
30th Apr, 2013
Moist and delicious, nobody could guess what was in it they thought it was apple and cinnamon.
28th Mar, 2013
This is one of my all time favourite cake recipes. I can't wait to use it for one of my winter weddings. It is the type of cake people should try before they know what is inside it. I cannot imagine anyone not liking it!
23rd Mar, 2013
Brilliant! My Daughter helped and we made a great job of it! Maple syrup is my favourite and the addition of a one a day bonus! only used 150g of Mascapone which seems enough! Very nice! My son had 2 helping of the "Surprise Cake" (he doesn't like Parsnip's) Loved it!!!


Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...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 suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?