Catherine Berwick's Parsnip & maple syrup cake

Catherine Berwick's Parsnip & maple syrup cake

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(152 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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25th Jun, 2012
I typed in gluten free cake and this recipe came up but it does not mention gluten free flour. Has anyone done it gluten free?
21st Jun, 2012
I took this cake to work and everyone liked it, particularly the men for a change. However, somebody said 'It's very nice - but I like your carrot cake better.' So I don't think I'll bother making this one again, unless I have an assistant for the prep. All that peeling, grating, chopping and zesting put a damper on my enthusiasm!
9th May, 2012
Made this for my daughter's birthday. Everyone loved it. Will definitely make again.
5th May, 2012
Even the fussiest eaters in my family loved this cake!
5th May, 2012
Even the fussiest members of my family loved this cake!
8th Apr, 2012
LOVE this recipe! Made it for Easter 2012 and it went down a treat. We made it with gluten free flour as my daughter is coeliac and it turned out just as well as the 'normal' alternative (we used dove's farm SR for anyone who'd like to know). The cake was quite dense but we liked it like that as it was sticky and delicious. And the filling - YUM. I will be baking this again and again and would urge everyone to give it a go. The only thing my mum could comment on was that I should have iced it on the top and sides as well as the middle!
7th Apr, 2012
Really lovely moist cake... had to cook it a bit longer, used cream cheese as no mascapone, worked very well..... one of the nicest cakes I've made from GOODFOOD, defo make it again.
20th Mar, 2012
This cake is lovely and not at all parsnippy. I would however, say that it can serve way more than 8 portions (more like 16) because it is dense (in a good way) and the marscapone filling is rich (and gorgeous). I also "dressed" it with some piped filling mixture and whole pecans before dusting... it looks rather pro, even if I do say so myself!
14th Mar, 2012
Kids loved it!!!
11th Mar, 2012
yummy! came out a lot darker than the picture and took at least 45mins in the oven but definitely worth waiting for. the cream filling is particularly good, will definitely use again for other cakes.


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