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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7th Feb, 2012
Swapped marscapone icing for butter icing and decorated top with pecan nuts. Took it to party and have since had to print several copies of the recipe for friends! Delicious way to increase my already high intake of parsnips.
28th Jan, 2012
Quite simply the best cake I ever made! Followed the recipe exactly apart from the cooking time, it did take 45mins exactly. The cake is so moist and soft and the marscapone cheese so light. I've never really liked buttercream filling and this is so much better. My husband was amazed when I told him what was in the cake, he never would have guessed. I would recommend this to everyone to bake, it looks like something you would pay a fortune for in a really good teashop.
22nd Jan, 2012
This cake was amazing! So moist. Two finicky children and one finicky husband love it! Will make again!
14th Dec, 2011
My best "recipe" friend awarded me A* for presentation and taste for this cake, we are always swapping recipes and bring in our latest creations to work for each others opinion. This cake is so moist and will be making this one again! Thank you BBC Good Food. Great way to use a glut of parsnips given to me by another work friend. By the way, I followed the recipe to the letter, yum!
7th Dec, 2011
This was a truly delicious cake; moist, light and YUMMY! Will most definitely do again.
6th Dec, 2011
The best cake I have ever made. I took one into one and it went very quickly. Great with a cup of tea.
4th Dec, 2011
Fabulous cake, one of my all time favourites. Have also tried it with pears and walnuts when I've had to improvise and it's still delicious.
30th Nov, 2011
This cake was absolutely delicious and many people said it was the best cake they'd ever tasted! I'm making it for the 2nd time in a few weeks.
27th Nov, 2011
Took time to prepare ingredients but quick to mix together. Everyone who's tasted this has loved it. Used syrup, and although it was too sweet for me, it didn't spoil it for others. Haslenuts went down well in the cake Spreading the recipe round like confetti.
9th Nov, 2011
Loved this, made it for work (who are always interested in my vegetable cakes!) and it was gone in minutes!! Yum!


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