Sticky toffee parsnip pudding

Sticky toffee parsnip pudding

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(7 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 8 - 10

The parsnip makes the pudding extra light and soft – much like a carrot cake. Its earthy sweetness works wonderfully with the glossy caramel sauce

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving (10)

  • kcal732
  • fat45g
  • saturates27g
  • carbs75g
  • sugars57g
  • fibre3g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.4g
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  • 125g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 150g pitted good-quality dates, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 200g dark muscovado sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp treacle
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 stem ginger balls, chopped, plus 2 tbsp of the syrup
  • 300g parsnip, peeled and coarsely grated



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

For the sauce

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 200g dark muscovado sugar
  • 300ml pot double cream
  • ice cream, to serve


  1. Heat oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3 1/2 and butter and line the base of a 23cm square cake tin. In a bowl, cover the dates and bicarb with boiling water and leave to sit for 10 mins to soften, then drain and blitz to a rough paste in a food processor.

  2. Using an electric hand whisk or tabletop mixer, cream the butter with the sugar until golden and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs. Add the date paste, flour, treacle, ginger, stem ginger, syrup, parsnips and a pinch of salt. Mix to combine, and pour into the tin. Bake for 30 mins until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with only a few crumbs attached.

  3. Meanwhile, make the toffee sauce. Put the butter, sugar and cream in a saucepan with 1 tsp flaky sea salt over a gentle heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, the butter has melted and the sauce has thickened and is toffee coloured. Remove the cake from the tin and slice. Serve with the sauce and vanilla ice cream.

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Comments, questions and tips

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ecwhite's picture
7th Oct, 2019
I'm glad I read the comments and reduced the sugar in the sponge down to 125g. Actually once you think about it, there's a TONNE of fructose in the parsnips, dates & syrup so you don't miss it. I also omitted to add bicarb to the soaking dates, and added it to the sponge mix before cooking to ensure a good rise. Great tasting cake, even without the toffee sauce.
3rd Feb, 2017
Lovely, did not make the sauce as feared just too sweet for us, but we loved the sponge, parsnip is a great addition! Enjoyed with a good dollop of vanilla ice cream...wonderful, and plenty of it as well for another day!
30th Jan, 2017
Makes quite a dense sponge. I didn't have any stem ginger so added extra ground ginger. I like the idea of the parsnip in the pudding, therefore if I was to make again I would reduce the amount of parsnip to around 200g. I also found using dark muscovado sugar for the sauce made a very strong treacle like sauce. With was a little to rich. It certainly didn't look like the pale golden colour on the picture. It also seemed a little fatty, possibly too much butter in the sauce. So I would look at reducing the amount of butter and using light Muscovado sugar for the sauce. The recipe makes more than enough to service 6/8 people. So I've frozen the rest of the sponge and will just make a sauce when I next use it. Overall a nice tasting sponge, possibly a little too dense and a rather strong rich sauce. This recipe needs a few tweeks in my opinion. But worth a try.
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