Carrot-Parsnip Cake

Carrot-Parsnip Cake

Adapted from Diane Morgan's Parsnip Cake recipe in her cookbook, Roots, this easy and delicious cake is full of subtle surprises. It's surprisingly light, toothsome, and not overpoweringly sweet, with crunch from walnuts and an enhanced nut-based umami from the addition of (optional) walnut oil. Make it with overwintered carrots if available for optimum flavor.

Yield: One, 9-inch diameter circular frosted cake. Serves 6.

Time to make: 45 minutes plus 50 minute oven dwell.

Tools needed: Stand mixer with paddle blade, or a large bowl and hand-held mixer. 2 additional large bowls. Box grater or food processor with grating attachment. 9 inch diameter circular cake pan. Bakers parchment. Kitchen scale or measuring cups and spoons. Silicone spatula. Cooling rack. Offset frosting spatula.

For Cake

1 cup (255 grams) Corona Blend flour (see notes, below)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon xanthan gum or Psyllium husk powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Unsalted butter for greasing baking pabn
1 1/2 cups (170 grams) grated carrots (see notes, below)
1 1/2 cups (170 grams) grated parsnips (see notes below)
1/2 cup (43 grams) sweetened dried coconut flakes
1/2 cup (57 grams) chopped walnuts
1/4 cup (42 grams) golden raisins
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) canola oil (see notes below)
1/4 cup (60 ml) walnut oil (see notes below)
2 large eggs


For Corona Blend instructions, click HERE.

Grating carrots and parsnips is OK on a box grater, though I invariably nick a thumb and have to slap on a bandage in mid-prep. A food processor with grating blade is faster and safer.

Oils: Walnut oil is optional. If preferred, use 120 Ml (1/2 cup) of canola oil instead.

For Frosting

one, 8-ounce package of full-fat cream cheese at room temperature
1 stick (114 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (100 grams) confectioners sugar
1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice


1) Heat oven to 350. Grease the insides of the baking pan with the unsalted butter. Line the bottom and sides with bakers parchment, making sure the parchment sides are at least 3 inches tall. Grease the parchment with the butter.

2) In a large bowl, add the Corona Blend, the baking powder, the baking soda, the cinnamon, the xanthan gum or psyllium husk powder, the salt and the nutmeg. Whisk well to combine. In a separate large bowl, add the grated carrot, the grated parsnip, the coconut, the walnuts and the raisins and stir well to combine.

3) In a third large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle blade, add sugar and oils and mix on medium speed until smooth, 2 - 3 minutes. (Hint: Increase mixer speed slowly to avoid wearing the oil.) Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each until smooth. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Add the carrot mixture and fold in gently until evenly mixed.

4) Transfer batter to the pan and smooth with the spatula. Bake cake for 40 - 50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove to a cooling rack. After 15 minutes, gently remove the edge parchment. Invert the cake over the cooling rack and remove pan. Remove parchment. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.

5) To make frosting: Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with a hand mixer or the bowl of stand mixer with a paddle blade, on medium speed, until it is smooth. Add butter and beat until smooth and evenly distributed. Add lemon and sugar and beat on medium-high until fluffy. Use the offset frosting spatula to evenly cover the cake.