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Parsnip Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

Hold the phone- a PARSNIP cake?  Like its friend the beet chocolate cake, this parsnip cake is a fun and entirely unexpected way to use fall veggies in your dessert course. With the sweet yet lemony frosting, it’s a hit! A big shout out to Punky Egan, from MATC for developing this recipe and contributing it to MACSAC’s cookbook!



For 14 Serving(s)


  • 1 2/3 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c oil
  • 2 c parsnips
  • 1 c apple
  • 1/2 c hickory nuts
  • 11 oz cream cheese
  • 11 T butter
  • 5 c powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 t lemon extract
  • dried cherries

Parsnip Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans (or substitute a greased 9 X 13 inch cake pan).
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Combine eggs, oil, parsnips, and apples in a second bowl; stir well. Stir wet mixture into dry just until they are barely combined. Stir in nuts. Divide batter evenly into pans. Bake until cake springs back when lightly touched in the center, 25-35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, and then turn cakes out of pans to cool thoroughly.
  3. To make icing, cream the cream cheese and butter. Beat in powdered sugar and lemon extract until smooth. Cut the cooled cakes in half horizontally with a long, thin, sharp knife. Frost layers to make a four-layer cake (or make a two-layer cake instead). Decorate with finely chopped nuts and/or dried cherries, if desired.

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