This parsnip cake recipe is adapted from Darina Allen's book Grow, Cook, Nourish (£30, Kyle Books).

Looking for other veggie cake recipes? Make our avocado and courgette cake and chocolate courgette cake.


  • 250g self raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 175g unsalted butter, plus extra for the tin
  • 100ml maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 250g parsnips, peeled and grated
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and grated
  • 50g pecans or hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 small orange, zested and juiced


  • 1 large parsnip, peeled
  • for deep frying sunflower or groundnut oil
  • sea salt flakes


  • 300g soft cheese
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and butter and line the bases of two deep 20cm sandwich tins with baking paper. Put the flour, baking powder and mixed spice into a large bowl.

  • STEP 2

    Melt the butter and maple syrup in a pan over a gentle heat, then cool slightly. Whisk the eggs into the mixture, then stir into the bowl containing the flour. Add the parsnips, apple, chopped nuts, orange zest and juice. Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 35-40 minutes or until just starting to shrink from the sides of the tin. Turn out and cool on a wire rack.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, make the parsnip crisps. Slice the parsnip into wafer-thin rounds or peel off long slivers lengthways with a peeler. Leave to dry out on kitchen paper for 30 minutes.

  • STEP 4

    Fill a pan no more than 1/3 full with oil and heat to 150°C or until a cube of bread browns in 1 minute. Drop a few slivers of parsnip at a time into the hot oil – they will colour and crisp up very quickly. Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle lightly with salt.

  • STEP 5

    To make the filling, mix together the soft cheese and maple syrup. Spread over the base of one cooled cake and the top of the other. Sandwich together. Decorate the top of the cake with parsnip crisps.

Recipes extracted from Grow, Cook, Nourish by Darina Allen (£30, Kyle Books). Photographs by Clare Winfield.

Recipes extracted from Grow, Cook, Nourish by Darina Allen (£30, Kyle Books)

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