Parsnip Cake Recipe with Maple Syrup

Parsnip and maple syrup cake

  • serves 8
  • Easy

This impressive cake recipe is super moist, delicious and easy to make. Make extra crisps to nibble with drinks


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



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


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


  • soft cheese 300g
  • maple syrup 2 tbsp


  • 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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Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 549
  • Fat 36g
  • Saturates 18.7g
  • Carbs 44.6g
  • Sugars 16.3g
  • Fibre 4.4g
  • Protein 9.4g
  • Salt 1.3g