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Snow Day and a Parsnip Cake

January 17, 2012

Gosh, so much for weather predictions, or maybe weather predictions for micro climates.   A few inches of predicted snow turned into a foot by noon today.  I called a friend down the hill in Springdale, and he had none…as I type this it’s still snowing, and piling up.

A good day for baking.  Parsnip cake sounded good, and I’m sure Jane won’t miss a snip or two.

I saved this recipe from the newspaper last winter, and never did anything with it until this winter when Hangdog needed a dessert for his Christmas potluck at work.  I’m posting the recipe directly from the article.  I simplified it by substituting all-purpose flour for almond flour, mixing it with a spoon (no stand mixer here), and I baked it in a 9 x 13 pan.  The cake was sweet enough without frosting, so I left that part out too.  The stripped down cake is delicious, but I have no doubt if you followed the recipe exactly it just might be stupendous 🙂  Here is the original article as it appeared in The Oregonian.


Makes one 9-inch cake

To create this tender layer cake, Clyde Common pastry chef Danielle Pruett improvised on a carrot cake recipe from Sherry Yard, pastry chef at Spago in Beverly Hills. Pruett serves it with caramel sauce, candied walnuts and a gently spiced ice cream.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (such as Bob’s Red Mill brand)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded parsnips (from about 4 medium parsnips)
  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 stick)
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon rum (optional)
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center of the oven. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper; spray the parchment with nonstick spray.

To make cake: Whisk the flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend the granulated sugar, powdered sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla together on medium speed until well combined. Blend in the flour mixture on medium speed until well combined. Drizzle in the melted butter and continue mixing on medium speed until well combined. Fold in the parsnips with a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and spread evenly. Bake until a tester stick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 30 minutes. Carefully remove cakes from pans and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until well combined. Add the powdered sugar and mix until just blended, stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

Add the vanilla, lemon juice and rum, if using, and beat on low speed until just combined. Slowly mix in the cream on low speed until just combined. Once all the cream is incorporated, beat the frosting on medium-high speed for a few seconds. Use the frosting immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Allow frosting to come to room temperature before spreading.

To assemble the cake, spread cream cheese frosting between the two cake layers. Frost the sides and top. Depending on how thick you like your frosting, you will probably have anywhere from 1/3 to 1 cup left over.

Adapted from pastry chef Danielle Pruett, Clyde Common
4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2012 10:53 pm

    That sounds good!

  2. January 18, 2012 10:19 am

    I love the photo of the horse – got right in there! Thanks for sharing.

  3. January 18, 2012 8:44 pm

    Just started reading you a week or so ago. Love your blog and voice. Couldn’t believe you posted a parsnip cake recipe when I’d just dug a bunch, so I made your cake tonight. The batter (raw) is delicious and my husband loves the cake because it’s not too sweet.


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