During my first few weeks into lockdown I received a veg box which included a couple of parsnips. Feeling uninspired I couldn't think of a meal to make with them and so I decided to think about baking instead. I had seen a parsnip cake recipe many years ago which I meant to make but didn't get round to it. Being my usual self rather than just make the recipe I decided to come up with my own. I was given a tin of Canadian maple syrup a few months ago and though it would be great to use it for the recipe given it pairs so well with parsnips. A parsnip loaf isn't as moist as a carrot or courgette cake which is why the frosting is essential. Taking a leaf out of carrot cakes I decided to top the loaf with a cream cheese frosting which does not disappoint. A parsnip loaf is a perfect way to use up parsnips and makes a great afternoon treat!
Serves 12 Hands-on Time 20 minutes Baking Time 60 minutes
Ingredients 120ml Oil (plus extra for greasing) 3 Parsnips 120ml Maple syrup 2 Eggs, large 200g Self-raising flour 1/4 tsp Salt 1 1/2 tsp Mixed spice 75g Walnuts, chopped 50g Unsalted butter (softened) 80g Cream cheese 70g Icing sugar Equipment 2lb Loaf tin Scissors Baking parchment Vegetable peeler Coarse grater Bowl Large mixing bowl Whisk Spatula Skewer or cake tester Wire rack Electric whisk Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C(Fan)/ 325°F/Gas mark 3. Lightly grease the loaf tin with oil. Cut a strip of baking parchment to line the sides and bottom of the tin, allow some overhang to help you lift the bread out when it has baked. Peel the parsnips. Using the coarse grater, grate the parsnips over a bowl. You want around 220 grams (it doesn’t matter if you are a little under).
In a large bowl combine the 120ml of oil and maple syrup followed by the eggs.
Add the flour, salt, and mixed spice and give another stir.
Add the grated parsnips and walnuts and stir until combined.
Transfer the mixture into the lined loaf tin and spread out so it’s as level and flat as possible.
Pop the tin into the oven onto a middle shelf and bake for 60 minutes. When the loaf is cooked remove the tin from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes.
Lift the bread out of the tin using the parchment and rest on a wire rack until it completely cooled.
When you’re ready to ice the loaf add the butter to a clean mixing bowl. Beat using an electric whisk for a couple of minutes before adding the cream cheese.
Add the icing sugar and carefully stir before beating until combined and you have a thick frosting.
Dollop the cream cheese on top of the loaf and spread out using a spatula.
You can either serve immediately or pop the cake in the fridge to set the frosting.