Parsnip, orange and ginger cake
Parsnip, orange and ginger cake
Course: Desserts

When it comes to vegetables in cakes, carrots tend to get all the love but parsnips deserve just as much attention. Sweet and earthy with a subtle woody fragrance, this is a true autumnal cake with the grated parsnips  keeping this loaf perfectly moist. The parsnip crisps will make more than you need but they make such a moreish snack, I won’t be offended nor surprised if none of them actually make it onto the cake. 

Benjamina demonstrated this delicious recipe on the Get Baking! Stage at the BBC Good Food Show Winter 2022.

Serves: 8
Cooks in: Preparation Time: 20 mins, Cooking Time: 1 hr 10 mins, plus cooling
Difficulty: Hard


For the parsnip crisps: 
1 parsnip 
1 tsp olive oil 
2 tsp maple syrup or honey 

For the cake: 
160g light brown sugar 
160ml sunflower or vegetable oil 
1 orange, zest 
2 large eggs 
200g parsnips, grated 
210g plain flour 
1 ½ tsp baking powder 
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 
1 tsp ground ginger 
¼ tsp ground cloves 
60g roughly chopped walnuts, + extra to top 

For the glaze: 
60g icing sugar 
Juice of ½ an orange 


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/ gas 4 . Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and grease and line a 900g loaf tin. 
  2. Start by making the parsnip crisps. Use a mandolin or potato peeler to thinly slice the parsnip. Place them on the baking tray and drizzle with the oil, maple syrup and pinch of salt. Toss them with your hands to make sure all pieces are coated and lay them out evenly, so they don’t overlap. 
  3. Bake for 15 – 20 mins, turning once halfway. Keep a close eye on them as they can catch quite easily. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  4. For the cake, mix the sugar, oil and orange zest together in a bowl. Beat in the eggs and stir until smooth before mixing in the grated parsnips.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and cloves. Add this into the wet ingredients and mix gently until just combined before stirring in the chopped walnuts.  
  6. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 45-50 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for 15 mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. To make the glaze mix the icing sugar and orange juice in a small bowl until smooth. You want it to be a thick but pourable consistency. Add a little more icing sugar if it’s too thin or a bit more orange juice if it’s too thick.
  8. Once the cake is completely cool, pour the glaze on top, letting it drip down the sides. Top with the parsnip crisps and extra chopped walnuts before serving.