Parsnip Honey Cake with Lemon Ricotta Frosting

Parsnip Honey Cake with Lemon Ricotta Frosting; this unusual cake is everything a carrot cake wants to be. It’s sweet, moist, lightly spiced and probably the best way to eat a vegetable or two!

So first things first, I am stumped today. I always thought the difference between icing and frosting was just the difference between American and English terminology but I was wrong wrong wrong! Apparently, the difference is the consistency, with icing being a thin glaze or coating while a frosting is a thicker, fluffier mixture used to top or cover cakes. Did you know that?? You learn something new every day, eh?

Aside from that, I want to muse to you about this little cake right here. I can sense your noses wrinkle and eyebrows raise at the thought of putting parsnips in a cake but please bear with me, I haven’t lost my mind.

Carrot cakes have been a stalwart of afternoon teas, coffee shop counters and supermarket cake aisles for decades. No one bats an eyelid at the prospect of a grated root vegetable in their cakes in this sense, as they hold a sense of history, using the natural sweetness of fruit and veg to make what was likely a war-time born cake more palatable. The parsnips in this cake do much the same job, adding moisture, sweetness and subtle earthy flavour to the cake. I promise it doesn’t taste like vegetables.

The gentle floral flavour of honey works so well with the pale and light sweetness of the parsnip in this cake, mingled together with subtle spices and spread lightly with a whipped tangy lemon ricotta frosting, this cake is a soft, moist mouthful of heaven. It’s also perfect for this time of year, the seasonal parsnip reminding us that the depths of winter are past, and the lemon and honey reminding us that the warmth of spring is just around the corner. Enough waxing lyrical though, this cake is the actual bomb and even parsnip haters have loved it.

I must admit I was nervous to trial this one on my work colleagues, thinking they’d resent my veggie offering, but every slice disappeared in minutes and mouths full of cake and gratitude mumbled happily to me in return. I really urge you to try this one, it’s something a little different. If you like cake, and especially carrot cake, I really think you’ll love this one as much as we did!

To make this cake, start by preheating your oven – 180 degrees for conventional ovens or 160 degrees for fan ovens – and greasing and lining two 20cm/8in round cake tins.

Place some self-raising flour, cinnamon, mixed spice, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl and mix together.

Beat some eggs, oil, sugar and honey together in a large jug until well combined and smooth. Any kind of honey will work in this recipe, I used a Rowse runny honey, just because we had it in the cupboard.

Add this wet mixture to the flour mixture and beat again until smooth.

Stir in a few handfuls of peeled and grated parsnips until well incorporated.

Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and smooth the surface out a little with a spoon or spatula. This helps ensure an even rise!

Bake in your preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted into its middle comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the tin and setting aside to cool completely on a wire rack. Meanwhile make the lovely light frosting!

To make the lemon ricotta frosting, simply place all the frosting ingredients in a large bowl and beat vigorously with an electric whisk or a regular whisk until smooth and noticeably fluffier.

The frosting may be a little too soft at this point, so feel free to chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes or so while the cakes cool until the frosting is firm enough to spread.

Once the cake is completely cool, place one half on a serving plate and spread half the frosting on top.

Place the other half of the cake on top and spread the remaining frosting in a nice big fluffy cloud on top.

I chose to drizzle mine with a little extra honey and sprinkle over a few chopped toasted hazelnuts, but feel free to decorate this lovely cake however you like!

Now it’s time to slice, serve and enjoy!

I really hope you get a chance to try out this parsnip honey cake with lemon ricotta frosting, or at least that it inspires you not to be afraid of vegetables in cakes! If my parsnip hating friends and even my fussy dad can enjoy this cake, I’m sure you will too. It also stays wonderfully moist and tasty for up to 4 days, but I won’t judge you if it doesn’t last that long!

Have you ever tried any other vegetable cakes?

See you soon for more yummy recipes!

Parsnip Honey Cake with Lemon Ricotta Frosting

Yield: 8-10 slices

Parsnip Honey Cake with Lemon Ricotta Frosting

Parsnip Honey Cake with Lemon Ricotta Frosting; this unusual cake is everything a carrot cake wants to be. It’s sweet, moist, lightly spiced and probably the best way to eat a vegetable or two!

Ingredients

    For the parsnip honey cake:
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 170ml sunflower/vegetable oil
  • 140g soft light brown sugar
  • 50g honey (any kind will work!)
  • 200g parsnips, peeled and grated
    For the lemon ricotta frosting:
  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 30g softened butter
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • Zest of ½ of or 1 whole lemon
  • Juice of ½ or 1 whole lemon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Honey and chopped nuts for decoration (optional)

Instructions

    For the parsnip honey cake:
  1. Preheat your oven – 180 degrees for conventional ovens or 160 degrees for fan ovens – and grease and line two 20cm/8in round cake tins.
  2. Place the flour, cinnamon, mixed spice, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl and mix until well combined.
  3. Beat the eggs, oil, sugar and honey together in a large jug until well combined and smooth.
  4. Add this wet mixture to the flour mixture and beat again until smooth.
  5. Stir in the grated parsnips until well incorporated.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface out a little with a spoon or spatula.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted into its middle comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the tin and setting aside to cool completely on a wire rack. Meanwhile you can make the frosting.
    For the lemon ricotta frosting:
  1. Place all the frosting ingredients in a large bowl and beat vigorously with an electric whisk or a regular whisk until smooth and noticeably fluffier.
  2. The frosting may be a little soft, so feel free to chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes or so while the cakes cool until the frosting is firm enough to spread.
  3. Once the cake is completely cool, place one half on a serving plate and spread half the frosting on top.
  4. Place the other half of the cake on top and spread the remaining frosting in a nice big fluffy cloud on top.
  5. I chose to drizzle mine with a little extra honey and sprinkle over a few chopped toasted hazelnuts, but feel free to decorate the cake however you like!
  6. Slice, serve and enjoy!

*Feel free to use carrot, turnip or any other root veg in this cake too!

http://maverickbaking.com/parsnip-honey-cake-with-lemon-ricotta-frosting/

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