if you could smell my kitchen now....

it smells spicy and sweet and if the ginger parsnip creation lasts long enough to be photographed, I'll be surprised.

This month's Sugar High Friday is hosted by Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast and the main ingredient is ginger.... Even though entries aren't due for a while yet, when I found this recipe I couldn't wait to make it...

Get out your grater and make one of these little dandies...

J. Hough

For the cake...
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon plus
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 cups (packed) shredded peeled parsnips (about 3 large)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped

For the frosting....
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
3 cups (about 12 ounces) powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Combine flour, sugar, ground ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon salt, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves in large bowl; whisk to combine. Whisk eggs, oil, milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in medium bowl to combine. Pour egg mixture over dry ingredients; stir until just combined. Stir in parsnips and walnuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack.Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in fresh ginger and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until frosting is smooth. Spread over cake. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

A little about parsips...
Parsnips have been cultivated by humans for at least 2,000 years. In ancient times parsnips and carrots were often referred to by the same name (pastinaca was used by Pliny to describe both). The writings of Apicius Parsnips have been cultivated by humans for at least 2,000 years. In ancient times parsnips and carrots were often referred to by the same name (pastinaca was used by Pliny to describe both).
For centuries in Europe they were a ubiquitous and nutritious staple food. Before sugar was widely available parsnips were used to sweeten dishes such as cakes and jams. Their popularity declined following the introduction of the potato, and this decline continued as sugar became more readily available. The parsnip is now not commonly eaten outside N. European countries.


I omitted the walnuts when I baked this cake as I am not a big fan...as you would imagine, there are many things you could add to this cake to personalize it to your tastes...raisins for example. I thought this cake was excellent - it's moist, the parsnips bake nicely...they have a little bite to them without being crunchy at all, and the ginger really adds to the natural spiciness of the parsnip. The cream cheese in the frosting complements the sweetness of the cake and spiciness of the ginger. You should really give this a try!
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Ruth said...

Elizabeth, what a gorgeous entry! I can't wait to try it out. This week my husband and I are back on week one of South Beach Diet (too much eating on our trip to Montreal) so this dessert is bookmarked for next week.

Thanks for sharing. Great site, btw!

Tabitha said...

Never thought of using parsnips in a sweet dish. I've just recently discovered them roasted, so this is an interesting way to see them used other than for dinner.

Good to see baked goods without nuts, as I am not a fan either!

linda said...

Parsnip...how interesting to use that in a cake... Have never eaten parsnips before but now that I know you can use them in cakes ;)

jenjen said...

I agree, parsnips would be the last thing I would thinkof putting in a dessert. Thanks for sharing such an interesting recipe!

Pille said...

Ehehee - I tried (but failed) to make a ginger-parsnip cake for the Sugar Low Friday few months ago. Your version (with sugar) sounds lovely, I will print out the recipe!

Gabriella True said...

wow. parsnip cake. never heard of that. I have only had it with meat.

My Life As A Reluctant Housewife