Sunday, 10 March 2013

Low Sugar Parsnip Cake, Great for the Whole Family

I'd been thinking about making a parsnip cake for a while.  After all parsnips aren't a million miles away from carrots so why not?

I looked around on the internet and the recipe I liked the look of here was far too full of sugar and syrup.  Whole nuts too aren't the best idea for young kids so I needed to start from scratch.

Here's what I came up with.  Not sugar free but bearing in mind you can cut this into 20-24 squares, you're looking at less than two tsp added sugar per serving.  Not bad and certainly better than most commercial baking and even some products aimed at babies.   Not that I'd count any cake as part of your five a day but this has a good boost of fibre too.

Parsnip Cake - makes 20 - 24 squares


200g, 7oz Sultanas (Golden Raisins)
125ml, 4.25fl oz Apple juice
150g, 5.25oz Soft brown unrefined sugar (I used molasses sugar)
300g, 10.5oz Self Raising flour (I used half and half white and wholemeal)
2 tsp Cinnamon
4 eggs
250g 9oz Grated parsnip
1 tsp vanilla extract
125ml, 4.25fl oz Mild flavourless oil (I used sunflower oil)
1/2 tsp Baking powder


Preheat the oven to 180oC / 350F.

I made this a bit like a muffin recipe, so with a dry mix and a wet mix.  Still did the job.

So pour the apple juice over the sultanas and add the eggs, vanilla and oil.

Line a baking dish with baking paper.  Mine was 23cm by 33cm (9 inch by 13 inch).  If you don't have one the same size I'd go slighly smaller rather than bigger.

Add the sugar to the flours and break up any lumps.  Molasses sugar especially can be quite lumpy.  Add the baking powder and cinnamon.

Add the parsnip to the wet mix then mix it all into the dry mix.  Pour into the prepared dish, spread it out and bake for approx 35 minutes or until it springs back when pressed and a knife comes out pretty clean.

Leave to cool in the baking dish then cut into squares.  Eat either on the same day or the next day.  If you're keeping it for longer, it freezes brilliantly and a piece defrosts in only a couple of hours.

VERY enthusiastically enjoyed by my toddler.

I've entered this into the Bangers and Mash spice trail on cinnamon:


  1. Going to try this in a while...Do you have a similar carrot cake recipe? Or could i just replace the parsnip with carrot?

    1. I do have a carrot cake recipe but I'd say this was better. To be honest I'd just give this a go with carrot if you don't have any parsnips. I'd even give butternut squash a go!

  2. This sounds yummy, thanks for sharing with us at Creative Mondays :)

  3. A parsnip cake! Wow! thanks for adding this to the collection. Cheers

    1. Well parsnips and carrots aren't that far apart!

  4. I really like parsnip cake - I tried it about a year ago, but admittedly mine was packed full of honey and sugar, so very keen to give your healthier version ago. Lovely entry for this month's Spice Trail challenge. Thank you.

    1. Thank you! My son's nursery gave this to the kids too!

  5. Hi... I bought more parsnips than I needed this week, so decided to look-up parsnip cake recipes to see if I could tempt my sweet-toothed toddler into eating more veg. Yours was by far the one I liked the most, so I made a version of it today based on the ingredients I have in the house. I used mixed dried fruit instead of sultanas. And, as I have no unrefined sugar or vanilla, omitted them, but used 8 tsps. of honey to add sweetness and flavour. While I suspect the honey made the cake denser, it was very much enjoyed by the whole household, and I will definitely be coming to you for recipe ideas in the future! Brilliant site.

    1. Thank you Robyn and thanks for taking the time to come back and tell me. I'm so glad you liked it.

  6. This looks and sounds delicious.
    I have become a fan of parsnip cakes lately and this looks very tempting, especially as a traybake.
    Thanks for the recipe.


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