Spiced Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake

Here’s a great recipe for using up winter-harvested parsnips, with a mascarpone and maple syrup filling. The cake itself is quite crumbly and not too sweet, and the parsnip adds a real twist. You could use light muscavado or raw cane sugar instead; and if you don’t have mixed spice, use a small pinch of ground nutmeg.

225g salted butter
320g self raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground ginger
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g golden caster sugar
4 eggs
125ml maple syrup
250g grated parsnip
zest of one orange
(optional 50g chopped nuts eg. pecan/walnut.)
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease two 9″ diameter cake tins.
  2. Melt butter and allow to cool slightly.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb and spices.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cooled butter, maple syrup and eggs.
  5. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and whisk.
  6. Fold in the grated parsnip and orange zest (and nuts if using)
  7. Divide the cake mixture between the 2 cake tins and bake in the oven for 25 mins.
  8. Check the cake is ready by poking it with a skewer, if it comes out clean the cake is ready. If not, pop it in the oven for a few more minutes.
  9. Whilst the cake is cooking, make the icing by whisk together the mascarpone and maple syrup with a small pinch of sea salt.
  10. When the cake is cooled, cover the lower half with the mascarpone mixture and place the top half of the cake on top.
  11. You can decorate it however you like, we’ve used some grated orange zest but you could use icing sugar or roasted nuts, or if you’re feeling indulgent, make a little extra mascarpone topping