Parsnip Cake with Maple Buttercream
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Yield: 1 (1-layer) 9-inch cake; about 8 servings
Parsnip Cake:
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cups (8 oz) almond meal or flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 lb (about 4-6 medium) parsnips, peeled and shredded (about 2 cups lightly packed)
  • Toasted sliced almonds, for topping
Maple Meringue Buttercream:
  • 1 medium egg white
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 pinch fine salt
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1½ cups (6 oz) powdered sugar
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 2 oz low-fat cheese, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  1. For the cake, preheat the oven to 350F and butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, canola oil, eggs, and ginger. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond meal, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into wet, and then fold in parsnips. Pour the batter into a prepared cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
  3. For the buttercream, whisk together the egg whites and maple syrup in a double boiler. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm (about 140F), whisking frequently, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the egg white mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on high speed until the mixture is thick and glossy, about 5 to 7 inutes. Add the vanilla bean paste, salt, and cinnamon, and then gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Add the butter and cream cheese piece by piece while beating; stop beating when the buttercream is thick and smooth.
  4. Once the cake is cooled, frost it with the buttercream and decorate the top with toasted sliced almonds.
Recipe adapted from Michel Richard’s recipe for Maple Parsnip Cake with Maple Meringue Frosting in Sweet Magic (HarperCollins; 2010).
Recipe by An Edible Mosaic™ at