Nadiya Hussain’s Parsnip & Orange Spiced Cake
Now, before you say it – yes, there are parsnips in this cake.
My parents love a good carrot cake, but when it’s the only thing they ask me to bake because they are not adventurous enough for much else . . . well, I had to change it up just for my own creative sanity.
Carrots may give colour, but parsnips add a similar flavour and sweetness with a whole lot more fragrance, so this isn’t as bold and daring as it might sound from the title.
It’s a moist and delicious cake, and an excellent alternative to carrot.
You could also give this recipe a go with courgette or beetroot. They all add different things and work equally well.
NOTE: Sponges can be frozen. This recipe serves 10.
For the sponge
- 230g self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
- 200g caster sugar
- 100g walnuts, chopped, plus extra for topping
- 3 medium eggs
- 150ml sunflower oil
- 500g parsnips, peeled, ends trimmed and coarsely grated
- zest of 2 oranges, plus extra for decoration
For the frosting
- 50g unsalted butter, softened
- 200g full-fat cream cheese
- 150g icing sugar
- zest of 1 orange
To make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C. Grease and line the base of two 20.5cm sandwich tins with baking paper.
- In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice. Add the caster sugar and chopped walnuts, mix through with a wooden spoon, and set aside.
- Put the eggs and sunflower oil in a different bowl, and beat for a few minutes. Now mix all the dry ingredients into the egg and oil mixture, along with the grated parsnips and orange zest. Mix everything together until you have a thick batter; about 2 minutes.
- Divide the mixture between the two cake tins, and level it off using a spatula. Bake for 25–30 minutes. The cakes should be golden, and a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.
- Leave the cakes in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack and peel off the baking paper. Leave to cool completely.
To make the frosting:
- In a bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon then add the cream cheese and icing sugar. Beat until it all comes together, but be careful not to overdo it, or the frosting will become runny.
- Leave the frosting in the fridge until you need it, if your kitchen is really warm.
- Take your cooled cakes and sandwich them together using the frosting. Top the cake with lashings of frosting and sprinkle with walnuts, and some extra orange zest.
Prep: 25 minutes Cook: 30 minutes