They’re pink, gorgeous, and probably the ultimate sign of spring. Whether they are cherry, crabapple or magnolia blossoms; streets, parks and gardens throughout the city transform, almost overnight, with these beauties. When all this is going on here in Montréal, it also means that we are still weeks away from the start of berry season and a seasonal snacking cake can look very much like an autumn cake (minus the spring blossom styling!). Lucky for us, we still have plenty of apples and parsnips from our last harvest.
This cake is very similar to my carrot and apple cake; with the major change being that this one uses parsnip instead of carrot. It’s a cake for those who are like my eldest daughter who prefer not to see any orange carrot bits in a cake. “Vegetables have no place in a cake!” she says… Oh, if only she knew exactly what else goes into this apple cake!
Unlike the carrot and apple cake, where the carrots impart no (or very little) flavour of their own to the cake, here, we can actually taste a subtle “bite” of the parsnip. For this reason, I omit the use of nutmeg and ginger here; they really are not necessary. The final result is just as moist, delicious and wholesome!
Apple and Parsnip Cake
- 175 g (about 1 1/4 cups) white whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 60 g sunflower seed oil or olive oil
- 100 g coconut sugar or muscovado
- 50 g maple syrup
- 2 large eggs
- 70 g unsweetened apple sauce
- 80 g parsnip, finely grated
- 75 g Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or hazelnuts (optional, I did not use any)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl.
- In the bowl, beat together oil, sugar, maple syrup, eggs and apple sauce. I actually do this manually.
- Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet mixture and stir to combine.
- Stir in the parsnip, apple and nuts (if using) using a spatula.
- Pour the batter in a well greased rectangular (10×4 inches) or circular (8.5 inches diameter) cake pan.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.