Parsnip Cake with Bloody Orange Buttercream

By • August 16, 2016 1 Comments

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Author Notes: I do not know if my considerable fondness for this cake stems from the quantity of parsnips hidden within it or because those parsnips have been subsumed into a greater whole, a toothsome cake with an appealing but hard-to-pinpoint flavor. Regardless, it’s a winner.

Reprinted from Lucky Peach Presents: Power Vegetables! Copyright © 2016 by Lucky Peach, LLC. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.


Serves 16

For the blood orange buttercream:

  • 2 blood oranges, juiced (about 1/2 cup juice)
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar

For the cake:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups grated parsnips (from 1 pound peeled parsnips)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  1. Make the buttercream: Pour the blood orange juice into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half and syrupy, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stop the machine, add the reduced blood orange juice, and beat to incorporate. Incorporate the confectioners’ sugar into the creamed butter 1 cup at a time—stop the machine, add it, slowly stir it in, increase the speed to really beat it, then stop and repeat. This is not a don’t-overwork-it thing, this is a keep your-kitchen-from-looking-like-a-wig-powdering-room thing.
  3. Make the cake: Heat the oven to 350°F for cake or 375°F for cupcakes. Grease a 13 × 9-inch pan, two 9-inch round cake pans, or line 18 cups of a muffin tin with paper liners.
  4. Whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, oil, milk, salt, and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ground cloves and stir together with the whisk until smooth and homogenous, about 2 minutes. Fold the parsnips and ginger into the cake batter.
  5. Pour the batter into the greased pan(s)—this batter isn’t going to grow much in the oven, so fill the cake pan(s) or cupcake liners to within a half inch of the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake or cupcake comes out clean, about 24 minutes for cake, 16 minutes for cupcakes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove whatever you’ve baked from whatever it was baked in, and cool completely on a rack before frosting.

More Great Recipes: Cakes

Topics: The Fall Cookbook Cake Parade