You may snigger or turn your nose up at the idea of parsnips in a cake, but if you think along the lines of carrots, then you should know that the natural sweetness of parsnips make for a wonderful cake base.

Having developed this recipe for the Portobello Market ‘Roots Festival’ (Fri 27th & Sat 28th January) the result proved so successful that I simply had to share it with you, and here it is;

Parsnip Cake

225g plain flour
1 heaped teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
2 heaped teaspoons of baking powder
2 heaped teaspoons of ground cinnamon
4 medium free range eggs
100ml of clear honey
200g of caster sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
180ml of rapeseed oil or olive oil
400g of parsnips, peeled and finely grated
150g walnuts roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 180C (or 170, if fan assisted)

Mix the flour, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder together in one bowl and in a separate bowl, beat the eggs and incorporate the oil, vanilla extract, sugar and honey. Once the egg mixture is smooth, pour it into the other bowl containing the flour
and blend together well until the mixture is smooth and even.

Add the finely grated parsnip into the bowl, stir well and then add the chopped walnuts also, making sure you incorporate them evenly to produce a well blended cake mix.

Line a 24cm spring-form sandwich tin with oven paper (not greaseproof!) and pour in the cake mix and cut away any excess over paper from around the edges. Place in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, testing with a wooden skewer or knife through the centre to ensure the cake is cooked through. Allow to cool before serving.