Spiced parsnip and walnut cake recipe

It sounds like an odd combination... but it works! Could it be the perfect accompaniment to James Gin?

7w ago

You've probably looked at the title and thought, "erm... what?!?" The mere idea of a spiced parsnip and walnut cake sounds like something the Dibley Poisoner would come up with.

Don't write it off, however, it's a pretty nice cake! If you're feeling daring and want to give it a go, follow the recipe below. You just might need to do a fair bit of convincing to coax your friends and family into trying it.

I'm also wondering, could it be the perfect accompaniment to James Gin? After all, his gin is infused with parsnip... and spices... ok, this cake is basically James Gin in cake form.

Spiced parsnip and walnut cake

An odd-sounding combination on paper, but one that's actually really great

Prep time45min
Cook time1h 15min
Total time2h


  • 3 large eggs
  • 150g demerara sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaped tsp ground ginger
  • 150g flavourless oil
  • 225g wholemeal flour
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 150g walnuts
  • 300g parsnips (peeled weight)
  • Large handful of sultanas (this is optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C (140 degrees C if it's a fan oven).
  2. Cream the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl and add the spices, honey and oil. Add the flour and baking powder until it's just incorporated.
  3. Chop the walnuts finely before adding to the batter.
  4. Peel the parsnips and grate into the batter. If you're adding the optional sultanas, add them to the mix as well.
  5. Mix thoroughly to create a smooth mixture.
  6. Spoon the mixture into a greased and lined 24cm square cake tin.
  7. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  8. Remove the cake from the tin, let it cool, and then serve!

Recipe Notes

The wholemeal flour and baking powder can be substituted for 225g of self-raising flour, if you would prefer doing it that way.

Recipe by

From the book Sirocco: Fabulous Flavours from the East by Sabrina Ghayour

Have you tried this recipe? Share your photos & thoughts in the comments below

Join In

Comments (2)

  • I don't think it sounds odd after all we have carrot cake.

      1 month ago
  • That does sound a bit odd but I would try it

      1 month ago