Parsnip Sheet Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting and Ginger
Like carrot cake, parsnip cake is lightly spiced, exceedingly moist and slathered with cream cheese frosting. This version, adapted from Susan Spungen’s cookbook, “Open Kitchen,” is less sweet than most. In her original recipe, Ms. Spungen candies slices of fresh ginger root to make a spectacular presentation, but store-bought crystallized ginger tastes just as spicy-sweet and delicious.
- Serves: 12 persons
- Unsalted butter, for greasing the pan
- 1 ½cups/185 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
- 1 ½cups/185 grams walnuts
- ¾cup plus 3 tablespoons/225 milliliters roasted walnut oil or vegetable oil
- ¾cup/150 grams granulated sugar
- ¾cup/165 grams light brown sugar
- 3large eggs
- 2teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 ½teaspoons ground cardamom
- ¼teaspoon ground cloves
- A generous grating of nutmeg
- 1 ½teaspoons baking powder
- ¾teaspoon baking soda
- ¼teaspoon kosher salt
- 3cups grated parsnips (from about 4 parsnips)
- ¾cup golden raisins
- 8ounces/225 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
- 1cup/120 grams confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2tablespoons maple syrup
- 1teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½cup chopped crystallized ginger
Step 1Prepare the cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan. Line with parchment paper, butter the parchment, then flour the pan, tapping out excess.
Step 2Place the walnuts on a small baking sheet and toast until fragrant and turning golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
Step 3In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Stir in the parsnips, raisins and walnuts.
Step 4Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake until the top springs back when touched, the cake is turning brown around the edges, and a toothpick comes out dry, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack, peel off parchment, and let cool completely. When cooled, invert onto a serving platter.
Step 5Prepare the frosting: Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a mixing bowl, if using a hand mixer). Cream the cream cheese until smooth, then add the butter, confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup and vanilla. Beat until well combined and fluffy. Spread over the top of the cooled cake almost to the edges. Top with the candied ginger. The cake keeps well for several days at room temperature.