A dense, moist carrot cake is studded with coconut, dried cranberries, raisins, coconut and even grated parsnip for the perfect flavor and amazing texture.
If you told me a few years back that I will be baking and actually enjoying carrot cake, I would have said you are crazy. Moreover, adding parsnip to desserts was way out of my mind at that time. I mean, come on, carrot parsnip cake? Is that something you would actually think of during your first weeks of baking?! Surely not!
But the last few months found me actually experimenting a lot with vegetables and herbs in desserts. I actually went beyond the basil you previously saw on my blog and had a lot of fun with rosemary, dill, sage, pepper and parsnip. It’s like my own little world of sweet experiments… with great results if you ask me. My taste buds will strongly approve!
This carrot parsnip cake is surprising! The flavor of the carrot and spices shines through, but then the parsnip kicks in and it reminds you that it is there and you should not overlook it! It’s a very intense and moist cake, a bit different than the other published on my website, especially texture wise. Unlike my first carrot cake recipe (which many readers have said to be the best), or the Momofuku carrot cake, this one is a bit denser. But then again, it has all these goodies incorporated in the batter: rolled oats, shredded coconut, dried fruits, more carrot and grated parsnip. And that has an impact on the taste, but on the texture as well.
The filling is a very basic cream cheese buttercream, flavored with orange to give it a nice kick. It does match well the sponge while being a star on its own. Incredible creamy, yet not too sweet, the filling is a delight!
The decoration of the cake is made of wafer paper flowers which my mother made especially for this occasion. Her newly discovered passion means she gets to work with wafer paper using all sorts of techniques to create this wonderful flowers and foliage.
- 4 eggs
- 150g butter, melted
- 90ml vegetable oil
- 250g white sugar
- 100g brown sugar
- 280g all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 8g baking powder
- 4g baking soda
- 4g salt
- 300g grated carrots
- 100g grated parsnip
- 40g dried cranberries
- 40g raisins
- 50g shredded coconut
- 30g rolled oats
- Click the link above for the recipe.
- Mix the eggs, butter, oil and sugars in a bowl until pale and fluffy - it takes 3-5 minutes.
- Sift in the flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix just until smooth.
- Fold in the rest of the ingredients.
- Scale the batter equally between two 18cm diameter cake pans lined with baking paper.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 170C for 45-50 minutes.
- Allow the cakes to cool down then even the top out. Cut each cake in half to obtain 4 discs of sponge cake. Place aside.
- Click the link above for the recipe to make the buttercream.
- Place the cream cheese buttercream in a pastry bag fitted with a round nozzle.
- Start layering the cake on a cake board: a disc of sponge, followed by a layer or cream cheese buttercream and so on.
- Once finished, place the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes then start covering it in a very thin layer of buttercream - this is called crumb coating and its purpose is to keep in place all the crumbs of the cake.
- Place in the fridge for 30 more minutes then cover with a second layer or buttercream. Keep working the buttercream until it is smooth and the angles are straight.
- Decorate as you wish!