Riverford Wicked Leeks
Parsnip cake recipe image

Print Parsnip cake

This unusual recipe was a welcome contribution from one of our veg box customers. It's nutty, sweet and lovely and you'd never guess the veg content. Like its cousin the carrot cake its taste develops if you leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.


  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 250g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 175g hazelnuts, toasted & finely chopped
  • 250g parsnips, peeled & finely grated (weight after preparation)
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 125g cream cheese
  • 60g unsalted butter, softened
  • About 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 60g hazelnuts, toasted & roughly chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Use baking parchment to line a rectangular tin, roughly 28 x 18cm.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour with each one. Fold in the remaining flour, plus the spice, nuts, parsnips and milk.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the tin and place in the centre of the oven, bake for 40–50 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To make the topping, place the cream cheese and butter in a bowl and beat until soft. Beat in enough icing sugar to give a thick consistency. Spread the icing over the cake and scatter on the chopped hazelnuts. Cut into squares or triangles to serve.
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