Parsnip Pear & Ginger Honey Cake


Recipe in partnership with Grey Arrow Farm CSA Program

This recipe was inspired and adapted from one of my grandma’s carrot cake recipes. And you can think of it a lot like carrot cake, but swapping out the carrots for parsnips and crushed canned pineapple (very 90s I might add) with pears. Plus, the secret to keeping this cake moist is the use of mayo! Yup, mayonnaise. It’s really just eggs and oil after all. I feel like my grandma had this cake recipe made just for me. I love mayo. If I had to bring one item with me to a deserted island, it would hands down be mayo… and maybe this cake too.

Parsnip Pear & Ginger Honey Cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 2 tsp baking soda

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • ¼  tsp nutmeg

  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 3 eggs

  • 3/4 cup honey

  • ½ cup sugar

  • ½ cup mayonnaise

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 2 cups grated parsnip (2-3 parsnips)

  • 1 cup grated pears (~2 pears)

  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts, plus extra for topping

Grease and flour two 9” round baking pans. Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a bowl and set aside.  In another bowl, using a mixer set at medium speed, beat eggs, honey, vanilla, sugar, mayonnaise until well blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture until well mixed. With a spoon, stir in parsnip, pear and walnuts. Evenly pour into pans and bake at 325°F for 30-35 minutes.

To assemble the cake:

Make sure cakes are completely cooled before assembling. Evenly spread a layer of cream cheese frosting in between each cake layer and cover the outside with more frosting. Decorate with chopped walnuts and candied rosemary.  

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 500 g cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 cup butter , room temperature

  • 2 cups icing sugar

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla 

 Using a mixer beat the ingredients on medium speed until smooth.

Sugared Rosemary

  • 5-6 whole rosemary spring, cut to desired lengths

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 cups sugar, divided

Boil water with 1 cup sugar in a saucepan. Once cooled, dunk rosemary in syrup and roll in remaining sugar. Shake off any excess sugar and let dry.