Parsnip Pear & Ginger Honey Cake

 
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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.

Pear
Pears
Pears
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Lilac and Spruce Tip Honey Infused Vanilla Bundt Cake

 
Lilac and Spruce Tip Honey Infused Vanilla Bundt Cake

Spring is one of my favourite seasons to forage. There’s something of the change of season and renewed life that I just love immersing myself around. Spruce tips and lilac topping the list on items I love to bake with. Last spring, I made some infused lilac sugar, as well as, some infused spruce tip honey. That is how this cake happened. I went off searching to see if such a cake recipe existed. I’m not a natural baker so pulling together a cake batter from scratch was intimidating. I ended up coming across a lavender honey cake recipe by A Pretty Life in the Suburbs’ Lavender Honey Cake, which inspired me to develop with one.

This cake it ended up being a delicate and delightful celebration of spring. One in which I can’t wait to make again this spring!  

Lilac and Spruce Tip Honey Infused Vanilla Bundt Cake

Cake Batter

  • 2 ½ cups flour

  • 1 cup lilac infused sugar

  • 2 tbs spruce tip honey

  • ¼ cup finely chopped spruce tips

  • ½ cup butter

  • ¾ cup plain yogurt

  • ¼ cup whipping cream

  • 2 eggs

  • ½ tsp vanilla

  • 4 tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp salt

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 2 tbs finely chopped spruce tips

  • 1 tbs milk or cream

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Using a pastry brush, grease a 10-cup Bundt pan with melted butter and dust with flour. Make sure to coat every little crevasse. Tap out any excess flour.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, chopped spruce tips, and salt. In another bowl, use a hand blender (on medium speed) to beat together butter and vanilla until creamy. Add the sugar and honey and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated. Turn the blender down low and add 1/3 of the flour mixture, beat until combined, followed by the cream, another 1/3 flour, then the yogurt, and the final 1/3 of the flour mixture. Pour the batter into the pan. Tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles and smooth out the top.

Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. After 10 minutes, invert the cake on the rack to cool completely before icing.

To make the glaze, beat the sugar, spruce tips and milk on low speed. Add more sugar or milk to achieve your desired consistency.

Spruce Tips
Spruce tips
Lilac
Lilac sugar
Lilac and Spruce Tip Honey Infused Vanilla Bundt Cake
Lilac and Spruce Tip Honey Infused Vanilla Bundt Cake
Lilac and Spruce Tip Honey Infused Vanilla Bundt Cake
Lilac and Spruce Tip Honey Infused Vanilla Bundt Cake
Lilac and Spruce Tip Honey Infused Vanilla Bundt Cake
Lilac and Spruce Tip Honey Infused Vanilla Bundt Cake
Lilac and Spruce Tip Honey Infused Vanilla Bundt Cake
Lilac and Spruce Tip Honey Infused Vanilla Bundt Cake
Lilac and Spruce Tip Honey Infused Vanilla Bundt Cake
Lilac and Spruce Tip Honey Infused Vanilla Bundt Cake