December 12, 2023


Baking a cake is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things to do on a wet and windy Sunday afternoon.  With my birthday looming I  chose a recipe I've had my eye on for a while.  For years, in fact.  It's a BBC Good Food recipe that you can see here.  

The original recipe is for a two layer cake, sandwiched together with a cream cheese filling but I decided to go wild and make it as a Bundt cake.  

Even with my recipe for foolproof cake release paste, it's always a nervous moment turning out a Bundt cake.  Especially when it's a recipe that is not specifically for a Bundt.

I needn't have worried.  I cooled the cake in the tin for ten minutes and it plopped out instantly with a very reassuring thud.  You can see the recipe (if you can call it that) for the cake release here.

I've given it two stars in the fiddle factor as I find grating parsnips (or carrots) rather tedious.  Not to mention dangerous as proved by the sticking plaster now adorning my thumb!  However, I used an old tip by Mary Berry for grating the apple.  Don't bother peeling it, cut in half vertically, remove the core with a teaspoon or melon baller and then grate the cut side.  You will be left holding the peel with the apple nicely grated and fingers intact!

I used walnuts rather than the pecans in the recipe, as that’s what I had in stock, and of course there was no filling or icing to be done, just a light dusting with icing sugar.

It was a delicious cake.  It didn’t taste overly sweet which is remarkable considering how much sugar there was in it plus the maple syrup.  And you would never have known it had been anywhere near a parsnip!.  The texture was close and amply firm enough to cope with a Bundt tin.  I will try it in a more elaborate design next time.


As an aside……
I often read the comments on internet recipes.  They frequently provide excellent suggestions and tips and can be very amusing.  Like this one:

"My cake looked exquisite as I took it out of the oven after baking for 50 minutes: beautifully domed and cracked on top and such a lovely colour. However, once I turned it out 7 or so minutes later, the middle fell right through the cooling rack leaving a rather good imitation of a cowpat on the kitchen surface. Can't for the life of me figure out where I went wrong. :("

Oh dear!  I'm sure many of us have had our cowpat moments!  



175g butter, diced

250g demerara sugar

100ml maple syrup

3 large eggs

250g self raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp mixed spice

250g parsnips, peeled and grated

1 eating apple, peeled and grated

50g walnuts, roughly chopped

1 small orange, zest and juice


Put the butter, sugar and syrup into a large saucepan and heat gently until all melted together.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 180C / 160 fan / gas mk 4.  Brush the inside of a large Bundt tin with cake release paste, making sure you get into all the nooks and crannies.

Whisk the eggs into the sugar mixture until well blended.  Add the flour, baking powder and spice and stir until well combined.

Add the parsnip, apple, nuts, orange zest and juice and mix well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, tap on the worktop a few times to settle the mixture and dispel any air bubbles, and bake for 40-45 minutes until done.  

Leave in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Cuts into 10-12 slices.


  1. I must prepare a batch of cake-release before I start making cakes in earnest shortly [main Christmas cake done, but others will be needed]

    1. I usually find that 50g of each ingredient makes plenty and keeps well in a jar in the fridge for several weeks.

  2. Sounds delicious. I'm going to try it with ginger x

    1. I bet it would taste divine with ginger!

    2. You might also like this parsnip cake which has ginger in it:
      I made it myself as a round cake here:

  3. Interesting recipe. Sounds like a fine and seasonal cake. I do like the idea of using parsnips in a cake, but maybe I'm not quite as keen on grating them by hand.